FOXBORO - Tom Brady was asked Wednesday if he saw any similarities between what the Chiefs are doing defensively under old friend Romeo Crennel, Brady laughed and said, "Yes. It's what we do on defense so there's a lot of familiarity in training camp and every day in practice. its a 3-4 defense."
While the Patriots are playing far more four-man fronts in 2011, the link between the things done by former Patriots defensive coordinator Crennel- the DC in KC now - is unmistakable.
And Crennel has the Chiefs playing pretty stingily.
After allowing 89 points in the first two games of the year, the KC defense allowed just 81 in their next five games as they went 4-1. The last two weeks, Crennel's defense has backslid a big, allowing 31 to Miami and then 17 to the almost punchless Tebow-led Broncos offense.
The upshot? While the Chiefs defense isn't consistent, it can be daunting when it's clicking. And with a cover corner like Brandon Flowers, a pass rusher like Tamba Hali and two big top-five picks in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, the weaponry is there for Crennel to fire with.
Crennel, now 64, was a long, long, long time coaching colleague of Bill Belichick's at the Giants (1981-92, two seasons after Belichick left), the Patriots (1996), the Jets (1997-99) and the Patriots a second time (2001-04).
"They're fundamentally sound and you can see the things they're coaching every week," said Brady of the Chiefs defense. "Very physical. They make it hard to run it and they have some good, experienced corners and linebackers."
00:43 - Rob Gronkowski says he's ready to go against the Texans. Michael Holley, Tom Giles and Kayce Smith talk about this risks of him playing while injured.
05:47 - Phil A.Perry follows up the Gronk discussion with a deeper breakdown of Gronk’s decision to play this Sunday.
10:02 - David Price appears to be easing back into baseball after pitching Friday night. Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Price’s outing in Cincinnati.
16:12 - The BST crew recaps the Red Sox win over Reds. Drellich returns to analyze how the pitchers performed and how that will impact the Red Sox postseason stretch.
This actually won’t be the first time that Danny Amendola had to wait to follow up a strong season-opener with the Pats.
As the veteran receiver aims to return Sunday from a concussion and knee injury after leaving the Pats’ Week 1 loss early and missing Week 2 altogether, he’ll try to build a Week 1 performance that saw him lead the Pats with 100 yards on six receptions.
The stop and start is somewhat reminiscent of Amendola’s first year with New England in 2013, when he had 10 receptions for 104 yards in the season-opener. He suffered a groin injury in that game, however, and didn’t play again until Week 5. At least the wait is shorter this time around.
“I mean, there’s going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s football, right?” Amendola said Friday. “But I feel really good today, feel strong, so get ready tomorrow and just continue to prepare.”
In that first game back in 2013, Amendola again led the Pats in receiving yards, but it was in a terrible offensive showing for New England. All it took was four receptions for 55 yards to be the Patriots’ best receiver in a 13-6 loss to Cincinnati in which Tom Brady had a rare scoreless game.
If Amendola can pick up where he left off in Week 1, the Pats will be in good shape. They’re also expected to have Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan ready to go, but Amendola was Tom Brady’s most reliable weapon in the Chiefs game, even though Brandin Cooks made a bigger impact with two pass interference penalties drawn in the red zone.
Not known for his durability towards the end of his time in St. Louis, this will be the fourth of Amendola’s five regular seasons in New England in which he didn’t play in all 16 games. He played the full season in 2014, 14 games in 2015 and 12 games in 2013 and 2016.
With Julian Edelman out, Brady could certainly use Amendola’s services as often as possible. That’s especially if he plays the way he did in Week 1.