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 noon ET!
Tedy (11:58 AM)
Good afternoon and welcome to today's chat. Let's roll.
Alec T. (Lehigh, PA)
What do you think was the biggest disappointment in the game? Personally I found that the biggest disappointment was the secondary and that if they don't get more depth or skill it probably be the Patriots downfall.
Tedy (12:01 PM)
Alec, I would say the chunk plays were the biggest disappointment. Multiple explosive plays over 20 yards and Patriots defensive backs losing the ball for the ball once again. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, people. The offense's inability to convert in the red area (1 TD in 6 trips), Tom Brady getting called for the intentional grounding that took points off the board, Jerod Mayo's missed tackle on third-and-4 on the Russell Wilson scramble that later resulted in a touchdown. I could go on and on. Both offensively and defensively, the Patriots had problems yesterday.
Alex (Rhode Island)
It seems like Brady seems to have a real case of the "Ducks" lately...he seems to duck whenever there is no real pressure around him...what do you think is going through his mind when he does this? In particular I saw a play in the red area where the closest guys to him were his own lineman and he ended up taking a sack when no one touched him...what do you think?
Tedy (12:03 PM)
Obviously, Tom is feeling pressure when he does that. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. A quarterback does that because he has the mentality to live to fight another day -- he's trying to not only protect the ball, but protect his body. If you would like him to just stand in there like a statue, and take hits like some of these other QBs do, that's the alternative. He has to last 16 games. He knows that, and if it means he has to duck a few times when the pressure is not there, so be it. At this point, I think you'd rather see Tom Brady than Ryan Mallett.
Tedy,Commit to what had been working. Run the ball more! Agree or disagree?
Tedy (12:06 PM)
I agree, Patrick. When you drop back and throw it close to 60 times, you're telling a defense you're going to be one-dimensional. Defenses can play to that. What it also does is make it tough on the offensive line. You're asking them to pass protect close to 60 times in a place where there is a lot of crowd noise and you're going up against a good pass rush. Chris Clemons was able to force two intentional grounding calls on Tom Brady by beating Nate Solder. But I'm not sure you can blame Nate Solder. That's asking a lot of your left tackle.
Tommy Perez (Puerto Rico)
Hi Teddy. Do you think Richard Sherman twitter comments were classless. And do you think he has the guts to say to Vince Wilfork instead of going after a franchise quaterback?
Tedy (12:07 PM)
Tommy, Vince Wilfork doesn't play offense and Tom Brady was talking trash out there, too. The Seahawks' secondary had a huge day. There was trash-talking going on during the game, and when you win a game like that, you earn the right to talk some trash. If you're Seattle, you just shut down the highest scoring offense in the league and its quarterback was challegning you during the game. It's a little trash talking; I have no problem with it.
Nissim (Caracas, Venezuela)
When are we seeing a change in offensive approach on 4th quarter when leading the game? Specifically, I would NOT try to run out the clock but keep it in full attacking / hurry-up mode. That way, we either score again to put games away, or save time to get a come back score as this defense is so unreliable that it usually melts down late in games. See this trend in 5 out of the last 8 games (Baltimore playoff, Giants SB, Baltimore, Denver, Seattle).
Tedy (12:09 PM)
The Patriots' attack mode lately has been to run the ball. They attempted to do that, it was just unsuccessful. But they did have the ball with 7:21 remaining with a lead, and also had the ball with a lead with 3:09 remaining. That last one is when they had a three-and-out. Those are huge moments when the came can be one and the offense didn't come through.
Steve Boston [via mobile]
What's your view on the patriots secondary and was this performance by them the tipping point for Bill Belichick or will we continue to see this kind of performance?
Tedy (12:11 PM)
I don't think there is a tipping point yet. There is still a season to be played. If I know Bill, he'll just try to improve with the players that he has. If there was somebody great out there on the street, he would go out and get him. But the biggest concern is this: Steve Gregory is out with a hip injury and now Patrick Chung hurt his shoulder. Now you're down to Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner and Sterling Moore playing safety. That's not what you're looking for -- unless you're Russell Wilson. It's tough for a secondary to hold together when you have both of your starting safeties out.
Jay (New Hampshire)
Hello Tedy, Frustrating! Tom Brady looked awful in the second half. Was it their defense or our play calling that rattled him?
Tedy (12:12 PM)
What was unique to me was seeing how short Tom Brady was on a lot of his throws. His accuracy wasn't what we were used to seeing. He threw two interceptions and it easily could have been four.
Tedy (12:13 PM)
Also, that's the first blow to the head I've seen Tom Brady take in a long time.
This team is lacking that killer instinct that was so prevalent circa 2003. What do they need to do to develop that ability to go for the dagger and finish off the opponent?
Tedy (12:15 PM)
Did you not see the Buffalo game? The team scored 45 points in the second half. That's killer instinct if I ever saw one, and I picked the Buffalo Bills in that game! Let's be real here. They went up against the No. 1 defense in the NFL. I think we all saw why they're the No. 1 defense. Did any of you think this was going to be easy? I actually felt the Patriots might pull away from this one in the end.The Seahawks' defense, I was sure about. I knew they were good. But I wasn't sure about Russell Wilson. I am now. That kid played a great game.
