Today, the New England Patriots will try to get their season back on track with a victory over the visiting Miami Dolphins. However, beating the 3-0 Dolphins will not be an easy task as the team poses a challenge in all three phases of the game. Earlier this week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick joined quarterback-turned-analyst Scott Zolak to talk about those challenges in the latest episode of the Belestrator.
The breakdown starts with a look at the offensive side of the ball, which features a group of talented wide receivers led by Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson. Belichick praised the group for its speed and ability to create big plays: “They’re so explosive,” the future Hall of Famer said about them. “They can score from anywhere in a hurry. They got some fast players and if they get a little space it’s hard to catch them from behind.”
Belichick also praised his head coaching counterpart, Adam Gase in how he uses his talented receiving corps: “Coach Gase does a great job of mixing up their offensive calls and keeping you off balance. They’ve been able to hit some big plays [...] where you think defensively you’re in pretty good shape,” Belichick noted. “A lot of speed, a lot of explosive plays and they have so many different guys that can do it.”
“Grant, Wilson, Stills – they got a host of them,” New England’s coach continued. “Their explosiveness and big play ability on offense, additionally the other things they do when they grind it out and move the ball, make them tough to defend.” However, the Dolphins’ offensive firepower is not the only reason why they are currently one of only three unbeaten teams left in the NFL: Miami’s defense also has delivered so far.
Belichick and Zolak take a look at one aspect of the unit: it’s productive pass rush, led by edge rushers Robert Quinn and Cameron Wake. “He has a very good speed rush, kind of reminiscent of Jason Taylor,” Belichick said about Quinn before taking a wider look at the unit .”Good inside rushers, good edge rushers. It’s a very potent pass rushing group. Pass protection and blocking these guys in the running game is a big challenge.”
New England being up to this challenge – as well as the one posed by Miami’s explosive offense – will play a big role in determining whether or not the team can snap its two-game losing streak and improve to 2-2.