FOXBORO -- If you're wondering what goes through Bill Belichick's mind when he moves offensive players to the defensive side of the ball, well, he'll tell you. The Patriots coach was pretty open on Friday when talking about making those moves.
Belichick has taken two wide receivers and used them as defensive backs in the Patriots' last two games: Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater. And while Belichick never specifically came out and named them, he did discuss the thought process of a coach -- at any level -- when moving offensive players to the defensive side of the ball or vice versa.
"At whatever point a coach takes a player from offense and puts him on defense, there is usually a reason for that. I would say the reason usually is that hes not enough of a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. What coach is going to take your best playmaker and put him on defense? You just wouldnt do that, all the things being equal.
"You get a guy who is big and strong and tough, but hes just not elusive enough runner, he just cant run over everybody, you can run over guys that are smaller than you but at some point when everybody is the same size, you just cant run over those guys and he doesnt have the elusiveness then you put him over on defense and you get a more elusive running back. "
Clearly, Edelman and Slater aren't New England's best offensive playmakers. The Patriots have many of those.
But perhaps Belichick's thoughts on moving offensive players to defense gives us even more of an answer as to why he's decided to give Edelman and Slater a shot on defense the last few weeks.
"Whether thats at high school, college or wherever it is, and I tell the defensive players all the time, Dont kid yourself. If you were a big enough playmaker, you would have stayed on offense. Either at the high school or the college level they would have put you out there and youd be out there having 100 yard receiving game or 150 yard rushing games. Youd be doing that. Dont kid yourself,' " said Belichick.