|Matt Light on WAAF: Patriots lost battle with Broncos up front because of snap count issues||01.29.16 at 12:55 pm ET|
Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light told WAAF Friday morning that the root of the issues for New England’s offensive line in the AFC title game came down to an inability to execute a silent snap count against the Broncos‘ fearsome pass rush.
Speaking on “The Hill-Man Morning Show,” Light said that as a fan, it was “tough for everybody to watch,” but it was clear why the Patriots lost.
“[Denver] is a horrible place to go play, especially in that circumstance,” he said. “You’ve got the best defense in the league. You’re in their place. And you don’t practice a snap count? It blows my mind that, really, the game was lost because of a snap count.
“I don’t think that they practiced their snap count at all, really, to any degree. We went into a game being able to snap silent count five different ways. Not two. Five. And in that game, I watched them on the snap count and I was blown away. You’re handcuffing your tackles, and that’s what happens when you don’t effectively run a silent snap count. And it was terrible to watch.”
Light hammered home two other points: there was no scenario where the New England offensive linemen could make the Denver rushers “fear” the possibility of having their legs taken out, as well as the fact that tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t utilized in hopes of trying to slow down the Broncos.
“Give me at least one three-step because I need to make this guy fear a little bit of his up the field pass rush by me taking his legs out from underneath him,” Light said. “Or, hey, let’s bring Gronk from the outside and let’s crack one of these defensive ends, like he did with [ex-Buffalo defensive end] Aaron Schobel and knocked him into another galaxy and literally spun his helmet off his head, and the guy literally didn’t even want to take two steps upfield at that point.
“They didn’t give [Denver] anything to think about,” he added. “They didn’t have to keep them honest in any way throughout that whole game plan, and then the snap count obviously was terrible. It wasn’t the talent on the field. They could have beat that team with a little bit more preparation and doing things a little better, and it didn’t happen.”
Light said the move from longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to Dave DeGuglielmo — who was fired days after the game — was a sizable change.
“You take a guy like Dante Scarnecchia, who never let off the pedal for an instant and always drilled into us that it’s got to be better and we’ve got practice this. And, yeah, Dante, we get it,” he said. “But [the 2015 team] didn’t get it.
“I don’t think the atmosphere in that offensive line room is the same without a guy like Dante.”
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|Matt Light on MFB: Goodell ‘like a 2-year-old,’ can’t admit mistakes||07.29.15 at 1:35 pm ET|
Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light made a living protecting Tom Brady from taking hits for years. He’s still defending his old teammate, but now he’s the one doling out the shots, not receiving them.
Light called in to Middays with MFB on Wednesday to talk about the latest twists of the Deflategate story, still firmly entrenched in the pro-Patriots camp. To listen to the interview, go the the MFB audio on demand page.
Much of Light’s criticism of the ruling was rooted in dissatisfaction with commissioner Roger Goodell’s abilities to lead the NFL.
“He’s like a 2-year-old,” Light said. “He can’t admit any wrong. He can’t make something right by admitting that he’s done something, and unfortunately we’re talking about this again and again because of poor leadership.”
Ultimately, Light views the entire Deflategate ordeal as an unjust inquiry and investigation, bent on reaching a certain verdict rather than finding truth. Consequently, Light thinks there should be another person at the helm of the country’s most powerful sports league.
“Are the NFL’s intentions really to get to the bottom of this and make this a fair trial, so to speak? No. I think we’re way past that,” Light said. “There’s no trust between the NFL and the Patriots, the NFL and Tom Brady. I think that really, at the end of the day, we need to be talking about getting somebody in that can uphold the integrity of the NFL a lot better than Roger Goodell.”
Light was adamant that the four-game suspension imposed on Brady is excessive and without prior precedent.
“I think this case is pretty simple. When you look at from the NFLPA’s standpoint, there’s no precedent for anything that’s been done before,” Light said. “Why now? And especially, why this guy? We’re not talking about a guy that’s been arrested and he’s made some terrible decisions off the field and on the field he’s been a bad example. We’re talking the poster child. We’re talking about the guy that affords a guy like Roger Goodell to make $44 million a year.”
|Matt Light to turn ‘ridiculous circus’ of Deflategate into positive with ticket raffle to Patriots-Colts Week 5 game||05.18.15 at 7:12 pm ET|
Matt Light didn’t hold anything back Monday night speaking at Rob Ninkovich‘s charity event, “Ninko’s Ping Pong Challenge” at Blazing Paddles next to Fenway Park. The former Patriots offensive linemen called everyone out, from Roger Goodell to Boston sports radio hosts.
He is now even looking to turn Deflategate into a positive by having a raffle to benefit The Light Foundation, which strives to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability and hard work by providing youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential.
The winner of the raffle wins a seat on a private jet with Light to Indianapolis for the Patriots’ Week 5 matchup with the Colts (Tom Brady‘s first game back if the four-game suspension holds). The winner gets two tickets to the game, a Tom Brady autographed football “inflated to your PSI standards,” among other things. Click here for all the details on the raffle.
“Inflationnationraffle.org and when it is all set and done, if you feel the way I feel about this ridiculous circus that Roger Goodell and the rest of his little buddies in the league office put together … if you think it’s absolutely insane, then side with me and get a chance to come and go to Indianapolis on a private jet,” Light said. “See the game and enjoy the weekend and that’s a wrap. We’re going to turn a circus into something positive. Roger [Goodell], if you’re listening, we may raise enough money to have you attend one of our leadership camps.”
Light wasn’t done there as he ripped into anyone that has questioned the integrity and character of the Super Bowl champs.
“The overall New England nation needs to heal,” he said. “We’ve had crazy things happen. Aside from the fact that we’ve won another championship, like World championship, you guys understand that, right? We won a World championship and we’ve had every single guy on that team called into question when it comes to this — his character, his integrity.
“Here’s the one thing I would leave you with before we get into a real serious debate in the next few weeks: I’ll tell you what, Felger and Mazz, they should be the first ones I call. I would love to just combat the idiocy of those two. If you’re a cheater, right, have you ever seen cheaters put in as much time as Bill and his staff have put in day in and day out?”
|Matt Light on MFB: Patriots should ‘go out there and just have fun’||01.16.15 at 12:06 pm ET|
Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light joined Middays with MFB on Friday to weigh in on Sunday’s AFC championship game among other things. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots had success against the Colts earlier in the season, and though they shouldn’t expect to beat them in the exact same way they did in November, Light noted that they will look back to prior experiences and dial up what they know works.
“They’re definitely going to look at what they did really well and understand that they’re not going to be able to do it exactly the way they did. Nobody ever does, and we never did that,” he said. “Every week was a game plan type of week where we weren’t going to worry about the previous week, and we were just going to concentrate on what we thought would be most effective.
“And can they run the ball on them? They know they can. And are they going to want to throw it? You know, with [Tom Brady] back there, yeah, every single play he’s going to want to throw the ball, so it’ll lie somewhere in between there,” Light added. “I know that Josh [McDaniels] is probably licking his chops, and he loves these kind of moments. He’s so competitive. He and Tommy together, they’re going to come up with something really fun, and I’m sure that there will be a little bit of outsmarting themselves this week in practice, but hopefully they settle into that game plan where they can utilize all the different tools. Work the screen game, which for whatever reason hasn’t been a huge part of the offense it doesn’t feel like, and work some of those run plays in and take some shots down field. Make some magic, keep them off balance.”
Light remarked that the best way for the Patriots to succeed Sunday is to stay loose and have fun with the game.
