Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tedy Bruschi on OMF: ‘It is a unique challenge’ for Patriots to face Patrick Mahomes

Erin Walsh
October 10, 2018 - 5:32 pm

Former Patriots linebacker and ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi joined Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria Wednesday afternoon for his weekly visit to discuss the Patriots' upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is certainly different than any other recent young quarterback the Patriots have faced, and Bruschi explained why.

“Various things that Bill [Belichick] would implement against young quarterbacks and still also veteran quarterbacks, disguising coverages and all that stuff,” said Bruschi. “Mahomes, with the accurate arm, the powerful arm and the ability to get out of the pocket, it is a unique challenge for the Patriots defense, especially with Andy Reid calling the plays because it was always tough all the way back to when Andy was with the Philadelphia Eagles and the game plans we had to come up with and trying to throw him off because we didn’t want him to know what we were doing because of that script that he has.”

According to Bruschi, Mahomes has a better skill set than many of the young quarterbacks that Belichick has gone up against in the past.

“I think this young quarterback here in Mahomes has more than a lot of the younger quarterbacks Bill has gone up against,” said Bruschi. “Usually they have a specific skill set being that young -- they have an arm, they have a favorite target that you take away easily or you make them go to their second or third read or you set the edge on the quarterback. Don’t let him scramble out, make him be a pocket passer or get him out of quarterback, get him out of the spot.”

Reid has been a tough coach to go up against in the past, as even Bruschi remembers how tough it is to go up against Reid's teams. It’s hard to come up with a game plan to defend his offense.

“I think it’s about 10 or 15 plays where you would see everything and anything and you don’t know what it’s going to be until you see it,” said Bruschi. "That's when Belichick brings out the pencil and starts writing on his paper and he can get to the sideline and he already starts making sideline adjustments very early in that script because you have to anticipate going against Andy Reid. It’s a very difficult week game plan wise.”

Bruschi added: “It’s meant to get a defensive player out of position to what they really want. Smoke and mirrors, eye candy, whatever you want to call it in terms of shifts, motions, all the speed that they have also. Preparation, practice wise, lining receivers up three yards offsides so you get the speed of Tyreek Hill. Very similar to what we did when we were going up against the greatest show on turf in 2001 in the Super Bowl.”

Bruschi also noted the tight end matchup between Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski. Despite many giving the edge to Kelce this week, Bruschi favors the Patriots tight end.

“Gronkowski and that's a quick answer because I know what they’ve been doing to Rob in terms of double-teaming him," Bruschi said. "It’s hard to do that with Kelce. Last year in that opening game, Kelce played quarterback for one snap. Kelce was an inverted wishbone for one snap in terms of shovel passes. Rob is a down the field type of tight end that’s getting double-teamed right now and I think you’re going to start to see how good he is once again now that the 2018 Patriot offense has been introduced and thats with the re-introduction of the squirrel, Julian Edelman. And then James White, that triangle of trust, it’s sort of back and that’s going to open things up for Rob so I would still go with Rob Gronkowski.”

The Patriots face the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football to cap off Week 6.