Patriots TE tandem inspires Big Nickel from Jets

643184.jpg

Patriots TE tandem inspires Big Nickel from Jets

The Jets have officially announced the signing of Yeremiah Bell. He joins LaRon Landry and rookies Antonio Allen and Josh Bush in a quartet of safeties acquired by New York this offseason.

So?

It's CBSSports.com's Pat Kirwan's belief that Gang Green wants a killer hybrid defense for 2012. He's talking about Big Nickel.

"It usually means there are certain players who can put their hand on the ground as a defensive end, creating a 4-3 look, or pop out of that stance and present a 3-4," wrote Kirwan. "It helps the defense disguise its intentions up front, which in turn can cause some stress to the offensive line trying to block the defense. It is an effective concept, but it doesn't always answer the offensive problems created by teams with 'hybrid' tight ends."

Ah-ha: hybrid tight ends. No coincidence the Jets have an AFC East rival with two such offensive weapons.

"Just about every defense in the NFL has studied the Patriots' Hybrid 12 personnel package (one running back, two tight ends, two wide receivers) to determine how many problems those two tight ends can create. Aaron Hernandez can line up as a wide receiver, a slot receiver, an inline tight end, a wing, a fullback or even a running back. Rob Gronkowski can line up as an inline tight end, a slot or a wing.

"No matter what defensive personnel is on the field, the Patriots can make you feel like you are in the wrong one. Play base personnel with a front seven and four defensive backs and they spread you out in a four-wide look. Play nickel defense with an extra cornerback subbing for a linebacker in the front seven, and they condense the set and run right at you. It's a problem, and defenses are studying the Big Nickel concept for an answer."

Kirwan goes on to say it's currently "a buyer's market" for veteran safeties. Good news for any team hoping to compete with New England.

Bennett to critics: ‘You take a paycut’

Bennett to critics: ‘You take a paycut’

Martellus Bennett is as good at Twitter as he is at football. Add to that the fact that all eyes are on whether the free agent will stay in New England and the @MartysaurusRex account becomes a must-follow. 

On Wednesday, Bennett put his powers to good use and shared a glimpse into his line of thinking regarding free agency.

Bennett, who could very well leave the Pats for more money, responded to a criticism of his desire to get paid and followed it with several more musings. 

Report: Belichick may be called to testify in Hernandez trial

Report: Belichick may be called to testify in Hernandez trial

Bill Belichick, identified as "William Belichick," has been added to the list of potential defense witnesses who could testify during the upcoming double-homicide trial of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, according to the Boston Herald.

Per the Herald, the new list of potential witnesses for the defense also includes Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who was Hernandez's teammate at the University of Florida. 

Belichick, McDaniels and Pouncey aren't guaranteed to testify, but their presence on the civilian witness list makes their presence in court a possibility. 

Hernandez's trial is scheduled to start next Wednesday. He's accused of killing Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Furtado back in July of 2012. Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of the murder Odin Lloyd in 2013.