Through three games, Darrelle Revis and the New England secondary have done well to limit deep balls. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Through three games, Darrelle Revis and the New England secondary have done well to limit deep balls. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Last week against the Raiders, some questioned the sight of Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis playing off some of Oakland’s quicker receivers, particularly James Jones, Denarius Thomas and Rod Streater. That approach may have played a role in the fact that Revis yielding five catches for 63 yards in what appeared to be man coverage.

Revis was asked Thursday after practice about giving those receivers some sort of cushion.

“Every week is a different strategy and different game plan,” he said. “Oakland did a great job of taking care of the ball as well — [David] Carr did. Every week is a different emphasis. As a secondary as a whole, deep balls will kill you. They kill any defense. Double moves in the high red area usually [means] teams go for the end zone and try and take a chance. We’ve been doing great so far, and we just have to continue to stay consistent in that area.

“[But] deep balls will kill you. Just overall. It can be a long day for a secondary, and it’ll be a longer day Monday coming in and the coaches getting after you about it,” he added. “Like I said, we’ve been doing a great job all around the board. We and the safeties have been doing a great job and alerting it in certain situations and key moments and guys have been paying attention, and we’ve been taking care of that.”

To this point in the season, the Patriots are tied for second in the league (six) when it comes to allowing the fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards. And they’re tied for the top spot when it comes to yielding the most pass plays of 40-plus yards (zero). That stands in sharp contrast to the last few seasons, where the New England secondary was usually at or near the top of the league when it came to giving up deep balls, particularly pass plays of 20 yards or more.

2013: 55 20-plus (11th), 9 40-plus (15th)
2012: 74 20-plus (1st), 8 40-plus (14th)
2011: 79 20-plus (1st), 9 40-plus (17th)
2010: 55 20-plus (7th), 4 40-plus (30th)

To this point in the season, a less aggressive approach in the secondary has yielded greater success when it comes to defending the deep ball. It’s a change from the system Revis learned as a younger player with Rex Ryan and the Jets.

“It’s a different system. It’s a totally different system,” he said when asked to stack one against the other. “Rex is more aggressive. We switch it up here. We plan man sometimes, and sometimes, we switch it up and do different things. It’s just two different things.”

Of course, you always have to bring some level of aggression to the cornerback position.

“This is an aggressive sport. You’ve got to play aggressive when you’re out there, competing on every down,” he said. “No matter what the situation is — man, zone — I have to do the best to execute my job and cover my man.”

Of course, there’s also the fact that sometimes, as a cornerback, you’re just going to get beat.

“Guys are going to make plays,” he shrugged, “This is not like we’re playing against high school players or any talent that’s less. Some of the greatest athletes in the world play this game. Sometimes, you make plays, sometimes, they make plays. That’s what happens.”

This week, he’ll be going against a Kansas City passing game he described as explosive and a quarterback in Alex Smith who has shown a good ability to hold on to the football.

“You have Donnie Avery, you have Dwayne Bowe,” Revis said. “But it starts with Alex Smith. He runs the offense very well and he hurts defenses a lot with his feet as well. Scrambling a lot. We’ve seen that a lot on film. We know we’re going up against an explosive offense and explosive players. They’re very talented all around, even at running back, they’re talented. Jamaal Charles. Joe McKnight. So many guys. We’re looking forward to the matchup.”

And then, there’s the first chance to Revis to play on Monday night as a member of the Patriots.

Monday Night Football is always a big deal,” he said. “We’re excited to be on center stage and get to show the world how we perform and how we play at a high level.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Danny Parkins from 610 Sports in Kansas City previews Pats-Chiefs 9-25-16

ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Patriots and NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Cameron Fleming

Cameron Fleming

FOXBORO — Rookie offensive linemen Cameron Fleming got a late start to the Patriots’€™ offseason program because he was finishing up classes at Stanford. But, the 22-year-old aeronautics and astronautics double-major hasn’€™t let that affect him as he’€™s played in all three games this season — although not in his natural position of tackle.

With tight end Rob Gronkowski working his way back to full strength, Fleming has been used as an extra tight end — playing 44 snaps over the three games, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Definitely a learning experience, I had to catch up a little bit,” Fleming said. “€œI’€™ve learned a lot. It’€™s easy just to focus on just football now because that’€™s all I have so it makes it a little easier to dig in and work.”€

Coach Bill Belichick was impressed with how prepared Fleming came to the team after missing most of the offseason workouts and now his work paying dividends.

