clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New England Patriots Links 1/05/11 - Belichick's Roster Philosophy: 'The Best Players Are Going To Play'

Ian Rapoport reports that Bill Belichick's method of choosing a 53-man roster is simple.

"There's fair competition here, and the best players are going to play."

"Certainly, there are a lot of teams that keep their draft choices and hey, if the guy’s worth it, you should keep him," Belichick told the Herald. "But at the same time, I think I’m obligated to the other 52 players and the coaching staff and the organization to keep the best player — regardless of how the guy got here."

"It’s not always an easy thing to do or admit you made a mistake," Belichick said. "You picked one guy in the second round and one guy in the seventh round or as a free agent, it’s not the easiest thing to say, ‘Well, the free agent’s better than the draft choice.’ But at whatever point you realize that’s what it is, I think you’ve got to cut your losses and go with the better player or the guy that best fits your team."

Kerry J. Byrne (SI) Cold Hard Football Facts: Stats tell the story, good and bad, for all 12 Super Bowl XLV hopefuls.

The Cold, Hard Football Facts: You might have whiplash if you followed the sudden and unexpected improvement in New England's pass defense.

As recently as Thanksgiving, New England ranked a dismal 27th in Defensive Passer Rating (94.7). No team in history had won a championship with a pass defense even close to that porous. The Patriots weren't going to win one either.

Here's the performance of QBs against New England's defense through 10 games:

• 275 of 396, 69.4%, 3,002 yards, 7.58 YPA, 20 TDs, 13 INTs, 94.7 rating

But look again. Here's the performance of QBs against New England's defense in the past six games:

• 114 of 216, 52.8%, 1,343 yards, 6.2 YPA, 5 TDs, 12 INTs, 56.5 rating

Wow. What a difference. As a result, the Patriots end the year a respectable 13th in Defensive Passer Rating (81.2), about the leaguewide average. And they finish second in Passer Rating Differential (+28.5). The average NFL champion, dating all the way to 1940, has posted a Passer Rating Differential of +27.0.

Dominate the air wars, dominate on the scoreboard. And over the past six weeks nobody has dominated the passing battles on both sides of the ball like New England.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Ian Rapoport details the roster changes at key positions since the Patriots' devastating loss to the Ravens.
  • Karen Guregian gathers the opinions of other NFL QBs to judge Tom Brady's streak of games without an INT, and put it in perspective.
  • Mary Paoletti notes the last four Super Bowls have shown it doesn't take a top-ranked defense to win the title, and this Patriots defense may have what it takes.
  • Greg A. Bedard reviews the new OT rules and how they could add a twist to the playoffs.
  • Christopher Price writes about the intensifying pressure on the Patriots youngsters, as the playoffs get closer.
  • Robert Lee discusses the Patriots depleted defensive line.
  • Jerry Thornton wonders how Bill Belichick has not only motivated his team into believing they're not all that, but despite the fact of a 14-2 season, he has the fans buying into that philosophy too.
  • Steve Buckley knows Bill Belichick always believed in his team, even when nobody else did, just like Raymond Berry believed his 1985 team would go to the Super Bowl.
  • Mike Reiss highlights the stability the Patriots have achieved over the last 11 seasons under Bill Belichick.
  • Mike Reiss takes a look at the snaps played by Patriots defenders throughout the 2010 season, while analyzing the totals and what they might mean going forward.
  • Mike Reiss looks at and analyzes the snaps played by defenders in Sunday's season-finale against the Dolphins.
  • Michael Felger breaks down his choices for the four most valuable Patriots as the team begins preparations for the playoffs.
  • Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: NBC analyst Rodney Harrison says the Pats young defense must step it up and show they can handle playoff pressure; Vince Wilfork thought it was "amazing" to be Sports Illustrated's newest cover boy; Patriots playoff tickets will go on sale Friday to the general public; The team set a record for household ratings in the Boston market this season.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag.
  • Bruce Allen (SB Nation Boston) Boston Sports Media Figure of the Year: Michael Felger.

NATIONAL NEWS