WEEI>On Demand>>Mike Reiss, ESPNBoston, on the Pats' late season philosopy and playoff preparation

Mike Reiss, ESPNBoston, on the Pats' late season philosopy and playoff preparation

Dec 21, 2012|

Mike Joins Lou and Chris Price to discuss the consistency of Tom Brady and the Patriots and how large a factor that will be heading into this weekend's game against the Jaguars. They also discuss where the Pats would want to end up in the playoff picture and how Belichick might manage minutes for players late in the season.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Well it is patriots Friday like we do every single Friday we checked -- with -- ESPN Boston's Mike Reese our conversation at Mike -- brought you by KM. The official frank -- sausage of the New England Patriots. Mike it's low interest price here and and a Brady's talked a lot about the mental toughness coming into a game like this. How does Bill Belichick approach to get this team focused and not have any kind of let down coming to a game like this in -- in December. And good afternoon Lou pricing yet think that would really did that but I think it makes Belichick excellent -- that he's the same every week and so the players don't feel like -- getting sold the -- good here because. It was the same approach that he did with the Texans have the same -- -- would the 49ers. I was thinking back to cover in this scheme beckon like 2005. I remember one year they're playing the bears and and they have to be the worst offensive team in football. And he was building them up to be like 85 -- you know not DO five there -- I would stick to the myself haven't listened to that's. For a decade now covering that he meant this is just the way Belichick doesn't and I think the players respond to that because it's the same message. -- every week whether the team is. You know twelve and two or two -- twelve. Mike any social leases story from earlier today talking about how -- is not gonna -- this weaken against Jacksonville how do you handle him how would you handle him going forward. As you build up toward the post season. -- pretty yeah I think they wanna play him a little bit that they want these last few games just to get on the field for you know the game action and get that first contact out of the way. Ideally you'd like to do that I think first and foremost you you wanna make sure you're not rushing and it's so let's start with the timeframe and -- broke the forearm on the eighteenth of November so baby -- about six weeks with the expectations so. Well right around that Bob mark now so I think one of these next two games I thought would be in the perfect scenario they can get him in there for a few steps. Maybe get his conditioning up a little bit and then you can sort of roll right into the playoffs. Judge -- -- interest approached this game you know with no thoughts of anything in mind right as far as the rest as far as -- who cares it's a football game but the one thing that would keep an eye on. The next couple of weeks. We'll be Wes Welker you know and just this guy's been beat up we know that she hits that he takes in more involvement now returning all -- Is there any chance at all that there is the 88 tryouts today in these last couple of games for punt return. I I think that's actually really good point and I think -- I would think local -- play but then within the game immediate scale back his role little bits so like last week. Before the 49ers game you're you're watching warm ups and then -- -- know you watched closely as well you look at you like who who were the punt returners so it was Welker. It was Patrick Chung and it was Deion Branch so I think maybe Chung maybe branch. -- a few of those reps they also have an open roster spot but I think. That's probably taking it too -- to say they might promote someone just stick handle that role but that that's that's the good usage of sort of managing your roster that -- No need to subjected to that over the final few games. And likewise you can look around Milosevic would say maybe Brandon Spikes is another example -- You know important player for the defense obviously laboring a little bit doesn't look as healthy as -- you know -- earlier in the year. Maybe take the time to scale back his reps here over the last couple weeks. In that same vein Mike how do you balance that going forward over these last two weeks of argument we -- with spikes we're tuchman gronkowski. How do you balance a desire to get healthy for the post season with an idea toward winning these last two games. Also my -- my feelings that they should be able to win and you know really regardless I mean that's a whole next man up philosophy I don't. Think you wanna be careful in terms like literally sitting guys down and saying OK Tom Brady you're out. Ryan now what you're and I think. Don't check out you know doesn't like to do that because it's sort of creates this class distinction. On the roster and say okay you're more important than this guy so wolf pitching down the scheme by. You know what Ryan when bella center you know you're just sort of the middle of the road guys who don't play in this game like I think there's the management element comes down to the health questions. If you look at this roster insist these guys could really benefit from the break. I think that's what you do but at the guys