The New England Patriots will have to defend one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks on Sunday, and in order to do that they are getting creative in practice: according to reporters present for the early portion of Thursday’s practice such as ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the team is using defensive back Myles Bryant to prepare the defense for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Bryant was brought up from the practice squad just one day earlier, and spent time during his first practice as a member of New England’s active roster running around and emulating the elusive Wilson — a player who presents an enormous challenge due to his arm and his ability to extend plays with his legs. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick pointed this out during a media conference call earlier on Thursday.
“He has tremendous vision and sees the field really well. I don’t think there is a better deep ball passer in the league in terms of decision making and accuracy. He attacks literally every inch of the field: the deep balls, the sidelines, his scrambles, his ability to get the ball to his playmakers in space.”
The Patriots are therefore relying on an approach they already used while preparing for Wilson ahead of Super Bowl 49: have scout-team players such as Bryant and practice quarterback Jake Dolegala run around like crazy to give the defense a feel for how to stop the Seahawks’ passer and what the best approach is to taking him down.