The New England Patriots’ visit to Boston College football practice on Saturday was a rare occurrence. Though the event is not unprecedented, it’s the first time since 2000 that an NFL team has visited BC in any capacity.
The “2000 new england patriots” is a visit by Patriots’ defensive coaches to Boston College practice. The visit was not made public and the team did not release any information about it.
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS — A fast shot of thoughts and observations on the New England Patriots and the National Football League:
1. Patriots’ coaches travel with the Eagles: The Patriots’ coaches did not attend the NFL combine this year, joining an increasing number of clubs searching for more effective ways to spend their coaches’ time. Last week, the Patriots’ defensive staff visited Boston College’s spring practice as an example of how they did it.
Jeff Hafley, a third-year BC coach who formerly worked as a defensive backs assistant with the Buccaneers (2012-13), Browns (2014-15), and 49ers (2016-18), was asked: What does a day look like when the New England staff comes to visit?
From their time together at Rutgers, Hafley, 42, explained how BC’s defensive coordinator, Tem Lukabu, had a longstanding relationship with Patriots outside linebackers coach/playcaller Steve Belichick. Hafley also played at Rutgers during the 2011 season, when Belichick was a long-snapper.
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“They said they’d been in contact and wanted to come over and observe practice,” Tem said. ‘Of course,’ I said. They arrived in the early hours of the morning. Steven walked in — in fact, he was probably here before 7 a.m. It was great to see him again. We used to chat a lot in the NFL, about shared opponents, concepts, and ideas, and pick each other’s brains. But, because of COVID, it’s been like ‘I haven’t seen anybody since I arrived [in 2020].’ So it was great to see him again.
“Then they all showed up in our team meeting, as well as our position meetings — the linebacker coach sat in on linebacker meetings, and the defensive back coach sat in on defensive back sessions. Then they came to watch practice, and when we studied video as a defensive staff after practice, like everyone else, they watched with us, asking us questions and sharing suggestions.”
There are advantages for both Hafley’s staff and the Patriots, who have a large number of coaches with NFL experience.
“The college game is absolutely making its way into the NFL. They’re beginning to notice a lot of what we’re protecting. Both leagues have their fair share of give and take “Hafley said.
“That’s great, because to me, a good coach is someone who can teach me football and show me how things are done differently, whether I’m learning from a high school, college, or NFL coach.” When they’re observing practice, they can see something they like. ‘Hey, how do you play this?’ we ask while we’re viewing footage. ‘We’re experiencing problems with this, what would you guys do?’ they would say.
“It’s beneficial to have a group of talented football coaches who can bounce ideas off one another. Guys without egos are the ones that stroll in and say, ‘Hey, I like that drill, I want to try it.’ In the spring, I’ll have the opportunity to go out and pick their brains. It establishes a positive bond, which we should have given our proximity. Why don’t we all pitch in and support each other as much as we can?”
2. Hafley on Patriots’ Defense: Given his former experience with Greg Schiano, Hafley’s expertise has been with defensive backs, and he was asked what strikes out to him about New England’s defense.
“I’ve always admired how they handle’man’ [coverage]. The manner in which it is taught. They’re very patient at the line of scrimmage. At the line of scrimmage, they get their hands on people. They play and understand leverage as well as anybody, and they know where their assistance is. They do a variety of things, but they’re always on target. They constantly appear to be aware of the opponent’s skills and weaknesses, and they take away the things that individuals excel at. And they make adjustments.”
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“There is a strong feeling of accomplishment. As we started our meeting, there was a big subject of debate, and we spoke about why “Verbit remarked. “You’ll hear individuals say things like “they’re the right person” when they’re talking about teammates or great pals. That’s exactly who he was. He had a unique mindset, taking great care in his preparation, and the manner he addressed things on a daily basis gained him the respect of his colleagues. We have a 12-person workforce, and when we spoke about Matt, everyone got a huge grin on their face.”
8. Is red making a comeback? Fans may have something to look forward to in 2022, with the Patriots wearing their red throwback uniforms for the first time since 2012. The club hasn’t made any formal announcements at this time, but revisions to NFL helmet regulations (previous rules only permitted one helmet per season) have increased the likelihood.
9. BC’s three players were invited to the combine: offensive lineman Zion Johnson and Alec Lindstrom, as well as linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley. When asked what he would tell an NFL coach about each of them, Hafley said, “I’d tell an NFL coach about everyone of them.”
Johnson is a fictional character “It’s a perfect game. He can play a variety of positions. He’s almost too wonderful to be true, the kindest, hardest-working human being on the planet. Strong. Big. He’s a first-round choice in my view, and he should play football for a long time.”
Lindstrom is a Swedish surname “He’s developed into a player who I believe will stay in the league for a long time. When I initially arrived, I thought he was doing it with heart and grit — he’s one of the hardest kids I’ve ever met, and he’s really bright — but what he accomplished by returning [in 2021] was to completely remodel his physique. He now has the power behind him.”
Graham-Mobley is a character in the film Graham-Mobley “He’s the linebacker that everyone wants. Long and slender. Aggressive. Smart. Look out if he could have kept healthy. You won’t be able to catch up to him on the periphery due to his speed. He has the ability to play man, zone, and blitz.”
Did you know that? In their history, the Patriots have picked 23 players from Boston College, the most recent being the late Ron Brace in 2009. The 23 players, 14 of whom were born between 1960 and 1974, tie Michigan for the most of any institution.
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