How much did O'Connell help Jets?

Ryan named former Pats QB a captain for the game

September 21, 2009, 8:41 AM

By: Mike Reiss

Last week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick downplayed the impact that former New England quarterback Kevin O'Connell might have in helping the Jets prepare for Sunday's game.

In the aftermath of Sunday's 16-9 Patriots loss, Jay Glazer of writes on how the Jets utilized O'Connell's knowledge.

    Writes Glazer, "Sources said while the former Patriot QB was revealing in helping with tendencies of different players and schemes, he was most helpful in revealing the tendencies the Patriots use to adjust against different blitz packages the Jets will try to employ. Basically, he's able to say, 'Hey, when you use this blitz they like to check it over here. When you use that blitz their tendency will be to use this guy, here.'"

The Patriots, perhaps with O'Connell in mind, went almost exclusively with a no-huddle attack in Sunday's game. They also altered their overall communication, with all skill-position players wearing wristbands with the plays and coaches using grease-boards to signal in the necessary Xs and Os information from the sideline.

O'Connell was named one of the Jets' game captains selected by Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about O'Connell during his regularly scheduled Monday radio interview on WEEIs "Dennis & Callahan" program.

    "I don't think it came down to what Kevin told them or didn't tell them," he said. "I think it came down to the way we executed, and as an offense, our failure to get the ball in the end zone. We had opportunities that were there that we didn't take advantage of. That's the frustrating part of it.

    "They don't know what play is called. We have a bunch of different protections and we have a bunch of different blitz beaters, and unless you know what play is called at that time, you're not going to know how we're adjusting to the blitz. We do that in a multitude of ways. You can go in there and say 'On this play, this is what they do.' But that is always in hindsight, that's him looking at the play. We could line up in a different formation and then it's different. Most teams do it the exact same way. It's not hard to study film and figure out how you pick up the blitz. I don't think that's something that is a big mystery."


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