During his weekly appearance on “The Big Show” on WEEI sports radio, Bill Belichick discussed several topics ranging from individual player performances from Sunday’s 37-14 win over the New York Jets to Falcons coach Mike Smith’s 4th down call. In his 29-minute appearance on the show (which you can listen to in full HERE), one particular segment really caught my ear and reminded me of the fact that when Bill Belichick talks football, you’re in for an education. He was discussing Andre Carter’s big 4.5 sack performance but noted on one particular play that Jerod Mayo, who was blitzing, could have just as easily been the one to get the sack. Jets LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson chose to pick up Mayo and not Carter, which allowed Carter to run free at Mark Sanchez.
Belichick then went on to explain how sack numbers is one of the “most misleading stats in football” and how getting pressure on the quarterback is truly a team effort. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think the sack number is one of the most misleading stats in football. Sometimes you rush the passer good, sometimes the ball’s gone because the coverage isn’t there, [or] they happen to have a quick pass on or whatever. And then there’s other times where you get a better opportunity: The quarterback holds the ball a bit, like the situation where, I think it was the second sack, where Mark Anderson came up inside. Sanchez wanted to step up in the pocket but he couldn’t and Anderson came up inside, so Sanchez rolled around to the defensive left and Andre came around and got him from the backside. Had Sanchez stepped up into the pocket to get away from Andre, he would have stepped into Mark.”
There you have it. I think the Pats need that kind of team effort at rushing the passer because they don’t have that one guy is you can point to and call an elite pass rusher. What they do have, perhaps moving forward, is a group of guys that together can provide the pass rush necessary that they couldn’t perhaps do on their own.