On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots devoted time in the offseason to beating man-to-man coverage. Defensively, the Patriots focused on handling an aspect of offensive football that has become more popular in recent years.
Appearing this week on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, cornerback Stephon Gilmore said a significant part of the offseason program was devoted to defending the no-huddle offense, with specific emphasis on dealing with those situations mentally and making proper substitutions. Failure to comply resulted in the running of laps by the defense.
Gilmore also noticed the “super-fast” pace of the team’s offseason practices, further adding to the confusion as to what is and isn’t allowed during offseason workouts, especially since the CBA specifically states that “[t]he intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning.”
Of course, coach Bill Belichick would likely say that the “super-fast” pace is indeed conducive to learning how to play defense the Patriot way. For Gilmore, it’s a crash course that could help him be even better than he was during his time with the Bills.