2016 Season Blog.

Pats Vs Broncos.

7-Things For Sunday.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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I'm Not Ah-Scared.


1. Grudge Match- Is there a team that Pats Fans hate worse than the Broncos? Because we not only battle them, but they win. "I think you always remember those feelings and you remember the circumstances of the game," Brady said about the last time we played the Broncos. "Of course, to watch that game again, I watched it a bunch this offseason. But to watch it again, you're just trying to do things better than the way we've done them. If you want a different outcome then you've got to do things differently. and we've got to play better. I think that's what it comes down to. I think about the things that I need to do better. We've been close, but close is not good enough when you play in the NFL. You've got to be able to finish your job." They, gulp… turn us in to the Jets.

I don't want to be a Jets Fan. "I think they've had really good teams. More so than where you play, it's how you play. I said earlier today, we just need to play better than the way we've been playing out there," Brady said. "It's a great place to play. They've got great fans. Coach [Bill Belichick] said they've sold out every game for like the last 45 years or something like that. It's definitely one of the louder places so our communication is going to be really important. Number 58 [Von Miller] on the other side of the ball is a lot more dangerous, and 94 [DeMarcus Ware], than the people in the crowd, so we're going to have to do a good job handling all those guys up front. They've got a great rush group. They've got a great coverage group. They're exceptional in a lot of ways and they've been that way for a long time, so it's going to be a big challenge for us." It's like, it's like… living in a chicken coop, in the swamp, and liking it.

Going into Denver, for the Pats, is like getting caught in traffic in a swamp when Chris Christie has a vendetta. "Oh, they're good," McCourty said. "I would say that's the biggest thing. I mean, every time we go there, we're playing against a good football team. Defensively, like you said, there's no noise, but their crowd is into the game. There might be 15 Patriot fans in the whole stadium. I mean everyone is there for Denver. Then they have a good defense, and when you play at home that always helps, so just a tough team to play, especially when they're at home." I don't want to live in swamp.

I'm always ah-scared when we go into Denver. "No, not really," McCourty said about being ah-scared. "You watch just to try to make sure you win this week. The emotions from the last couple games don't really matter; they won't help you out there on Sunday. I just try to take a thing or two that I think will show back up on Sunday that I think will help me out. " But this week I'm not feeling it.

I'm not ah-scared. "I just think with the same offensive coordinator there will be some carry over on different things they try to do, especially if they're anticipating whatever we did in that game and whatever went well," McCourty said. "I think that's the biggest thing. When you go back and watch games, you try to watch, especially from a defensive standpoint, you try to watch what went well for the offense. What did they do that worked? What was a play that might not have worked but when you look at it a second time? If they would have saw this guy open or that?" When it comes to smart defensive players, the Pats are always top five in the NFL.

Maybe it's a Jets fan's delusion, but I believe the Pats are going to win. "You try to learn things from that and I think defensively, that's a big thing for me," McCourty said. "No matter who is the quarterback, if he goes back and watches a game, he'll see a lot of the same guys out there for us defensively and say, 'Well if I get this again like they did last year, I can exploit that.' So it's just trying to get the upper hand on that and being a step ahead." Maybe it's the altitude, but I believe.

I mean, they're the same, but they're different. "Not this week yet, I'm going to watch it though. That game and the game from earlier in the season. I mean, it's the same offensive coordinator," McCourty said. "Obviously, different quarterbacks in both of those games, but it's always good, I think, even last game, watching the last time we played Baltimore just to get a feel for how the game, how the team really tries to play against you. Obviously, you can watch their games from this year, but teams sometimes play us different, or [there are differences in] how the game flows. You try to get a feel for that." There will be no Elway or Manning this week.

They're good this season, but they're not great. "They're good," McCourty said. "I would say that's the biggest thing. I mean, every time we go there, we're playing against a good football team. Defensively, like you said, there's no noise, but their crowd is into the game. There might be 15 Patriot fans in the whole stadium. I mean everyone is there for Denver. Then they have a good defense, and when you play at home that always helps, so just a tough team to play, especially when they're at home." The Pats are clearly the better team this season.

