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Patriots defense has been historically hard on young QBs

New Orleans Saints v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Back when there was a quarterback debate in Tennessee, the Titans’ early schedule was one of the factors the Matt Hasselbeck faction cited.

And history shows they may have had a point.

While Titans quarterback Jake Locker isn’t technically a rookie, he’s playing a Patriots defense that has been unkind to young quarterbacks in recent years.

“Just don’t give it to him all at once,” Pats cornerback Kyle Arrington said of their plan, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “Try to make him work for it. Try to disguise what we’re doing and things of that nature. With this game in particular, [Locker] is very dangerous, not only throwing the ball but running the ball.”

The Patriots are 10-3 under Belichick against rookie starters, and 3-0 against quarterbacks making their first career starts — perfect against Luke McCown (Browns, 2004), Matt Flynn (Packers, 2010) and Tyler Palko (Chiefs, 2011).

Now, there’s an obvious difference in pedigree between those guys and Locker, the eighth overall pick last year.

But the philosophy is the same — get in their young heads and make them think.

“We’ll just have to go out there and try to execute our game plan,” cornerback Devin McCourty said. “It’s a new season. It’s a different game. We’ve never played against Jake Locker, so I think we have to just go out there and do what we’ve talked about all week in practice.”

Locker’s being thrown into the deep end, and how he responds will tell much about the Titans prospects and his own.

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26 Responses to “Patriots defense has been historically hard on young QBs”
  1. mp4philly says: Sep 7, 2012 9:55 AM

    One thing Locker has on his side the fact that the Pats D stinks. That should help.

  2. rc33 says: Sep 7, 2012 9:56 AM

    Rookie QB or not, this D will be vastly improved in 2012.

  3. cardiovascularendurance says: Sep 7, 2012 9:59 AM

    Didn’t Locker start 4 or 5 times last year?

  4. jpb12 says: Sep 7, 2012 10:10 AM

    Jeez – Way to twist the stats around.

    They may have beat Matt Flynn but that wasn’t the defense. It was the offense. Matt Flynn got paid because of his great game against the Patriots.

    They also made Tyler Palko look pretty freakin awesome.

    This game will be decided on whether or not the Titans can run the ball. Patriots will try to stop the run and force Locker to throw it. If he’s smart, he’ll get his low yardage completions. They’ll hope to pick one off.

  5. fuaholes says: Sep 7, 2012 10:27 AM

    Hey mp4philly:

    The Pats D stunk so bad last year they went to the SB and lost by 4 points.

    Get a clue.

  6. dbones750 says: Sep 7, 2012 10:37 AM

    I don’t care what happens in this game. That bomb he threw in his first game ever and a Hass endorsement, Locker has made it pretty difficult to root against him.

    And that’s one thing he doesn’t have in common with the previous Titans 1st round QB.

  7. buckybadger says: Sep 7, 2012 10:38 AM

    Flynn played very well vs the Pats and almost won the game. It was that fluke return [set up by Quinn the Packers fullback knocking down about 3 Packers] by the linemen that won that game.

  8. ampats says: Sep 7, 2012 10:42 AM

    Funny these comments about how bad their defense is.Its another season with at least a 50 % turnover in defensive starters this season. I believe in the not too distant future Chandler Jones and Donta Hightower will become very familiar names in the NFL.

    Looking forward to seeing the how fast the new offense jels.

    Don’t forget naysayers,that 31st ranked defense last year still went to the Super Bowl. Imagine how a defense even 50 % improved will do this season ?

  9. jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    Rothlisberger destroyed the Pats D his first start. then of course they stole the signals for the playoff game and were able to barely win.

  10. ytsejamer1 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:01 AM

    I agree with jpb12. Dan Orlovski lit us up last year…really?!?!?

    In fact, the games we lost were to Eli Manning (owns us), Ben Roethlesomthin (GOOD PICK COWAH!), and a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick (stupid Brady-day). The only other decent qb on the list we faced that year was Philip Rivers who went off for almost 400 yards. If Brady didn’t throw for over 400, we probably would have lost that one too. The rest of the guys our defense faced were horrendous…Painter, Palko, Orlovski, Sanchez twice, Tebow, Grossman, Henne, Moore…we’re not really talking about murderer’s row here. Jeez.

    In 2010, if it weren’t’ for Connolly’s fanatastic run back, the Pats wouldn’t have scored that extra TD they needed. The defense stunk in that game and it was Flynn’s coming out party.

    They over the last several years have made just about every QB look like Joe Montana.

    Hopefully this year, the defense can get off the field (which also prevents points) instead of allowing a team to march up and down with 15 play drives all day long.

  11. CKL says: Sep 7, 2012 11:07 AM

    LOL jr…”barely won” the playoff game???Guess you don’t remember the score of the 04 playoff game. You whine about it like some of their players still do. Too funny.

    I like Locker a lot, but I can’t root for him Sunday. The more fun thing will be to see which of the McCourty twins gets to woof at the other one. :)

  12. flash1283 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:09 AM

    jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    Rothlisberger destroyed the Pats D his first start. then of course they stole the signals for the playoff game and were able to barely win.

    —–

    The Patriots are 6-2 vs Pitt since 2001.

    What’s your excuse for the other wins by NE?

