For Sunday Night.
off I just want to thank all the fans of this site. I have been
promoting my books for sale primarily on this site. As a result, I
have sold almost 500 books in the past year. Thank you for your
support and patronage, both are greatly appreciated. I cannot tell
you how happy it made me when I read that report. So thank you Draft
fans and Patriot fans alike, and mostly thank you to all the fans of
my books and website worldwide.
result of all your great support, the start of the Patriots season, and
the release of my third book And One (or should I say second
novella on kindle), I will be offering Manfred's Argument (my first
novella) for free on Amazon.com from September 10th to September 14th.
all my faithful followers. Thank You.
(Gulp) JJ Friggin' Watts-
Houston is a strange team. I don't think they are a super talented team.
But, they have the best defensive player in the NFL, and maybe the best
non-QB offensive player in the NFL, DeAndre Hopkins. Both are freaks. Both
can dominate a game. "We're going to have to do a good job in all
three areas," BB said. "Obviously the great players that they
have: Watt, [OLT Duane] Brown, Hopkins, Lechler. We're going to have to
deal with all those guys, but then they have a lot of good depth, a lot of
young players that have played very productively for them as well. We're
going to be challenged all the way across the board. Corners do a good
job. They have good depth at that position. They're good on defense
period. So, a lot of challenges this week. I'm sure it will be a great
environment Sunday night, a lot of energy in that place, and hopefully
we'll be able to play our best game." So apparently there are four
freaks on Houston.
we all know Bill loves his special teams. But thinking Lechler is one of
the best players in the NFL might be pushing it. "Lechler is
obviously one of the great punters of all time," BB said. "So
they're very good in that area. Playing well, doing the things they need
to do to win." I stand corrected.
I'm a Hopkins guy. "He does a lot of things well, too," BB said.
"I'd say it starts with his hands. He has great catching skills and a
great catching radius. He's averaging over 15 yards a catch or right at 15
yards a catch, whatever it is for his career. He's had a ton of
production, but it's not on two-yard slant routes and stuff like that.
He's making plays down the field. He's always open because he's got the
ability to catch the ball. Wherever the defender is, if the ball is thrown
opposite the defender, he's long enough and good enough to come down with
a lot of tough catches. He's long, he's got good playing strength,
quickness, can get open, but he goes up and competes for the ball and
comes down with it in tight coverage a lot, so like I said, really he's
always open because he can come down with the ball. His ball skills and
length are exceptional." I'm still more ah-scared of Hopkins.
defense has to be prepared for this guy like no one else we've faced this
season. "It's very tough," McCourty said about preparing for a
player like Hopkins. "There's times where people have pretty good
coverage one him and he has the ability to go up and get the ball and make
tough catches with one hand, or any way he can try to get to the ball. He
does a really good job of making tough catches, especially in
traffic." If they can Demaryius Thomas this kid, it would go a long
way towards winning. I like Butler on Hopkins with McCourty over the top.
He is that good of a player.
I'm not sure they will. Hopkins is a better player than Thomas. Houston is
a team from the BB Tree, and they change things up each week to try and
exploit their opponent's defense. "I think the first thing is they're
tough to prepare for," McCourty said. "They do a ton of
different things from an offensive standpoint as far a personnel and
play-calling. It's really a true game-plan offense, where what exactly
you're going to get each week you really don't know. They change it up and
obviously, DeAndre Hopkins stands out on film. He makes some great catches
down the field, and also they use the receivers and backs in the pass and
run game." But it is Hopkins who makes the plays that stir the pot.
He consistently bails the offense out.
of course there is JJ Watts. The only defensive player who had a shot at
the QB dominated MVP trophy since 1986. He produced some serious stats
last season. He garnered 20.5 Sacks last season, and it was the second
time he produced that exact number of Sacks. Plus, he was blocking shots
like Bill Russell (16 PBU in 2012, and 10 in 2014) and scoring like Seth
Curry (5 TDs and
a Safety last season alone). He led the NFL in hurries and QB-hits with
47. He played special teams, blocked a field goal. He also garnered 5 FF
(one of which he retuned for a 45-yard TD), 1 INT (that he returned for an
80-yard TD). He was the top two-way player in the NFL. He scored three TDs
on offense, and two on D. Plus, he had an astonishing 42 QB hits. I still
don't understand how he did win the MVP last year.
like I always say about the NFL, "if you can't hit the QB you can't
win." He not only leads the NFL with 13.5 Sacks, he has hit the QB
better than a lot of teams combined. He already has been credited with 42
QB-hits this season. That is just an incredible stat. With the Pats
desperate for a win to stay in the second spot for the Bye and the play of
the Pats O-line so far, it is not a good thing to be seeing him this week.
has been dynamite over the second half of the season since he got healthy.