2. Who?- Then of course, there's Von Miller. "I don't think there are any linemen in the league that are sitting there saying ‘Oh, good. We've got Von Miller this week. This will be a little breather this week.' I mean, nobody's saying that," BB said. "No matter how many times you play him you've still got to deal with his speed, his quickness, his leverage, his counter-moves, and if they run gains with him it's not always the tackle on him. Sometimes it could be the guard or the center. That's a tough mismatch, too, because those guys aren't usually used to blocking that type of quickness and explosiveness that he has. They're used to blocking 300-pound, whatever, bigger guys, that you get that kind of quickness coming inside on a stunt that can let's say surprise them, but they're just not used to dealing with it like the tackles are." He can wreck a teams passing scheme all by himself.

He mostly lines up on the Strong side so he is facing the ORT not the OLT. "I mean look, he's a great player. He's a great rusher. It's a challenge for whoever's blocking him, and you don't have all day," BB said. "The receivers don't have all day to get open. They've got to help the protection by creating separation in the route. The quarterback can't hold the ball all day back there. They've got to find somebody and throw it to them. We need to have good team execution. Even if you block him that doesn't solve the rest of the problem in terms of getting somebody open." They have to chip him more, and throw those quick passes.

I was the first guy to put Miller in the Top Five in the Draft, and the first to put him 1st overall. "Everything," BB said about what makes Miller so great. "He's fast [and] explosive. He's got good anticipation. He's smart. He gets good reads, good anticipation on plays, but not just on the road or at home but on the road, too. Sometimes he can beat the count, get the jump there. Ray's done a good job for them. Ware's done a good job." They found another rusher, Shane Ray, who can take advantage of all the attention Miller gets.

Ray is showing he is more than just a compliment "I mean, if it's just one outside guy that's one thing. When you've got to deal with two, it's hard to get help in both places," BB said. "You can help there but then you have no passing game and you run out of guys to throw it to. I'd say the combination of one good rusher with a couple of other good edge rushers." Which is why I love it when they Winged Brady in the shotgun with Dion and White, they can both chip and go.

I was also a big time believer in their three starting D-linemen. I had all three rated higher than most. "The guys inside do a good job, too: Wolfe, Crick, those guys, [Williams]," BB said. "They have a well-balanced rush, although Ray and Miller have I think probably over half the sacks, probably over half the pressures [as well]. But again, it's hard to get both guys, unless you don't send anybody out. Which you could do that, but there's a consequence to doing that." The whole Winged Shotgun they've been using could have been in preparation for this game.

Plus, they need to run some Smashes with Blount into Miller and Ray and get a Big Ugly or two to knock them on their butts. "I mean number one, ball security. Number two, durability. I'd say just in general his ability to get the yards that you need [and smash him into those lighter edgerushers with some bad intentions]," BB said. "A two-yard run isn't a good run unless you need one[or he smashes Miller on him bum]. A four-yard run is not a good run unless you need three [or he hits Ray as hard as can be]. He's had some explosive plays in there, which always helps shorten the drive, when you can grab 15 yards, 18 yards, whatever it is. You don't necessarily think you're going to gain 15 yards when you hand the ball off. A good run is four or five, maybe six yards. When you end up getting two or three times that, those are kind of bonus yards, if you will, that you're not really counting on. But if you run it enough hopefully you'll get a couple of those. I'd say his ability to make the yards that we need at the time that we need them." I'd say his ability to use his size and strength to Smash into D-ends is his primarily asset in this game.

Another nice weapon is the pulling abilities of their two young OGs, they can pull outside and hit Miller and Ray harder than Blount on a Smash. "For Shaq and David the second year is always, usually always, a year of growth. Just having that year under their belt on every aspect of football, training, preparing, knowing what they expect from the other team, knowing what we do a little bit better, just really all of it," BB said. "Then in Joe's case, just getting familiar with our offense. He's played with obviously Nate and David in his second year, but he's got a couple of experienced players I know that he's working with as well. I think just the overall coordination of the group and function of the group together, just working together, communicating together, seeing things, just reacting, that split-second reaction can make all of the difference in the world. The better we are at that, the better those guys are at doing it together, those are all positives." They need to power run those Brady killers into their graves.

