Carroll: Patriots' offensive play to change other teams

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Carroll: Patriots' offensive play to change other teams

FOXBORO -- Pete Carroll enjoys playing against people that he knows. He said just as much in a conference call on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.
He'll play against a familiar Patriots organization on Sunday. Although, the only thing he'll be truly familiar with is the owner who ousted him in the late 90's.
"It's not a big factor," said Carroll about playing his old team. "It's a long time ago, to me. But I'm aware of it.
"I regret that we weren't able to get it done the way we wanted to. We did some really good things and were close. But I learned so much coming out of that experience, that it changed me."
A lot has changed since Carroll left New England and eventually landed in Seattle, coaching the Seahawks.
But as he prepares his defense to take on Tom Brady's juggernaut offense, Carroll believes that "change" is just getting started.
By now, everybody knows what New England's game plan is, offensively. Call it a "hurry-up" or call it "no-huddle," just don't call it routine.
Carroll believes other teams will soon follow suit.
"There's nobody in the National Football League that's close, at this time," said the Seahawks coach in a conference call on Wednesday. "But there will be. The Patriots will affect other people, I'm sure, because they've had so much success already.
"It's their willingness to go this fast, as consistently as they have demonstrated, that separates them from other teams," added Carroll, while saying the only team in football using this system are the Oregon Ducks. "There's nobody that's tried to play like they're playing. They've taken on a different approach and a philosophy that I think singles them out, in their commitment to the tempo. And that's cool to watch."
The Patriots' no-huddle offense is so effective because of the fact that it wears defenses down throughout an extended drive. But Carroll looks at another aspect -- he believes defenses are conditioned enough to handle it, but they just may not be smart or quick enough between the ears to instinctively line up for the next play correctly.
"Once the ball snaps, we play fast, but it's the problem of getting everybody where they've got to go before the snap, and doing the things we've got to do," said Carroll. "That's the challenge to it. If we line up, and we get our assignments right, and play well technique-wise, then we'll have a chance to show you what we're all about. If not, then we'll look like the other teams that they're playing, and the Patriots will have their way."
So how do you prepare for it?
"You've got to play really fast," said Carroll. "So, we'll see if we can get lined up and execute like we're capable. And that's what they're hoping that we don't.
"We're going to try to practice fast, and see if we can catch up with it."

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

FOXBORO  -- To think there’d be no further questions about the Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic when Brady’s four-game suspension ends would be moronic.

Bill Belichick won’t like them. He’s destined to give them the verbal Heisman. But there are aspects to the story which demand further interrogation.

So there’s those questions. And then there’s baiting for the sake of baiting, which is what happened Friday morning.

A reporter asked Belichick, “You said Tom will start when he’s eligible. Can you think of an occasion when you named a Week 5 starter in July?”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said.

“What happens if Jimmy plays better?”

“Look, I told you what’s gonna happen,” Belichick answered.

Pressing on, the reporter began, “So there’s no, there’s, there’s . . . ”

At that point, with Belichick reacting like he’d come open a month-old-corpse and muttering, “Jesus Christ," the reporter cut himself off.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of the media ombudsman business. But this stuff makes it hard. The first question was obtuse in the extreme. I don’t even know how that gets formulated.
This is not a Brady-Bledsoe scenario.

You have the best quarterback of his generation who – 17 months ago – took down what was supposed to be one of the great defenses in NFL history in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. A guy who got smashed all over the field in Denver at the age of 38 and still almost pulled out a win last January.

When that guy’s cleared to play, you sprint him onto the field regardless of the circumstances.

“If Jimmy plays better . . . ”? Better than what? Better than 11 touchdowns, no picks, 116-for-160 and 1,547 yards, which is what Brady did in the first four games last season? Better than Brady played in Denver while getting his head caved in every other play?

I understand that sometimes you have to ask the dumb question to get something on the record, but this was not that. This seemed like someone who really thought he was onto something. Was going to paint Belichick into an uncomfortable corner and hang him with his own words.

Sorry, counselor.

Now, you and I can sit on the front stoop and wonder what happens if Garoppolo plays ridiculously well then Brady comes back and spends four weeks playing like he’s never been on a field before and is clearly an impediment to the team’s success.

Won’t happen. But we can talk about it.

Asking Belichick if he’s gonna go with the hot hand when two days prior he told you what he was going to do is asking for a JC response.

Belichick probably figured that stating Brady was the Week 5 starter before he was asked was the best way to defuse idle speculation. “We’ll see . . . ” or “We always do what’s best for the football team . . . ” would have ignited a thousand hours of conversation about the budding quarterback controversy in New England.

Belichick now knows that the speculation and scenario spinning is coming anyway. JC may hear his name muttered a few more times from the podium between now and October.