Every week before the Patriots play a game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss team up for "Bruschi's Breakdown" and dissect the matchup. This week's piece is now posted on ESPNBoston.com, and Bruschi touches on the culture that Rams coach Jeff Fisher has established in his first year on the job.
"This is a very aggressive team, a physical team. They'll hit you and bully you a little bit after the whistle. Fisher is an intense coach and the team takes on that personality. This team won't quit and will play the Patriots hard," Bruschi writes. "I always respected these types of teams, because you looked at the head coach, you knew who he was, and you watched them on film and could see the fundamentals they're trying to implement, and the philosophy he has. In his first draft, he selected a defensive tackle in the first round. It's about the physical aspect of the game. This is a team that is mentally tough and the Patriots have to be ready to match that."
Bruschi looks closer at the Rams' defensive line, which is a strength.
"They're young, with No. 1 draft pick Michael Brockers, the defensive tackle out of LSU. He's playing inside and he's starting to come along. He had an injury earlier in the year. He's a big, strong, physical guy, a pocket pusher. Then you have Robert Quinn on the outside, a first-round pick from the 2011 draft out of North Carolina. He is a quick pass-rushing defensive end that can give the Patriots problems if he gets going. On the opposite side is Chris Long, who is one of those players who has a motor and never quits. Last year, the Rams were behind all the time, and a lot of times that meant teams were grinding the clock out against them with the running game -- yet Long still managed to produce 13 sacks. He just finds ways to get to the quarterback. Between Long and Quinn, you have the physical, hustle type of guy on one side, and the skill-and-athleticism guy on the other. It makes for an interesting mix."