“€œI think Cam [Fleming] has done a real good job for us,”€ Belichick said last week. “€œOne of the challenges for him and for us was him not really being here for much of the spring. Just being late in spring because of his commitments to school. We really didn’€™t have a great feel for him until training camp started.

“And he came here in really good condition. He ran well. He dropped some weight, he leaned up. He worked really hard between the beginning of June and the end of July. He was definitely ready to go, had a good camp, performed very well. And caught up to all the things we were doing in a short amount of time. The more time we spent around him, the more impressed we were.”

Fleming has never played tight end at any point of his career, but said it isn’€™t much different as he is still blocking, just from a position further out. The fourth-round pick noted the veteran members of the offensive line have helped him out considerably so far this season.

“They are like an encyclopedia of knowledge,”€ he said. “€œAnything I need to know — like how to take a set — they are right there to help me out, give me advice and tell me how they did it.”

While Fleming played in some big games at Stanford, including back-to-back Rose Bowls the last two seasons, he said the NFL is a whole different game.

“Big games at Stanford took a little bit of the nerves off, but I’€™m playing in the cream of the crop now,” he said. “When you’€™re in college you’€™re comfortable, but when you’€™re playing in the NFL, I don’€™t think you can ever be comfortable.”

Although Fleming isn’€™t getting comfortable because of the nature of the NFL, he has taken a step back and realized he’€™s reached his goal of playing in the NFL and is enjoying every day seeing how far the journey will take him.

“It’€™s awesome. I love it so much,” said Fleming. “€œIt feels good everyday knowing I accomplished my goal and I’€™m going to push it and see how long it lasts.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Patriots and NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Patriots have not looked impressive over the first three weeks, but Schefter cautioned pessimistic fans not to get too worried this early in the season.

“I’ll take a 2-1 start every time, with the criticism and questions, because teams evolve as the season goes on. There are peaks and valleys, fits where they go through where teams look better than they had,” he said. “They have not looked particularly strong. I think they’ve looked a little slow on the offensive side of the football so far. They just have not looked like the efficient machine that they’ve been in other years. Now, that’s not to say that they won’t become that starting Monday night in Kansas City, which is a tough place to play. But they just haven’t looked in rhythm. Maybe it stems from the protection that [Tom] Brady has gotten up front. Maybe it stems from a lack of speed and dynamic playmakers on offense. They’ve got good players. [Rob Gronkowski] doesn’t look all the way back to me right now. He looks like he’s laboring just a little bit. That’s just my sense of things.”

Added Schefter: “The offense through the first three games has lacked some of the explosion that we’ve seen in other years. Like I said, it used to operate like a machine. And it might get back to that point starting Monday. It just hasn’t looked as rhythmic and as routine and as easy for the offense as it has in other years. Maybe that starts up front. Maybe they’re holding back something. I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that. I wish I did.”

The Patriots have a big challenge next on the schedule, as they play the Chiefs in a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium. While the Chiefs are 1-2 and have had issues on the offensive line, they get a big home-field advantage.

“On Monday night, at home, against New England, that place is going to be very loud. Very loud,” Schefter said. “It’s a tough place to play. It’s one of my favorite places in the NFL to watch a game. It’s always been just a great atmosphere, and it will electric on Monday night, and it will be a tough spot for the Patriots to step into.”

With the NFL embroiled in controversy related to a series of domestic violence incidents and the league’s failure to handle them to the public’s satisfaction, Schefter noted that “everybody’s lawyering up,” although he said he is hopeful that the truth will come out.

“There are investigations of investigations of investigations here. And I think it’s designed just to make sure that we in the public get the truth,” Schefter said. “Now, I know some people are skeptical of that. But I’m going to keep the faith that between all of these people doing what they’re supposed to be doing that we’re going to get the story.”

Schefter acknowledged that Roger Goodell did not do himself any favors with his press conference last Friday, when he broke a long silence but was unrevealing and unwilling to accept blame.

