Morning Sports Update

‘It’s like a defensive guy is calling offense’: Cardinals DC Vance Joseph’s take on the Patriots offense

"It’s how a defensive guy would call offensive plays, right?"

Patriots vs. Raiders predictions
Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia during a Patriots-Colts game in November. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Tonight, the Bruins face the Coyotes in Arizona at 9:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, the Celtics will be in California to play the Warriors at 8:30 p.m.

Also on Saturday, the Pride play the Beauts in Buffalo as the Premier Hockey Federation regular season resumes. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (and will be available to stream on ESPN+).

Vance Joseph’s thoughts on Matt Patricia: One of the major plot lines of the Patriots’ season has been the ongoing analysis of Matt Patricia switching to calling offensive plays after a career spent mostly on the defensive side. The former defensive coordinator has drawn his share of critics as New England has struggled to attain any level of consistency.

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Looking ahead to the Monday Night Football matchup with the Cardinals, Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, having studied the Patriots in advance of the game, added his own take on Patricia’s style.

“I see an offense that’s running the ball well. It’s a very conservative pass game. Lots of screens. All kinds of screens. It’s like a defensive guy is calling offense,” Joseph joked. “It’s how a defensive guy would call offensive plays, right? Let’s not turn the ball over. Let’s get four yards a play and try to burn clock. That’s what they’re doing.

“That’s what he’s going to do on Monday night,” Joseph predicted. “He’s going to be patient. Maybe take a shot here from time to time, but for the most part it’s run game, it’s quick game, and it’s screens. So I mean, it’s a defensive guy. That’s what he’s doing. He’s calling the way a defensive guy would call plays.”

Joseph complemented the Patriots’ offensive players, calling quarterback Mac Jones “very, very smart.”

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Still, while Joseph said he sees potential, he hopes New England doesn’t reach it in their impending matchup.

“You’re kind of waiting for it explode, because they have so much talent on offense,” said Joseph. “But it’s been run, quick game and it’s been more screens. Hopefully they don’t change that much [on] Monday for us.”

Trivia: Among other roles that Joseph has held in his NFL career was when he was the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator in 2016. Who was Miami’s head coach that year?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He has been the head coach of multiple AFC East teams during his career.

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On this day: In 2007, the Patriots moved to 13-0 after a 34-13 win over the Steelers. The game was notable for Pittsburgh safety Anthony Smith’s unfortunate pregame decision to guarantee a win over New England.

The result was that Smith was treated to multiple Randy Moss touchdowns, including a perfectly thrown Tom Brady 63-yard score that — because of a timely play-action call — caught Smith completely out of position.

Both Brady and Moss appeared to take Smith’s comments personally, finding him after the touchdowns to continue the trash-talking. Even Bill Belichick couldn’t resist in the postgame press conference.

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“We’ve played against a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you,” said Belichick.

Brady finished the game 32 of 46 for 399 yards and four touchdown passes.

2007 Patriots Steelers

Daily highlight: Shyanne Sellers hit the buzzer-beater for Maryland on Thursday in a 77-74 win over Purdue. The victory was No. 600 for Maryland coach Brenda Frese.

One more look:

Trivia answer: Adam Gase

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