"He's pretty special," BB said. "He does a lot of things
really well, and everybody game plans for him every game. He gets a lot of
double teams, the line sliding to his side, teams trying to run away from
him, teams trying to handle him, but he does a good job with all of it. In
spite of all the attention he gets and the schemes that are put in week to
week to try to handle him, he still has a tremendous amount of production.
They move him around a little bit, so he's not always in the same place,
although he plays a lot on the offensive right, the defensive left, but he
shows up in other spots as well. Romeo and Coach Pasqualoni have done a
good job of moving things around enough to keep the offense off balanced.
He's done a really good job of dealing with a lot of extra attention,
whatever it happens to be: line slide, double team, tight end staying in.
Similar to some of the things that we saw from teams dealing with Taylor
at New York. He's got that kind of disruptiveness." Hmm Lawrence
Taylor, the last defender to win the League MVP.
my opinion he was a better player last year that LT's MVP year in 1986.
"I wouldn't go above Taylor because of the versatility that Taylor
had in terms of pass coverage," BB said. "He was a pass rusher
and a run player and a pass defender. He was really an elite player at
everything, including the kicking game. And of course Watt has blocked a
lot of kicks, too, but I think for the position he plays he's as
disruptive of a defensive linemen as I've seen in the league in the same
general category as L.T." But-but-but... Bill...? I'm sorry but Watt
was more versatile in 2014 than LT.
the way the O-line has been playing, since Vollmer and Cannon came back
too early, Watt scares the crap out of me. "Watt's a major
force," BB said. "There have been very few players I would put
in the same conversation with Taylor but I would put Watt there. Now it's
early in his career and he's done a lot already, Taylor did it over a long
period of time, but Watt's done it pretty consistently now. He's that same
kind of player. It's the same kind of player. I know he was the unanimous
MVP last year. He's already earned that award this year, even if he didn't
play the last four games, which this might be a good game for him to rest.
But he's a dynamic player, very hard to block. You can't run at him, you
can't run away from him. He wins with speed, he wins with quickness, he
wins with power, he plays inside, he plays outside, he plays out on the
tackle, he plays in on the guard, both sides of the line he's had
production when they flipped him and he's played a little bit on the
center, he's hard to block there, too, batted down I don't know how many
passes. We've watched him bat them down for four or five years. He's very,
very disruptive and can ruin the game. We've got to do a good job against
him or it's going to be a long day. Now they have a lot of other good
players on defense, too, I'm not saying that, but this guy is really,
really special." Even BB thinks JJ is an LT level player. I don't
think he's ever said that about another player in comparison to his
favorite guy before.
is a guy who is not just a great athlete, but is legendary for his workout
habits. "First of all, he's a great worker," the other BB
said. "So like, the guy's always in the building. He's either
watching film, working out in the weight room, in the training room taking
care of his body, out on the practice field taking every snap. The guy's
just got a great work ethic. Then he's got a great skill set. I mean, he's
6-foot, 7-inches, 295 pounds. He's an excellent athlete. He's got great
length. He's able to line up in different spots. He's not a one
dimensional player. He can play the run. He can rush the passer. He can
line up on the interior of the defensive line. He can line up on the
defensive end spot. He can lineup at a lot of different places. He's got
good knowledge of what his assignments are, what he's supposed to do to
help the team. He's got everything you're looking for in a great
player." Bradley certainly understands how lucky he is to coach this
is just a scary time to be playing against an all time great passrusher.
