Tha Sports Junkies 101

ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi Hosts Super Bowl Conference Call with Reporters

Tedy Bruschi

NFL

Former New England Patriot great Tedy Bruschi gives his thoughts on the Super Bowl, Brady and Belichick, and his reflects on his years in New England

Three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi knows what’s at stake for the New England Patriots this Sunday. With a win, New England would earn its fifth Lombardi in 15 seasons. The driving force behind those championship teams, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick remain at the helm in the game’s most important positions at quarterback and head coach.

Former Patriot and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi offered his thoughts on how long the two could continue their reign as the most accomplished quarterback-head coach duo in NFL history.

“Tom still looks healthy. The game is designed for him to stay healthy. And he just takes it so seriously. It’s an obsession with him in terms of his durability. I think he even said it today in the press conference about his combine and how he’d crush it now. And that’s just his mentality. He’s better than he was, and he’ll continue to get better. So, I’m not going to give him a four or a five, so I’ll say three.

And Coach Belichick, I just don’t see him slowing down anytime soon. I think that he mentioned it today with Steven and Brian being there with him, his sons. I mean I have sons, but it’s a different dynamic. To have them there in the building, I can only assume how energizing it is when you work with them. I’ll give you an example: As a player, when I’m there and staying late, taking care of my body and watching film, I’d stray sometimes and think about my young sons who are at home. And you feel that pull of, ‘OK, let’s hurry up and get this done so I can get out of here.’ But his sons are in the building, so I’m sure that provides a little bit more energy for him. Maybe that gives him an even longer career because he wants to develop them. Obviously, they might possibly have goals of being accomplished coaches in the NFL, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t stick around here.”

Brady and Belichick get most of the recognition, but a lot of their earlier success was due to Tedy Bruschi and the elite defenses he was apart. Bruschi compared the defense of the Pats now and the units he was apart of. He immediately mentioned that the mantra of “Do Your Job” has remained the same since his days as a Patriot.

“Those three words remain in the same spot in the locker room that I was a part of 13 years ago. When we were playing against high-powered offense’s like the Colts the first thing we wanted to do was stop the run and that responsibility was the sole responsibility of the d-line. Because of the weapons Peyton had at his disposal, a lot of my responsibilities and other linebackers were in coverage. First and foremost that’ll be New England’s number one priority on defense against Atlanta.”

Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman are two of the most dynamic backs in the entire league. Both are play-makers as runners and receivers and pose that dual-threat ability at the running back position. Julio Jones has recorded at least 1,400 receiving yards in the past three seasons. Mohammed Sanu has been a solid signing, and Taylor Gabriel has emerged as another dynamic weapon.

Defensively however, is where Atlanta lacks firepower. Other than Vic Beasley who led the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks, there aren’t many players on the Falcons defense that would grab your attention. Rookies Deion Jones and Keanu Neal have been solid players for Dan Quinn’s defense but the Falcons finished 25th in yards allowed and 27th in points per game in 2016. They also finished 27th in yards allowed per rush and according to Tedy Bruschi that plays into the strength of the Patriots.

With New England’s propensity to defeat opponents via the run or the pass, game after game, Legarrette Blount is a player that Tedy Bruschi believes could be in store for a big game.

“Atlanta’s defense has been playing with a lot of leads lately particularly within the past three or so games. As a defense it’s easy playing with a lead but they [Atlanta] were one of the more ineffective defenses in the regular season as they finished 27th in yards per carry. A heavy dose of Blount in turn keeps the Matt Ryan and his weapons off the field.”

This game I believe will ultimately come down to how efficient the Falcons offense performs. It’s no doubt the identity of Atlanta is its high-powered offense and likely MVP Matt Ryan. New England however is a more complete team. This year’s Super Bowl is the classic “unstoppable force meets the immovable object”. The Patriots led the NFL in scoring defense, while Atlanta finished with the NFL’s highest scoring offense. Defense normally prevails in these instances. New England 34, Atlanta 27.