Monday, September 14, 2009

Defensive alignment something to watch

There were times in the Patriots' preseason they played what amounted to a 2-5 -- or a 2-2-3 -- aligment with their defensive linemen and linebackers. Two defensive tackles lined up in a three-point stance, and two pass-rushing ends lined up alongside them with three linebackers behind them.

With Myron Pryor listed as inactive for tonight's season opener, you might see that same alignment a few times against the Bills.

Both Tully Banta-Cain and Derrick Burgess are listed as linebackers on the Patriots' roster. Both, however, can line up at defensive end. In obvious passing situations, you might see Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork lined up at defensive tackle with Banta-Cain and Burgress flanking them, a formation looking something like this:

Burgess -- Warren -- Wilfork -- Banta-Cain
Gary Guyton -- Jerod Mayo -- Adalius Thomas

The Bills' no-huddle offense discourages the use of defensive tackles whose effectiveness would diminish after having run six or seven players in a row without a break.

The Patriots have the personnel to run two defensive linemen and five linebackers out onto the field and not lose too much in defending the run.

The omission of Pryor on the list of available players might indicate the Patriots intend to do just that.

No comments: