Chat with Tedy Bruschi
Welcome to ESPNBoston.com! On Monday, ESPNBoston.com NFL analyst, and former New England Patriot, Tedy Bruschi stops by to chat about the Patriots as well as the rest of the NFL news.
Bruschi retired after 13 seasons and three Super Bowl wins with the Patriots. He started 189 games with New England, the most for any linebacker in team history. For his career, he had more than 1,100 tackles, to go with 30.5 sacks and 12 INTs.
Shortly after his retirement, Bruschi joined ESPN's stable of NFL analysts. In addition to being a regular NFL anaylst on ESPNBoston.com, Bruschi also appears on "NFL Live," "SportsCenter," ESPN Radio and other ESPN platforms.
Send your questions now and join Bruschi Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Tedy (1:58 PM)
Good afternoon. I'm taking a break from my ninth-annual Spaulding Rehabilitation Golf Tournament. Spaulding was a huge help in my recovery after I had a stroke following our third championship. A lot of great people out here supporting Spaulding. It's all being put on pause for our chat. Here we go...
justin cabral (Providence, R.I.)
If the Pats defense can make teams one-dimensional like they did to the Titans on Sunday, can you see them making yet another run towards Super Bowl 47?
Tedy (2:00 PM)
I already see them making a strong run to the Super Bowl. But if they continue to hold quality runners like Chris Johnson to just four yards, and more importantly make big plays -- like scoring early on defense -- this team will be off and running.
How well did Hightower really do in his first game? Curious to see how he was in everything else if you take away the fumble return.
Tedy (2:01 PM)
Scot, it's always great to see the No. 54 in the end zone. That was a huge play. Hightower is doing very well for a rookie. He has some early strides to make, just like Brandon Spikes had. Spikes had early problems with play-action passes. Early developmental things for young linebackers -- like recognizing the play-action pass and recognizing route combinations -- are a couple examples of things Hightower has to go through.
Smitty (Marblehead, MA)
Tedy, thanks so much for taking the time. Welker was close to non existent, do you think this could have been a scheme to open the offense for him more in weeks to come, or was it a case of him just not getting open?
Tedy (2:03 PM)
Let's remember, Smitty, this is a game-plan team and things will change from week to week based on what defenses they see. Part of this week's game-plan was to re-establish a physical ground game. They did that, but the effects of that will be less opportunities for receivers. As you get less balls thrown to you, you have to catch them. Wes can't let balls bounce off his facemask. He knows that.
Sam (Nashua, NH)
Hi Tedy,What did you think of Randy Moss's return? Did he look explosive to you?
Tedy (2:04 PM)
When you get Randy Moss a TD early in the season, he can get rolling. He didn't look like his old explosive self and the Packers didn't seem to be overplaying him -- having him single-covered. He's going to help that team, but don't expect 23 touchdowns again.
Tyler (Peterborough, NH)
The offensive line was the biggest story heading into Week 1. They performed well enough, though Wimbley slipped by Solder virtually untouched at least twice that I saw. One resulted in Tennessee's single sack for the day, and the other flushed Brady out of the pocket and he airmailed his throw over Hernandez all alone in the end zone. The Pats have some elite pass rush defenses on the schedule. How do the Pats respond?
Tedy (2:06 PM)
Solder has to get better and he will as the season progresses. You just have to hope, as he's getting better, he doesn't give up a blindside shot on Tom Brady that puts Brady out for an extended period of time. The hits that Brady takes will have a cumulative effect on his play late in the year. Tom's tough, so he's going to get up. But those big hits don't go away in a day or two. Sometimes they can linger. These hits must be minimized.
Tron (Waltham, MA)
Hey Tedy, Great team win. Came away happier with that win then I expected I would. What was your take on the play of the top 3 corners? One thing I'm curious about is why they never turn around and face the ball. Seems like they miss opportunities to make a play on the ball and run the risk of getting a PI call. Is this poor execution or something they are coached to do to avoid big plays?
Tedy (2:08 PM)
That's a technical question, Tron. There were some calls that the replacement officials missed, but that's just the way it is right now. Young corners like Ras-I Dowling are going to be counted on, and if these officials are going to continue to call the games like this, you can bet the coaching staff will coach accordingly. Right now, I see this league reverting back to the way it was five years ago, or even further. I watched every game yesterday, and defenders across the league are starting to be more aggressive, seeing what that they can get away with. If that is the case, that plays into the Patriots' hands. Coach Belichick will have them play more physical in the 5-yard area and beyond. Something to watch.
angel from fl [via mobile]
First I wanted to say thank you for the way you played the game you are my favorite patriot of all time. The way the Patriots played Sunday reminded me of the 3 in 4 year championship heyday. I know its one game but did you see any similarity?
