Belichick defends cornerbacks performance

Belichick defends cornerbacks performance
November 2, 2011, 6:42 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Patriots had myriad problems in pass defense Sunday against Pittsburgh as the 50 pass attempts by Ben Roethlisberger showed. Bill Belichick said Wednesday that the team's issues at corner barely registered.After speaking about the scouting process that brought corners Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams aboard, I asked Belichick if the performance of those two players against Pittsburgh made him feel OK with last Friday's release of Leigh Bodden. "I think they both played competitively in the game," said Belichick. "I'd say the problems we had in the Pittsburgh game, I wouldn't put that at the top of the list."While Bodden wasn't reminding anyone of Champ Bailey over the first six games of 2011, there seemed -- to the layperson -- no indication that Molden and Adams were upgrades. In fact, Molden got the hook in the third quarter after playing terrified (sorry, no other word for it) and confused. Molden played 42 of the 80 defensive snaps. Adams came in and played 19 snaps. Belichick asked me for an example of poor corner play. Three popped to mind -- Molden and James Ihedigbo butchering a goal-line play by not getting their signals straight (touchdown Pittsburgh); Molden sprinting downfield away from Mike Wallace when Patrick Chung came on a safety blitz giving a 25-yard cushion that turned into a 12-yard gain; the miscommunication that led to an end zone double team and an Antonio Brown touchdown (Molden again).Belichick got the point and interjected, "I wouldn't say that every play was a good play. The number of plays that happened on the perimeter of the field relative to the plays that happened well inside the numbers I don't think there was any comparison."Perhaps not. Butif corner play -- whether it be Molden, Adams or Devin McCourty(Kyle Arrington played pretty well it seemed) -- wasn't at the top of the list, it was in the top three. The communication on the back-end was awful. The safety play seemed addled. The schemes being used were questionable as well. And the fact that a player the team will sink 4 million into this season was home watching instead of on the field makes one wonder how exactly that makes the team better.