“I know he was getting criticized for not speaking, but in my mind I almost wonder if he would have been better off not saying anything and taking the slings the arrows that come along with not saying anything. But he did [talk],” Schefter said. “What struck people was not just what he said, but the way he said it. Compared and contrasted to a guy like [Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti — there were people around the league who said, ‘Now that’s the way to do a press conference. He was human, he was genuine, he was reflective, you could just feel him there.’ And I think Roger did it more like a politician and less like a human being.”

Asked what’s next for the NFL, Schefter said: “I think the next thing is the NFL picking an arbitrator to hear Ray Rice‘s appeal. And that’s got to get done here in the next couple of days. It was supposed to get done yesterday, it didn’t get done. And I think that will be something to follow and track because that guy another version of the events that happened, from all the sides. I don’t know whether that’s going to be public or not, whether people will be able to find out our not — I would imagine they will, with all the people involved. So that’s going to be another interesting situation there where you can compare and contrast what people are saying and thinking about the situation.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Adam Schefter joins us to talk about the ongoing Roger Goodell saga, the struggles of the Patriots offense, and the best teams in the NFL.

[0:08:01] ... way. And they've done this on a defense -- -- was missing Darnell Dockett injury Daryl Washington to suspension. The lowest close -- the I literally that's brilliant very impressive and then of course the Bengals ...
[0:10:17] ... QB we are these in the cup somewhere in the NFL with Peyton Manning to reporters Matt Ryan some pretty good company. And. What he did do appreciate it. Typically those don't lose their job to ...
[0:10:58] ... on the bench you do don't do that. Finally Adam chiefs -- Monday Night Football on ESPN -- coming off a win 34 to fifteen against Miami what's the patriots be alarmed about with Kansas City in ...
[0:11:51] ... of talent. They've lost some key people this year might -- -- Derrick Johnson. So without playing it quite -- -- that they do pass rusher still before their first trip to get after the pastor ...






Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was the only member of the Patriots 53-man roster not present at the start of Thursday practice, according to reports. Siliga, who is dealing with what the team is calling a foot injury, was also the only one missing at the start of practice on Wednesday as the team continues to prepare for Monday night’s game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was the only member of the Patriots 53-man roster not present at the start of Thursday practice, according to reports. Siliga, who is dealing with what the team is calling a foot injury, was also the only one missing at the start of practice on Wednesday as the team continues to prepare for Monday night’s game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Dave DeGuglielmo

Dave DeGuglielmo

History tells us that the offensive lines coached by Dave DeGuglielmo have a history of successful power running, but have always struggled when it comes to pass protection.

Going back and looking at the numbers provided by Football Outsiders (as well as some other stats), the four seasons that DeGuglielmo worked in the NFL as an offensive line coach — with the Dolphins from 2009-2011 and the Jets in 2012 — the lines were distinguished in a positive manner by their ability to run the ball and make tough yards. On the flip side, his teams have also had issues when it came to protecting the quarterback, as well as occasionally developing the level of talent needed to provide depth when one or more key linemen go down.

When considering these numbers, it’s important to remember that DeGuglielmo favors a fairly standard version of line play — there are a few new things he brought with him, but it’s not like the Patriots suddenly instituted a zone-blocking system under the new coach. It’s also important to remember that the offense as a whole must be considered when evaluating offensive line play — the quarterback and skill position players can often play a large role in determining the success or failure of run or pass blocking — but given the numbers from FO, we have a pretty good idea of what sort of lines DeGuglielmo had in his time in Miami and New York. Here’s a quick look at the work each year, and their best and worst attributes:

Miami — 2009
Rushing Yards Per Game — 139.4 yards per game, 4th
Passing Yards Per Game — 198.1 yards per game, 20th
Power Success — 79 percent — 2nd
Stuffed — 14 percent — 1st
Second Level Yards — 1.01 — 28th
Open Field Yards — 0.63 — 21st
Pass Protection — 18th — 34 sacks — Adjusted Sack Rate of 6.5 percent

