Oh sweet, we’re going to have an AGGRESSIVE defense? Awesome! For a minute we were all worried that the 2019 defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots were going to have a defense that was like “Nah, ‘aggressive’ really isn’t our thing”. I bet they’ll want to be PHYSICAL and GET AFTER THE QUARTERBACK too!
Jokes about football cliches aside, Greg Schiano playing Chewbacca to Belichick’s Han Solo on the defensive side of the ball seems like one of the biggest wild cards facing the ‘19 Pats, especially after a couple times this past fall when his Buckeyes, charitably speaking, got their lunch money taken when they actually played against real teams and not the South Central Louisiana State Mud Dogs. Not to mention that whole Tampa Bay Buccaneers situation when Mr. Defensive Brain Genius coached a defense that ranked a mighty 23rd and 17th in points allowed in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
So hopefully this helps you feel better: like our fearless leader Rich Hill aptly noted right after Schiano crossed the T’s and dotted the lowercase J’s on his Patriots contract, Greg’s defenses tend to lean more towards attacking with a one-gap defensive front, as opposed to the classic Patriots two-gap fronts that rely on guys like Big Vince taking out two offensive linemen at a time. And if what Devin and Jason McCourty had to say over the weekend while most of us were out living a life of leisure is any indication, don’t expect these guys to play like that one dork in Madden we all know that basically only plays quarters coverage.
From NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran: take it away, McCourtys!
“Verrrry aggressive,” said Jason McCourty. “Man-to-man and a ton of blitzing.”
“Cover-2. Blitz. Cover-2. Blitz,” summarized Devin McCourty.
And as far as that whole, let’s just say, less than critically acclaimed leadership style?
“He’s a very tough coach,” said Jason. “Big on discipline, big on doing things the right way so it seems as though he’ll fit right into the New England mold.”
“I remember when I got to New England after leaving Rutgers realizing that I was ready,” said Devin. “I was ready for the long meetings, the long days, understanding time management. He made us very pro ready.”
“I don’t know how he’ll be with us as a coach in the NFL in New England,” Devin continued. “I’ve never experienced that. I had him in college and I knew him as a strict head coach who I had a ton of respect for. When I left, even though I probably hated some things, I realized when I got to New England (the preparation I got). I remember other guys saying, ‘Shoot, this is too hard.’ I was thinking, ‘This is easier than when I was at Rutgers.’
“I always had a lot of appreciation for him not caring how we felt as little 18 and 19 year olds and instead preparing us and making us ready for the jump to the NFL on and off.”
Hey, if being a “player’s coach” starts out like a hot date and eventually ends up with your two best players being like “anywhere but here”, sign us up.
(because Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are not very happy in Pittsburgh, you see)
And now, because any day is a good day for the best Chandler Jones quote of all time, let’s hope this is how the ‘19 Patriots roll:
FIRST WE GONNA STOP THE RUN
THEN WE GONNA HAVE SOME FUN
(as always, we can’t embed the video because the NFL hates fun)