(Photo Credit: AOL)
By Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
COSTA MESA, CA — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke freely about the Los Angeles Chargers defense and rookie safety Derwin James earlier this week. Belichick noted that the defense was very well coached by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and how tough of a task it will be to face them on Sunday afternoon in Foxborough, MA.
“Fundamentally sound. Good technique team,” Belichick said. “Really forces you to execute well against them.… Bradley runs the Seattle system and that’s a very sound and proven system of defense. That’s the core of it. Yeah, there’s game-to-game adjustments. I’m sure they’ll play Tom Brady differently than they played Lamar Jackson, like anybody would. But their scheme is still pretty fundamentally their scheme, and they’ve had so much success with it.”
#GoPats HC Bill Belichick On #FightForEachOther safety Derwin James: “James has been a tremendous addition to their team. He’s a great player,just does everything well. He’s usually around the line of scrimmage,but when he has to play in the deep part of the field, he’s excelled”— NICK HAMILTON (@NickHamiltonLA) January 7, 2019
Of course the great Belichick would not be him if he didn’t break down the Bolts defense in such a way where one would realize why he is one of the top notch coaches in the league. He emphasized the impact of safety Derwin James on the field.
“He’s as good as anybody we’ve seen all year,” Belichick said of James. “Big, fast, athletic, very instinctive. He primarily plays around the line of scrimmage. Usually in a safety position but they play a lot of six and seven defensive backs, so sometimes he’s in a linebacker-type position, but whether you want to call him a linebacker or a safety, he’s down near the line of scrimmage. It’s pretty much the same. He’s a very good tackler. He’s a very good blitzer when they blitz him…. He gets a good break on the ball. He reads the quarterback well and he’s had some big plays in the deep part of the field knocking the ball off of receivers and getting a good break on the ball and getting to the reception area.”
A true cerebral coach of the game could not complete his assessment of the defense without recognizing the two book ends in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Both Ingram and Bosa have combined for 13 sacks in the regular season.
“They have great awareness to get the ball off. Ingram lines up inside on passing situations a pretty decent amount of the time so he’s not always on the edge, so really anybody could get him. Bosa’s in there some, too, but Bosa’s more outside than inside. In third down situations, Ingram shows up inside quite a bit. He’s had very good production in there against a number of teams. So it’s not blocking those guys; it’s finding them and trying to get things set as much as you can to deal with those two players.”
Belichick also recognized second round pick and former USC rookie Uchenna Nwosu.
“Nwosu made a big play there at the end of the Ravens so they’ve been able to mix in other guys on the edge to move Ingram or move him around, play some odd fronts, play some even fronts. They’re very well-coached out there.” -Bill Belichick
The Bolts defense has their assignments, and must play a complete sixty minutes of football in order to have an opportunity to walk out of Gillette Stadium victorious against future hall-of-famer Tom Brady.