FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots (0-1) visit the New Orleans Saints (0-1) on Sunday, and many of the top storylines — injuries to Dont’a Hightower, Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater that have ruled them out; a different vibe following the opening loss; Brandin Cooks‘ return to New Orleans; Rob Gronkowski‘s update on his health; the Saints’ early-season struggles — have been well covered.
So let’s cover a few lesser-discussed nuggets in this week’s “final walkthrough” as kickoff approaches (1 p.m. ET):
“Simple me, complex them” on defense: Where did it all go wrong for the Patriots in giving up 42 points and 537 yards (most ever for a Patriots team coached by Bill Belichick) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the opener? Safety/captain Devin McCourty shared inside-the-huddle insight when he said, “We have to do more to make sure we’re on the same page on every play. That we’re aligned right, that we’re playing the right techniques. If we don’t have those things, the small things and fundamentals, we can’t have a good defensive play. We have to have those things right before the play starts, so that we give ourselves a chance. There were times last week when we didn’t give ourselves a chance to have a good play.” Along those lines, McCourty relayed what he learned at Rutgers under coach Greg Schiano, who coined the phrase “simple me, complex them.” The concept is to do something natural for the defense, but that might be hard for the offense to figure out. McCourty said that is the goal every week, but after a disappointing opener it especially rings true this week.
Chung could be critical in third phase:…
click here to read the rest of this story