Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon were taken consecutively in 2013. (NFL Game Rewind)
There may no longer be one dominant pipeline for Bill Belichick. But there are still several college streams running down into the Foxborough ravine.
The New England Patriots have collected players from an assortment of schools over the years, whether it be first-year pros or 10-year veterans, whether it be via free agency, trade, or the draft. And admittedly, the strength of some connections in the collection aren’t as strong as they once were.
Some of Belichick’s ties have dispersed in different directions, with the likes of Greg Schiano, Urban Meyer and Randy Edsall no longer at the forefront of the programs the Patriots head coach once picked from. Yet other waters have appeared over the years.
And with the Patriots’ pool currently standing 75 deep, here is a look through the most prominent products featured in its depths.
Brandon Bolden’s 17-yard run helped the Patriots outlast the Jets on Sunday afternoon. (NFL Game Rewind)
There was no LeGarrette Blount in the backfield, no Julian Edelman out wide, no Dan Connolly on the line, and no Kyle Arrington in the secondary to face the New York Jets. The New England Patriots had to look elsewhere to replace the production of those four key contributors in Sunday’s 17-16 win at MetLife Stadium.
Here are some quick-hits as to how the depth fared. Continue reading
Sheldon Richardson and the Jets’ defense found a way to generate pressure on the Patriots Sunday. (NFL Game Rewind)
The New York Jets hit home early in East Rutherford.
As early as 3rd-and-3 on the New England Patriots’ opening offensive series, linebackers Demario Davis and Calvin Pace connected with quarterback Tom Brady for a 13-yard loss on an overload blitz. And nine minutes later, early would become often for New York’s 3-4 defense, as the unit got to the two-time NFL MVP two more times over three plays.
Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and outside linebacker Quinton Coples broke through to sack Brady for a loss of eight on first down. Then it was defensive back Antonio Allen and Davis who got to him again for another eight-yard loss on third down.
New England’s offensive line was looking to avert the trend without starting left guard Dan Connolly, who did not make the trip to MetLife Stadium due to a knee injury, and with Josh Kline starting in his place while swing tackle Marcus Cannon filtered in at left tackle.
Starter Nate Solder kicked over as an eligible tight end in the process, as the Patriots looked to neutralize the rush with six offensive linemen in the game. It persisted.
“It’s a battle,” head coach Bill Belichick said of facing the Jets his postgame press conference. “They got a real good front, they got a lot of good players up there, and they’re well-coached. They got a good front that’s hard to block, so I mean we battled them.” Continue reading