Posts Tagged ‘Bill Belichick’

Jerod Mayo’s Communication Helped Patriots as Much as His Play

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Jerod Mayo's season ended on Sunday. But New England's defense will have to play, think, and communicate as if he is still on the field with them. (NFL Game Rewind)

Jerod Mayo’s season ended on Sunday. But New England’s defense will have to play, think, and communicate as if he is still on the field with them. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Anthony Dixon gained three yards before he met Jerod Mayo at the 7:37 mark in the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Orchard Park. Yet for the New England Patriots linebacker, a two-time Pro Bowler and five-time captain, his 53rd tackle of the season would not be like the rest.

It would be his last.

Mayo’s right foot planted and his leg buckled as he halted the Buffalo Bills running back in the left A-gap. His teammate, edge-rusher Chandler Jones, arrived to finish the stop to force 2nd-and-7, only the damage had been done by then. Mayo knew it. The Patriots knew it.

On Monday, the fears were confirmed. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the lower right leg injury Mayo suffered was indeed season-ending. Yet even on Sunday, it was evident on the field that New England’s defense had lost its communicator, its green dot, its “Mike” linebacker, only six weeks in for the second consecutive season. (more…)


Patriots Offensive Woes: Blaming Brady Easy Excuse

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell

 

The numbers don’t lie. Tom Brady hasn’t been impressive at all this season. In fact 2014 is no doubt the worst season of his NFL career. But to put the blame on Tom Brady’s shoulders is a grave mistake. The diminishing talent around him has failed Brady, and it’s Bill Belichick the GM and not the coach who is responsible.

It’s been well documented that the best way to get Tom Brady off his game is by knocking him off his feet. The New York Giants exposed this flaw on two separate instances in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Give Tom Brady time in the pocket and he’ll pick you apart all day long, but when you find ways to put him under duress, his skill set is diminished.

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2014 NFL Trade Deadline: Are the Patriots looking for a dance partner?

Saturday, October 4th, 2014
NFL: Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may be looking to the trade deadline for reinforcements (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Twenty-four more days are available for NFL teams to trade players. The Patriots’ front office has around $14M available in cap space, and as of Monday night New England fans have about zero patience available for this team.

Frustration, disbelief and confusion are the best ways to describe what fans are feeling right now. There are so many places to point the finger, but placing blame won’t solve this organization’s issues any faster. What this team needs is a shake up, and Monday night’s debacle in Kansas City was just that.

Now it’s up to the Patriots to pick themselves up, get back on the horse, and circle the wagons. They have enough talent, at least on the defensive side of the ball, to clinch their division. But talent alone doesn’t always translate to wins, it also takes effort and patience. Two things players and coaches have lacked through four games.

In order to right the ship a lot of internal transformation has to take place in that locker room. However, infusing a new element onto a roster can sometimes provide the necessary spark desired to pivot a franchise 180°. Deals at the trade deadline don’t happen often in professional football, and they’re usually never significant moves when they do.

Bill Belichick trading for Aqib Talib a couple years ago is the exception to that rule. Talib gave a lack luster Patriots’ defense the jolt needed to spur a turn around that season. Question is – is there another player available this year who could do the same?

The desert and Motor City may offer solutions…

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Monday Night Massacre: A Patriots Pictorial Essay of Tom Brady’s 26 Pass Plays vs. Chiefs

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Tom Brady and the Patriots' passing game saw the results hinge on the seconds and the routes. (Denny Medley - USA Today Sports Images)

For Tom Brady and the Patriots’ passing game, it came down to the routes and the seconds afforded for them versus the Chiefs. (Denny Medley – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Development takes time.

The New England Patriots’ passing game hasn’t afforded itself enough through the first four weeks of 2014. And it all came to a head for quarterback Tom Brady and the offense against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night.

Brady was behind center for only 38 snaps over nine series. He went 14-of-23 passing for 159 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and two sacks over that span, departing for the sidelines early in the fourth quarter with a 41-7 score.

There was nothing more the offense could do. The Patriots didn’t appear built to close the gap. Not defensively, and not through the air nor ground.

New England’s running game was turned to for 16 carries, 75 yards and two first downs, but it was unable to work symbiotically with an aerial attack that netted just 10 first downs. The Patriots went 2-for-9 on third down, and failed to establish a rhythm in between the Chiefs’ 36 minutes of possession.

There was a difference in calibration between the two sides.

The field was seldom spread by the patterns of the New England’s receivers during the Week 4 tilt at Arrowhead Stadium. And in an effort to get the ball out quickly, there were few elements of surprise between Brady and his connections.

That allowed the Chiefs to respond accordingly, transitioning from a two-deep to a single-high secondary, dropping a safety down into the box to congest the underneath. The front brought pressure with a four-man rush. And the Patriots, in turn, were tasked with beating them at their own game.

New England was not going to beat Kansas City solely over the middle on screens, slants and in routes. Brady and the Patriots route-runners were going to have to beat the defense vertically, down the sideline or deep over the middle.

But the tools weren’t there. The routes weren’t there. And the time in the pocket was not, either.

Over the course of Brady’s 26 pass plays versus the Chiefs, the seconds and routes mattered. The following is a breakdown of the results. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: Three Things I Think I Know Heading Into Tonight’s Draft…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The 2014 NFL Draft is nearly upon us.

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

I THINK…

The Patriots will select a wide out relatively high, and by relatively high I mean before round four. Belichick loves to maximize value, and after round one there will be plenty of value left over at receiver. Some 2nd-3rd round prospects that typically would have first round grades, will be sitting there for them to select at #62 and #93 overall. With the diverse array of receiving  talent left on the board, there’s many different directions they can go at pass catcher. Three names to remember are Jarvis Landry, Kevin Norwood and Marqise Lee.

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How the Patriots Will Use Tim Tebow

Monday, June 10th, 2013
Patriots Tebow

Will we see Tim Tebow throwing passes in New England? Perhaps in practice.

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The unthinkable or inevitable – depending on which side of the aisle you’re sitting on in the Church of Tebow – has happened. Bill Belichick and Tim Tebow, two of the most polarizing figures in all of the NFL, are finally together. Somewhere Urban Meyer is smiling.

What should Patriots fans expect out of Tebow this season?

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Bill Belichick’s Affinity for Greg Schiano, Rutgers Should Be Questioned

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The New England Patriots’ 2013 draft strategy was clearly influenced by Bill Belichick’s relationship with Greg Schiano. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Contributor: Dan Hope

For much of the first decade of the 21st century, the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were a team considered to be ahead of the curve when it came to the NFL draft.

From consistently finding diamonds in the rough who became team building blocks, to mastering the art of trading up and down the draft board for better value, the Patriots laid the foundation for three NFL championships and five Super Bowl appearances in an 11-year span.

But as the rest of the league has caught up, with teams such as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks making brilliant offseason moves translate into on-field success, the Patriots are at risk of falling behind.

As a result of Belichick’s success at the beginning of the century, winning three Super Bowls in the first five years of the millennium, he has typically received benefit of the doubt. Belichick’s decisions are ultimately expected to be for the better — understandably given his accolades — even if they are unexpected or unconventional.

That said, it’s time to start looking past the benefit of the doubt, with the Patriots now eight years removed from their last Super Bowl title. Specifically, the decision to use three of seven draft picks on Rutgers players, coinciding with an apparently burgeoning friendship between Belichick and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, should raise a red flag.

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