Are you surprised by the Patriots start?
7-0 for the first time in team history is a pretty impressive feat. Honestly, I thought San Diego would be a lot better this year and that they may have the Patriots number with LaDainian Tomlinson. Obviously Philip Rivers wasn't able to keep San Diego in the game, and the big lead keep the ball out of Tomlinson's hands. Other than that, I've expected the Patriots to beat every other opponent. Every team has flaws, but because the Patriots score so many points just by tossing it deep to Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth or Wes Welker, a lot of theirs are covered up.
How can this team be beaten?
I think the Patriots can be beaten if a team can put pressure on Brady up the middle while not giving up the big play deep. If opponents can force Brady into check-downs and avoid getting behind early, teams can beat the Patriots. New England is a very good team, but they're not flawless. They've just been so much better at what they do than other teams, it's a footrace to score. I'm not sure anyone other than Peyton Manning can keep up.
We know he has more talent around him, but what are some little things Tom Brady is doing better this season?
I don't know if you followed the story of Brady having a pitch count in training camp, but one thing was certain when we saw him this summer. He was saving his arm for the season. He also worked hard in the off-season to build his arm strength up. His arms muscles are more defined and Brady appears to be in better condition, if that's really possible.
Brady has done a masterful job of working with his receivers to get on the same page with them before games. That may not always show in games but the new receivers have picked it up faster than last year's group. Brady didn't have that luxury last year as the team played musical receivers for the better part of the season. It's still amazing the team made it to the AFC Championship with those players.
What has surprised you about Randy Moss, if anything?
When I first saw Moss practice it was his ability to move effortlessly downfield at the same pace as others who appeared to be running flat out Moss would glide around the field and it looked almost as if he were being lackadaisical in practice. But every pass – or nearly every pass – Moss was able to snatch out of the air with his mitts as if he were catching a Nerf ball.
There's one thing Moss was doing in camp that continues to show in his games. On the deep pass, you'll see Moss track the ball downfield running alongside the path of the pass but about 2 to 3 yards from the landing point. The defenders will move right underneath, thinking they have position on Moss. Then Moss will take 1 to 2 steps, cut, leap over the defender and snatch the ball away. It's like a basketball move. It catches defenders by surprise most of the time. They've labeled it "Getting Mossed" The Dolphins could probably explain it better after seeing up close on Sunday.
We know the big names on offense, but who else should the Redskins worry about?
Ty Warren and Jarvis Green are two players who deserve mention when trying to label the Patriots playmakers. Obviously Vince Wilfork is a monster in the middle of the defensive line, but both Warren and Green have embarrassed offensive linemen this year. Warren is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league according to those who have to try to block him week in and week out.
On offense, one name that deserves mention is Kyle Brady. He's not the flashy receiver type of tight end who is a threat to score – although he's done that recently. Brady just crushes defenders in the run blocking scheme the Patriots use. He's a beast. We ran a MySpace promo asking people what comic book hero does Brady remind them of… the overwhelming response was Colossus. (link: http://www.marvel.com/universe/Colossus)
I took this picture of Brady during an on field interview. ( http://media.scout.com/media/image/43/437468.jpg) so you can see the resemblance. When I asked Ben Watson his impression of Brady, Watson stepped back, his eyes opened wide and he said -- almost in awe -- "He's Huge. I mean he's really big". Watson is a physical beast in his own right, standing 6-3 tall weighing 258-pounds. Brady is 6-6, 270-pounds. Standing next to each other Brady makes Watson look normal.
Behind Enemy Lines: Part 1
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