After offensive line Mike Maser was fired by the Dolphins following the 2008 season, DeGuglielmo was hired by Miami coach Tony Sparano after spending the previous five seasons as a member of the Giants staff, including the previous four as assistant offensive line coach. DeGuglielmo inherited an offensive line that was stocked with elite draft picks, including tackles Jake Long (the first overall pick in 2008) and Vernon Carey (who was taken in the first round in 2004). As a result, the Dolphins good offensive line numbers were not wholly shocking. After a start where they failed to crack 100 yards rushing over the first four games of the season, the Dolphins were one of the best rushing teams and best run-blocking teams in the league. According to FO, Miami had the fewest percentage of stuffed runs (percentage of runs where the running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage), finishing with 14 percent. They were also second in the league when it came to successful power runs (percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown) at 79 percent. That Miami team struggled when it came to second-level yards and open field yards, but that was more about the speed of the backs as opposed to the blocking styles. They were barely below average when it came to pass protection — the Dolphins yielded 34 sacks, and their adjusted sack rate of 6.5 percent was 18th in the league. (Adjusted sack rate gives sacks — plus intentional grounding penalties — per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent.)

Miami — 2010
Rushing Yards Per Game — 102.7 yards per game, 21st
Passing Yards Per Game — 220.4 yards per game, 16th
Power Success — 83 percent — 1st
Stuffed — 16 percent — 7th
Second Level Yards — 0.86 — 32nd
Open Field Yards — 0.38 — 32nd
Pass Protection — 15th — 38 sacks — Adjusted Sack Rate of 6.3 percent

The two elite tackles in Carey and Long stuck around — one of the reasons the line was able to maintain some level of success on the edges — but the interior struggled. In fact, the interior was a continual issue for the Dolphins throughout the Jeff Ireland/Bill Parcells era, as there were some really bad deals handed out to a few players, including center Jake Grove, who was cut in September 2010, just one year after the signed him to a five-year, $29.5 million contract with $14 million guaranteed. One thing that stuck out about this group was the fact that while some of those bad deals washed out, the Dolphins and head coach Tony Sparano seemed hell-bent on reassembling the Cowboys old offensive line — prior to the start of the season, Miami went out and got three former Dallas offensive linemen, all of whom who worked with Sparano when he was the offensive coach with the Cowboys. As a result, it’s fair to wonder if DeGuglielmo was stuck with some Sparano retreads that he might not necessarily have pursued himself. (In the end, 1,643 rushing yards, 3.7 yards per attempt and eight rushing touchdowns were all the lowest numbers produced in Sparano’€™s three years as head coach.) Ultimately, the in-depth numbers were still fairly comparable to 2009 — the power/stuffed numbers were good, the second level/open field yardage numbers are a little odd, while the pass protection numbers are middle of the pack at best.

Miami — 2011
Rushing Yards Per Game — 124.2 yards per game, 11th
Passing Yards Per Game — 193.2 yards per game, 23rd
Power Success — 46 percent — 32nd
Stuffed — 18 percent — 13th
Second Level Yards — 1.14 — 19th
Open Field Yards — 0.82 — 17th
Pass Protection — 30th — 52 sacks — Adjusted Sack Rate of 9.6 percent

This is the year where the numbers simply fell off the table, and likely played a major role in the team sweeping the coaching staff — including DeGuglielmo — out the door. Long allowed a career-high six sacks because of the knee and shoulder injuries, while there was also significant slippage in Carey’s game. The Dolphins struggled to replace them both, as they not only bad poor decisions when it came to acquiring interior linemen, there was little in the way of prepared youngsters who may have helped as fill-ins. The changeover on the interior had disastrous results, as starting guards John Jerry and Richie Incognito and starting center Joe Berger all had bad years. The FO numbers were awful, particularly when you look at the dramatic slippage in the power running game the previous two seasons, as well as the dramatic drop in pass protection.

New York Jets — 2012
Rushing Yards Per Game — 118.5 yards per game, 12th
Passing Yards Per Game — 180.7 yards per game, 30th
Power Success — 67 percent — 10th
Stuffed — 16 percent — 2
Second Level Yards — 1.06 — 24th
Open Field Yards — 0.45 — 29th
Pass Protection — 30th — 47 sacks — Adjusted Sack Rate of 8.6 percent

In his only year with the Jets, DeGuglielmo’s line returned to something close to what we saw in his first year with the Dolphins — solid power game, and a really impressive lack of stuffed runs as well. (In addition, there was mediocre to poor open field and second-level yardage, with an alarmingly low number when it came to providing pass protection.) If there’s a mulligan to be given here, it’s for New York’s pass protection, as a great majority of it can be blamed on ineffective skill position players and quarterback Mark Sanchez. D’€™Brickashaw Ferguson had a good bounce back year at left tackle, and Nick Mangold proved to be sturdy up front at the center position. While the numbers were pretty good, there was some thought that DeGuglielmo’s occasional propensity to speak out of turn may have ultimately been his undoing with the Jets. He wasn’t shy about letting people know that it wasn’t his decision to play Vlad Ducasse, saying that it was a “directive from someone above me.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price


FOXBORO — The Chiefs were without star running back Jamaal Charles last week and they still managed to throttle the Miami Dolphins, 34-15, in South Florida.