“Overall, my message to the entire team would be to go out there and just have fun,” he said. “It’s Friday right now, they’ve done all the work that they can do from the physical side. Mentally they’re going to continue to work on things, but start getting it in your mind that you’ve earned the right to be where you are. You deserve to be in the AFC championship game, you’re at home, and you know what, let’s have some fun with this thing because when you go out there loose and excited and ready to have a good game and play as a team for each other, you’ll win a game a little bit easier.”
With center Bryan Stork leaving Saturday’s game against the Ravens with an injury and not participating in practice this past week, it’s understandable that his position is an area of concern for some. For Light, he pointed out that Stork’s absence, while unfortunate, is not New England’s undoing.
“They’ve got too many other things they can get creative with,” he said. “They’ve got enough on film, and they’ve been around a guy like [Josh] Kline and they understand that [Ryan] Wendell can go into center and play that position without any problems.
“They can create and tailor a game plan knowing that they’ve got a guy that hasn’t had as many snaps or isn’t maybe particularly good at doing some of these type of things, whatever those things are, and they’ll work around this,” he continued. “They’ve got enough other people to either highlight or work with that it shouldn’t be a problem.”
|‘Silly’ season: Veteran Chargers pass rusher Dwight Freeney still capable of making offensive linemen look foolish||12.05.14 at 7:30 am ET|
“He’s a guy that I had a lot of respect for. It’s not just the way he plays the game, it’s how many different ways he can make you look silly out there, [of] which, there are plenty,” Light said of the 6-foot-1, 268-pound former All-Pro who moved from Indy to San Diego prior to the start of the 2013 season.
The 34-year-old Freeney, who has 110 sacks in the regular season over the course of his career, is no longer the elite-level pass rusher he was when he and Light knocked heads on a regular basis a few years ago, but he’s still a good situational presence. In his second season with San Diego, Freeney has a pair of sacks while working at right outside linebacker, and has been a steady and consistent presence for a team in need of a pass rushing spark.
“Freeney has been a pain in our butt for a long time,” said quarterback Tom Brady.
The Chargers don’t have one overwhelming pass rushing presence — they have 18 sacks as a team this year, 29th in the league — but instead, have a number of players who are capable of getting pressure on the quarterback through aggression and scheme.
“I think he’s one of the guys that has that aggressive style,” left tackle Nate Solder said of Freeney. “I think every year he’s played, he’s played hard and he’s really put a great effort out there. I think it’s going to be a challenge, certainly, to go against him, as well as all the guys that they put out there.”
And if you underestimate him, well, there’s still the chance he’ll make you look a little silly.
“He’s still a very good player,” said tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. “We’ve got to be ready for him and everything he brings to the table on Sunday. Any of those reports that say he’s lost it, we’re not believing it. We can see it on film already.
“Whatever he wants to do over his long career, he’s pretty much had the liberty to do it,” he added. “It comes in a bunch of different ways, but you’ve got to be ready for everything, speed, power, whatever it is. Whatever he brings — which could be a lot. His toolbox is big.”
|Matt Light on D&C: ‘I really didn’t know’ Aaron Hernandez||10.02.13 at 9:36 am ET|
Light made headlines this summer for telling the Dayton Daily News that he ‘never believed in anything Hernandez stood for,’ following the former tight end’s arrest for murder.
Two weeks ago, Light backpedaled on his original statement, saying that he never made those comments to the reporter.
‘I really didn’t know [Hernandez], to be honest with you,’ Light said. ‘I played a couple of seasons and he wasn’t out there a lot. You focus on the guys you’re with. There were times, I hate to admit this, that I didn’t know who some of the guys in our secondary were.
‘It’s kind of crazy to think that there’s only 53 guys on the roster active and you don’t know some of those guys, but the truth is you don’t because you’re so locked in to what you do.’
The Patriots moved to 4-0 on Sunday with a 30-23 win over the Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The fast start is somewhat surprising considering a hampered offense that’s missing its top five receivers from last year, and without headline offseason acquisition Danny Amendola.
