Pats going back-to-back with Ryan defenses


Pats going back-to-back with Ryan defenses

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.comFOXBORO -- Before the season began, Rex Ryan made a blanket request to all future Patriots' opponents. Beat them. After Rex's team got handled Sunday, his request may become closer to a plea. And he can direct it this week at his twin brother Rob, the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. Rob, as you no doubt know, has background with the Patriots, serving four seasons as linebackers coach (2000-03) in New England. He became the Raiders' defensive coordinator in 2004. That wasa dead-end job since Al Davis set the defense and created the game plans, but he stayed there until 2008 before joining Eric Mangini in Cleveland as the DC. It was there that Rob was able to showcase his schemes and one of the landmark games he coordinated came last November when he directed the Browns defense to a 34-14 win over the Patriots. The Patriots had three turnovers and 283 total yards. So the Patriots go back-to-back with Ryan-inspired defenses. And, in truth, that has to be an advantage for the Patriots because the teaching material is fresh for the offensive students. "There's definitely some carryover," Bill Belichick agreed Monday afternoon. "I wouldn't say they're exactly the same, but there is carryover. Both are based out of the 3-4 but use a lot of different looks, both defenses use a lot of multiple defensive backs -- four, five, six, seven."The Patriots abused the multi-DB look against the Jets Sunday, gashing them with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Rob will have seen that but Rex may pass on other nuances he picked up breaking down the game film Monday. "I'm sure they talk a lot," Belichick smiled. "I'm sure they exchange a lot of ideas and that kind of thing."One other detail that could have some interesting impact on Sunday is the fact Dallas is coming off its bye week and had extra time to tweak its own tendencies and break down the Patriots. Will it all make a difference? That's likely Ryan's hope.Obviously they have more time and extra days to prepare for you but from Sunday to Sunday that's ample time to get ready.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'


Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."