Bill Belichick was paying close attention to the back who picked up the slack.

With Charles sidelined by a high ankle sprain, Knile Davis ran 32 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.

“I think they’€™re different skill sets, but they do the same things with them so the same plays look different depending on who is carrying the ball,” Belichick said of Charles and Davis. “Davis is strong — they’€™re both very fast — Davis is strong, 230 pounds, whatever he is and he breaks tackles, he’€™s got good lower body strength, hard guy to bring down. You see that on some of his kickoff returns from last year, too, where he just runs through arm tackles and all that.

“Charles has good playing strength, too, but he’€™s more elusive, great quickness, acceleration. They’€™re different, but they’€™re both very good. They both can hit the homerun ball. They’€™ve both got great long speed, they have that in common, but their styles are a little bit different but they’€™re both very dangerous — strong guys, strong runners.”

If Charles doesn’t go, Belichick will also have to be ready for former Jets tailback Joe McKnight, who chipped in with six catches and 64 yards. There’s also veteran receiver Dwayne Bowe and explosive tight end Travis Kelce.

Kelce has five catches this season over 20 yards, the second-highest total of such plays in the NFL. On the season he has 10 catches for 166 yards. And feeding Kelce the ball is classic West Coast offense quarterback Alex Smith, one of the first players coach Andy Reid brought on board when he took over in 2013.

Belichick was reminded Wednesday that Smith, with three TD passes and a 136.0 rating, didn’t throw a pass against the Dolphins that traveled over 10 yards.

“I think that’€™s part of what Andy does,” Belichick said. “Kind of take what the defense gives you and if you want to play back, they’€™ll take the short passes. Those receivers and tight ends and backs are all capable of catch-and-run plays, where they take a four or five-yard pass and turn it into a 25-yard gain.

“They’€™ve had a lot of explosive plays this year from backs, receivers and tight ends and the quarterback. I don’€™t think it’€™s how far you throw it; it’€™s how much you gain. They’€™re a good screen team, which that’€™s another element which you’€™re never going to see screens thrown 20 yards downfield. But those are explosive plays for them, too. They do a good job of using everybody and getting the ball around. I’€™m sure if they get the opportunity to get it downfield, we’€™ve seen them do it plenty of times with those receivers and tight ends. I think it would be stupid to challenge them to do that all day.”

Here are some other takeaways from Belichick on Wednesday:

Q: What have you seen from Patrick Chung since he returned this season?

BB: Pat’€™s been good. He’€™s contributed for us on all four downs. He’€™s obviously familiar with our system and we’€™re familiar with him. I’€™m glad that we’€™re able to get him back on the team this year. I think he’€™s contributed well on first down, third down, fourth down. I think Pat is pretty much the same player he was when he was here. He’€™s in great condition. He’€™s smart, he’€™s tough, he’€™s a very good tackler and he has versatility ‘€“ he can play in a lot of different situations.

Q: How have you felt about Dont’€™a Hightower’€™s move to an end of the line position?

BB: Dont’€™a is a very versatile player. He’€™s played multiple positions for us ‘€“ that’€™s one of them. He’€™s done that well. He’€™s played off the line, inside on the guard, on the tackle and played on the line on the tight ends, played down. [He] did that in college, did some sub rushing in college, played Sam. Then when [Rolando] McClain left, he moved inside and played Mike. So, he’€™s a pretty versatile player.

Q: When you were scouting him initially was that something you saw him eventually stepping into or is that just how it worked out?

