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 in 2009 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 (11:57 AM)
Hello and welcome to today's chat. Let's roll.
If Brady goes down with injury, will Pats still win division with Ryan Mallett at QB? Do you feel his arm strength could be useful to establish a more vertical passing game with the young receivers?
Tedy (11:59 AM)
I feel like Ryan Mallett is a capable backup but right now it's no guarantee that the Patriots will win the division with Tom Brady. The Steelers won't be a pushover next week. The Panthers, in two weeks, look like a solid football team (especially defensively). Then you play the Broncos. Every team is going to be a battle for this team the rest of the way. The Jets and Dolphins have improved throughout the year, especially the Jets.
Hi, I am just curious if you think the Offensive Line breakdowns are showing a lack of talent?
Tedy (12:00 PM)
I don't think it's due to a lack of talent. They played three of the best DLs in football -- Bengals, Jets and Dolphins. The Dolphins have a very underrated front. Having said that, I do feel like the Patriots' offensive line should be playing better. The loss of Sebastian Vollmer, their starting right tackle, won't help.
Tedy, not getting a great view from the TV feed, but is Gronk blocking well? I saw Matt Mulligan come in a few times and really spring some runs, is he spelling Gronk during his recovery or replacing him cuz his blocking isn't up to par yet?
Tedy (12:02 PM)
Gronk has blocked better in the past. You have to understand where he's coming from. He hasn't had a true offseason to train. He spent most of his time getting healthy and rehabbing. Building back muscle mass and football strength will take longer. Gronk himself will have to grind it out the rest of the year until he gets a true offseason to prepare.
how many other coaches in the league would have the presence of mind to burn a timeout at the end up the 3rd quarter to preserve enough time for a play, FG and kickoff with the wind? BB is awesome...
Tedy (12:02 PM)
I agree 100 percent. This is exactly what he goes over in team meetings during the week, when he meets with his captains on Fridays, and what he tells his coordinators on the sideline during the game. He's always thinking.
Richie Rich (Wash DC)
Tedy, the first half of yesterday's game was woeful (and I'm just talking about the defense). It seemed like teams have figured out how to attack the Pats' middle. What's the silver lining - do you think there is going to be enough improvement between now and January to make a serious run?
Tedy (12:07 PM)
I'd love to say the silver lining would be a return of Wilfork and Mayo during the season, but we know that's not going to happen. What you're seeing now defensively is what you're going to get. Are teams going to drive on this unit? Yes. Will this unit be able to make plays like we saw with Devin McCourty tapping the ball to Marquice Cole? That's what this unit has to hope to have.
Matt (weymouth, ma)
Lets talk trades, any chance us going for Jared Allen? Our run defense is terrible is there anyone the Patriots would make a call for to help them in this area? If you don't think so, whats the status on Tommy Kelly?
Tedy (12:08 PM)
Matt, I don't think DE is the place you want to go. Jared Allen has too big of a price tag to pay as well. And if Chris Jones and Joe Vellano keep showing they can flash -- with a tackle for a loss here, a quarterback sack there -- maybe that's the improvement you hope for right there.
I know its un-Patriot like, but could we see a trade in the next day or so? I'm thinking they should acquire a WR via trade and pick up Jay Ratliff to play DT. Belichick knows how to get the most out of troubled players and a experienced WR would be awesome. (Fitzgerald is one of my favorites, it's a stretch, but any hopes in acquiring him?) Thoughts?
Tedy (12:11 PM)
They'll explore any options that make the team better. But the caveat is this: Will it make the team better at the price they want? Fitzgerald will have a high price (if they would deal him at all). With Ratliff, how much money is he going to want? If the Patriots trade, it would have to be on their terms. At this point, I don't see those terms being met.
Greg (Park City, UT)
Teddy, I don't understand why Ridley doesn't get more snaps. I know the "fumble" topic comes up, but he clearly hits the hole as fast as any of the top backs in the league and is very explosive in the open field. Yet, he looks to be getting about 50% of the running play snaps and Bolden seems to be above him on the depth chart. What gives?
Tedy (12:13 PM)
Greg, I know where you are coming from. To have a player like Ridley, and you see him performing well on the field but not getting a lot of snaps, it means that there is something about the player that the coaching staff questions. I'm not in that locker room any more, but like you mentioned, it could be worrying about the fumbles, attitude off the field, or that they want to see the others play because they deserve an opportunity too. In my 13 years with the Patriots, I've seen all those examples happen. I wonder also why Ridley isn't playing more.
