Bills coach Chan Gailey impressed by fast start of Patriots defense
|09.26.12 at 2:40 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Despite the downturn in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Bills coach Chan Gailey believes that this year’s Patriots defense has made a big leap since the end of the 2011 season.
“They are a much-improved run defense from last year and really overall defense,” Gailey said in a conference call with New England media on Wednesday morning.
“I think they finished last year last or next to last. This year they’re 14th. So they have done a very good job of improving their defense. They are playing physical run up front and playing the pass coverage when they have to. They got caught a couple of times last week, but overall, they’ve played much better defensively.”
On the other side of the ball, Gailey knows he has to have the Bills prepared for New England’s no-huddle. Through three weeks, the Patriots have been in no-huddle for 70 of their 222 plays from scrimmage, a rate of 31.5 percent. That including going no-huddle for 34 of their 77 snaps Sunday night against the Ravens, a rate of 44 percent.
“You do the best you can to try to simulate that in practice,” Gailey said of the Patriots’ no-huddle offense. “It’s not easy because they can get to the line and snap one in four to five seconds. They can go to the line, make you show what you have got and then make an audible of some sort. They do a good job of handling that and communicating with each other. That is one of the things you have to practice for, and like I said, it is not easy to get ready for.”
Here are a few other highlights from Gailey’s Q&A from Wednesday morning:
On what he sees from the Patriots’ offense:
“They are, you do not want to say a totally well-oiled machine, but it is about as close as you can get to that. They do a great job. They are all on the same page. They do an extremely good job of communicating and changing the tempo. They take advantage of defense’s mistakes with the best of them. They are about as close as you can get to a well-oiled machine in football.”
On how WR Brandon Lloyd has changed what the Patriots do in the passing game:
“Yeah it has. He is there number one receiver at least in terms of receptions. Last year they were much more inside oriented whereas now they have got an outside receiver they are throwing to. It is a different look for them.”
On DE Mark Anderson getting acclimated to Buffalo:
“I think he has done a good job. He is the one who would really have to answer that question, but from my perspective he has done a very good job of adjusting to everything we are trying to do here and what we are asking him to do. He is playing the run well and he is being able to rush the passer and get some sacks. That is why you sign a guy, is to be an all-around player.”
On how DE Mario Williams has changed the Bills’ defense:
“I do not think it has changed us, I think it has enhanced us. Just having a player like that and a presence like that at the defense end position really helps you. He is a big, strong physical run player and he has a great power move in the pass rush. If you start squatting on the pass and his power move, he can get around you. He has really had a major impact on all phases of the game defensively for us.”
On the release of punter Brian Moorman:
“We have done some things really well in special teams, but other things we have not done as well and we just are hunting for consistency at that position. Brian had done a great job in preseason and earlier this season just had not been as consistent as we wanted him to be. We are hoping that we will be able to create some consistency. It is probably a false assumption that this guy (Shawn Powell) is going to come in and be all-world from day one. But we have had enough experience with him in the preseason that we feel pretty good about Shawn.”
On where the Bills are at with the running back position:
“Fred (Jackson) is ahead of C.J. (Spiller) right now and we did not know that it would be the case going into last week’s game. When C.J. got hurt, Fred was making good progress. I think Fred is going to practice today and then we will see if we can get C.J. onto the practice field by the end of the week. They have both recovered a lot faster than we thought they would.”