Brady on huddling vs. hurry-up

587694.jpg

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.

Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

ebner_slide.jpg

Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

FOXBORO -- The Patriots, as expected, have been given a roster exemption for safety Nate Ebner. Therefore, while Ebner is playing for the USA Rugby Men's Sevens team in the Rio Olympics, his spot will not count against New England's 90-man roster. 

"I’ve talked to Nate several times," coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. "Wish him well in his endeavor. It’s a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games. We’re pulling for him to bring back something around his neck."

With the roster exemption, the Patriots found themselves at 88 players on their roster. In order to fill their last two openings, they signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio and tight end Bear Pascoe, Belichick announced. 

Halapio, a product of the University of Florida, was a sixth-round selection by the Patriots in 2014. He was released at the end of training camp that year, and he later landed on the Broncos practice squad in December of 2014. Before the start of last season, Halapio signed with the Cardinals. He was released on Sept. 5. 

In between NFL gigs, Halapio has spent time with the Boston Brawlers and the Brooklyn Bolts, both of the Fall Experimental Football League. 

Pascoe, 30, is in his eighth NFL season. He has spent time with the Giants, Falcons and Lions, primarily as a blocking tight end. In his career, the 6-foot-5, 257-pounder has caught 40 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns in 85 career games. 

Ebner will participate in the Olympic rugby competition with Team USA beginning on Aug. 6, and fellow Patriots special teams ace Mathew Slater will be paying attention.

"I’m just so happy for him," Slater said. "And I know why rugby means so much to him, and many of us are familiar with the situation with his father, and his father obviously introduced him to the game of [rugby]. So, that connection with father and son is bigger than sport itself.

"I know this means a great deal to him and we’re all excited for him. I’m just trying to figure out where I can get my Ebner rugby jersey. I’ll be supporting him and watching him along the way."