Not much going on on this Wednesday morning, but here’s a quick rundown of today’s top stories:
Belichick Honors Buddy Ryan – Bill Belichick was able to make quite a name for himself as a defensive coordinator as he ascended to having become one of the best NFL coaches in the history of the league, and the passing of the defensive-minded Buddy Ryan saddened the entire football world on Tuesday, including the Patriots coach.
Ryan passed away at the age of 85 and was someone that Belichick always held a lot of respect for, especially for a lot of the innovative schemes he put together over the course of his legendary career.
Belichick issued a statement on Ryan’s passing via the team’s official website:
“Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan,” wrote Belichick. “It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family.”
Belichick was asked back in 2012 about why teams shifted away from running a two-back offense, which he credits Ryan’s 46 defense in changing how teams countered that formation and he said it’s something teams still use down on the goal line.
“A lot of the success that Buddy had with the 46 defense came in the ‘80s when there was a lot of two-back offense,” explained Belichick. “It was one of the things that probably drove the two-back offense out. If you remember back in the ‘80s when Buddy was in Philadelphia, he had a lot of trouble with the Redskins and their one-back offense, a lot of trouble. There were a lot of mismatches of Art Monk and Gary Clark on the middle linebacker and stuff like that. I think the 46 was really originally built for two-back offenses, whether it be the red, brown, blue and the flat-back type offenses and eventually even the I-formation. I think it still has a lot of good application; a lot of teams use it in goal-line situations. They either use a version of it like a 5-3 or cover the guards and the center and however you want to quite fit the rest of it, but that principle you see a lot in goal-line, short yardage situations.”
“You see it and some teams have it as part of their two-back defensive package. As it has gone to one-back and it’s gotten more spread out, if you’re playing that, it kind of forces you defensively to be in a one-linebacker set. You lose that second linebacker and depending on where the back lines up and what coverage you’re playing, then there’s some issues with that. If you’re in a one linebacker defense and you move the back over and the linebacker moves over then you’re kind of out-leveraged to the back side. If you don’t move him over, then you’re kind of out-leveraged when the back releases and that kind of thing. There are some issues there that, I’m not saying you can’t do it, but you have to work them out.”
“In a two-back set, I’d say it was probably a lot cleaner and it always gave you an extra blitzer that was hard for the offense. Even if they seven-man protected on play-action, there was always an eighth guy there somewhere. You didn’t have to bring all eight; if you just brought the right one and they didn’t have him or somebody would have to have two guys and that creates some problems.”
“I think that’s what Buddy really, where the genius of that was; he had by formation a different combination and group of blitzes so depending on what formation you were in, then he ran a blitz that would attack that formation and then when you changed formations, then he would change blitzes. Now, plus the fact [he] had Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Mike Singletary, [Otis] Wilson, [Wilbur] Marshall, that was a pretty good group there. You could have probably played a lot of things and that defense would have looked pretty good, especially when they put Hampton on the nose. That was pretty unblockable.”
The Eagles, where Ryan coached from 1986-1990 posted a nice tribute to the former coach via Twitter:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 28, 2016
While most fans aren’t happy about Ryan’s role as the mastermind of the defense he put together to shut down the Patriots in the Super Bowl against the Chicago Bears back in 1985, there’s no denying he was a terrific coach and his loss will certainly be felt. Best wishes to his friends and family, as well as to the fans who cheered him on.
Amendola Feeling “Really Good” Heading into Camp – Last season was a physical one for a multitude of players and wide receiver Danny Amendola surprised everyone when his name came up this offseason as a player who had undergone surgery due to an injury.
Mike Reiss of ESPN reported that Amendola underwent surgery on his left knee as well as a procedure to remove bone spurs from his ankle this offseason, with previous reports calling into question the receiver’s potential availability heading into training camp. Amendola skipped the spring workouts, but the good news is, his ailments don’t appear to be serious and it sounds like the veteran receiver is in good spirits.
“I feel really good,” Amendola said on ESPN’s NFL Insiders via ESPN. “I had a couple minor procedures done after the season. Everybody knows how long the season can be. I wanted to go into next season feeling as fresh and ready as I can.”
Amendola finished with 65 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns in 2015, as well as a team-leading 20 receptions on third down with 13-conversions. He was also a perfect 1-of-1 throwing the football thanks to a 36-yard third down completion to quarterback Tom Brady late in the game against the Eagles in Week 13.
Sando Looks at Brady’s “team friendly” Deal – ESPN Senior writer Mike Sando took a look at some of the most team-friendly contracts for all 32 NFL teams, and one that stood out was Brady’s, who made the list for the Patriots.
According to Sando, while Brady’s deal was lower than the one signed by the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, he still edged out the Green Bay quarterback in terms of total earnings over the past three seasons.
“Brady’s case is interesting. Although it’s reasonable to say Brady has been underpaid since signing a team-friendly extension three years ago, his $29 million payout in 2016 is a handsome reward heading into his age-39 season,” wrote Sando. “It means he will have earned more than $74 million since 2013, the year Brady and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers signed extensions. Rodgers commanded the richer deal, but his $73.4 million payout from 2013 to 2016 falls just short of what Brady will have gotten over the same span. Rodgers’ deal is scheduled to pull ahead again in 2017, but Brady will enter his age-41 season in 2018 before the Patriots could realistically get out of this contract. That is sensational for any quarterback.”
He has more details in his article, which is available to anyone who has a subscription via this link.
SOCIAL POST OF THE DAY:
Julian Edelman honoring the late Pat Summit:
Growing up, when you saw womens college bball you thought of TENN, and when you thought of TENN you thought of Pat Summit. #legendsneverdie
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) June 28, 2016
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