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."

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lada Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lada Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.