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7 Things Blog.

Part I.

7 Things For Friday Night.

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

First 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.

7-Things From Thursday Night.

By TOM

1. Whine of the Week- On Thursday and Friday I was having trouble with the internet. Then I woke up Saturday and the cable box was dead. On the Saturday before a three-day week, and the biggest opening week of College Football ever! So we had to go and get a box, as no service was available until Wednesday. So we switched out the box, lost the first half of the college game slate, as the games just wouldn't play. Then, all the old records were gone and wouldn't play either. So while I broke down a lot of the 1st quarter, both recordings of the Pats V Giants wouldn't work.

2. Mingo the Merciless- The Giants game started off a little strange. The Kick Coverage unit had different players on it. They had, Richards, Grissom, Sunseri, Jonathon Jones, Harmon, Chung, Ö But they also had their latest Lombardi draft pick from Cleveland starting on the left side Mingo the Merciless. "He hasn't had much time here," McCourty said. "Obviously, there were a couple days of practice. But a day short of a real practice week, as usual." He didn't start the game on defense.

But man that kid was good in this game. "He flew around out there, and that's exciting to see," McCourty said. "Obviously, he's very athletic rushing the passer or making tackles all over the field. It's exciting to see what he will do with two weeks with the defense. I know he seems very happy to be here, so we've just got to keep improving and I know he'll keep working and try to get out there and make plays." That wasn't the kid who played at LSU or in Cleveland. He was fierce.

I don't know if the switch finally turned on, as the end of his NFL life flashed before his eyes while he sat on a barstool at the Last Chance Saloon. He jogged out on the field as innocent as a lamb looking for a daisy to chomp on. He was flashing and dashing all over the 1st Half.

He lined up on the field to start the third series. He rushed off the blindside edge as a 3-4 OLB. He did a nice job. He tried to chop the OLT's arms down and get outside, but got stuck. However, he then grabbed the OLT and pulled himself past him and went inside. He found a lane to the QB, but it took too long. That was a nice power move, for a guy who usually is a speed rusher only.

I never saw him play that strong before. "Definitely," Mingo said. "It's a new team and these guys want to see what I can do, I want to see what I can do in this defense," Mingo said. "There is still a lot more to go, but I feel like I got a good jump start and I am ready to get back into it for this week." Though he would play stronger against the run at LSU.

On 2nd and 10, he lined up at ILB, like Jamie Collins. He motioned outside to OLB, like Hightower often does. He lined up way outside the ORT, as Grissom was standing up next to him as the 3-4 OLB. He was clearly lined up a new position. He was lined up like a Wide-11, lined up outside of Grissom as a Wide-9. It was interesting because it kept him out of the fray, and let him just use his speed and instincts.

"We had a few of those situations come up in the game last night," BB said about that play. "It was, again, a good experience for us. The Giants did a lot of no-huddle and they combined that with substitutions on no-huddle, so it forced us to not only deal with the no-huddle but also with different personnel groups on and off the field and matching up with them, so there was some communication things that we had to work through, which again, was good for us. It was a good experience for us and so that's just part of the whole week. We had a number of those come up. Some we got, I'd say most of them we got, but some we were either a little late on or we didn't get it. Again, it was a good thing for us to experience in a game situation. It's hard to do it in practice, and get the same kind of effect when you're doing it against another team that does it a lot and is good at it. Overall I think he handled things from an assignment standpoint well. There weren't a lot of issues with that. I'd say overall defensively that's something that we need to really understand how important it is and how we need to do it from a process standpoint. Again, each call is different and all of that, but just how we're handling our substitutions and how we're getting the communication."

He flew up field and the RB picked him. He grabbed his shoulders and shed him like leaf on his shoulder. Then he was chasing the QB from behind with his elite natural speed. He never did anything like that at LSU or Cleveland. I mean, he was a tiger attacking from the backside. And when he pounced, he flew through the air, opened his claws, and slapped the ball out with his big right paw. It was pure aggression that he always seemed to lack.

