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 (11:56 AM)
Did the Pats win the game, or did the Broncos give it to them?
Tedy (11:57 AM)
A game of that magnitude, you hate to see end that way. You want to see both teams performing at a high level and one of them making a play to win. The Broncos were the ones making the mistake, a special teams error. It was a little bit of a both. That was a huge mistake. But the Patriots played fantastic to get back into the game and take the lead. That's the way the ball bounces, I guess.
Butch McFetters (Columbia, MO)
Tedy, what makes Brady such a great cold weather QB? Considering he is a west coast kid. Manning definitely isn't the same in the cold climate. I like the Pats chances to get to SB with Brady cold weather skills.
Tedy (12:00 PM)
Some quarterbacks just throw a ball that cuts through the wind and cuts through the weather. Tom has always thrown that kind of ball. I think what you saw last night, Broncos fans have a legitimate reason to be worried. Peyton Manning's arm obviously isn't as strong as it used to be. His passes fluttered in the air. There was no velocity. Not only that, but when the football was on the path to the receiver, it looked like a knuckleball. When you're a receiver, and there is wind and the ball is knuckling toward you, that's a tough ball to catch. Playing in Denver, or having to come back in NE, or if KC squeaks out the top speed, Manning is going to have to go outdoors. With the Super Bowl in NY, with Brady being the cold-weather QB that he is, the Patriots would definitely have an advantage.
Will, Austin, TX [via mobile]
Tedy Do you think we see more of Jamie Collins going forward. I feel we saw a level of athletiscm we have not seen from a patriot linebacker in a while. He had some eye raising plays like when he blew up Moreno and caused Manning to fumble. Hightower although good seems to be to big to keep up in coverage and has been beaten repeatedly. What are your thoughts on the LB's?
Tedy (12:03 PM)
Collins was productive last night and you saw a lot of positive things -- 10 total tackles. He had some positive plays in coverage. But your playing time on this defense will depend on the game-plan of the week. If this was a team that had a different offensive philosophy, maybe you'd see a little bit less of Collins. The Patriots were mostly in sub defense last night. So do they now consider him the sub LB? In a game when you might play more regular personnel, we might not see him as much. But you can call this is a big step in his development. Biggest game of the year, against a top-ranked, and he played and produced. He can use this momentum to earning more playing time.
Ayush (Boston, MA)
Hi Tedy,The best game of the season...loved it. I think the players would need to settle down quick. After what Pats did to the texans last year, this could be a revenge match for the texans in their own stadium.I wanted to ask you about your interview with Wes. Outside of what we saw in the video, did you feel Wes had a chip on his shoulder coming in to foxboro? Can you tell us one fascinating incident or observation from your session with Wes that we didnt see in the interview?
Tedy (12:05 PM)
The one thing I know about Wes, having a friendship with him, his chip never goes away -- no matter who he is playing. Yes, you know he wanted to do well last night, but his mind was in the right place. The one question I asked him that wasn't in the interview they showed on NFL Countdown was: "How does this stat line sound for the game: 7 catches, 95 yards and a touchdown?" His immediate response, before I got the numbers out of my mouth, he shook his head and said, "W, Tedy." All Wes wants to do is win a championship. He produced at a historic level for this team but didn't win a championship. He wants one badly.
DFWPatsFan (Arlington, TX)
What a rollercoaster game! I don't get the Manning vs Brady narrative, if anything it should be Manning vs Belichick. Agree?
Tedy (12:07 PM)
Yes, I agree, but you have to understand the media machine. Quarterbacks are like superstars. They are headliners. Although Tom and Peyton are never on the field at the same time, that's what they will sell it as -- Brady vs. Manning. Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia vs. Manning was the true matchup last night.
Patrick (Phoenix) [via mobile]
Tedy! Tired of seeing this defense not be able to close teams out in the 4th when the offense takes the lead. Moreover, the other side of the ball needed 7 and settled for a FG to keep DEN hopes alive. Do you consider this team championship caliber, or ultimately will the injuries and lack of execution late doom this squad? Fun to see all the youth though.
Tedy (12:08 PM)
Patrick, you're a tough man to please. The dafense used all its resources to prevent that passing offense from being effective. Peyton Manning threw for 150 yards. That's closing out one of the best quarterbacks of all time. You give him the run game and they had success, but the defense made the big plays when it had to (2 turnovers). Cut these guys some slack. I felt like it was a fantastic performance defensively.
Tedy, did I see BB take a timeout just to give his D a blow? What do you think of this tactic?
Tedy (12:12 PM)
Peter, I'm not sure what timeout you are referencing here, but it is a strategy to use TOs at certain places to give the defense a rest of gather information. One technique that is used is called the "Kodak" timeout. This is when the offense comes out and lines up in a formation and the defense will call timeout due to the magnitude of the situation. You want that mental pitcure (formation, motion, grouping), and you go to the coaches on the sideline and talk about what you saw and the possibility of plays you can get from that set. Then you go back out there and have some type of information on play possibilities.
Rodrigo (SÃ£o Paulo - Brasil) [via mobile]
Hello! I am new following NFL, so it is hard for me to understand how a hit to the head like L. Blount took is allowed. That caused the fumble, not something else. In Ridley's case, his last play before the fumble was a good run and he did a celebration that made me think: "Oh man, please keep yourself humble!" And then, that big fumble! He is good, but seems to me any little success get fast to his head! How do you see? I am a big fan of you guys!
