Defensive snaps: White in focus

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
3:40
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Snaps played by Patriots defenders in Super Bowl XLVI while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

CB Kyle Arrington – 76 of 76
S Patrick Chung – 76 of 76
LB Jerod Mayo – 76 of 76
CB/S Devin McCourty – 76 of 76
LB/DE Rob Ninkovich – 73 of 76
DL Vince Wilfork -- 69 of 76
LB Brandon Spikes – 66 of 76
S James Ihedigbo – 59 of 76
DE Mark Anderson – 52 of 76
DL Kyle Love -- 41 of 76
DL Gerard Warren – 37 of 76
DE Shaun Ellis – 31 of 76
CB Sterling Moore – 30 of 76
DL Brandon Deaderick -- 27 of 76
CB Antwaun Molden – 25 of 76
LB Tracy White – 22 of 76
LB Dane Fletcher – 1 of 76

(Snaps include one extra for 12-men-on-field penalty vs. Patriots, 12-men in huddle vs. Giants, holding, offside and false start penalties, and a two-point conversion. No kneel-down included.)

ANALYSIS: The main aspect that stands out is how LB Tracy White played all of his snaps in the first half. This looked like a halftime adjustment, with the coaching staff going away from the “light” 4-3 with Rob Ninkovich playing end and the combination of White/Brandon Spikes/Jerod Mayo at linebacker. The Patriots went heavier in the second half in the base D, as DE Shaun Ellis saw his snaps spike (20 of 31 in second half). This change could also have been tied to the Giants losing H-back Travis Beckum to a torn ACL in the first half, which had their offense going bigger. Beckum is more of a hybrid type player and the speedy White was likely viewed as a counter to that. … LB Brandon Spikes was part of the base and nickel packages, coming off in the dime. This shows how Spikes is viewed as more than just a two-down linebacker by the coaching staff. … No snaps for Julian Edelman on defense. The Patriots moved Devin McCourty to safety in nickel and dime packages, tapping Sterling Moore and Antwaun Molden to come on at CB. S James Ihedigbo often left the field in nickel packages. … Veteran DL Gerard Warren was used in sub packages. … LB Dane Fletcher’s one snap was a good one, coming on the final play of the Giants’ opening drive of the second half, helping to force a field goal.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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