With TB12 getting hit 12 times a game the past three games. Heck, JJ could
do that all by himself. "Certainly we're not trying to see a spike in
that number, that's for sure," Josh said. "We'll do everything
we can to limit those. I think there are a lot of things that go into
that. When you're talking about passing game and pressures and those types
of things, there are many variables that could dictate whether or not the
defense gets pressure on you or doesn't. The design certainly is something
that can be looked at and discussed. You've got to have people open, on
time and in rhythm to be able to get the ball out on time, and there are
other times when you certainly need to hold up in protection a little bit
cleaner, a little longer, to try to execute a specific type of play. So
everybody needs to do their job, and we need to do a good job of coaching
and trying to put those guys in good positions to certainly limit that
number of hits. There's no question that that's not something we're
looking to try to do, and we want to try to minimize that as much as we
can. So that ultimately is our responsibility, and we need to do a better
job of protecting the quarterback. And like I said, there are a lot of
things that can go into trying to fix that." This is not the week to
be trying to fix that specific problem.
don't want to sound didactic, but it is not surprising that the whole team
seems to be struggling in direct relation to the O-line. As the O-line
goes so goes the offense. In the age of the NFL trying to pump fantasy
stats into offenses, as the offense goes so goes the team. Houston, and JJ,
are one of the best teams at disrupting the QB. "J.J. Watt is [a
baaaad mother fff] ...," coach McDaniel said. "This defense as a
whole is as good a unit as we'll face. They're certainly up there in a lot
of those statistical categories. They do a good job of stopping people in
the running game, stopping the pass. They create an incredible amount of
negative plays, which puts the offense in a lot of negative situations on
third down, which they lead the league in third-down defense. And J.J.
Watt is as good of an individual player as we'll play all season. He's got
a great motor. He plays the game extremely hard. He's physical. He's
aggressive. He's fast. He's quick. He closes to the quarterback very well
in the pass rush. He chases the ball down from behind in the running game.
There's really no area of the game where this guy isn't a significant
factor and contributor for their defense. And then to top it all off, he's
not always in the same spot, so we're going to have to have a lot of guys
prepared and ready to handle or to be ready to block him if he happens to
be aligned over them or near them. And that responsibility probably won't
just fall on one person, so we're going to have to do a good job preparing
for him. He's as disruptive of a player as we've faced all season, and
we're going to have to try to limit the number of opportunities that he
has to create those types of plays because when he does, they usually
change the outcome of the drive, the play or potentially the game. So he's
a very unique guy. We're going to have to do a really good job of
hopefully trying to limit the number of opportunities he has to make those
types of plays." So this game could come down to who is better,
Cannon or a one-handed Watt? Yikes! Plus, they just released Williams, who
I thought would keep in to help block Watt.
Patriots South- They are really trying to build a Patriots like
organization down in Houston. I mean, they went so far as to steal the
Mighty Vince! "Good, he was great," BB said. "He was team
captain for multiple years, great leadership on and off the field, really
smart player, understood concepts, understood what it took to win, how to
prepare to win, how to compete, how to make adjustments. Vince always had
a real good poise. He had an emotional side to him, I'm not saying that. I
don't think you can play the game without it, but he also had a very calm
and poised side: of what do we need to do, how do we need to do it, what
adjustments do we need to make, and then go out there and do it without it
being a big frenzy. He was I would say a very settling influence on his
teammates as far as that type of thing went, too. Look he did a lot for
us. He had a great career here and was a: great player, great size, very
talented. Like the interceptions that he had and things like you just
don't see a lot of guys make those kinds of plays at the position he
played. I think that speaks to his athleticism." Say it ain't so
Vince. Say it ain't so.
it was not just him. They have pilfered some of the best, including the
D-Coordinator in BB and TB12's first three Super Bowl Victories.
"Yeah, absolutely," BB said. "And Romeo, and Mike Vrabel.
and Pasqualoni, and George Godsey. All those guys. They certainly have a
vision of the way they want the team to play. I'm not saying they have
every resource at their disposal now. None of us do. But in terms of
playing the game the way that they need to play it to give their team the
best chance to win, absolutely. I think that's really what it's about.
Doing what you have to do to make the most out of what you have versus
what you're competing against. I think they do a great job of that."
