Jalen Mills learning structure of Patriots defense, not thinking about primary role yet

NFL: DEC 13 Saints at Eagles
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Jalen Mills is getting used to life with the Patriots as the team goes through organized team activities, but his acclimation process hasn’t advanced to playing a particular position in their defensive backfield.

Mills is listed as a cornerback on the team’s roster, but he lined up as a free safety, box safety, outside cornerback, and slot cornerback for the Eagles last season. While speaking with reporters this week, Mills said that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has told him to focus on the overall structure of the team’s defense for the time being and word on his exact fit will come down the road.

“Not yet, as of right now,” MIlls said, via MassLive.com. “Coach Bill was just telling me, just try to learn the base of the defense, the structure of the defense. I’m trying to learn everything and we’re talking about you know a coach — he’s gonna put me as a player and the rest of guys in the best position to succeed.”

The Patriots have a variety of pieces to use in the secondary and they’ll likely use all of the offseason, training camp, and preseason to determine how to best deploy them during the 2021 season.

7 responses to “Jalen Mills learning structure of Patriots defense, not thinking about primary role yet

  1. Can’t wait to see him on the field. Signed a Dolphins fan who watches plenty of Eagles games.

  2. Eagles fan here. Mills is a good guy, a great story (7th round pick who made key plays in a Super Bowl win), and I’ll be rooting for him to succeed.

    I suspect we’re going to see him excel with a better defensive coaching staff. Schwartz had a way of making DBs look terrible at times with his early-2000s-style zone defenses that don’t match up well against modern passing games.

  3. This is a well built defense designed to win games not just limited to destroying a certain geezer 10/3.

  4. Another player coming to the Patriots that trusts Belichick to put him in the “best position to succeed”. That’s not just the usual generic position term. It’s how he fits into the whole defensive structure and does his job. He won’t be a freelancer or a stat accumulator. Great to see he has already bought in. Not everyone does but it’s special when they do.

    Vrabel, Harrison, Ninkovitch, Van Noy all elevated their game considerably after joining the Pats. Some guys needed a second stint with the Pats to get with the program and see their performance improve including Chung and Collins.

    As Vinatieri said so clearly, Belichick gets the most out of players than any coach.

  5. “Vrabel, Harrison, Ninkovitch, Van Noy all elevated their game”

    ———————–

    None of them would have chance to elevate if they were not in championship games.

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