'SC Centerpiece' on Pats' transformation
January, 13, 2014
On a "SportsCenter Centerpiece" on Monday, Ron Jaworski, Chris Mortensen and Eric Allen talked about the New England Patriots' surprising emphasis on the running game in recent weeks, particularly in Saturday's divisional round win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Jaworski called the Patriots' recent style "old-school, physical football" and credits Tom Brady for his role in the change because he doesn't care who gets credit or about his stats, just about winning.
"For Tom Brady to make this transformation is remarkable," Jaworski said. "The unselfish approach of Tom Brady has permeated the entire football team."
The group also cited Bill Belichick for doing whatever it takes to make the Patriots successful. Mortensen touched on Belichick's emphasis on building a 53-man roster, saying he's constantly teaching his players and coaches as the season goes on.
Allen talked about Belichick getting the most out of his players, and players having the opportunity to get better. "Every single player with the Patriots has a role," Allen said. "That role is being magnified by the way you're being coached from Week 1 to Week 16. It's important how they develop as the season progresses, and that's the sign of a great players' coach."
Jaworski noted that Belichick is the constant throughout the Patriots' success, and said in his years of observing teams' practices, the Patriots' clearly were a cut above the rest.
"The minutia, the little things, are always covered and that's why they win," Jaworski said.
While the panel is impressed with the Patriots' new-look, ground-and-pound approach, they don't necessarily expect to see it in full force against the Broncos on Sunday, saying Belichick's flexibility is part of what makes him so successful.