It was pure raw instincts. "I think a little bit of it is just his football instincts and being a player," McCourty said about Mingo. "But here, he got in and he was meeting with coaches all day and night. So if you get here, you're going to learn something right away. I think he did a good job of picking things up." He certainly did.

They were lining hi up all over the place. "Like you said, it's hard to come in and learn one position and be able to move around on the defense in a game where you've only got three or four days of learning and two days actually on the field practicing," McCourty said. "It's tough, but I think he did a great job. It's promising for him being able to learn and play multiple positions for us." He finally looked like the passrusher everyone was trying to see for the past six years, and of course his bad luck in the rush continued as his strip sack was called back for a penalty.

He lined back up in Collins spot at ILB. They ran the RB off tackle. He got out there quickly. Mingo slide sideways down the line a little awkwardly. The RB broke a tackle on the edge and turned up filed. Mingo turned and ran straight at him.

Coleman went low and cut his legs out. But the RB dived over him as well. Mingo continued over and hit him in the air at full speed. He hit him so hard that it jolted the ball out. The Preseason superstar Anthony Johnson recovered this fumble to give the ball back to Brady. I know it is mostly luck (FFs), but I never saw a guy force two fumbles two plays in a row before.

Despite all the excitement about him finally finding a position he can play in the NFL, the problem is that he was playing the role defined by Jamie Collins. He ain't replacing Collins on the field. "He's a smart kid," BB said. "He learned well. We saw that on the practice field. We'll look at the tape and see how it all went. But it doesn't appear that learning's going to be an issue with him." He lined up all over, but mostly filled the role that Collins dominates.

You really saw the field speed and aggression that got him drafted in the top five, even though he struggled to hit the quarterback. He was always good against the run. Even though he was a designated edgerusher, he was always better against the run. He would often looked confused or like he didn't know what he was doing in the rush.
He looked like he knew what he was doing in the rush Thursday Night. "He's spent a lot of time." BB said. "He lived in the facility for the last week. He didn't go back to Cleveland, he came from Tampa where they were practicing, went to Carolina and came back with us. The players had an off day and [he] spent the whole day in the facility with the coaches going through the material to get caught up." It seemed like he finally got himself into position where he didn't have to think all, he just ran to the ball.

Maybe his problem in the rush was paralyses fro analysis. "He showed a lot of commitment to trying to pick up the new information," BB said. "Tried to understand what we were doing watching the films and games that we've played to understand the techniques of how we're playing. He worked really hard, took a lot of plays in practice to get somewhat comfortable with what we were doing. It's obviously going to be a work in progress here. It's only been a week but, like I said, he's smart, he learns well and he works hard. Check all those boxes." He just got himself into the zone. So the question is can he get himself back there in Arizona.

In the 2nd quarter he primarily lined up ILB in the Jamie Collins role. He was moving forward and blitzing into the backfield between the tackles. So it looked to me like he is being groomed to backup Collins, and maybe replace him next season if a terrible-terrible thing happens and the Pats can't resign him. His price tag starts at 50-Mil, and his price this off season will only go up if he plays like he did this Preseason. So I'm not sure how much Mingo is really going to play: 3rd and long, 2nd and very long, and to give Collins some rest.

3. Brady- Of course Brady started the game you idiots. He is not going to be able to take a snap with a teammate for a friggin' month. Then these idiots think he is just going to step onto the field in four weeks, without any preparation (even though he is famously a preparation junky), and be ready to beat the Cleveland in Cleveland. That is an extremely difficult thing to do. No. That is a near impossible thing to do.

"I'm happy I was able to play as much as I did," Brady said. "Coach and I talked about it and it was a good opportunity to get out there and play. I hadn't played much in the preseason. So just to get out there and feel out some game action [was like totally awesome]."