3. Malcolm Floyd- When you look at the Pats, their biggest weakness is depth at WR. "We claimed Michael Floyd yesterday and released Griff," BB said, as though he didn't watch the punt team last week. "I think this is really similar to the Whalen situation last week, a position that we don't have a lot of depth at. We felt that obviously we'd rather work with Floyd at this point in time. We're aware of the situation that came up earlier in the week. We'll let that legal situation play itself out, but really we'll just see how it goes. He's a player that we haven't had before. We look forward to working with him and we'll just see how it goes." They played last week with three WRs on the roster, and Slater.

Floyd went to Denver with the team today. "We'll do what we feel like is best for the game. He'll travel. So we'll see," BB said. "As we always do, we take the information we have and make what we feel like is the best decision for the team." They had to do something, just in case something else happened.

Which is not the worst thing when you have Gronk and Bennett on the roster. They can act as WRs, and in most cases Gronk is the number one receiver anyway. However, with him out and Bennett's ankle still not up to snuff, it got dangerous last week. Especially when Hogan got knocked out of the game for a little bit.

They are dangerously low on weapons for Brady in the passing game. "We don't have a lot of depth at the position," BB said. "We added a player at that same position last week and we've basically exchanged players." Floyd will be working with the coaches on extra film work and Play book study, mostly likely starting on the plane.

But he would not be available if he hadn't had a DUI. "I mean, I don't think there's any question that if there weren't some circumstances then the player probably wouldn't be available," BB said. "But regardless of all that, whether that is or isn't the case, as I said in the beginning this is a position that we don't have a lot of depth in. We added a player at this position last week. It's a similar conversation. Another player became available." Floyd is a veteran who has been successful in the past in the NFL, especially as a big tall receiver getting open deep.

He had a DUI in college as well. "I wouldn't say it was similar at all," BB said. "I'm not saying it wasn't, but I'd say it was quite a different situation." So he is a risk.

He has had two 50-plus reception seasons, averaged over 16-yards per catch eight times, and four 5-plus TD seasons in his NFL career so far. "We made a decision to work with the new player that was available over the other player that we brought in here," BB said. "Whether that's right or wrong, I mean I don't know. But that's our decision based on the criteria that we made which is what we feel is best for the football team and we'll see how it goes, like we saw how it went last week with Griff. I don't know how it's going to go." I would have been happier if he had kept a punt returner as well.

He is most likely not going to be activated for the game. "I don't know," BB said. "He's been here a couple of hours." But he will be able to work with the coaches and players this weekend and beyond. He will be able to stand on the sidelines, and see how the Pats offense operates on game day. He has played in a couple of different offenses in the NFL. He also played for Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame. So hopefully his transition into the Pats offense won't be as daunting for him as it has been for some veteran WRs.

He will get a big jump start on his transition into the Pats offense in Denver for next week against the Jets. "Yeah, no question. It gives us time to help catch him up on assignments and procedures and things that relate to the team and for him to see the operation pregame, during the game, whether he's active or not active just to take some of the surprise element out of the next time that it happens," BB said. "I'm sure there will be some new things that if any of us went to any new team that would be different from whatever team we're used to being with. Sometimes those things are an adjustment. Sometimes they're not. I think it's good just to get into that routine of the new team that you're on. I think there's always a little bit of hesitation until you know for sure exactly. The first day at work is always a little ‘How is it? How does this go? How does that go?' And then once you get comfortable it's just different. It takes time so this will be part of it." He will be able to do extra work with coaches and the playbook in Denver.

He will also get on the field in walk throughs and extra work with Brady in Denver as well. "This isn't the first time a player has ever come to a team during the season," BB said. "So we're not talking about a historical event here. So whether it was Alan Branch two years ago, whether it was Kyle Van Noy this year, whether it was Jonathan Casillas or Griff Whalen a week ago, it's the same thing that we've talked about with every one of those guys. We'll see how it goes." He has a ton of catching up to do to be ready for the Playoffs.

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