FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In his weekly breakdown following a victory on Patriots.com, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick highlighted one of the plays that came up in film review and it reflected rookie defensive tackle Dominique Easley's positive impact.
The play came in the second quarter, with running back Trent Richardson dropped for a loss of 3 yards (9:17). A crucial effort came from Easley, who pressed tight end Coby Fleener back and re-created the line of scrimmage. Belichick also noted the strong run force from cornerback Darrelle Revis on left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
"Easley does a nice job here, knocking it back," Belichick said.
Belichick also showed another play by the run defense, stopping Ahmad Bradshaw for no gain in the third quarter (3:04). Good edge-setting by end Rob Ninkovich, scraping by linebacker Jamie Collins, solid leverage by Vince Wilfork and good work to fight off a block by Alan Branch are highlighted.
A few more plays noted by Belichick:
Brady's run checks: On a Jonas Gray 14-yard run in the third quarter (13:35), Belichick pointed out the defensive alignment and how if the run comes to the left side, where there are two defensive backs on that side that couldn't be accounted for, it would be a bad play. So quarterback Tom Brady checked the run to the other side, and there is success. Belichick later showed a similar play -- a 14-yard run by Gray in which Brady once again checked the run away from the side where the numbers weren't favorable. Of rookie offensive tackle Cameron Fleming, Belichick said: "He did a really good widening the holes or blocking down and creating good space in that off-tackle hole." Of running back Jonas Gray, Belichick said: "I thought he did a good job lowering his pads, dropping his weight and running through a couple tackles in the secondary."
Gronkowski's run blocking: On Julian Edelman's 25-yard end-around, Belichick highlighted tight end Rob Gronkowski's decision-making as he came in motion. Gronkowski was supposed to block end-the-line player Jonathan Newsome, but when Newsome crashed down into the line, Gronkowski passed him by and focused on safety Mike Adams down the field. "Rob makes a good decision. When Newsome comes this flat, he knows he can't make a play on the [runner] and lets him go," Belichick said, pointing out other strong blocks by left tackle Nate Solder and receiver Brandon LaFell.