It is lucky for us that Cleveland has a criminal owner whose utter lack of character shows up on the field year after year. It amazes me sometimes how idiots think professional athletes are robots. 

"I think it all helps," Brady said. "The practices are a little important, but ultimately the game decisions and getting hit and [that's how you prepare for the season]. It's all about decision making as quarterback. You try to replicate that in practice, but at the end of the day, it's got to be game situations and real football. That's what these games allow you to do."

Plus, Garoppolo will be taking all the first team reps all week long. He doesn't have to split the first tea reps with Brady anymore. When they were splitting the reps Brady would get 14 throws or so, and Garoppolo would get 11 or so. Not he can get all 25, or 22 and throw a few bones to the rookie. He also gets to continue to practice the rest of the month as the number one QB.

The worst part of trolling now, is that now they are staying to believe their own trolling nonsense. The act more and more like the stupid stuff that say to makeup fake controversies is true. Incredibly ignorant and fake opinions like, "Duh, football players don't really need practice to prepare for the season. Duh, so why bother playing Brady who can't play for a month anyway."

"You canít take insurance out on players. BB said. "You play football, you play football. I donít know how you get better at playing football without playing football. You stand around and talk about it all day, I donít think that really makes you a better player. At some point youíve got to get out there and play." 'Nuff said.

4. Fleming- Gulp, ah, Solder popped his hammy, or hit knee, or his ankle, I don't f-ing know, and left the game. Which is okay. No really. Everything is awesome. Gulp, and ah, your backup OLT, and likely starter in Arizona is apparently, gulp, Cameron Fleming. I'm not ah-scared. It's fine. It's not like we have to play a top five NFL defense on the road next week, without our GOAT. Oh wait, we do.

Now last season, I thought he played his best football at OLT, and wrote that earlier. "That's part of the game, guys get hurt," Waddle said. "Whenever he's ready to bounce back or whatever his situation is, he'll handle it. But it's next-man-up. Whoever is next in line has to be ready to go, and I'm just preparing myself for whenever my name is called." I was shocked Fleming stepped in at OLT, and not Waddle.

Fleming hopped out onto the field on 2nd and 5 to start the second drive of the game. On the first play he kickslid back and got his hands up nicely. He shoved the rusher off and Brady threw off the 3-step. It was quick and easy.

"I donít know [how much it helps]," Fleming said about his smarts. "I mean, it probably helps me study and get the plays down a little bit quicker. But as far as on the football field, you have to already know it and just react."

I thought it might be a mistake. It had to be a mistake. But then there he was, in on 3rd and 2. He got back a little more awkward this time against the big rusher, but he kept his position so well that when White went over to chip there was no need for it. So White hopped around them and went out in pattern, as Fleming sealed the D-end on the edge. But the pass was incomplete so they were forced to punt.

So in the first series he was solid. He wasn't really challenged, but he was solid. "The good thing for Cam was he did that last year," Belichick said. "Cam is: very intelligent, very smart, works hard, and he's a very diligent guy." So they need him to be a very diligent guy again. Plus, he is another hand picked Scarnecchia guy, like Thuney.

On 1st and 10 to start the next series, the D-end cut inside into Thuney, and the Slot Corner blitzed. Fleming looked very comfortable turning outside, spotting the blitzer, and kicksliding back to cut him off. He just seems to move more naturally backwards on the left side. That play was the Bennett fumbled.

1st and 10 after Mingo the Merciless forced two straight fumbles, and it wasn't a mistake! Fleming stayed in at OLT! They ran away from him, but he had a nice combo block. He blocked down on the DT with Thuney, which trapped the OLB outside. The OLB ran into Fleming, and he turned and shoved him out of the play. Granted they were backside blocks, but you still have to block when they go to other side and he got in two.

Not that it mattered, because we wanted to see him in pass pro. 1st and 10, and Brady was in the shotgun. He was kicksliding back easily again. He caught the DE at the corner, and stoned him. He was making it look easy. It will not be this easy in Arizona.