James P (New York)
Before the half, six seconds on play clock on 3rd and goal was a situation that I would think the coaches would want to avoid. Isn't it more important to have time to run a full red zone series than have 0 vs. 10 vs. 20 seconds left on play clock when/if they do score?
Tedy (12:17 PM)
It all comes down to the third-down play with 6 seconds left. Tom Brady dropped back to pass. He looked to his left, where Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker were his options. In that situation, a defensive player knows, a receiver can only make one move, because if he tries to make a double move, the clock will run out. A quarterback knows the same thing -- he must make one quick read and throw the ball now. Brady looked to his left, statred his motion, and pulled it back. There was quick pressure from Chris Clemons coming from Brady's left, but Brady still had to be smarter about throwing the ball away.
Tedy (12:17 PM)
If you want to bring up killer instinct, that's killer instinct. They're trying to score points. They were looking to put the dagger in the Seahawks right there. There was time for a quick read and a quick throw, but it wasn't done properly.
Hi Teddy Man that is three tough ones so far this year, How does this effect players in this locker room? Do you see any Vet on the team who will step up and make a differnce, how would you handle it if you were still playing?
Tedy (12:18 PM)
The only way to handle it is to beat the Jets.
Tedy, what can be done to fix the secondary?
Tedy (12:20 PM)
First of all, better technique has to be played. On the fourth-down TD to Braylon Edwards, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was in good position until the ball was in the air. He looked over his right shoulder and spotted the ball. But as the ball was in the air, he has to feel Edwards going back shoulder and that's when you have to turn back in to the receiver. To continue to rotate to your right is the wrong thing to do. He's a rookie and that technique can be learned. You have to chalk that one up to being a rookie and not having experience.
Jesse (Cape Cod)
Hey Bru, the secondary looked awful yesterday. If you were Bill where do you start and how do you fix it?
Tedy (12:23 PM)
First of all, I'm going to Jim Whalen and the training staff and asking them when starting safety Steve Gregory will be back, and how long the other starting safety, Patrick Chung, will be out. This secondary is starting to get a reputation. In Russell Wilson's post-game press conference, he talked about a meeting he had with Pete Carroll early in the week in which they discussed attacking the Patriots' secondary deep down the field after Wilson extended a play. You only plan that against secondaries that you feel are undisciplined and can be taken advantage of. Their plan worked.
Sharon (Washington DC)
Hi Tedy, We've lost a few close games. Do you see it as being simply that the team didn't finish the game well (a problem, but a correctable one), or is it a symptom of a bigger issue?
Tedy (12:25 PM)
I don't think it's a bigger issue. It's an issue of making mistakes in key moments. Tom Brady's two intentional grounding calls. Aaron Hernandez's drop on third down which could have set up a more makeable fourth-down conversion. Tavon Wilson overplaying the corner route when Rice went back to the post. When multiple mistakes like that happen, you can't recover from them.
LTC Tom Hawes (Fort Sam Houston, Texas)
Tedy, what is going on with this team? Is coaching an issue? Right now the enitre league sees with the Patriots secondary all you need to go is chuck it down the field since you will either get a pass interference or the secondary can not cover you. Play calling as well is ridiculous from play selection to clock management. We all love this team but accountability at some point needs to come into play on watching players regress and make the same mistakes over and over again.
Tedy (12:28 PM)
It's hard to blame coaching when you're down to your third or fourth safety on a moment's notice. The Chung injury was big. But Sterling Moore still should know enough to stay deep, that he's the last line of defense, on Golden Tate's big gain (51 yards). That, coupled with Brandon Spikes' blow to the helmet, you have an entire field-position shift in one play. Although the Spikes hit didn't look that bad, it still got called and that's the way it goes.
Tedy, you've spoken in years past about how a defense and a team develop an identity over the course of a season. What signs do you see of the identity this defense and this team are developing?
Tedy (12:30 PM)
The identity of this defense was starting to develop an identity of getting after the passer, with Vince Wilfork bringing up-the-middle pressure, Chandler Jones on the edge, and Rob Ninkovich making plays. But even that identity lost itself at times in Seattle. On Baldwin's first-quarter TD, he was jammed to the ground, got up, and then ran to the end zone for his TD reception. The rush should have been there by then.
Tedy (12:31 PM)
OK, after all the negatives from the game, here are some positives for you: Hernandez was healthy again, and the more he plays, the tougher it's going to be for defenses to match up to the Patriots. If he can stay healthy the rest of the year, this offense will continue to have great production...
Tedy (12:34 PM)
...Brandon Lloyd continues to impress me. He's like a ballerina out there sometimes. The body control he has and the way he makes his en pointe (I think that's the ballet term) is amazing. ...
Tedy (12:35 PM)
... The defense is still causing turnovers -- they had two forced fumbles, one from Jerod Mayo and a strip sack from Chandler Jones. ....
Tedy (12:35 PM)
... And every time Danny Woodhead touches the ball, something good happens. He may be the best all-around football player on the team. That kid is all-Bruschi.
Tedy (12:36 PM)
Thanks to everyone for chatting today. We'll do it again next Monday.