  13. holdthemayo123 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:15 AM

    Rothlisberger destroyed the Pats D his first start. then of course they stole the signals for the playoff game and were able to barely win.
    ———————————–

    They used the same signals in a playoff game as they did when they played their opponent earlier in the year?
    Yikes – I thought the Steelers were a well run organization.. Guess not.

  14. bingobrown12 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:19 AM

    jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    Rothlisberger destroyed the Pats D his first start. then of course they stole the signals for the playoff game and were able to barely win.
    ——————————————————–
    Especially the signal, throw a pick 6 to Rodney
    Harrison.

  15. underdog518 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:25 AM

    jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 10:56 AM

    Rothlisberger destroyed the Pats D his first start. then of course they stole the signals for the playoff game and were able to barely win.

    ______________________________

    Roethlisberger’s regular season game against the Pats in ’04 was his 5th start, not his first.

    And Spygate was about taping DEFENSIVE signals from the sidelines instead of the stands…so even if you believe that doing so gave them an unfair advantage in the playoff rematch, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with Ben throwing three picks in that game.

  16. radrntn says: Sep 7, 2012 11:26 AM

    since when does historically mean only the past 10 years….funny how the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s never apply to the patriots…. I think we have the new england patriots, and tom brady patriots, which does not include bellachick, because he has a losing record w/o Tom Brady.

  17. EJ says: Sep 7, 2012 11:32 AM

    I am hoping that Jake Locker has a great day against the Patriots on Sunday. Something like 23/29, 340 yds, 0 ints, 3 td’s, 9 att, 95 yds, 1 td.
    I would love to see Locker shred that Patriot D.
    I’m not a fan of the Titans but, I absolutely hate Brady, Belichick and the Patriots. Give ‘em hell Locker!

  18. delrmi05 says: Sep 7, 2012 12:07 PM

    As a Patriots fans the 10-3 record against rookie quarterbacks and the article are misleading.

    Flynn, Palko, & McCown made the defense look like swiss cheese.

    To the naysayers about the Patriots this year; the defense will be improved, it won’t be elite or anything, but it definitely will be improved (barring serious injury).

    To the guy who said Belichick would be nothing without Brady is a real stretch. Brady certainly made his career but you can’t tell me the coach doesn’t get the most out of his guys. Matt Cassell anyone?

    Spygate comments don’t bite anymore now that we have bounty gate, but really, if you’re whining that your team lost to the Patriots in a serious game and didn’t change your defensive signals throughout the year. . I mean come on. Not to mention that the rule violation only came down because it was from a non designated area.

    Whatever. Pats win on Sunday, I think Locker runs a bit and extends some drives, makes some plays.

  19. bostonhasrealhockey says: Sep 7, 2012 12:27 PM

    Haha barely won that playoff game?

  20. bcgreg says: Sep 7, 2012 1:01 PM

    @jr4real

    If my memory serves me right, the Pats were without Corey Dillon (#1 RB), Deion Branch (# 1 WR), and they lost Ty Law to injury in the 1st quarter (# 1 DB), which is when Plax scored his 2 TDs. Brady threw a pick 6. The Pats were down 21-3 after one. I know it doesn’t matter, but the Patriots won quarters 2-4 by a score of 17-13. Pitt was on fire in the first quarter, which is where they won the game. That game in ’04 also halted NE’s 21 game winning streak. Let’s just say they were due to lose one. Good for Pitt on winning, but Roethlisberger didn’t “destroy” NE.

    His numbers were actually pretty average to good (18-24, 196 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs). Pitt’s run game killed the Pats more on that day. Not Ben Roethlisberger.

  21. jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 1:10 PM

    @ bcgreg says: Sep 7, 2012 1:01 PM

    “His numbers were actually pretty average to good (18-24, 196 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs). ”

    you think these are average numbers? For a rookie? I’ll take it any day.

  22. brazzz01 says: Sep 7, 2012 1:10 PM

    As for Locker… rumor was the Pats were going to pick him if they had the chance. I’m sure Bill did his homework on him and knows him quite well.

  23. cliverush says: Sep 7, 2012 1:20 PM

    The game against the Packers was a coming out party for Matt Flynn. He showed great poise and promise against a D that was not very good. This and the fact that he played for a team on their way to a Super Bowl victory. Still for a first start it was a sign of a good future. I believe the Pack would have won the game with one more offensive series. The Pats will not be a kind to the Titans due to an improved line up on defense. BB has young, fast and tough players this year to work with. It is great to have football back.

  24. jr4real says: Sep 7, 2012 1:20 PM

    I wrote a great reply and Florio must have disagreed!! Somehow it got banned.

    @underdog518 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:25 AM

    “Roethlisberger’s regular season game against the Pats in ’04 was his 5th start, not his first.”

    The article is about the first start against the Pats D not the first start ever. It would be a little hard to have every QB’s first start to be against the Pats.

    ——————————————————–
    @bingobrown12 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:19 AM
    “Especially the signal, throw a pick 6 to Rodney
    Harrison.”
    – that’s is actually a great line! :)

  25. castleanthrax says: Sep 7, 2012 1:45 PM

    @lr4real:

    Also have an issue with reading comprehension:

    and 3-0 against quarterbacks making their first career starts — perfect against Luke McCown (Browns, 2004), Matt Flynn (Packers, 2010) and Tyler Palko (Chiefs, 2011).

  26. yelix says: Sep 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    In what world did Tyler Palko shred the Patriots D? The Chiefs scored 3 points in that game and Palko threw 3 INTs.

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