"Maybe it's not even so much who we play there [at the Tackles], but now what you can actually do with that person there," BB said. "How you would manage the game? What you would call if we got to that point? Third quarterback, third tight end, third right tackle, third defensive end, third safety, third anything. If you're going that far down the line, it would be an issue. Not saying you couldn't handle it, but it would be an issue."

1st and 10, and they ran a WR screen to Fleming's side this time. The DE lined up way outside. Fleming got outside fast, and had a hand fight with the DE until Hogan was tackled. 2nd and 7, Empty. The DE blasted off. Then he faked the inside move. Fleming got a little flat footed, as he burst past his outside shoulder. Fleming recovered and washed him nicely past Brady. Then he fell down as Brady threw.

3rd and 7, the money down for the OLT. Fleming had to move outside first off the snap, as the DE lined up way outside again. His inside hand went a little high and hit the DE on the top of his shoulder pad. This allowed the DE to bull Fleming backwards almost into Brady as he threw. But Fleming was able to hold on just long enough. That was the beautiful pass that Brady alley-ooped to Foster deep down the sideline.

1st and 10, he cut blocked the DE right off the snap, as Brady was throwing short to the RB on the other side. He took the DE's legs out viciously. 2nd and 9, not a pretty block. Fleming shuffled forward with his arms extended, like he was pass blocking on a run play (which it turned out to be true). He got his hands on the DE behind the DT, but it was a screw up. They were stunting. He should have switched to the DT, but then again Thuney stayed on the DT. So maybe they weren't suppose to switch.

However, the DE broke free as the DT picked him off. The DE lost his balance and then ran towards Brady. Brady saw him, and that no one was on the blindside edge. So he took off. Fleming shoved the DT, and Thuney got into position to pick the DE, as they finally switched. Brady ran behind them to the edge and ran for the 1st down.

"But I think he did do a good job, without taking a lot of reps with that group and playing pretty much three quarters of the game at that position," BB said. "I thought he did a good job, but he's done that for us before, and that's why everybody's important, every role is important. You just never know how it's going to go, but he definitely answered the bell."

1st and 10, Fleming got a nice jump on the DE, and used his feet nicely to cut inside of him and sealed him outside on the inside run by Foster. Then he ended up driving him three yards backwards and out of the play.

2nd and 7, Fleming lined up in front of the DE. But after Brady checked the play, the CB sliced over to blitz. Fleming picked him up easily, and drove him face first into the turf with his two hands. Then fell on top of him just for fun. 3rd and 5, Fleming looked like he was finally warmed up and easily shutdown the DE on the edge.

Fleming really had a great game. He came in at OLT for Solder, and held his own. "They did a great job," Brady said. "I mean I think those guys have been the real strength of our team all camp and I think they're so well coached, so well prepared, and this is when it all comes together. The team gets cut down quite a bit and that unit really starts to gel and you know the best teams that we've had, the best offenses have always had the best offensive lines and that's the way it all starts for an offense and you run the ball, protect the quarterback and that's a critical element to every game control the line of scrimmage, and I mean our guys do a great job of that." You cannot win in Arizona without great play from your O-tackles, and O-line as a whole.

5. Adrian Waddle- Okay, I can't make this crap up. Their primary backup at OLT last year didn't come in when Solder went out. This shocked me. But what shocked me more was that he came out at ORT when they finally put him in. He replaced Cannon, not Solder or Fleming. And worse! I have no idea what it means?

He was not one of Scarnecchia's hand picked guys like Fleming. "I like Dante a lot," Waddle said. "He's one of those guys who is going to be straight-up with you. He won't sugarcoat anything. I mean, he tells it like it is. He tells you what you need to know and how you're doing. He's really honest and a great teacher, so I'm glad I'm working with someone like him." But if Solder is out, he does have the most experience at OLT of any player on the roster.