Jay (Concord )
Hello Tedy, I know Brady has taken some heat around hear about declining skills, etc., but how many quarterbacks out there today could take a team to 6-2 with a complete overhaul on offense? Brady keeps us in every game, and while it may not look pretty, I wouldn't want anyone else back there.
Tedy (12:15 PM)
Jay, I have an incredible amount of faith in Tom Brady also. But as the course of this year has gone on, he's take some hits. At tihs point of the year, everyone has their own bumps and bruises. But there are some throws that Brady has made that I am shaking my head at. Throws that are on the wrong side of the WR. Throws that aren't as accurate as we're used to seeing. Some of the throws, I don't blame the WR at all. I look at the game, as you do, and say to myself 'That was a bad throw.' Is the hand an issue? That's something to monitor as the season progresses.
Tedy, those blitzes in the fourth quater were very successful. Will we see more of that attacking defense or keep rushing 4 and not get the same pass rush?
Tedy (12:16 PM)
TD, if you've watched this team over the years, you know that every game will have its own plan. The plan against the Dolphins was to pressure. As you pressure, if it's successful, you keep pressuring. That Dolphins' offensive line is one of the worst in the league in terms of protecting the passer.
Does the rich party life affect a player's performance on the field.
Tedy (12:18 PM)
I wouldn't know, Tyler, but you need to slow down based on the way you spell. LOL (we edited your spelling).
Tedy (12:18 PM)
Just kidding, man.
Hi Tedy, what do you think of the linebacker play since Mayo went down? Will it get any better?
Tedy (12:20 PM)
With a combination of Hightower and Spikes, they are probably even a little more physical with more size inside, but they're definitely not as fast or dynamic without Mayo.
Hi Tedy, I know that Gronk is probably our best receiver on the field, but it seems that brady as forgotten about some of the others since his return. If it them not getting open or brady just lacking the trust in them to make the catch or be in the right place?
Tedy (12:22 PM)
Not only Gronk's return, but also Amendola, he's going to try to get those guys going. And when Vereen gets back in the mix, you'll see less of those targets to the outside of the field. Amendola, Gronkowski and Vereen -- that combination could get this offense performing at a high level again.
Tedy, your thoughts on the Andre Carter signing?
Tedy (12:23 PM)
Jamie, I think that should lessen any talk of a Jared Allen type trade. You have too many DEs on the roster. Andre was a locker-room favorite of a lot of guys. I'm sure it's a calming presence in the locker room.
Hey Tedy. What was the locker room at halftime like in situations like yesterday when the team had a poor first half? Would Belichick and the coaching staff be all fire and brimstone, or would it be a more subdued atmosphere focusing on X's O's by position group?
Tedy (12:24 PM)
Nine times out of 10, it was mostly subdued, focusing on adjustments and corrections. If anyone was going to go off the handle, it was going to be assistant coaches. Coach Belichick would mostly focus on the adjustments that needed to be made. Don't get me wrong, I've seen him go off the handle too.
Tman (Belmont, MA)
What's your overall opinion of "the state of the Pats" so far? "Hard to complain with a 6-2 record", or "Key defensive injuries will come back to haunt Pats in January", or "offensive inconsistency will hurt this team down the road"?
Tedy (12:27 PM)
I'd say right now I'm worried about the team. I know they'll play hard and grind. The word is "grind" the rest of the year. But there comes a point where you keep losing guys and look around and say 'Who do we have left?' Now with Sebastian Vollmer down, it affects your OL and depth. Wilfork ... Mayo ... Vollmer ... I'd say good coaching can only take you so far. When you lose so many key guys, it's going to hurt you.
Alan (Northboro, MA)
How concerned are you about Tom Brady's throwing hand? He did not take that many shots down field and was in accurate on more then a few throws, even though the Dolphins had good coverage on most of those routes. Adding to concern over Brady, Ryan Mallett was almost always on the edge of the sideline with the helmet on, almost as if he was ready to go when needed. Thankfully they didn't need him but just an observation on the matter. Your thoughts?
Tedy (12:28 PM)
I know Tom Brady calls them bumps and bruises, but they have a cumulative effect. Couple the hand with another blow to the hand and another sack by a DL, you don't want to see your QB taking all these shots. Tom is toughing it out now. But that OL has to do the best they can to protect him the rest of the way. I think all of us could see the hand didn't look good.
Tedy (12:29 PM)
Thanks for the great questions. Have a great day everyone.