Thursday, December 2, 2010
Jets DBs will bring heat on Tom Brady
By Tim Graham
Tom Brady cannot do everything.
There are, in fact, some situations he handles not so well.
For instance, the New England Patriots star ranks near the bottom of the NFL against a blitzing defensive back. Brady ranks 27th in passer rating. While he has completed 60.5 percent of his throws and has been sacked just once, he has zero touchdowns, two interceptions and a 69.5 passer rating.
Guess who likes to blitz their defensive backs.
The New York Jets send them after quarterbacks more than any other team -- by a wide margin. They've blitzed a defensive back 141 times this year. That's 31 more than the next closest team, the Seattle Seahawks.
"They've always done that," Brady said. "I don't think that's anything that we don’t expect. When you look at their blitz percentages, they blitz about half the time. On third down, they blitz about three-quarters of the time. They're blitzing a lot, and that's really a trademark of the defense to try to find different ways to get after the quarterback."
In his three games against the Jets since Rex Ryan took over as head coach, Brady has been bothered by blitzing defensive backs.
Brady has completed 52 percent of his passes, averaged 6.6 yards per attempt and threw no touchdowns with two interceptions. He has a 56.7 passer rating.
Against other teams in the same situation over the same timeframe, Brady has completed 67 percent of his throws at 8.1 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and one interception for a 104.6 passer rating.
The Jets' usual suspects are safeties Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo and slot cornerbacks Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery.
The reason they feel comfortable blitzing them so frequently is because they have Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie anchoring coverage.
Brady isn't thrilled to face Revis.
"I don't think you look going into a game thinking 'Man, I can't wait to start throwing the football at this guy,'" Brady said.
"Quarterbacks have been throwing at a 50 percent rate, and you can't be a very effective passing team throwing at that low of a percentage because you won't be able to sustain drives. When the opportunity is there, we have to be able to try and take advantage of it and make throws and run good routes on a guy like [Revis], but he covers guys pretty well, as well as anybody in the NFL.
"He and Cromartie are two of the best in the league, and to have them both on the same team playing in the same scheme where their coach really allows them to do what they do best is something I’m sure they really enjoy as well."