New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick thinks that the offensive line is playing better now than they were earlier in the year, and they’re in as good of conditioning as ever before.
Why? Well, the players give a lot of effort on the practice field, but also because Belichick has a sixth sense, or something, that lets him feel the players’ energy.
“I think they were in good shape last year,” Belichick said. “I think they’re in good shape this year. I mean, we do a decent amount of running and we run after practice. I stand right there when they run and I can feel them run by. I mean, I’m not timing them, but I can feel when they’re running fast. I can feel when they’re not running fast. I can feel when they’re breathing heavy. I can feel when they recover quickly.
“I think that group, the entire group, not just whether it’s Cam [Fleming], or LA [LaAdrian Waddle], or Ted [Karras], whoever. Not just the guys that play but all of them. I think it’s a well-conditioned group. I would say they run well. They run well as a group.
“That’s, I think, one of our strongest groups considering their size. They run fast. They run hard. They recover quickly and then they run fast again and run hard again. You don’t see that group look like they’re struggling to keep up. They more than keep up. I think they’ve worked hard all year and they’re in good shape.”
First off, Belichick sounds like Daredevil or Spiderman or a Jedi or something, right? “I can feeeeeel their energy,” or “I can feeeeeeeel their speed.”
Secondly, I’m totally on board with the Patriots offensive line being the most athletic group, relative to an average NFL athlete at their given position and size. Like, I would say that Devin McCourty or Vincent Valentine or Nate Ebner would be the most athletic in a vacuum, but you stack the Patriots offensive line against others in the NFL and I think they rank towards the top.
Shaq Mason is a freak at right guard ad moves better in the open field than most tight ends. David Andrews and Joe Thuney are doing much better in space than they were last year, or even earlier this season. Marcus Cannon does things that no one at 330 pounds should be capable of doing, and Nate Solder scores touchdowns.
What other positional group has a decisive edge over other comparable positional groups around the league? Maybe defensive tackle because they’re all huge and that’s worth something. But the Patriots offensive line is special.