Tedy (12:14 PM)
This is a good observation. First, regarding the hit to the head, you can only prevent so much. It's football and I understand the emphasis on protecting players. But when it comes down to it, there will still be head to head collisions. I was thinking the same thing on the play previous to the fumble, as he motioned to the crowd to try to get them pumped up. It reminds me of every time he scores and he has his choreographed celebration -- making a door and kicking it in. I agree with you. Until he shows more consistency holding on to the ball, he should think less about choreographed celebrations.
Tedy, I'm curious what your thoughts are on Ridley's fumbles from a locker room perspective. I know that BB and Brady will keep a "need" mentality moving forward, because Ridley has played well otherwise. But, at what point do guys start to look at a guy whose issue has turned somewhat habitual and view him as a detriment? The same offensive lineman getting called for holding in three games in a row is not nearly as game changing as a guy coughing the ball up three games in a row.
Tedy (12:16 PM)
You always have your teammate's back in the locker room and you give them support as much as you can. But when you have a constant error repeater (which is the term Coach Belichick uses himself), there comes a point where you start losing the faith of your teammates as well. I think Ridley is a good player, but when you carry the ball, you carry the fate of the organization.
Gooby (The Road)
Hey Tedy. On Stevan Ridley, I know there has been some bad luck with opponents putting a helmet on the ball, but last night it looked more like Ridley got sloppy with some razzle-dazzle (spin move). What do the coaches do at this point? And should he be coached to just lower his shoulder in that situation?
Tedy (12:20 PM)
I've never been a fan of a running back that relied heavily on the spin move. Playing against that type of RB, I always enjoyed that. There was the possibility of a point when a RB had his back to the pursuing defense, you felt like you might get a good shot. Once a RB starts a spin, he has to eventually come around. As a defender, you can make up about 3 yards while an offensive player spins if you're pursuing full speed. There is a point where when you complete your spin, your body has to regroup. And there is a possibility that the pressure on the ball has lessened. Defenders know this and that's when you can get a big hit that might force a fumble. Referencing the play last night, I felt Ridley had more than enough time to see LB Danny Trevathan. The thought process for a RB, what it should trigger, is "Hold on to the ball as this free runner is coming toward me."
Patrick (Keene, NH)
Hey Tedy, Is it to harsh to not want Ridley on the team? I wish no ill will to the young man I just don't trust him not to fumble.
Tedy (12:22 PM)
After all that I have just critized him, Stevan Ridley is a good player and can help this team win. Let's not forget, LeGarrette Blount came in and spit the seed too. We mentioned this last week, referencing the defensive index, that if you keep the Broncos from the big play there are chances for big production. This is what that defense is -- big plays like Trevathan, big ihtters like Duke Ihenacho.So let me put this plainly, as poorly as Ridley has been protecting the football, they will need him to win a championship."
Hey Tedy, it seems like they are always rushing at the same spot on the defensive line (left tackle). Denver did it last night with Moreno and Carolina did it last week Williams. What do the Pats need to do to stop this? I thought Sopoaga was supposed to help up front yet Jones and Vellano are getting most of the snaps. Your thoughts?
Tedy (12:25 PM)
Manny Ramirez, the center for the Broncos, is a very strong player. At times, he was manhandling the interior DL of the Patriots. If a team wants to attack the Patriots in the middle and run the ball, they will have success, but it's hard to have success against this defense through four quarters because of the intelligence of the coaching staff. If you recognized the adjustment last night, it was sending Jones and Ninkovich and crashing them down from their defensive end positions to stop that inside run. They could do that because Peyton Manning himself was not a running threat. That stoppped the bleeding a little bit as they held on the best they could to force the Broncos into some tough third-down situations.
John -New Jersey [via mobile]
Tedy, what do u think the atmosphere was in the locker room at halftime- lot of harsh words or just focus on adjustments for the 2nd half ???
Tedy (12:27 PM)
Very rarely do I remember Coach Belichick losing control. I remember assistant defensive coaches throwing things against the wall, but Bill always focused on what needed to be done. I'm sure offensively, they talked about what they needed to get done because they were getting the ball first. And defensively, I'm sure they talked about adjustments in trying to stop Knowshon Moreno.
Michael (easton massachusetts)
Do you think that the patriots can still get the number one seed in the playoffs at this point?
Tedy (12:28 PM)
Yes, I do. I think the Patriots can get the No. 1 seed. There are a handful of teams I see as still being possibilities -- Broncos, Chiefs, and the Colts and Bengals can put together a run also. This season has just begun.
tim (durham, nh)
Should wes have tried to catch the punt in OT?
Tedy (12:33 PM)
Usually the vice players are coached that once you get to the 20 yard-line, you must abort. I've been on every single special teams unit -- throughout college and every year in my NFL career. I've never played gunner, but when you play the inside positions, you learn the rules of every position. Once those vice players reach the 20-yard line, especially the 15-yard line, you must veer off to away from the returner. You just don't know where the ball is being fielded.
Tedy (12:34 PM)
... So back to your question, could Wes have fielded the ball? It was possible, but with that wind, it would have made it a difficult catch. Should Tony Carter have been there in the first place? In my opinion, no. Once he reached the 20, he should have veered off, away from the returner.
Tedy (12:47 PM)
These decisions have to be made very quickly. If you're a Broncos follower, it's a tough way to lose. But this isn't the first time it's happened to a team.
Tedy (12:49 PM)
This is why you see special teams coaches often decide to rush in that situation, when the opponent is punting near midfield. The idea is to eliminate as much traffic as possible when the punt is fielded around the 10-yard line.
Tedy (12:51 PM)
Thanks to everyone for chatting. Happy Thanksgiving and we'll chat again next week.