The New England Patriots, like every other team in the NFL have a scout team designed to give their starting defense as realistic a look as possible to prepare for Buffalo’s offense on Monday night. Finding someone who can emulate Tyrod Taylor is not easy, but the Patriots feel they’ve got a suitable body double.
New England made use of backup QB Jimmy Garappolo on the scout team to serve as their Tyrod Taylor in practice.
“Jimmy is a good athlete,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “We’ve had several quarterbacks like that this year that we’ve played against that have run well – [Blake] Bortles and obviously Taylor and you can go right down the line. So when those situations come up, teams that run those kinds of plays, bootlegs or quarterback keeps or even just loose scramble plays, he gives us a great look on those.
“And throwing the ball, too, some of it is running around, sometimes we’ve done things like put a receiver back there to run around, which is good for the defensive line or the pass rush to see a player that has that kind of quickness. Like when we played against [Doug] Flutie or somebody like that, I can remember putting whoever our quickest player was back there to run around to simulate the pass rush and how hard it was to contain him, but then you couldn’t throw the ball. You didn’t get the look down the field or the defensive backs would see a receiver in the game at quarterback, and again that was good for the line, but the guy couldn’t throw the ball 20 yards downfield.
“But with Jimmy, it’s obviously a different story, so he’s given us a great look on the passing part of it but also the running part of it. And again, those players are smart. They run when they can run. They don’t run when there’s nowhere to run. If there’s nowhere to run, they’ll throw. But if you give them a spot to run, unless they have a great passing opportunity, they’ll take advantage of it.”
Belichick and his defense successfully closed down potential running lanes for Taylor in the first meeting. Hemmed in the pocket a good portion of the time, Taylor was sacked a season-high eight times in the first matchup with New England.
“I think that’s really the key for us, if we have the player contained he’s probably not going to try to run too much,” Belichick said. “If we don’t, then we’re vulnerable and he’s going to get us. It’s having the guy who can make that right decision and really give you that realistic look of, we don’t really have it and he hurts us with it, whereas sometimes you’re coaching on the film in practice and you’re saying, ‘Well if we were playing against this guy and this happened, this is what he’s going to do.’ But we can’t really do that so the players never really get that. They hear it, but they don’t really experience it. But Jimmy has done a good job of that. He’s moved and he’s very athletic. He’s fast and he’s got very good quickness, and he can obviously throw the ball so it brings all those elements into it.”
Tags: Bill Belichick, Bills-Patriots, Tyrod Taylor
Posted in Inside the Bills