Miami Gardens, Fla. – Quick-hit thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and the NFL:
1. Belichick’s Edge: In the week prior to Sunday’s season-opening game between the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins (1 a.m. ET, CBS), Miami first-year coach Mike McDaniel was asked about matching up with Bill Belichick and his feelings of self-deprecation. Quotedly, “Can there be a huge disparity in career win-loss totals?”
It highlights an area in which the Patriots have a decisive statistical edge: Sunday marks Belichick’s 434th regular-season game as head coach, while it is a first for McDaniel.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 433-game gap in head-coaching experience is the largest ever in a game since a head coach made his NFL debut.
The previous biggest difference was 399 games in 1961 between George Halas of the Chicago Bears and rookie Minnesota Vikings coach Norm Van Brocklin.
The next biggest difference was 394 games in 1990 between Miami’s Don Shula and rookie New England coach Rod Rust.
An edge in coaching experience doesn’t guarantee on-field success, but quarterback Mack Jones said when Belichick, 70, references his past, it often resonates with him.
“It happens all the time,” Jones told this week from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where the Patriots practiced Wednesday through Friday. “I mean, he’ll show it in the squad [meetings] And be like ‘This drama has been on forever.’ It is always good to learn from experience and see it in film. It’s one of those things that I love.”
The 433-game gap between Belichick and 39-year-old McDaniel is the biggest difference in any game since Shula (490th game) faced Rich Brooks (16th game) of the St. Louis Rams on Christmas Eve, 1995 .
In his second season as Patriots quarterback, Belichick shares lessons from his vast experience with Jones in how it is an emerging partnership. Without coordinator Josh McDaniels (now head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders) the Patriots are going through a significant transition on the offense, as Belichick, playcaller Matt Patricia and quarterback coach Joe Judge worked most closely with Jones.
About Belichick, Jones said: “He’s watched a lot of football, whether it’s a certain route, a defense or a race. He’s very good at understanding how to see it with my own eyes, but also that I How do I see it. We can both come together and come to the conclusion that this is what we want [run] This play. So I’ve been really comfortable with that.”
2. Edge of Mac: Jones’ captaincy was a natural progression in his second season, as he adds David Andrews, linebacker Jahn Bentley, safety Devin McCourty, defensive and Dietrich Wise Jr. and special teammate Matthew Slater in that role. As for the next step, here’s a question some close to Jones raised: How comfortable would he be with teammates if warranted? It’s not always easy for a second year player, especially for a player like Jones who goes out of his way to be respected by everyone.
3. Bourne Condition: Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne hasn’t held an interview with reporters since mid-August, when he didn’t play the team’s second preseason game after a rocky week in which he was dropped from practice to fight and a The drill was removed from the drill. Referee for not wearing properly anything related to his equipment/pad. Receivers coach Troy Brown shot it straight last week when he said: “Kendrick clearly didn’t have the kind of off-season he had last year.” But I don’t think the team has lost hope that Bourne can be a significant contributor and a much-needed emotional spark; It’s just a matter of arranging some small details for him.
4. Home of Sailfish: Did Belichick make the right decision to travel to the Patriots Florida five days earlier to practice at Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University? Sailfish does not have its own football program, which means the Patriots had to bring in their own goal posts in a throwback type of setting, which some players say reminded them of Pee Wee football. Ultimately, how the Patriots play out in Sunday’s opener will provide a more conclusive answer, but by the end of the week, safety Devin McCourty was one of several players saying he believed it was the journey of the players. How beneficial it was for the weather to adapt to. A blow to them in the pregame warmup. it was Hot,
5. Power Delay?: The Patriots extended their Thursday practice by an hour to avoid anticipated thunder and lightning, and then left the field on Friday shortly before the end of practice due to more storms. It was more than just a passing note. Before Friday’s practice, tight end hunter Henry told me he believes the Patriots are a mentally tough team that has handled changes like this quickly. It is also something that players have been asked to possibly be ready for Sunday, considering recent history. On September 20, 2020, the Bills visited dolphins and there was a power delay of approximately 30 minutes in the second half. On September 9, 2018, Titans visited Dolphins and faced a delay of about four hours.
6. Bowden’s Scout Look: When the Patriots signed former Dolphins receiver/returner Lynn Bowden Jr. to their practice squad last week, one thing that was overlooked was how he could help New England as part of a scout team. Bowden may not be able to mimic the pace of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but he knows them well after spending all of the off-season and training camp with them. “He has been in the room with them. He has a little understanding of how they run, what they like to do, what they don’t. It has been good insight,” said cornerback Jonathan Jones, whom McCourty played against Hill. Sang as an unsung contributor to the previous game plan.
7. Wise to Wake Up Early: Wise Jr. is captain for the first time, and linebacker Matthew Juden said one reason for how he carries himself “off the field and in the meeting room”. Part of this, Judon said, is that Wise is often the first player to arrive at the facility every day. Wise said the arrival time is usually between 5:30 and 6:30.
8. Throwback Games: The Patriots made it official last week, confirming that they will be wearing their red throwback jersey for their October 9 home game against the Detroit Lions and Thursday night’s December 1 home game against the Buffalo Bills. Second-year defensive player Miles Bryant said he has fond memories of seeing Tom Brady wearing the old jersey, adding: “I think it will be a great experience.”
9. Bradley’s Journey: PGA golfer Keegan Bradley, who was born in Woodstock, Vermont and later attended Hopkinton (Mass.) High School, visited the Patriots practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University last week. Bradley is a big Patriots fan and the team’s decision to spend the week in Florida, not far from his residence in Jupiter, made it a chip shot for his visit.
10 Did You Know: Overall, Belichick is 8-0 in games in which he has at least a 400-game advantage over his opponent in head coaching experience, according to ESPN Stats & Info.