healthy and it's ready to play I think he dresses and he's part of the plan then -- sort of manage it from there. We've revisited this a couple of times over the over the course to show the idea that back in 2005. They set some guys down in the regular season finale. With a -- toward creating a more advantageous. Playoff spot to about a more advantageous scenario where. They went in and a feast Jacksonville as opposed to facing Pittsburgh to new C is similar scenario play out not this week but going forward for their regular season for -- It takes you talking with the game where they had Matt Cassel if that final pass that to the -- -- girl don't want two point. Yeah yes I can certainly see that simply played it when I win this game. And then assess from there was there an upset. The the vikings go down you know indeed detection which from which we were counting on. And so there's still hope but first round playoff by you know. Maybe that happens. So you don't want to eliminate the possibility before it's eliminated when you. So play this one out -- game which you should win against the team that you're better than in the Jacksonville Jaguars and then come back. I enjoy the holiday and then assess from there and and see where you're -- in that regard. When discussion this week has been Stephen -- Shane Vereen -- both fumbling. Against separatist going and read -- had some issues in the past maybe this industries were asleep last year now these last couple of games. I don't expect in the run from a match expect them maybe give the ball more do you expect immediate uptick in carries depending gains -- gain some moments in the last couple games. Well I don't think -- bench and -- and I actually think you might see Brandon Bolden reintegrated into the mix a little bit so. Basically -- -- have to come back in -- -- since his knee injury and suspension. But he's only played three snaps at running back then and I think when the running game and said it best earlier this year it was. The combination of the read in Boldin I'm sorry it was accommodation Ripley and -- in the 25 foot 11220. Pound. You know how were runners -- that buffalo game when they just ran over widow with two guys if you combine those two. We is it would help them to read your change of pace guys can you get all four in the mix. I think that's when you're at their best so for -- the final two games are sort of getting back to reestablishing that and with maybe the idea. You know maybe if we just scale -- back a little bit you're not benching him but maybe instead of 45%. Of the snaps which is -- -- -- to this point. Maybe it's forty maybe it's 38 and may -- that Water Cube series that he would have played the last couple weeks that he's not gonna play these next couple weeks. Improve -- ball security -- taking maybe you know 123. Fewer -- -- -- -- and that's sort of my thought going forward with the run. We were trying to get a measure of the rest of the AFC playoff field. And we were thinking that the one scenario where. The patriots might not be completely current policy not completely confident but. If there's one bad matchup for them it might be going on the road to Denver in playing the Broncos in Denver what's your assessment of them like. -- I feel the same way placing -- and don't get me wrong I think they can go and beat him there I don't think this has been you know Peyton Manning invincible. You know. I do think that traditionally been a tough place to play obviously you'd rather have. The game at home in the one thing that I always come back to is that like if you had to pick one guy in the AFC -- can control again. And and really affect what you wanna do. It's that guy so what does he have a that they had can you do something that can knock him off his -- sure we've seen the patriots do that we saw -- do it here. -- on October 7 although you know that he's obviously gotten better. Since that time so I would agree with that and it's just tied the Peyton Manning factor not to over rate him or build them up any more than you have to be built up. He's the one guy that I think can control the game and sort of changed the dynamics of what you're trying to do. I think we go back and we look at -- demon we kind of forget a little bitty YouTube was did. And I think it was a fourteen or seventeen point game going late the late in the third fourth quarter. But there was the Ninkovich strip sack and that the Broncos -- foreign port down didn't pick it up the it was a it and there have been a ten point team was probably a lot closer than I think a lot of people remembered being. It is an and the history of patriots. Belichick Brady Peyton Manning -- since. Is also when you look back on because there's been so many different forms of -- the way they've played out never quite know sometimes there are few possessions and each team has a total of like seven possessions. Because you have these long drives and and really 13 down stop a one turn over really one play. Can be the difference and I think when you get into the playoffs you have that -- best scenario. That's the one thing guys that did that that's the one reason I'd say that's the team. If you can get the choice to say if we could avoid them up I'd like to pick that team that would be the one. There -- -- just -- earlier as an assistant coach and -- according to sleep