A lot has been discussed today regarding the state of the Patriots offensive line, more specifically the play of the two tackles in Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon.
They both had a rough night, although it’s just one preseason game and there’s plenty of practice and film study left heading into their eventual week one match-up. However, here’s a closer look at how the strip sack and big hit on Tom Brady unfolded last night.
FRAME 1: You can see in the above game film that Marcus Cannon loses his battle against Junior Galette, with Galette getting around him which is going to force Brady to step up in the pocket. Below that is Solder who is battling against Will Smith, and while Smith is also moving outside you’ll see in the next frame that Solder stays with him and is able to keep him away from Brady.
FRAME 2: In this frame you can tell Brady sees Galette coming after him and begins to move up in the pocket, while Solder is still pushing Smith outside.
FRAME 3: In this frame Galette gets a hand on Brady but his momentum causes him to fall down. Solder, to this point, still has Smith out of the play.
FRAME 4: Now they have a problem because Cannon kept going and Solder is in essence “picked” by his teammate, and now isn’t able to stay with Smith, who goes around both players and is setting himself up to hit Brady. You’ll notice in the still I grabbed in the lower left that down the field Wes Welker is coming out of his break. From this shot it almost appears as though had Brady planted there and thrown, he may have had a completion.
FRAME 5: Instead Brady pulls it down and tries to roll to his right. The two Patriots tackles are now bumping into eachother and Smith is going to go around both players and put the hit on Brady.
FRAME 6: As a result there they are, both out of the play while Jordan wraps Brady up and Connolly’s man, Cameron Jordan (#94), has gotten away from the Patriots offensive lineman and just drills Brady, forcing the turnover. Looking back at the film Connolly did a good job but simply lost Jordan when the play broke down.
Needless to say it was a tough play and fortunately Brady wasn’t injured. Hopefully it’s just a learning experience that will simply help them get better in the coming weeks.
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