Tedy (2:10 PM)
Thank you Angel. When we won championships, there was one similar characteristic to all those defenses -- big plays that resulted in points. Sometimes just turnovers, sometimes scoring on defense. That's exactly what this defense did on opening day. If they can keep this up, they're on their way.
Kevin Chapman (New York, New York)
Ted, I am so Sorry that the Pat's gave your number away. That is such a CRIME. You gave the team and us fans your all for 13 years, yes you got paid well. But that number should have retired with you.I work in TV myself,as one of the stars of the CBS show Person Of interest. I could be placing myself in harms way for speaking my mind on this topic, since Mr Kraft has strong CBS ties, but I will roll the dice on this. You are the only 54 to ever play in New England and that is my view,and THANK YOU...
Tedy (2:12 PM)
I appreciate the sentiment, Kevin. But the No. 54 needs to be worn and it needs to be worn by a 'backer. The Patriots contacted me before they gave Dont'a Hightower No. 54. They didn't have to do that, but they did. I appreciated that. The No. 54 was great to me, and what I told them was that I wish Hightower a long career wearing it, and I hope it brings him the same great fortune it brought me.
T.J. (Melbourne, FL)
Tedy, WOW, amazing that you would take the time, I have been a fan for 15 years! My Question is on the defense, it seemed we gave up a few too many 3rd and long opportunities. They did an amazing job stopping C Johnson, but got burned a few times on long third down completions. Do you see BB going over that this week, and what could possibly be the answer?
Tedy (2:15 PM)
That's a great point. Third-down defense has been a nemesis in the past (28th last year, 32nd in 2010). It was a great win yesterday but let's remember, it was Jake Locker's first career start and WR Kenny Britt was suspended. Let's take this victory with a grain of salt. The pass defenses is the area that all offenses will attack this defensive unit. Are you going to try to run up the middle on Vince Wilfork? Not a good idea.
Dan [via mobile]
Tedy/Mike, What did you think of the front 7 especially the LBs they looked like was flying all over field and going to be very tough to run on. Are you also concerned there is no depth behind starting LB? Thanks
Tedy (2:17 PM)
I'm really starting to like these 'backers. One of the most entertaining things for me to watch is Brandon Spikes attack the line of scrimmage. He is their thumper. Hightower is starting to come into his own, and then you have Mayo, who can do it all. This linebacker unit has great potential.
Great to have you back again this year Mr Bruschi. Just wondering if you can comment on Nate Ebner, who led the team in special teams tackles yesterday in his first NFL game. Somebody( maybe your old pal Vrabel) must have seen something in the ex rugby player to warrant a drafty pick let alone a spot on the roster. Do you think he can ever be more than just a special teams guy.
Tedy (2:19 PM)
The longer that Coach Belichick's tenure goes in the NFL, the more resources he will have in both the collegiate and professional ranks. And Coach Belichick absolutely loves that, because what he loves to do is collect information. Having Mike Vrabel at Ohio State is a definite resource and there is no one who knew Ebner better. I am sure that resource was tapped.
Do you think Jermaine Cunningham deserves to get more snaps? Rob Ninkovich was very very ineffective yesterday, is there anyway he gets more of his snaps at DE next week?
Tedy (2:21 PM)
Nick, watching Cunningham play against the guard reminded me of the Giants' NASCAR package. I think that's a great role for him. He can utilize his quickness on the guard and make plays just like he did. Early on in my career, I did the same thing.
Matt (Chicago, IL)
Hi Teddy. How important was it for the Patriots and Steven Ridley to come out and have establish the run like they did? If Ridley can keep this up, teams will have to honor the run and not put all their guys in coverage.
Tedy (2:24 PM)
Let's end on this one, Matt. It's a huge problem for defenses if Ridley can continue this production. When the Patriots come out in a two tight end set, and they are in the huddle with obvious running personnel, defenses knowing that Ridley is back there, have to respect it. If they do, by the way, those two TEs are Gronkowski and Hernandez. You have an incredible amount of offensive options with that. I'm keeping a close eye on Ridley. He did some good things, but I'm just not 100 percent sold yet.
Tedy (2:25 PM)
I'm heading back to the golf tournament now for Spaulding Rehabilitation. I have to get back to the 11th tee. Great questions this week. I'm about to swing ...