Wednesday, October 24, 2012
What Rams are saying about Pats
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Sam Bradford held conference calls with Patriots reporters on Wednesday morning, and they shared their viewpoint of the Patriots.
While they obviously weren't about to disclose areas they feel the Patriots could be exploited, they did highlight a few areas of note.
Fisher touched on matching the fast pace in which the Patriots' offense plays.
"Everybody is on the same page, even [with] the new pace they’re playing with. When you have 75 more rushing attempts than the league average, you’re playing at a high pace and that’s what they’re doing," Fisher said. "Our young defense has obviously not faced it this year."
In preparing his club to face that pace, Fisher sounded pleased with the Rams' practice on Wednesday, which was held in London. The Rams have already arrived in London and will spend the week there, while the Patriots will have their regular practices at Gillette Stadium before departing on Thursday evening.
As for the Patriots' defense that has given up big yardage in recent weeks, Fisher and Bradford were asked what concerns them.
"They’re very smart," Fisher said. "Coach [Belichick], he’ll adjust their plan on a weekly basis which creates problems for you because you really don’t know what to expect and you’re constantly adjusting offensively. They’re very talented. They’re big, strong, they’re downhill; it’s a downhill front seven. They have a young secondary that looks like it’s going to be good."
Bradford is expecting some wrinkles from the Patriots' secondary.
"Schematically, those guys back there do a really good job of disguising things. They hold things well," he said. "They don’t tip their hand before the snap. You’ve really got to be able to play with your eyes when you play against them and see the rotation, see what they're doing after the snap.
"They’ve got several coverages that look very similar. And I think obviously they have given up some plays, but at the same time, they’ve made a lot of plays in the back end. [Devin] McCourty has obviously got great ball skills. You’ve got to be aware of where he is. I think they are a really solid group in that back end."
Bradford also highlighted the Patriots' 18 takeaways, which are tied for second most in the NFL behind the Bears (21).
"I think you look at their ability to create turnovers ... and obviously with the offense they have, when you give them extra possessions or short fields, you’re really putting yourself behind the 8-ball," he said. "I think we’re very aware of their ability to get the ball out, both [by] causing fumbles and interceptions. We have to do a really good job of taking care of the football and not giving their offense anything extra this week."