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.
Hightower Vs Jamie Collins-
The most underrated aspect of the thief of the victory in Denver was the
eye opening loss of Dante Hightower. We learned a lot about the defense
when he went down. Suddenly the top five run defense couldn't stop a stick
in the mud.
saw the past few weeks that we can survive without Jamie Collins. The
defense was not as explosive, especially up the middle in the rush, but it
was mostly good enough. Freeny has really emerged as a solid run-stuffer
to help Hightower and Collins. "Well,
like every week, all of our guys that are active for the game are ready to
go and they're ready to play as many snaps as they need to play,"
coach Patricia said. "I think Jonathan has done a great job of trying
to learn our system and come in and understand how we want to play the
defense and the overall command of the defense. From a conceptual
standpoint as a linebacker in our system it's very important you
understand where everybody lines up, sits, plays, how it affects the
defense, the adjustments, the communication, all of those things that you
have to handle from a linebacker standpoint. He's done a good job of
growing in that role
throughout the year and really understanding from a confidence standpoint
where you need to be, where your help is, how to use your leverage and
things like that. He's doing a great job of trying to come in and learn
and improve every day." He just steps up and makes tackles.
saw earlier in the season that we can survive not having Hightower.
"Last week, when Dont'a Hightower didn't play in the second half,
that was kind of an in-game thing that we worked out," BB said.
"Those kinds of things happen during the game. You just have to make
whatever adjustments you have to make in-game and then the following week
depending on what the situation is, you reevaluate it and make the
decisions for the next week. We'll see how that goes going forward."
However, what we saw last week is that we cannot survive not having both
it looks like both are returning this week. They both practiced on
Thursday, which almost always means that players are playing. And those
two guys are so huge to the versatility the Pats have been defeating teams
with. They both do so much and have so many skills that defense can't be
sure whether they are coming or going. They both are elite against the
run. They both can blitz and cover, and can run all over the field. There
are not a better pair of linebackers on another team in the NFL.
they are going to need them this week to help handle the pace of the
Eagles offense. "Well, obviously you have a very dynamic, explosive,
skill group here," coach Patricia said. "They do a great job of
playing the space game or spreading you out, trying to run the ball, quick
throws. I think they do a really good job of the tempo, obviously, is a
big key to what they're trying to do. So going fast, trying to get lined
up quick, trying to catch the defense off guard. I think their overall
operation is excellent. They do a great job with it. It's one of the
hardest things to get ready for, to get that game tempo, and speed, and
pace that they're going to go at. I think the running backs are obviously
very dynamic. Murray, Sproles, Mathews. All of them big play guys can turn
little gains into big gains. Very explosive, homerun-hitter-type backs
both in the run game and the pass game. They're going to get them out in
space. They're going to get the ball to them quickly and allow them to
operate and make guys miss in open fields with tackling and things like
that. The tight ends are a huge part of what they try to do. You'll see
all of them: Celek, Ertz, and Burton; All of them will be out there. Both
have vertical ability, can really stretch it vertical through the middle
of the defense or on the perimeter plus they're very involved with the
passing game as far as the quick passing game where they get to their
routes quick, sit down, find open space in zones or work leverage off man
coverage. Big targets, big catch radiuses so those guys are tough to match
up. Then obviously the receivers, they do a good job of complementing the
running backs and the tight ends. Matthews, you'll see him inside and does
a good job of running the over-routes and kind of that intermediate area
of creating those big plays along with Cooper. They just do a really good
job within that scheme, within the offense, they play fast, they play
quick. They really stress you from that standpoint and again try and
stretch the game from a horizontal and vertical standpoint." The fast
paced Eagles are excellent at trapping players on the field.
every defender on the field has to be able to carry out an assignment he
is not perfectly suited for. But Hightower and Collins are suited for
almost any role. They will be on the field as many down as they can
physically handle. Unfortunately you have to think that Collins is going
to still be a little weak (after losing a three-week battle with
how much he can run is going to be a big factor in this game. "I
think the whole week is kind of a process," BB said when asked about
the trouble of returning players from injury, and in particular Collins
illness. "You’ve got to be careful about evaluating a player based
on one day or one period or a couple plays or that kind of thing. If a
player comes back, he goes out there, he practices at a Wednesday tempo,
whatever that is, but usually it’s a pretty good tempo, then we see how
the player responds to that on Thursday. Is he better? Is he the same? Has
he felt a little aggravation or irritation or is he tired, based on
whatever the injury is – it falls into a million different categories.