Plus, he was playing ORT in the second half all the Preseason games. "It was nice to go through the offseason program here and just get that jump start on everything," Waddle said. "I got here so late last year, there was a lot of hurrying to get caught up. I think having the offseason here and going through OTAs and all that stuff with the team was really beneficial to me as far as understanding everything and getting a better grasp of the system." So maybe this was the plan all along.

He came in at ORT to start the third series. He blocked his man into the dirt, but they called holding on him. On 2nd and 20, the DE lined up way outside of him. He was kicksliding back nicely with his hands high and tight. He had a little hand fight, and DE got his outside shoulder. But he kept his feet moving and washed him past Brady. Brady had to step up a little, but he hit Edelman in stride.

1st and 10, and they ran a WR screen to the other side. Waddle turned and sealed the DE outside, and then both relaxed. 2nd and 7, Waddle was kicksliding back with his hands high and tight. He moved his feet nicely back. He jabbed the DE to a standstill, and then Kline came over and rammed him almost to the ground.

3rd and 7, and I suppose it's the money down for the ORT as well. Waddle had nice pass pro this time. The D-end lined up as a 9-tech. Waddle was kicksliding back, and met him at the pass. The DE tried to club his outside shoulder and rip his way past him. But Waddle got low and got his hands on his shirt and washed him past Brady.

1st and 10, both tackles cut blocked as they swung the pass out to Foster. Waddle had an OLB on his side and he took his legs out viciously. 2nd and 9, I loved Waddle's kickslide on this play. He got his butt real low, and his hands high and tight. He shuffled his feet back as smooth ice. The DE tried to go inside of him and he cut him off. Then he tried to pull his past him on the outside, and he washed him way out of the play. He looked like a starting OLT on that play.

1st and 10, Waddle was great on this play. He blocked down on the DT and drive him past the OC. Foster cut behind his block and was hit by the LB. Derby did a nice job occupying the DE just long enough for Foster to flash past. 2nd and 7, the DE went inside, and he just shuffled in front of him at arms length and he was done. Derby had a great block picking up the blitzing OLB. He stopped him right next to Brady and held on until he threw.

3rd and 5, Waddle was great in pass pro, which was important because this was Brady short TD throw to his side. He jammed the DE, and then when he stunted inside, he gave him a nice shoulder club into Kline. Then he switched to the DT stunting into him and stoned him. That was the end of the 1st quarter.

It will be interesting to see who starts at OLT against the Cardinals. "Being in this league, you kind of have to have some versatility," Waddle said. "You have to be able to play both sides. If they ask me to play left, I'll play left. If they ask me to play right, I'll play right. I'll do whatever the team asks me to do and just try to make sure I'm as prepared as possible to do that when my name is called." It could be: Solder, Fleming, or maybe even Waddle.

6. The GOAT- I mean, seriously? Football players don't need to practice to prepare for the season. You should be ashamed of yourselves. If it were possible:

"I think everybody on the team, really their No. 1 focus is to get ready to play football," BB said. "Our players arenít coaches, theyíre players, and they need to get ready to play. I think every player needs to get ready to play. I donít care how long youíve been in the league. I donít care what position you play. I donít care how long youíve coached. I donít care what position you coach. We havenít done it for a long time, a number of months, and now we all need to sharpen those skills up.

"Thatís every player, thatís every coach. So I donít really think players have a lot of time to run around and be telling everybody else what to do. Honestly, there is enough that all of them need to work on individually, and that would be every single player. Thatís a full plate for them. I donít really think thatís their job. And I donít think any player has enough time to do that. Because they all have things that they need to do to prepare for the season."

7. 4th Preseason game- In the end, this game is all about Arizona. "We obviously have to look at a lot of players tonight," BB said. "Another step in the process of getting ready for the season, Arizona next week. We can now turn the page on some tough decisions that we have to make over this weekend. But we'll kind of grind through it, try to do what we think is best and start getting ready for Arizona." That is the only thing that matters.

