Merril Hoge on D&C: Pats offense ‘concerning’
|09.22.10 at 9:19 am ET|
ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about the top stories around the league. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Hoge said Patriots coach Bill Belichick deserve credit for getting what he has out of the defense with only one “difference-maker” in Vince Wilfork. “What he’s doing with these young guys for the most part is excellent coaching,” Hoge said. “Does it mean they’re a great defense? No. But you can see them getting better every week.”
Hoge was not as impressed with the Patriots offense. “Offensively, it’s a little concerning,” he said. “You’ve got three dimensions, I think, with [Tom] Brady, [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss. But they don’t use a second phase to their offense and their running game as consistent as I feel if they did, it would make Brady even better — which he used to do early in Brady’s career.”
Hoge supported the decision of Eagles coach Andy Reid to give Michael Vick the start this Sunday even with Kevin Kolb returning from injury. “I’ve never seen [Vick] play as good a six quarters as he has played, ever,” Hoge said, adding: “[Vick] made plays that nobody, maybe in the history of our game, has been able to make.”
Hoge said Ben Roethlisberger will be welcomed back in Pittsburgh when his four-game suspension ends. He said the Steelers quarterback has earned the right at a second chance by showing contrition. “He’s done the things you’ve got to do when you’ve made bad choices in life,” Hoge said. “You take ownership of them, and you take action to make changes and then you put that into work. I’ve literally seen him do that. That’s why I’m such a believer in him, and I believe in him.”
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