They do a great job of copying the Patriots system.
took Vrabel, who BB told he should be a coach. Mike took his advice and
became the LB coach at Ohio State after he retired. "Yeah,
absolutely," BB said. "Mike and I talked about that a lot. He'd
give me advice and I would tell him, 'Mike when you're a coach and you're
calling the defenses, you should go ahead and do that. Here's why we're
not going to do that. Or that's a great idea. We can do that, that's good,
I'm glad you brought that up.' Mike is not afraid to make a suggestion,
and we've had a lot of good discussions even when he was at Ohio State or
when he was in Kansas City for that matter, we would bump into each other
from time to time, but when he was Ohio State particularly when he got
into coaching, we discussed a lot of [stuff]. My daughter was out there at
that time. Amanda was at Ohio State. We saw Mike and we would talk about
different things, whether it would be X's and O's or managing players or
practice tempo or whatever it was. It could be general coaching things. I
think Mike has a great mind for it, great passion for it. He's got great
playing experience, so he can draw on things that honestly I can't. I've
never played in this league. I can't draw on those, so I think there is
definitely some advantage to that. I don't think that's a ticket. There
are a lot of other things that go into it, too, but if it's used properly
I think it's valuable. Mike was a great player. He's played different
systems, he's played different positions. He's played offense, defense,
special teams. He's played end, he's played linebacker. He would play free
safety in practice for us probably once or twice a year, especially when
we were up against a guy like Ed Reed or somebody who you really didn't
know what he would do. You would just say go back there and go with what
you see and if you want to gamble, gamble. Mike, he would love that. He
would drive Brady crazy doing that, like, 'He'll never be there on that
pattern,' but it's Ed Reed. You didn't know where Ed Reed would be. He was
usually wherever the ball was. He somehow got there. So Mike did that.
Again you could just see his overall passion for the game, whether it be
playing multiple positions, playing offense, defense, he had a great
awareness of the total game and loved to play it, loved to play tight end.
If we'd be up against a big receiver, he would go in there and take a
couple plays at receiver."
He was also a big part of the Pats first three Super Bowl Victories.
course it is the other BB, Bill Bradley, who is trying to tie it
all together like the Patriots BB has done at a HOF level. "I think
Bill is a great coach, one of the best that I've had," the real BB
said. "He's right up there with all those guys. Very unusual to do
what he did, to go from a coordinator position to a quality control
position on our staff, but I think that shows you his work ethic, the
confidence he has in himself. Then after Josh left, he had the opportunity
to work with the quarterbacks and be the offensive coordinator. I thought
he did a great job with the staff, with the players and he was a big
reason for a lot of our success during that timeframe. Bill has great
leadership. He's really smart, but he's got a toughness about him and also
that permeates to the team. I think we saw that during his two years at
Penn State where even in a situation that's not good or things aren't
going well or whatever, he's got a lot of mental toughness and is able to
stay steady, composed, get people to follow him. And we had a number of
situations, whether it was during a year or during a particular game where
things like that came up and I saw the command and the presence and the
poise, composure, good decision making that he has and showed multiple
times. He's got a real good energy about him, and he's really a good
He knows what we will be trying to do on Sunday Night.
I know it's chicken or egg thing. "We know him, he knows us," BB
said. "So we know what he knows and he knows what we know. I think
that's just a game, that if you really want to get into that, I think it's
a waste of a lot of energy that's not productive. It is what it is and
just figure out the best way to deal with it and we still got to block
him. Whether we know him or don't know him, we still got to block him.
He's still got to defeat a block and tackle the runner or the quarterback
or whoever it is. He knows Stork. Stork knows him. Honestly, we've played
against guys that we played twice a year at the same position and playing
those guys in a game is in a way probably better prepares you for playing
the player in another game than practicing against a player because
practice is practice. It's valuable but it's not the same as playing in a
game when you're cutting and the defense is grabbing and there are other
things that go on within the game that we don't do in practice for safety
reasons. Like I said, I think if you played against a guy four, five, six,
seven games, whatever it is playing him twice a year, you know that player
better to play him in a game than you know a guy that you practice against
because you haven't really seen quite that same style or level of
play." It just feels like a bad week for this.
it should come down to who reads the other better. "It seems like
that's every week," the real BB said. "Somebody who has coached
on our staff or players that have played in our system for multiple years
or had a significant role on our team. It seems like we have some element
of that almost every week. I get that question from again whether it was a
player or assistant coach or in this case a head coach, it's really pretty
common. It's probably more common that that is the case than it isn't [the
case]. In the end this game is going to come down to the teams on the
field, how well they can execute and make plays at critical times in the
game. Obviously all the key situations, turnovers, red area, third down,
big plays, those are the plays that decide almost every game every Sunday
in the NFL, and I'm sure it won't be any different this week." And
that almost always is an advantage for the real BB.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.