always looking for that next job as head coach and and planning for but not really knowing what that experience like anti -- and it and it didn't work out for him in Denver comes back the offensive coordinator. Estimated involvement those conversations with -- -- even in in depth more because now he knows mistakes maybe he did make do you. CA different Josh McDaniels this go around is lot of talk what -- getting elect coaching job next year. I don't really see the difference I mean obviously -- -- learned a lot from that experience because you you know and that experience is the best teacher. In situations like that when it's your program to run. -- mean my whole thing on Madison you gotta ask yourself you. You get for you -- have four cities in four years if you make a move he really wanted to do that with a young family that's the first thing the second thing is you get Tom Brady. You work -- eighty. I mean. This guy could go down as the best quarterback in the history of the game and I mean. You're gonna get another chance at some point do you really wanna make the move and go away from the chance to work with him. And and you know finally I think you know the whole idea of this could be setup for him much and that could give them but you look down the road whenever Belichick decides that it's time that that he wants to stop coaching. I mean. Probably talk about top candidates for the -- mcdaniels then to have these relationships are in place with the ownership here to know the area to know the people. I have to think that would be part of this decision making Cuba without a -- the long answer to the question I. I feel the same guy I was starting with a good coach and I think. Obviously the inexperience showed a little bit and I also had the ramp experienced probably with a good one -- cute because that was a very tough year to see how another franchise. Does things when he was the offensive coordinator down here on this Steve Spagnuolo. Might these last couple weeks should give the patriots a bit of an opportunity to to check out some guys younger guys in the roster that we have and had a real look at over the course this season me you put them in some. -- situations and get a good sense to where they are heading into the post season if they need to be major contributors or even New York. Regular contributors give me a couple of names of guys that did you might be looking at over these final a couple of weeks to it. This might be no interest and take a closer look at. Well so I'm gonna put it just slightly -- because the one guy that I sort of think it's really important here. Over the last couple weeks there where his play has may be. Tailed off in a little bit of a different direction as the top drastic Chandler Jones -- -- obviously. We know what you can you could restart early in the year. But there -- some -- -- there and he just based on the way he was used in the second half of that 49ers scheme I mean after the game. You have to have to keep your first round. Playoff hopes in your control. And Sheila Jones. -- basically taken off the field for most of the second half the net gain and and and he either still injured with the ankle or in an isn't feeling the confidence. With the ankle. Or his gas tank is closer to eat then that is sort of what I would say -- you when you think about the longer approach he's -- of the college season so. That's one guy that I just sort of wanna watch over the final two weeks how the patriots management can can he get a little bit of that spark back that we saw earlier in the year and the second thing. Would be the safety spot and what not necessarily young guys proceed but. You know is it time to get Patrick Chung. Back into the mix you know I -- Chris Collins worth made -- great point in the broadcast -- sits between recording in Steve's great that you get to the smallest. Safeties in the league. Our opponent really feeling going across the middle. I think add -- into the mix we saw him play a lot more now late enough 49ers -- maybe you change the dynamics a little bit at the safety position by introducing him. Into the rotation a little more than he has. Dell's position I was gonna bring up from for you did even Dave Owen Wilson you know another guy that we -- in -- chunks sort of pull back and forth in that role Madonna. So -- you know his his snaps have gone way down since Greg -- came back from the injury and I think. You know can have looked at for the future Lou like I would be surprised that we see. More from him other than his role as sort of that time linebacker. And he can obviously Philly and in the event of an -- so I think it's been like a good foundation. Take year for him second round draft pick out of Illinois. Get some good meaningful playing time. Then in the off season you get and then another you know full season in the off season program and then maybe he can compete for a starting role next year but I think right now. -- sort of like number three days you know for stay on the depth chart at safety give you some depth but probably not gonna -- much of him on the field as we did earlier in the year. I'm like listen we appreciate it -- embassy and having holidays and enjoy. Into the game this weekend and -- will talk you -- I create -- -- could have a great weekend.

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