Then we come back and do it again on Thursday. Sometimes a player will
come in on Wednesday and feel OK and then Thursday after stringing a
couple days together, not as good or maybe better or maybe it’s kind of
staying the same. Maybe he hasn’t really fully turned the corner –
hasn’t gotten worse, hasn’t gotten better. It’s still just kind of
treading water there. Then sometimes Friday it takes a sudden spike and
sometimes Saturday, we’ve listed guys on the injury report on Saturday.
Something has come up in the last 24-48 hours before the game that is
relatively unexpected. We all can come down with something or step in a
hole or whatever. It’s really a process and so we go by what we see.
Where a player is Wednesday, where he is Thursday, where he is Friday and
even occasionally the Saturday changes are all just reflective of what the
player’s current condition is. How’d it go Wednesday, how’d it go
Thursday, how’d it go Friday, it’s not always a straight line of
anything. It can go up and down, it can go down and up, it can be going
good and then drop off, it could be going not so good and then all of a
sudden Friday, we go out there Wednesday and Thursday, look at a player
and say, ‘I don’t think you’re ready to play. I don’t think he’s
going to be ready to play this week.’ And then Friday all of a sudden it
just clears up. It’s really hard to give an answer. And sometimes there
is a straight line progression, but you don’t know that until the end.
You don’t know it going along because you’re not sure what’s going
to happen. I’ve been around long enough to see it go both ways so
that’s what you prepare for. You prepare for if the player’s there,
what’s his role going to be, what’s he going to do, who’s he going
to rotate and interact with, if he’s not there, who’s going to take
his place and so forth. Those are all kind of the contingencies of
practice. If the player is cleared by the medical department to play, then
it becomes a football decision. If the player is not cleared by the
medical department to play. Then there is no decision to make. That’s
it. Te doesn’t play. But just because they clear him to play doesn’t
mean that a coaching decision would be made to play the player. Sometimes
it just depends on all the circumstances that go around that. Long answer
to a short question." Each player and each circumstance is different.
I don't think even the coaches know how much Collins, and Hightower for
that matter, can run. Hightower because of his knee, and Collins because
of all the conditioning he has lost because of his mysterious illness.
likes to spread teams out to get their linebackers in coverage out in
space, and use tempo to trap them on the field "Tempo is a
problem," BB said. "But I'd say the biggest thing with their
offense is they make you defend the whole field. They run from sideline to
sideline, they run up the middle, they throw deep, they throw outside,
they throw inside, they throw short catch-and-run plays, they throw balls
that are over the top behind the defense, they throw the intermediate
routes, the over routes, the in-cuts, the outside scissors, sail-type
routes. There is really nothing that you can say, ‘Well we don't have to
worry about this or that.' You do because they run it inside, they run it
outside, they throw it short, middle, deep, they have a lot of
misdirection plays so you can't over-pursue because they have plays that
force you to defend the backside of the plays. I'd say that's really the
strength of their offense. On top of that, they go really fast and try to
wear the defense down or force the communication issue on defense so if
you aren't aligned properly or you aren't able to get your assignments –
even if you're aligned right, if you're not able to get your assignments
done quickly the way the plays come off, there's space in there, somebody
gets free, they do a good job of finding it. They're used to playing fast
at that tempo more so than the defenses are because there aren't a lot of
teams that do it like that. That's a lot of challenges for the defense
this week." That doesn't work with the Pats defense as well as
against other defenses. Mainly because of Hightower and Collins.
and Collins versatility is going to go a long way to helping the Pats win.
Their ability to do everything means they can get caught in mismatched
situations and be okay. Plus, when those two guys are on the field and
playing well, the Patriots defense in an elite defense in the NFL.
Yeah! LOL! Brady Ain't losing Two In A Row- I hate how people
judge one loss as a disaster of epic proportion. We lost in Denver, to the
best defense in the NFL, with one legit NFL WR on the roster. Plus, Denver
got lucky, the refs got crazy, and Gronk and Hightower had epic disasters
(that lucky turned into puddles of crocodile tears). If Denver dares to
come into Foxboro in January, WE ARE SUPER BOWL BOUND! If any honest
bystander watched that tragedy Saturday night and came away with the
delusion that Denver is better than honesty just went out the window.
many things had to go so wrong against the best defense in the NFL to rip
that victory out of the cold dead hands of the Patriots. This week they
are at home, against the worse secondary in the NFL, with a coach who has
been given a death sentence by the local media. Once a local writer writes
the "He has lost control of the team" story, and the owner reads
it? He is gone. There is a blizzard of circumstance blowing at the Eagles,
just like what happened to the Pats last week.
that ain't happening this week. Not with Brady at the helm. "Yeah, I
think we all want to get back out there because it's been a long time
since we've lost a meaningful game," Brady said. "It just sucks.
