It was an interesting exchange during Bill Belichick’s press conference yesterday afternoon when the topic of the defensive scheme came up. There has been a ton of talk this camp about the Patriots moving away from their traditional 3-4 defensive front seven and going to the 4-3 alignment. When this was brought up to Belichick, he answered by saying:
“Honestly, I think that’s something that is a media fabrication. There are a lot of different alignments out there. You see 4-3 teams use odd spacing. You see 3-4 teams use even spacing. You have 11 players, you can put them in various positions. Whether you want to put it on the pre-game depth chart as one thing or another, I think is a little bit overrated.”
He then gave examples of the team using the 4-3 front during stretches of his Patriots tenure, including the second half of the 2001 season. “Media fabrication” might’ve been a bit harsh, I think it’s more of trying to over-simplify matters by stating that a defense runs out of a 3-4 or 4-3 front, but it’s always nice to when the coach does a little teaching on football matters as he did yesterday.
98.5 carried the press conference, and when it was over, Tony Massarotti, sitting the main chair with Michael Felger dismissed the press conference by saying (paraphrasing) that Bill Belichick said nothing of interest and it was just a run-of-the-mill session. Given Massarotti’s hatred for the Patriots, I think it’s more likely he was down visiting the vending machine instead of actually listening.
If you want an outstanding narrative on the Patriots schemes and how Albert Haynesworth might or might not fit in, you need to read Tom E. Curran this morning, who knocks the subject out of the park. One of the best pieces on defense you’ll read this season. (Greg A. Bedard’s piece yesterday was pretty good too.)
At NBC, the brand plays on – Chad Finn’s media column has a look at VERSUS being renamed the NBC Sports Network.
Negativity As Much A Part Of Summer As Training Camp – My SB Nation Media column has a look at the return of the haters.