Monday, August 18, 2014
Fourth-quarter review: Flemings deliver
By Mike Reiss
Picked-up pieces from fourth-quarter film review of the New England Patriots' 42-35 preseason win over the Eagles:
1. Of the 11 players on the field for the four-play goal-line stand that turned the ball back over to the offense, only one projects to be a lock for the 53-man roster: safety/special-teams ace Nate Ebner. But that group still deserves credit for an excellent stand, and it consisted of the following players:
It was strong work up front, as those on the line made a sturdy wall on four runs by receiver Damaris Johnson (5-8, 175). Fleming showed up on first and second down, Tuipulotu flashed by playing with good power and leverage, and Gary shot through the line on fourth down and made a solid tackle. Overall, it was good, solid fundamental football to win the line of scrimmage on four straight plays -- starting at the 2, and then three plays from the 1.
2. The 17-yard run by Jonas Gray that helped the Patriots gain some breathing room after the goal-line stand was created by solid blocks from Cameron Fleming and Josh Kline. Fleming comes from a pro-style offense at Stanford, and it shows. He looks like an NFL-ready run-blocker, as it’s the pass-blocking area that appears to need more refinement. One of the most impressive parts about Fleming’s block on the play? He did it with Frances Mays putting his hand right up in his facemask, which drew a penalty.
3. Last week, receiver Josh Boyce's half effort as a run-blocker down the field on one play was pointed out. To balance the ledger, credit to him for throwing his body around on running back Roy Finch’s 19-yard catch-and-run, surging toward the sideline to do his part.
4. Finch is fun to watch with the ball in his hands. His playing time split reflects that he’s still facing an uphill climb -- no snaps in the first half, 16 in the second half.
6. The shuffling along the offensive line continued with a combination of (left to right) Chris Barker, Jon Halapio, Braxston Cave, Jordan Devey and Cameron Fleming. On a sack of Ryan Mallett that ended the team’s first drive of the quarter, Barker and Halapio struggled to hold their blocks, leading to the pressure and sack.