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Pepper wants to coordinate

Posted by Albert Breer  July 1, 2010 06:40 PM

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One thing he talked about, at length, was how offenses have changed the way defenses play ... And how the multiple nature of teams on one side of the ball force opponents to have similar flexibility.

"You rarely find offensive teams where they are running one personnel group," Johnson said. "They’re changing their personnel groups every other play, if not every play. So you have a lot of defensive coordinators, they’re changing their philosophy. Either they’re matching up personnel or they'll still be dictators and running different groups out there on the field.

"In this day and this era, who is a starter? What is a starter? In all actuality, we have like 17 guys on our defense that are really considered starters. Because you have one group, then you have a different personnel group. That guy (could be) coming into the ballgame because he’s a major part in that grouping. Whether he’s out there on the first snap or whatever, I’m not quite sure that dictates whether he’s a starter or not. A lot of guys are playing 20-25 plays a ballgame now."

Johnson used Vince Wilfork as the example here.

"If a team starts off with four or five receivers the first play of the game, there is a strong chance that Vince might not be on the field that first play of the game," Johnson said. "So is he not a starter? Not in our book. Not in his book. That’s just the evolution of the game. It's changed that way. Myself, personally, I want to get him on the field as much as possible. But we have different people playing in (different packages)."

There's another aspect of this -- as it applies to the development of young players -- we'll attack in the morning. And it's pertinent because of the 24 draft picks from 2009 and '10 that will be at training camp.

So stay tuned for that.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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