Re: The sky is falling...
posted at 11/24/2012 1:33 PM EST
We lead the league in take aways but the defense sux? We lead the league in take aways but our defensive players are not good? Mayo is "not that good"? DMC is a bust? LB core can't cover? D-Line is soft? CB's are terrible?
I'm not sure what makes a good defense anymore? I guess to a few of you it is yards given up?
Coach Belichick sounds like he recognizes what is important to a good defense. points allowed and turnovers. PPG we are 15th. Surely room to improve as we have been doing. Turnovers we are 1st. For a team this young(2nd youngest in LG) to be this good at forcing turnovers, I say we are in pretty good shape. Only getting better, as BB's defense's always do.
And for those of you that will say, yeah but what happens when we don't get the turnovers in the post season, I say no problem because we now have an offense that will run the ball and keep other good offense's off the field. Something we have not had in too long. We also lead the lg in turnover differential. A direct result of a better balanced offense imo.
Q: How much of a game changer can it be when your defense forces a turnover and the offense is able to turn it into points?
BB: I think last night is the ‘Exhibit A’ on how quickly the game can change. Turnovers are a huge part of the game and other than points, they’re probably statistically the highest correlation to winning. We had a lot of turnovers earlier in the year and we didn’t get enough point production out of those turnovers. A lot of times, we’d turn the ball over and end up leaving with not many points. So even though we had a turnover differential advantage, that didn’t really translate into a big point advantage with those turnovers. The past few weeks, that number has changed more in our favor where the turnovers have been converted into points and in a lot of cases, touchdowns. We all saw how quickly that a very competitive game last night, that was a scoreless tie, a battle back and forth, then all the sudden it’s 35 points up there. But that’s what happens. A big play, a turnover, score, another turnover, another big play and when you get all those yards in one play, whether it’s on a big play or a turnover, then that’s what defines explosive plays. It certainly changes the whole dynamic of the game even though a 14-play, 80-yard drive that takes seven and half minutes, you get the same amount of points and all that, but it takes longer and doesn’t change the game as quickly obviously. You have to take advantage of those opportunities, to turn them into points, whether it’s Julian’s [Edelman] return or Steve’s [Gregory] return or like we had in the Indianapolis game, the strip sack and then the pass to [Rob] Gronkowski from the 20-yard line or whatever it was. When it happens that fast, it really can swing the momentum in a hurry.
Q: Can you feel things feeding off each other when that happens or are they isolated?
BB: I think those plays always energize you a little bit. But we really try to do that on every play, believe it or not. You go down there on the kickoff team, we’re always thinking about making a big play, tackling them inside the 20, knocking the ball loose. We go out there on the punt return or kickoff return team and we’re always thinking about taking it to the house; trying to execute the play properly, whether it’s blocking a punt or a returning a kick, whatever it happens to be, that that play is going to end up in the end zone for us. The same thing on a lot of plays offensively or defensively that we’re trying to get turnovers, we’re trying to make big plays, score on long runs or long passes. That doesn’t always mean throw the ball 90 yards down the field, it can also be catch and run plays or hit a seam in the running game and block a defensive back, break a tackle and go. We’re always thinking about those plays. Obviously you’re lucky if you get a couple of them a game, but I think the positive attitude and the understanding of the concept of everybody getting their man or everybody doing the right thing, to be able to kick the ball off the quarterback or disrupt the passing game so we can get our hands on the ball and intercept it or return a kick or a make a big play off it, those things are always in the back of your mind on every play.
Q: Have the turnovers been instinctive or have they been because of preparation, like Steve Gregory’s interception, for example?
BB: I think preparation is a big part of it, especially on a play like that. Steve is a very astute player, experienced and again, intelligent to pick up little things, little tips and keys. He does a good job of reading the quarterback and is able to use his experience on a play like that, to see the route develop, anticipate it and then most importantly pull the trigger and react to it quickly so that he could make the play. I think if he had hesitated a little bit or not gotten quite that good a jump on the ball, he would have gotten there just in time to break it up or make the tackle. It was that extra jump on it, that split second explosion and ability to attack the play that turned it into a turnover. Defensively plays like the [Mark] Sanchez fumble, we didn’t really have a lot to do with that play, that was more a mistake on their part than it was a great defensive play but we were able to capitalize on it, take advantage of it. Of course, we’ve all seen those plays this year and in other years, whether it be our team or another team, where a guy drops an interception or a guy has a chance to recover a fumble and it somehow squirts out and the team that should get it doesn’t get it. Some of that is creating opportunities and some of that is capitalizing on opportunities when they’re there. Usually over the course of a game, you’re going to get a couple opportunities to take the ball away somewhere along the line, defensively or in the kicking game and you have to be alert enough to capitalize on having everyone hustle and being alert, reacting to them quickly, those are the ones you usually get. A lot of times you get those opportunities and you don’t capitalize on them because you’re just not alert enough, you’re just not reacting quickly enough, you just don’t have that same split second different in energy and anticipation and reaction that makes the difference. So, the more alert you are, the more effort you’re giving, the faster you are to the ball, the more of those good things usually happen.