‘The team’s where the team wants to be right now,’ Light said. ‘Who wouldn’t want to be 4-0 a quarter of the way through the season, seeing a lot of growth out of some young players?’
The frustration of missing those top receivers boiled over in New England’s 13-10 Week 2 win over the Jets for Tom Brady, who constantly lashed out at his young wide receiving corps.
‘You’ve never been frustrated in life? I mean, come on, it should be no surprise that it’s going to take a little bit of a curve,” Light said. “Although I would say after Week 1 and 2 there were many people talking about how crazy it was to bring in these young receivers, when I think from the beginning, a lot of people within the organization said they had a lot of confidence in them. To think there were going to be zero frustrations with a young football team and you wouldn’t see any of that play out is just kind of silly — that’s how it works.’
|Great playoff memories from Matt Light, Kevin Faulk and Robert Kraft||01.20.13 at 5:58 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There’s a reason for everything the Patriots do and when they chose Matt Light and Kevin Faulk to be honorary captains for the AFC championship there was a definite message from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“I just pinched myself coming over here because I was thinking as a fan sitting in the stands we had the privilege of one home playoff game in ‘78 which we lost to Houston, and I thought about that,” Kraft said on Friday. “We’re sitting here on the eve ‘ our family has owned this team 19 years and this is our 17th home playoff game. We have a record of 14-2. I was thinking that last year we had our honorary captains, Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, [Tedy] Bruschi and Troy Brown representing the ‘96 and ‘01 [teams], which were our first two championship games. Our two captains this year have been here for five.
“How do you do this? It’s about having great coaches, but most of all, it’s having great players and we’ve been blessed to have some wonderful players here. I feel a special connection and attachment to both Matt Light and Kevin Faulk, who have been here for five championship games but also our three Super Bowl titles. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Matt Light and Kevin Faulk.”
Light and Faulk will be out for the coin toss moments before the Patriots look for their sixth AFC championship in the last 12 seasons.
What do Faulk and Light think?
“First and foremost I would like to say thank you to Mr. Kraft and the Patriot organization just for the opportunity and honor to be able to be the honorary captain for the AFC Championship game,” Faulk said. “It’s kind of different for me and I am pretty sure it’s the same for Matt because we are used to being on the other side of these in the locker room preparing for the game. But it’s one of those [things] right now where times have changed and we are on the other side of the fence preparing for it in a different way. To have the opportunity to do this and to know the guys that have done it in the past like Ty, Bruschi and Drew, it is an honor.
“You never think about what is going to happen at the end whenever you are done playing football. I never thought I was going to play 13 years in the NFL and to accomplish the accomplishments that we accomplished as a football team and to see this organization still on that same path after so many years, it just speaks volumes for the organization, the players, the coaches and just everybody around here. Once again I would just like say thank you for the opportunity to Mr. Kraft and the Patriots organization.
“So listen, as a fan, I have never seen anything but a win at Gillette Stadium,” Light added. “Besides what some of you know, as a guy that isn’t the biggest sports fan off the field, there is nobody that is going to be in this stadium that is going to be more fired up for this one than this guy right here. Secondly, the guy that is getting this honor alongside of me here, Kevin Faulk ‘ if there is one guy that I can walk out on a field one more time with, it would be the guy that did it on third down and every time he touched the field I felt better at my position. And even if I was getting smoked all game I felt better when he was out there because I knew that he would get rid of it quicker. It is just an awesome thing to be back here and be alongside Kevin Faulk.
“To have the Kraft family honor us in this way, to share in this special moment, at this time of the year, when everybody is amped up, it is truly a blessing. As Kevin said, the time that I have spent here, the time that Kevin has spent here, you look back on it and you say, as an organization, as a coaching staff and as the guys you play with, as all those things were combined to form what we experienced, it doesn’t get any better. We really appreciate it and we are really looking forward to it. I know we are. It is going to be good.”
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