BB: Well, we saw him as a versatile player and we’€™ve used him that. So, I would say it’€™s not really a big surprise. I think the big thing for a player like Dont’€™a is his ability to play on third down ‘€“ his ability to cover and rush the passer, which gives your defense a lot of flexibility. He’€™s a guy that you really want on the field on third down for the number of different things he can do. I wouldn’€™t say that’€™s always the case with linebackers like him ‘€“ inside linebackers. But that’€™s what makes him a really good player. He’€™s good on all downs, but he gives you a lot of versatility and can also play on fourth down for us as well. We haven’€™t used him as much in that role because of his expanded role defensively but he was a good fourth down player for us his first year and even last year at time [on] punt team.

Q: The noise at Arrowhead could be a factor. How, if at all, does that affect what Tom Brady can do at the line in terms of making checks? Does it reduce the number that he can make and only make certain checks?

BB: I think you have to be careful. I’€™d say in every away game there are going to be times, certain situations that it would be really hard to do that. Other times, I’€™m not saying it’€™s easy, but it’€™s doable. But there are plenty of times when it would be really hard, when the crowd really gets going or you’€™re backed up on your own one or you’€™re going in for a touchdown and in the red area and it’€™s just ‘€“ so, I think you have to be aware of those situations, be aware of game situations. Josh [McDaniels] is a very experienced play caller and coordinator. He can hear it, he can feel it and I don’€™t think it’€™s the type of call [where] we could run one of two or three plays depending on the look and the crowd is in that kind of frenzy, I don’€™t think that’€™s really when you want to make that call. Obviously, third down is a challenging down in Kansas City with their defense and the multiple looks they give you on the front and pressure. So, to identify those, that’€™s ‘€“ but third down is challenging on the road everywhere. It might be a little louder there, probably is, but it’€™s all, I don’€™t want to say the same, but pretty much you’€™re dealing with the same thing in every away game in that situation.

Q: When you’€™re struggling to protect Tom Brady, does that reduce the offensive game plan? Do you have to throw some plays out because you have to get it out quicker?

BB: It’€™s the same thing we’€™ve talked about after the game. We need to do everything better offensively. It’€™s not any one problem. It’€™s a number of lack of consistency issues, lack of execution. So, we have to do a better job on everything.

Q: What’€™s the biggest challenge that their defensive front presents to you this week and how much more important is it for Tom Brady to get the ball out quick?

BB: The challenge is for our offense. We have 11 guys playing out there so it will be a challenge at every positon. They have a good front. They’€™re big inside; they’€™re fast on the edge. They’€™ve got good depth. We’€™re going to have to block all of them. It will be a challenge for every guy. It will be a challenge for our receivers to get open, for our running backs to find holes and space in the running game. We’€™re going to have to do a good job with 11 guys. Coaching staff, we’€™re all going to have to do a good job. It’€™s a good defense. They have a lot of good players.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of mixing personnel groups on offense?

BB: Well, it involves all your players. It creates potentially different matchups with the defense depending on how they want to do it. I’€™d say there’€™s an element of keeping the defense off balance. If you have the depth of your players to be able to stay out there and play every down, then there’€™s an advantage to doing that in terms of consistency, but sometimes that’€™s not really an option. Sometimes, for whatever reason, your players just aren’€™t able to play every single snap in every situation. Situationally, there are some advantages to getting people in the game to do the things that you think they do well in those situations and vice versa.

Q: How has Shane Vereen progressed over the years? What have you seen in his game as far as progression?

BB: One of the big things with Shane has just been his ability to get on the field. When he’€™s been on the field, he’€™s been productive for us. Even going back to the Kansas City game his rookie year, which was a real good game for him, but one of the few games that he was healthy for that year. I don’€™t think really there’€™s ever been a question about his skill set or his ability to be productive and make plays. But, unfortunately, there’€™s been times when he just hasn’€™t been able to be out there for other reasons, not performance, but just other things he was dealing with. Like every young player, the progression through the passing game is the hardest thing, no matter what the position is. Btu he’€™s done that. He did that well at Cal. I don’€™t think that was a big curve for him, but it’€™s certainly a curve for every player. But he’€™s a smart, dependable guy that’€™s been a productive player for us when he’€™s been on the field. I think that’€™s the key, is the consistency and him keeping out there. He trains hard, he works hard. I think he’€™s done everything he can to ensure that. I think that’€™s shown up as well the last couple years. He’€™s had good production and he’€™s been more consistent and been able to be on the field more.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia