WEEI>On Demand>>It Is What It Is Cast: Matt Chatham on the Patriots defense

It Is What It Is Cast: Matt Chatham on the Patriots defense

Feb 17, 2012|

WEEI.com's Christopher Price chats with former New England Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham. Matt breaks down the New England defense, with a specific look at linebackers Brandon Spikes, Rob Ninkovich and Jerod Mayo, and also gives his thoughts on the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants and where the team goes from here.

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Are you ready for some football football. Is within these game. -- test software. He is what you need is we Christopher price. All of WEEI. -- welcome to the beauty is what it is. Yes we are honored today to have former patriots linebacker Matt Chatham with the matter how you doing. -- it is great to have you -- really appreciate you come matter really appreciate you making them join us. Hum let's start out we -- -- we're not gonna beat this into the ground because now it's no weaker week plus. In the rearview mirror but so what stood out for -- we talked a little bit about this on Twitter but what stood out for you. About the patriots in the Super Bowl loss to the giants what probably. You know probably week and half ago. Yeah I mean and actually. Now on the watch -- for the first time yesterday so I I think like a lot of people like. Want to let through because pretzels and things what. I think one of things about Bermuda government -- lot of chatter in the days. All in the game. In regards to you know cause when people. Generally and what or when I'm almost things right after. What you know good things like weapons for you know from Leo the -- The fans and all the channels there what one of things to jump up the page to me a lot of things that that through the you know -- Ring true -- whole chain of causation thing the thing that brought about those Clinton made what is split were critical. And if you look at McCain and there were several times Imus what for both teams on both of -- the giants dolphins and patriots work. Instances where. The team that can do better in the game over the course the game -- and the team did that on first down. It you know. Those third and long situations. Neither integrated and convert -- instances where you look at what this place. Yes you know about what it would have been helpful if you caught that ball. What you know there was a rule would. Missed block. First down that cause for negative play because cans that made -- -- a -- in the midwest is drop. That more much more important because it made it for long which you'd generally recover. So I think as a as a player and a guy watches a lot of tape by -- -- look at the things that brought about the things some of the and what works and it really work. So the -- a lot of them had games so it's it's huge stage. Attendance over dramatized some of the plays. Missile. Well let's put like -- said before let's put that to bubble now in the -- let's look at this team in the way that this team. It is put together and I had this discussion with a cup when the media folks the other day in it was trees to get your take on this the idea that. -- is this team was this 2011 teams where they. The debate over perform to the underperform warn the about as good as say a conference champion should be for this year. It's it's eventually question I think just because you know it person -- ask an active role of the water. You know if you resemble this very this team -- -- -- -- on both teams then yeah maybe say they over achieved. But I don't see some just gangbusters team out there -- -- full schedule so I think. You know good to say they what they were bugged by virtue becomes the championship team I think. I think you would have been through what championship in relative to -- the competition out there. It was generally speaking relatively openly in both teams comparable. You know beat yet they've they've they've been really great job -- courses these. Cover up some of those deficiencies. Bought they were very skilled in some places words you'll see you know in the champions of one of so. You know I think what Belichick deserves a lot of -- Got group and lot of creativity and a lot of things of that overcome and that made options. On the rule over the first people. I think they were basically generally right in the -- -- which could. One of the guys that are really respect is Greg cosell from NFL films and he said setting aside 2001. This year might have been. Bill Belichick's best year as a head coach would you would you agree -- that. And they're off. A diplomat who go to because the IBM (WSJ) you know you've done a lot of what occurred in those years and that which vest was better. What. -- there was definitely. A situation I enjoyed the watched sort of develop because and I heard a lot of chatter you know -- some mis spoke with felt this year -- -- -- analysts that. You know it's about drafted orders -- some pork free agency decisions or was wrong and wrong schemer did you know right people here that are. Bought it you know -- in the in the -- vehicle although results and no matter how orally. And now hyper focused and in correctly focused people world statutes. The people went away and and a portion of the is -- in the personalities. Judgment and skill but the people. Figure out there with a huge teams so I think he's always gonna that you know in the and one of the things you -- controls the coaches are people gonna go on before. And I think the game plan you know in certain respects -- was was still strong and that's all there were some issues with schemes -- on defense. I would prefer different but I still think. They brought in a position to win in in -- probable to bounce in the wrong way it all on the ground treatment you know do and you'd want those three of its its once again. And that's just something you can't control from -- coach's perspective I think for and build instance I think you know as always these. You you do leverage over the team and if you literally enjoyed coaching this group through -- mention a lot of course the year ago. You know really. We have a lot of respect for the group there were pop. Over for example the statistical analysis throughout the course the year. -- resilient the cable and you know. -- -- I think that's one of the things that stood up for me about this team was that you knew that it was a different team as opposed to say that 20092010. Team. Because he struck me as a group that was a little bit more mentally resilient a little bit more mentally tough there have been some of those teams in years past because. They ended up going on the road and on the road -- home in the dug themselves a pretty good holes but more often than not they were able to overcome those deficits in the game that really stands out for me. Was the -- on their New York know wasn't a great deficit. But the fact that they went on the road it was a I believe those others yeah it was a Sunday -- -- down and -- against the jets. They've come off two straight losses in the had a feeling at that point in the year. Things could've gone either way. You know this is a team that really could've been collected from lack of better Trammell we could turtle at that point and said well you know we're gonna mail it in where you were nine and 171016. We are we are. But at that moment that evening really showed a real mental toughness at least in my eyes in the -- -- carry that through the rest of the season. Right away and you can point to remember the Philly first. There are several instances were I think. You know bill -- support it's post post game press conferences. Since the highlights one. Generally the public -- it I think there's. That would suggest scheme billions of several allusions to point to where there are certain. What in the past and I both scenarios and they generally. We're able to come back. I think -- -- -- strong attributes this thing I think -- much everything. You know resourceful you know being able fund went away and I think. You know by and large people we're used to seeing that we're we're sort of in the drop pocket like things. Analyze what this player can and do what the capsule. -- you know if they had they did have personal issues worthy it was proper for them to simply win every down. What they also have a lot of we have these guys that that really good at making good plays in critical moments with the again of the ball being on the ground treatments -- game is yet the businesses in the group it's gonna make it. First and then second and third eleventh and develop the field they're gonna give up a bit for it you know. Jerod -- heading into tomorrow and pumped up all you know both Mark Anderson and and it's -- on the ball. But the other forced fumble but there was a lot of sort of conscientious with this group so you know you knew that's the thing about Wimbledon which can cover -- can't stop every thing do things the women generally speaking up until can they did. One of the things don't wanna get your take on a couple things or did you take -- specific on the defensive side of the ball. The weighted -- group perform this -- one of the guys that really stands out from me is Brandon Spikes and I mean the argument a couple of times over the course of your that I don't think was a coincidence. That the defense of numbers they -- we talked a little bit about the defensive numbers but the defense of numbers started to improve. When spikes in shuttle returned later in the year what do you think -- spikes because -- I believe at least from the outside to meet. He looks like the kind of guy who could be a difference maker particularly when it comes to stopping the -- I think it's like is very intriguing guy I think if you were to do sort of the most improved player on the -- blog -- them. And I think that. Because while it it's a complicated issue I think the guy is is extremely talented as some -- them from -- and those incidents well. I would put it you know early in the season that some of you know I think he struggled with they were playing more 443. Defense at that time. He was planned possible -- America around secure our. Which forces you to view mormons great pact or four guys you'd run schemes and entities struggled with and all these so. When he went down I guess I didn't have a feeling that. -- it was you know of course terms like you guys get hurt but that that they could somehow recover that oppose an area that wasn't as strong. Bought all that being said the moments when they would put forward -- to a 34. And you get Brandon in the downhill scenario were Easter is coming down -- in regard. Or either or either use an emblem which have been a lot of reports as well from what they simply would -- to -- confinement and with them. So basically -- -- into the front which is a big dude I mean he's been you know he does well that's very easily -- -- -- the small tactical. So when they kind of found out his strength and used them as districts he was bird. And I think you'll be great going forward we uses sort of analogy. I've played with a couple of good job with a guy like that that was extremely -- it. You know one of the personally if that's reform after reform backers bought but you know I think it would stroke on -- -- of situations -- publicly since I'll put the guy in New York. Jonathan Vilma who's you know it is one of the most active middle linebackers were three and you know so -- ultimately feels. You put them -- -- 34 linebacker it's -- companies just the guy he's really should be up. And he type I mean or from a guy can be Cold War once scheme is good enough along and others so. I think the biggest adjustment is so Brandon you look a lot more it looked a lot more heavy or more comfortable past situations. He's not a -- The big guys bought these the American you know in this kind of experience the smarter play. You know you don't have to take themselves -- they can victories if you read it earlier it is better angle. -- -- -- -- more look back in the past and so I think in the guys that'll be on the Watsco that your. Both Brandon. As well as pepper Johnson and bill all said during Super Bowl week you talked about the comparisons that domains. Between the Brandon Spikes and pepper Johnson in that that they are both kind of longer guys a little bit bigger and they may struggle at times against the pass in Brandon talked about very candidly about his own struggles against when he when it comes to. Playing pass defense in in his improvement and his desire to improvement in his desire to. Be a true three down linebacker do you think that could be in his future sooner rather than later. But it depends on the scheme I mean you know if if teams are gonna force you into. What what we -- it was dime defense for -- we only. One true linebacker on the field -- problem can be different because you have to stay in the boxes generally going to be covered -- someone what we have back. Or -- -- receivers on a full public funds have -- it going to be a nickel defense medical means you got general of format mine and you can still keep to linebackers in the box. With Brandon and -- There's there's space but it just I mean I think that question is really important and upon when Italy goes if it's gonna reform but -- receivers that it just doesn't make -- but second line -- And his body type of most of the role. What if it's going to be nickel situations are Turkmenistan regular I mean I think he's proven that you know. Although summer is an obvious but strength he can definitely do and I think the -- excel. In the early down emblem of the wrong coordinates to be open map the book I'm fortunate spread out. In nickel. Format models to linebackers off the ball. It's a little better box -- -- on the ball occasionally you need to have a a little bit of runaway Ehrlich you know passwords applicable -- Straight from the Apple's with a little bit. Workspace. So you know I think -- these development -- -- he he may get there you know we don't know but I think he's he's definitely guys going right direction. The only decadent intrigues me Rob Ninkovich who at least from our perspective in the media. Have a lot of it has played it did at the start of the season because the unity moved from that three in front of the forming in front and I think he was more affected than anyone because. You know he ended up you know -- -- standing up as a defensive end. You know with this team in the dirt he he did a lot of different stuff over the first half of the year in at times at least to me looked a little bit overwhelmed. Really seemed to settle in over the course of the second after the season. I think the only two guys we -- to the steadily to got across the league who had more than six sacks in two interceptions in one was Ninkovich. -- double with -- real Suggs how did you see him kind of grow -- evolve into that role over the course of the season. You know I mean that's that's a loaded question I think rob. Rubs off yeah I mean the last several years ago on the watch -- compliance with our move back up here I've been impressive and from that one good player. And I think it's petition and that you know doesn't get more you know creditor it was aware of what does on the field. He plays a position on in nickel and dime that we refer to the -- Where yes you have four down linemen on the and so abusive situations but one of them you know has the ability to stand. Or rusher -- -- -- of the rupture report in the past the rubble often have the rules a lot of attention here at the that your you know about and -- more pastor Russian. That point you know you look in of these real problem in. You know maybe it's on the -- maybe -- work you know or rather uses its role. We view an upgrade that -- the issue was a lot of and they use that position guys and jams. Tight end -- back. -- -- around on the front and it certainly intended to be the first cut there. I know it really frustrated printed. Like -- fact that -- his job as a divert some different things do with always. Now we've got to come up with her purse back. I'm pretty good you know it it's on it's that simple so rob the guy who. You know it. Again you were in the number of these white guy looks Greek like -- able to. Make that analogy what I think it. If there is some similar -- there you know months ago great teammate -- in the gaga or respect for what. Bill last a lot of much the ways that that the bill -- And you know that would be able to do a lot of things shall a lot of different situations. And -- well I think what would also very interest enemies and there's -- meaningful and well just in merely one that Super Bowl went cold disturbs me in the the draft previews and pastor at the moment we are going to the top of the wishlists and I watched that game rewards the Super Bowl. Rob Ninkovich and Mark Anderson are on the quarterbacks while throughout the course of the game I mean -- lot of credit pressures. I just brutal think that that was the problem now understood understandably. Goes to surprise. You guys that are bringing -- What they're both young and -- imagine. Well enough off the word. You know you bring back under court with health and amateur. Your decision matter at all I mean that -- -- report go to them instructional. It'll be interest -- you know that the lord. I know the defense always in both sides of the -- the pride themselves on being team -- team but if you. Wanna bring back Andre Carter and Mark Anderson. Are you committing yourself to becoming a true 43 defense because those guys appear to be better fits in performing in front as opposed to a premium for. I'm my exact whistle on that I actually was a little actually a little concerned curious to see how would turn out. I think it was the. Maybe later in the season maybe the Denver game -- Rodrigo hurt. That we're here actually played it through four different event. And you know he played when it made destruction through four early in the year they would use them out -- one barker than they would use them and and bring -- in -- the other threw for a poem barker. We saw both a lot of what you the first thing you. You wonder -- those true overhang for three and chemical. You know news -- -- revenues through these guys chemical book. Over a tackle inside a box in the sort of -- people. And surprisingly under court -- great job I mean he's a strong dude even knows -- -- for about predictable. And I think you know it you're not you're not there to get -- without poitier there the upon the tackles and maintaining gap in -- -- that way. And did a great job so I you don't just you'll -- -- flat -- that if these 243 and what. I think he's just of people doing me over and and and I'm sure they'll love to have the versatility because they're bouncing probable brought Mark Anderson on the other hand of the guy you -- -- -- -- Rose Nicole in the outcome of body types so. I think he's you actually goes -- -- in the reform is not forgotten them and they don't pastors before guys that -- -- going to cover much and also more popular players so. In that game you. -- -- And Mark McCormack quite a bit so I think they're both coming -- they'll -- -- what. Agenda of the big production and development when he moved to -- -- these conclusions with the -- about it anymore anyway you know we have the maps. So and that -- there was no matter for -- report general Foreman went. Our sex overrated in this is something that we've debated over the course the last couple years here when you look at this defense and you look at. You know their ability to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks like you said you know used to use on the Super Bowl you didn't see the sack numbers but you saw an intervention any Anderson. Really in in any any -- -- lab most of the night if you can can we over. Over dramatize those numbers a little bit you know -- -- boils down six looking -- maybe the sacks aren't they -- maybe those numbers -- there but to getting consistent pressure. You know they're they're they're winning those individual battles in -- making the quarterback get rid of the ball before they wanna get rid of it. Doubtful and I think is probably would be most over its. It in football because of staff and football because. Frankly is so many different things often happen happened did you step. And -- -- other crimes were guys win in I harp on this commercials on math and computer it's we throw the first half of the season where. -- -- a lot of applause they're just not been home they're just not in fact what's wrong with the Ron what's pepper Johnson -- Patricia do lose them and they didn't build this Bill Belichick you know real coordinator global -- all that stuff. And it is frustrating as a as a power structure and we salute to the extent about in the room government became. But. You know -- you -- -- see if moments you guys. Won't -- -- you know -- would be tremendous for review on temple or and the ball -- a lot times well. -- -- called the fact is you have to be able from the pockets. So -- general requires to win against or freeware and it's coordinated -- it's not just. You have a data can be that guy in fact the quarterback is work. If if you Beecher got badly body yet mr. Brooke reveals that -- not in the -- on the notes as well or even apportion. Such as don't happen so it's really sort of one those chain of causation steps a lot of times. You don't have a great rush somebody else does Washington and you get a -- so. It's not it's not you know pass reception kind of statistic but you know it's always good to have guys would give them that Mark Anderson put. Got time if you're great you're structural over the place. And problems with same thing so. Yeah from time to reflect the production sometimes doesn't what you know a number of well for them a look at my apartment for example if you ago I was up my mind off the board were robustly Gaza through through. Or ever was five or six games so you know to lose him to -- Mike Mike right those are two of the best in here or import them guys. And you know them there they're using column unconventional thinker. Traditional. Annual power structure and -- body types so they went deep into the cupboard and still over the -- productions or ethnic I think that report. Last question for me on the linebackers. There's a belief out there I think among some of his critics that they want Jerod -- to be playmaker. You are using net kind of burns me to all encompassing term you know coming up with sacks come up with interceptions. He is he that kind of guy in is that an unfair label to put on him to meet those kind of expectations of him in this defense. I think you have to have someone of those one of those guys on the field what would you draw out of the guy -- it looked. The most recent game and I think there are evidence of focal -- making. You know like -- that in which reasonable down on their compunction opera for forced fumble. The facts. Don't -- virtually his game you know a lot of times the Mike linebacker. The way you'll get some cheap forms -- between the pressures is -- -- a bullet or a Russian prime minister called Clinton's term fundamentals back to simply. Go get your guys if you if you if you stand in the blocking and can peel -- some and to some it's true pressure put. That I haven't can do a lot that tunnel which is a role after a true type minds what. It's -- roaming around secondary amid complaints you'll passes what we spoke to neighbors to do so well for years. He can be an economic if you look at the that the suitable for. The -- I believe was the Victor Cruz are women and double play where you know drop was planned well look like a -- situation got. -- got a quick slant and he was right there to make the play -- just just to make it so you put himself right position made a good read bought. I mean if you -- looking for more of those play making type thing featured in -- human situations where. He's in the right spot couple Baltic it's. Several could have been a game changer or you know for of course you're believe in the Washington game the -- but some -- -- other instances were timely. I would punch you know the ball timely interceptions he's had some of that or maybe not about what that she fought so I think -- There's the belief that Kevin Faulk and he talked a little bit about this has played his last game as a as a New England patriot he is. You know the only guy in the roster right now treaty to Belichick was. Drafted in 1999 by Pete Carroll you have the good fortune to play alongside him for an extended stretch. And we all know the numbers we all know what he brings to the field as an individual but. What does he mean off the field when it comes to leadership when it comes to getting getting guys to get a locker room when it comes to. Being he leader what what does he mean to this franchise in in what would this franchise lose if he decided to call it a career. Well I mean you know government let -- excellent that's that's been -- for true leadership skills throughout his career I think in the you won those personalities generally speaking in sort of trickle throughout your roster and Kevin kind of been that guy in the back to you know for years and it's good that. It's good to have a -- -- because you know we get through a myriad of personalities through on these groups and Kevin stable guy and he's done so much for your position with the world so many years came back after an ACL I think -- It should. My -- so I I I'm amazed you're about their all the recovering well as well. I think you know look we of the fact through they would come back -- and -- another year it. And have some production when they used them and and still be there assortment of young -- the fact that you've got really cute young and talented and we'll see where that goes kind of thing whispering and probably. This may have been a perfect bridge your form what happened there because. When things got rough and you -- little stability. It would -- -- the -- and so. You know what -- not they'll build -- another year about a one of the year like what. I certainly know the feeling of being the veteran guy. Who's placed on the roster later in your -- as simple mantra of the people and there's definitely some volume -- They also when -- user on the field to that -- to properly so heroic. Where does this team go from here there there's a positive. Feeling around this group said that they have a solid nucleus and plays and obviously as long as you have number twelve back there. You know you'd -- you feel good about your chances is there any reason to suspect that this team will not be one of those -- Five or six teams on the on the -- on a short list when it comes to put any other Super Bowl favorite for 2013 2012. I don't do it I mean here's the thing is the only thing they do you -- and caution in the -- we know. And to rationalize. Just north of the short off season maybe you'll be up. You look at the Steelers I mean at that that's an organization that that -- that Mears the kind of stability that the patriots. Over the -- -- and you know there are always there they're one of the few teams that that you know culture in the Super Bowl. That that we based on who that organization was and how their bill. You would've -- -- about the warm one team that knocked him from wood about where they were and they and they didn't so. But that would -- the only situation room and it's totally generally of the patriots one point. It's not that. It all signs point -- the patriots always been there and you know fact that. They got here with what some people would consider a little less talent than than maybe some other groups. With the ability you know going to a draft. The politics. And ability to route to sort of reload. And I think the guys Norman I think. You could conceivably. Better pitchers in there inaccurate in that position. We -- Tells a little bit about your business I know you've been involved -- skyscrapers tell -- sort of like is it tells a little bit about what's going on with. And go for Walt -- person's -- -- group French that sort of after a part actually what a retired couple balls in the minds want to perhaps in college. Their -- going to -- MBA so I'm wondering about ridgewood country and this was the businessmen came through there with. And we were up more real the first unit the formal North -- It's mr. Rupert test kitchens so I'm in the process now. Sort of formalized in the board room. Advisory group and -- maybe possibly divested myself of the movie. Sort of growth companies so we've got a lot of positive reaction. -- a got to do cool things last month Monday about what angers them. Of these these are -- on the Travel Channel and got that have intractable for food and I have a patent -- US patent reform political credit for you know some of the -- -- So we've got a lot of unique product a lot of weird stuff going on and so while would have opponents of the and a little football so if. Sounds great well I appreciate your time I appreciate you joining us here this afternoon and take care -- -- -- to be very very soon.

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