Brady on huddling vs. hurry-up

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Brady on huddling vs. hurry-up

FOXBORO -- Sunday night provided a case study in the "Huddle Up vs. Hurry Up" debate.

For most of the first half in New York, the Patriots took their time and didn't put pressure on the Jets defense to deal with their fast break, so to speak.

But after falling behind 9-6 late in the first half, the Patriots took over on their own end and went no-huddle. A couple hours later, the Jets defenders were just getting their breath back and sucking on a 37-16 loss.

Tom Brady spoke Wednesday about trying to go up-tempo without being haphazard. And he cited examples where, unlike the Jets game, it didn't work.

"Wetried to run it against Dallas and we didn't score a lot of points and we tried to run it in Pittsburgh and didn't score a lot of points," pointed out Brady. "To me it's more about the execution than the tempo of the game. ... Sometimes when you try no huddle and it doesn't work we say, 'We're not gonna do that anymore' and then you guys wonder why we didn't go no-huddle."

The communication necessary to run any offense is critical. And because the Patriots are generally good at communication, you'll see in most every game the points when Brady lets the play-clock dwindle so he can get everything set after the defense declares. That would be the huddle-up.

"(At the line) you're trying to get everybody on the same page," Brady said. "If I'm doing one thing and the offensive line is thinking another or the running back is thinking something different from the two of us then that's where it gets challenging. I really think that at times we've done a good job of it this year, especially on the road where things are more difficult."

Sunday wasn't one of those nights. Which is why the Patriots finallyopted to speed things up.

The quick change, said Brady, can leave a defense up the creek.

"(If the defense says), 'Let's disguise, let's disguise' then I go up and say 'Blue go!' and the ball's snapped and there's a guy totally out of position, (that's bad for the defense)," Brady noted. "There's a fine line between what you're doing. If we feel that it's gonna be a big disguise game then there's gonna be a lot of quick counts (to catch the defense in its dummy formations). Ultimately, if they're showing you what they're doing then you take your time. That's just the cat and mouse all day long with good defenses and good secondaries. You can have one guy that's trying to disguise but then if nobody else is, then that makes no sense.

Ultimately it's a coordinated effort by a defense to try and disguise. You can try to disguise all you want but if the offense is making the plays, the coach is going to say, 'You just have to get up and cover your guy.'"

And the tough thing for any defense -- and this week's opposing defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel -- is knowing that the Patriots can do it either way.

So too is knowing when to play games with the defense.

Collins' new contract may influence Patriots' negotiations with Hightower

Collins' new contract may influence Patriots' negotiations with Hightower

FOXBORO -- Jamie Collins and the Cleveland Browns are reportedly closing in on a contract that will turn the ex-Pat's place of exile into his long-term place of work. 

That's interesting in itself. The Browns must have made it clear to Collins he was getting franchised, otherwise you'd think Collins would want to get out there and test the market for at least a couple of days when free agency rolled around. 

It will also be interesting for Collins' former teammate in New England, Dont'a Hightower. While the Patriots aren't going to let the Browns dictate their market and offers when it comes to negotiating with Hightower, Collins' contract will be a useful comp for Hightower. 

Whatever Collins gets, Hightower can make the case for a fair amount more. Hightower is the centerpiece of the Patriots defense, a run-stopper, blitzer, leader and tone-setter. From the jersey number (Tedy Bruschi's old number 54) they encouraged him to wear, to selecting him captain, the team and Hightower's teammates have stated how important he is to the club. 

Hightower on the open market would be in line for a contract in the $10 million-per-year range, with a total value of around $50 million (using Luke Kuechly, Navarro Bowman, Bobby Wagner and Lawrence Timmons as comparable players). The Patriots can franchise Hightower just as easily as the Browns could have franchised Collins. The sticking point for the player is that he doesn't realize the windfall of guaranteed money that comes with a long-term deal. The injury Sword of Damocles dangles every day. 

In other words, Collins' influence on the Patriots isn't done yet. 

Report: Chip Kelly was scheduled to meet with Bill Belichick recently

Report: Chip Kelly was scheduled to meet with Bill Belichick recently

FOXBORO -- Might Chip Kelly be working for the Patriots at some point in the near future? One report calls New England a "logical" landing spot for the former Eagles and 49ers head coach. 

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Kelly "was headed to New England to meet with [Bill] Belichick" once he found out that he was no longer in the running for the offensive coordinator job in Jacksonville. 

Kelly was fired by the 49ers after one season as head coach and has been interested in continuing his career as an NFL coach, per Mortensen. Kelly coached the Eagles for three seasons, going 26-21.

Belichick openly threw his support behind Kelly after he was let go by Philadelphia on New Year's Eve in 2015.

"I would say it's actually disappointing," Belichick said at the time. "Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach. He does a great job. I think he's done a good job with that team. It's disappointing to see . . . Pretty much everybody's on a one-year contract in this league. I don't know how you build a program in one year. 

"Chip's a great coach. He'll end up somehwere and he'll do a great job there. I'd say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren't really doing too much for anybody else, either."

Mortensen opines that the Belichick-Kelly connection would make sense because of their tight bond. 

"The friendship between Kelly and [Belichick] is no secret," Mortensen wrote. "They have exchanged football concepts since Kelly's fast-tempo offense became the rage at Oregon."

Per Mortensen, Kelly was considered an asset by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, and he was in the running for a job there, yet new coach Doug Marrone saw Kelly as a bad "philosophical fit." 

Apparently that led to Kelly's planned visit here. 

There is history of the Patriots hiring friendly faces during the postseason. In 2012, Belichick re-hired Josh McDaniels to work with then offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who was set to take over Penn State's program after the season. McDaniels -- who had been the offensive coordinator for the Rams earlier that year -- re-claimed his role as offensive coordinator in New England the following season and has been in-house ever since. 

Kelly has no experience as one of Belichick's employees -- McDaniels, of course, rose through the coaching ranks in New England before being hired as head coach in Denver in 2009 -- but perhaps he is a candidate to fulfill a role similar to the one McDaniels was given before Super Bowl XLVI.