If both Solder and Vollmer are out, the Pats can't win this game 3,000-miles from home. "You lose two players at any position, on any team, that's an issue," BB said. "Two of anything with anybody, pick any team in the league that would be an issue. Once you start getting into that area, you gotta start thinking about what's our emergency move, how do we get through this?" And! Without the ridiculously persecuted GOAT.

I won't admit that next week, but it is what it is. The Cards' defense took them to the NFC Champ game last year. And in case you forget, they added an All-Pro Passrusher (and the Pats coincidentally lost an All-Pro passrusher) this off season. The offense is going to be in big trouble this week. They need Solder to be on the field. I'm taking no news as good news for his injury, which is big. Because the Cards try and test both O-tackles as much as possible every passing down.

"Well in their 3-4 defense he plays outside linebacker, and in their nickel defense he plays defensive end," BB said about a certain All-Pro D-end. " Their outside linebackers rush quite a bit, so there is some coverage, but their outside linebackers are predominantly rushers. So a lot of times they're bringing five people."

However, the Pat defense played the best I ever saw in this Preseason. "Anytime we donít turn the ball over thatís a good thing," BB said after the Saints game. "Defensively, we got the turnovers. We got the two touchdowns so thatís kind of 14 bonus points. Itís hard to count on that in a game. In the end, that really ended up being the difference in the final score. It was a great job by the defense to not only turn the ball over, but converting it into two touchdowns. So those were obviously huge plays for us." They were awesome.

I know it's just the Preseason and the other offenses weren't game planning to attack the Pats defense. But they were incredible. They weren't just stopping offenses, the first team defense was destroying first team offenses. What the Pats defense did to the Panther's first team offense, in Carolina, was pure greatness. They destroyed an offense that was top five last year, and took their team to the Super Bowl, destroyed.

Zero points in the 1st Half. No first downs on the first three series. Cam Newton is a top five QB in the NFL now, and they crushed his spirit in the 1st Half. And it wasn't just him. Their first team defense destroyed everyone they faced. Not only did they do that, they did it without their two projected starting edgerushers. 

"Week 1 is always a tough week to prepare for because just the number of unknowns, the lack of game planning that teams do in the preseason, so we can go back and look at last year," BB said. "That's a lot of volume of stuff so, look, I know that's a lot of games. There's no way they could do everything in our game that they did last year, plus looking at the preseason, just trying to plug it all in and think what you might get but you know that they worked on some things in preseason that they probably haven't shown in those games. So we'll just have to be ready to attack and defend the way that we want to. Kind of generally want to plan to go into the game with. And then have to be ready to make adjustments during the game as we see how schemes and matchups and so forth unfold."

Not only were they completely dominate, but they also unleashed defensive stars in waiting all over the place. "Yeah. Absolutely," BB said about some guy named Anthony Johnson (who?). "He was a player that we brought in, in the spring. [We] saw him as a little different player when he got here than what we had seen at LSU. Unfortunately, he missed a little bit of time in the early part of camp. But when he was able to return to practice a couple of weeks ago, we put him into the competition." Who?

I didn't know he was on the team or anything about him, until he stepped on the field in the second Preseason game. "He was able to get reps on the field as part of the defensive tackle competition," BB said. "He has had some positive and productive plays for us. He works hard, he's a good kid, and he's tough. He has battled through some things and he still finds a way to get out on the field and keep competing with them, and he has had some production for us. I don't know how much of it is improvement; there is definitely a level of improvement, but it's just at the beginning of the year he wasn't out there and fell behind a little bit, so part of the improvement is just being back out there and getting better every day. He has done a good job of just fighting through some bumps and bruises to be out there and competing." You remember, the one where he was the best D-linemen in the passrush. 

They really brought in a cadre of players the past two years in a large variety of ways to make the Pats defense suddenly very young (and shocking dominate). From Draft picks to undrafted rookie free agents, they improved. From young free agent signings to a trade for Mingo the Merciless, they just kept adding young defensive players that showed they could play in the NFL. They also got a big boost from second year players who couldn't play last season.