So I'm glad we're not in a position where [we can't get revenge,
redemption, and retribution for that wretched loss]. It is always hard to
win, especially going on the road against good teams and you've got to
play really well. And when that game ends, you've got to, as fast as you
can, turn the page and move on. So we've got to move on with obviously
some different challenges, whether that's personnel-related, whether
that's scheme-related. Every week presents different challenges, and I
think as a player, you just have to start every week with a fresh slate
and try to go out and give [everything]. You really put everything you can
into it, 100 percent of your energy and emotion, and then you go out and
you try to do it again." There is nothing better than betting on a
pissed off Brady.
with Amendola expected to play, and the reemergence of Keshawn Martin,
Brady has some weapons that he can defend himself with. "Well that
would be great," Brady said. "We'll see how that goes throughout
the week. Danny always tells me that [he's ready]. He always feels good.
He's a tough guy. Danny is a warrior man." That gives Brady some
weapons against the worst secondary in the League.
week is different, and each opponent is different. "I think that's a
lot what the coaches try to do on Mondays and Tuesdays is figure out
scheme-wise how we're going to try to move the ball down the field,"
TB12 said. "So you're right. It does take on a little bit of a
different approach when certain guys are missing because it's just pretty
natural for you to do as an offense because different guys have different
skillsets. When a certain player is in there, you may do something really
well, and then when he goes out, another guy who goes in that position
might do something else well and you try to do those things. I think it's
just a concerted effort by everybody, the coaches and the players, to try
to get to the things that we're good at versus the things that they're not
good at, which is obviously a big challenge. And it's not easy to do over
the course of 16 weeks. That's why it's hard to win every week because
every week changes and the availability of players change and schemes
change. It's just, it's always very challenging." But I'm a firm
believe that there is a little carry over each week.
a player has a great week, he is less likely to be great the next week.
But when a great player has a terrible week, he is more likely to be great
in retaliation the next week. So look out Philly! You're on the road
against a pissed off Brady who looks like he might finally have his O-line
also bring up the interesting case of LeGarrette Blount. Philly is giving
up a lot of yards on the ground. The Pats O-line looked like they gained
some cohesion last week. This could be a big game for Blount, especially
in the second half. Eagles are giving up 127-yards a game on the ground.
And nobody is talking about the run game. I read every transcript from
every BB presser this week, and nobody asked him a question about an RB or
the run game. Now I know the pathetic Philly D has given up 5-TD passes
the past two-week in a row, but I think the Pats might come out running.
We're Onto Philadelphia- Yes! We have a game this weekend.
"Alright, we've spent a lot of time here on the Eagles the last
couple days, obviously," BB said. "This is a pretty impressive
group. There are a lot of talented players on this team. They're really
strong in all three phases of the game. Special teams is probably the best
unit we've faced all year. They led the league in special teams last year
and should be right up there again this season. They have great returners
with Huff and Sproles, good specialists, they're a really good cover team,
good return team, good rush team, punt blocks, field goal blocks, they
make a lot of plays. They put a lot of pressure on you on every play so
you just can't really afford any mistakes at all because they're always
right there to take advantage of them. That will be a big challenge for
us. Offensively, it's probably as good a group of skill players as I've
seen. They're at least two deep and more really at some positions on all
the skill positions: quarterback, running back, tight end, receiver.
They've got a lot of good players at all those spots. They play multiple
guys. They have great depth there and they just keep bringing them at you.
Everybody is a problem. The running game is a problem. The passing game is
a problem. They throw to the backs, the tight ends and receivers. They've
got big receivers who do a good job after the catch. A lot of their
yardage comes on catch-and-run plays, broken tackles, things like that.
They have the ability to get the ball down the field and make big plays.
They also, like I said, have a lot of catch-and-run plays that you have to
defend, as well as the running game. The running game, good inside running
game, good outside running game, so you have to defend sideline to
sideline against this offense as well as handle the tempo and the
communication that the Eagles put on you. And then defensively, it's a
very active defense. They have a good secondary, a lot of experience back
there. They've got a couple former corners playing inside with Thurmond
and Jenkins and the corners, that's a good group, too. But their front is
very disruptive. Their defensive linemen, outside linebackers, defensive
ends, whatever you want to call them depending on what they're in, they're
very disruptive. They have good speed at the inside linebacker position.
