The general rule of thumb when trying to stop an opposing quarterback is to get as much pressure as possible. However, the New England Patriots are playing an unconventional quarterback in Tim Tebow. Tebow doesn’t stand in the pocket to deliver the football, but moves, scrambles, and then at times will tuck the ball under his arm and make something happen. Therefore, as Patriots DT Vince Wilfork relates to the Boston Herald, the Pats are taking a different approach in dialing back on the pass rush. Instead, the Patriots’ plan is to play disciplined football and stay in their rush lanes, foregoing getting upfield and out of position in an attempt to get a sack.
“We all have jobs that we have to take care of,” Wilfork said. “Some of them, it’s predicated on the rush up front, what we’re doing up front. A lot of pressure is up there because we know this guy can make a lot of plays and get the ball to some playmakers also. We can’t be out of rush lanes, we can’t be thrown off blocks, we have to play with good technique, trust our technique, trust one another, just trust that the guy next to you is doing his job. Do that and we’ll be okay. But times when you don’t do that, it’s just that little crack or that little second. You might not think they can find it, but a good team and a good football player will find it, which they’ve done.
“It’s going to be a very disciplined game for us,” Wilfork continued. “We might not be happy that we’re not rushing the passer and stuff like that but this is one of those games where you have to make sure you take care, you can’t guess at anything, you can’t take a chance at anything because it may cost you. Especially against a team like this, it’s going to cost you. I think guys understand that. We’re going to have some shots, probably later in the game when we get a chance to make plays that we have to make them. We have to take advantage of them, definitely have to.”
This approach should prevent the big scramble, so long as the Patriots maintain their gap discipline. The coverage will also have to hold up as Tebow may have a few extra seconds to deliver the football. It will be intersting to see how this approach unfolds tonight.