"There's another group of guys that are rookies this year that probably the same thing is going to happen with them next year," BB said. "Definitely, Trey Flowers is another guy. There are several players there that from their rookie year to their second year, weren't really factors on the roster a year ago, but are very much in the competition this year. That's hard. It's hard to do. It's always hard to leave that veteran experience for a little bit of an unknown, but the lifeline of this league and the lifeline of every team is young, developing players. You can't build a team without them, so they're an important part of it. There's uncertainty there. Not all of them develop and then they don't end up being what they might be. Then that, in the end, just kind of becomes a waste of time. Just trying to make the right decisions there, especially when sometimes, the information is limited, but it is what it is. That's what you have to figure out or try to figure out."

With their two starting D-ends gone, and their All-Pro passrusher from last season gone, they had to unleash the player I told you was a star in waiting at the beginning of the Preseason. Flowers was their most consistent passrusher all Preseason. He even showed he could be a force rushing inside next to some slimmed-down guy named Anthony Johnson inside at D-tackle.

"Trey Flowers is another guy," BB said. "There are several players there that from their rookie year to their second year, weren't really factors on the roster a year ago, but are very much in the competition this year. That's hard. It's hard to do. It's always hard to leave that veteran experience for a little bit of an unknown, but the lifeline of this league and the lifeline of every team is young, developing players. You can't build a team without them, so they're an important part of it. There's uncertainty there. Not all of them develop and then they don't end up being what they might be. Then that, in the end, just kind of becomes a waste of time. Just trying to make the right decisions there, especially when sometimes, the information is limited, but it is what it is. That's what you have to figure out or try to figure out."

Also Cyrus Jones started for an injured Logan Ryan and showed he belonged from the start. He was making plays on the ball in the air from the first game to the last. He showed he could cover bigger guys. He also seemed to get better every week in the return game, and had a 60-yard return against Carolina. 

"If you can just get them started, most guys can make some yards on their own with the run skills," BB said. "And Cyrus certainly shows the ability to do that. Heís done it and he did it tonight. In the other games as well, heís always made a couple guys miss and he just couldnít get enough space to get started so I thought the vice guys [the outside blockers on the punting teamsí blockers] did a good job of keeping them off him all day and letting him get a chance to get started. It was a good run but really good blocking by the return team as well."

Jonathon Jones wasn't very far behind. He had everything you want in a CB, except height. He measured in at 5-8 and change at the Combine, and that knocked him out of the Draft. But he was one of the best Corners in the SEC the past couple of years, and that is nothing to sneeze at. I thought he was better than Cyrus in the SEC last season. 

"With all the guys that we have competing through training camp, certainly he [Jonathon] went out and tried to make some plays and improve as we were going through," Patricia said. "And certainly showed his skill set where we think he can help us out there at the corner position. Just in general when you come down through it, we're trying to get guys to fit in what we're trying to do and how we want to play. Certainly he has great speed and some good ability, so just in general guys showed us a lot of improvement through the course of the training camp."

So not only was the Pats defense the best Preseason defense in the NFL this year, they also did a remarkable job transitioning in an impressive amount of young players. Including Ming the Merciless and Elandon Roberts. Now it all might just be a preseason mirage, but I believe. The defense was so impressive in the first two Preseason games, when they were playing all the young kids. Then as the veterans slowly started to be sifted in it only got better and better. 

The defense looks like it is ready to take on the veteran Arizona offense, and maybe slow them down enough for Garoppolo, the two O-tackles, and the rest of the offense to score enough points to win the game. This defense could be the Pats best defense, maybe ever. If they can continue the improvements they showed this Preseason, especially with all the young kids who showed so much potential. And just think, once Brady gets back, he could be coming back with Ninkovich and Sheard. 

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