Those guys run well. They're experienced with DeMeco Ryans and Alonso and
Kendricks. They have a lot of movement. They pressure a decent amount and
they bring a lot of different people – linebackers, secondary players,
so it's a lot to get ready for scheme-wise with a lot of different
defensive looks and again very disruptive up front. Graham is having a
good year. Fletcher Cox is one of the top defensive lineman in the league.
He's really hard to handle. Logan is playing well. Really they have a good
disruptive front. Barwin has been productive for them, so they have a lot
of guys that can cause you problems up there. Overall it's a very talented
team. Scheme-wise they give you a lot of issues, so it's going to be a lot
to prepare for with a team we don't know very well. And they're very
explosive. They get a lot of turnovers on defense and also in the kicking
game. They take the ball away and cause a lot of negative plays. And
offensively, they can literally score from anywhere on the field with
probably any one of a dozen guys. Those are our challenges this week. It's
a lot of them." I almost forgot about the Eagles.
Eagles Offense. Such As It Is- Please. Hightower and Collins.
Sanchez and Foles. 'Nuff said.
Pats Secondary- One of the keys to the season has been the
emergence of Number One corner Malcolm Butler. But I think the emergence
of Logan Ryan as a solid number two has been just as big. "Logan has
been solid for us since he came to us. This is his third year. Real smart
kid, comes from a good program, was very well coached at Rutgers so he had
a great background and work ethic and he's just built on that in this
league. His awareness, his instinctiveness, he's got some length at that
position, tackles well, very mature and very professional, hard-working
guy that studies the game and is always well prepared. He's done a good
job for us. We've used him in a number of different positions and he's
played for us in the kicking game as well, so he's got a lot of
versatility." He has been such a great surprise this season.
just has that knack for getting his hands on the ball. "Yeah, I
agree," BB said. "I think really he's been good at that his
whole career. He was a very productive player in college as well. Again a
combination of those things: technique. Logan's got good playing strength,
so he can lock onto receivers and not get kind of batted around like
sometimes smaller guys do. He's not in that category. He's very
instinctive. He has a good grasp of route concepts and overall
understanding of the passing game, what the offense is trying to do and
how they're trying to attack and combination routes, splits and
understanding where his help is in coverage and so forth. I think all
those things play into it. I don't think it's any one thing. Each play is
different, but Logan studies hard, he prepares well, he does a good job
with the communication so that he and his teammates are on the same page
with the coverage adjustment or a coverage technique to play it properly
so that everybody can do their job. Those are all strengths that he has.
He's a very mature kid who was well coached in college, so he came here
with a good background and a good understanding and has worked hard to
build on that." He has saved the defense in more ways than one.
secondary has been so short handed at corner that it threatened to
strangle the season out. "With Logan, he's really done a good job of
improving and trying to take our techniques and what we're trying to teach
him and get better," coach Patricia said. "He does a great job
of studying the opponent. He's a smart guy, a smart player. [He]
understands the guys that he's up against, what their strengths, what
their weaknesses are. [He] has a good background and was coached well at
the collegiate level and I think that's transferred over with his work
ethic and his ability to come in and grind and trying to get better each
week. Just overall really good work ethic and trying to improve and trying
to get better, trying to understand the position, trying to understand the
concepts, smart enough to move around and play a lot of different roles
which I think helps you from a standpoint of playing perimeter, if you've
played inside, if you've played in the deep part of the field and transfer
that to understanding how to help yourself when you're on the perimeter. I
think that's all a big advantage for you as a corner. I would say in
general, confidence is a big part of the game no matter what position
you're going to play and I think you have to have that confidence in your
ability and confidence in what we're trying to do for that particular game
and that's what we do during the week, is try to build that confidence up.
That when we step out on the field on Sunday that we have a lot of
confidence in what we're trying to do and how we're trying to do it and we
can execute it at a high level. I think that's not position specific. I
think it gets highlighted in situations where if there's a big play or a
penalty or something like that then obviously it's easy to go to that
position and pick that guy out. It's no different than for the most part
of the game you never hear of the offensive lineman but as soon as there's
a holding call it's a first down and they call their number all game. We
don't really focus on that. It's not a big part of what we're talking
about. We're just talking about having confidence in what we're doing, the
techniques, the game plan, our ability to understand what the offense is
doing. That's really what we try to focus on." Well his confidence is
certainly soaring, and it shows on the field. And he might have been the
final piece this defense needed to become elite.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.