Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Do Patriots players like Brian Flores' style better than Matt Patricia's?

Ryan Hannable
July 26, 2018 - 3:16 pm

FOXBORO -- Everyone knows former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia's background as an engineer, which likely translated into him having very complex schemes and game plans.

Just one day into Patriots training camp, it seems the new leader of the defense, Brian Flores (still officially listed as linebackers coach), has a different approach -- a more basic one that the players seem to like.

“It’s a little different,” Dont’a Hightower said. “Coach is definitely different. I think guys are learning a lot better, a lot easier. A lot of young guys are stepping up and able to pick up for some of the older guys. It definitely works in our favor.” 

Hightower noted new players and rookies have picked things up a little quicker than in year's past.

“Maybe it’s just the way that he teaches it,” Hightower said. “The way that the guys kind of absorb it a little bit different. We meet a little different, talk about things a little different. It’s just small quirky things that you can’t necessarily put a finger on, but it’s obvious whenever you can kind of have first-year guys come in or even guys who maybe got signed that can pick things up. You can definitely tell there’s a difference somewhere along the line. It helps everybody else on the field when everybody knows what they’re doing. You can play faster and do different things. Whatever he’s doing is working.”

One of the things that stood out last season for the defense was the number of communication issues the team had over the first four weeks when statistically it was the worst defense in the league. The players noted the turnaround was because things became a lot more basic. Perhaps, Flores is taking a more simple approach and that is coming across better to the players.

While there's nothing wrong with Patricia's approach and being so into details, sometimes the simpler the better.

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