Foxboro, Massachusetts – Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who prepares to take on the quarterback Mac Jones The unit’s defensive approach stands out, said the New England Patriots’ offensive Monday night.
Joseph was complimentary of the Patriots’ talent, noting that the way they play reflects player Matt Patricia’s roots as a former defensive coordinator.
“I see an offense that runs football well. It’s a very conservative passing game – lots of screens, all kinds of screens. It’s how the defensive player calls offensive play – ‘Let’s not turn the ball over, let’s take 4 play yards, and let’s try to burn the clock.'”
“That’s what they do and that’s what they’ll do on Monday night. He’ll be patient. He’ll probably take a shot from time to time. But mostly, it’s a run game, it’s a quick game, it screens.”
This approach was at the root of Jones’ frustration simmering on the sidelines in last Thursday’s 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Jones later clarified that he was advocating less “fast game” and throwing more depth into the field, adding that his rant was not directed at anyone in particular and was intended to create a spark for the team.
The Patriots were short on the offensive line, which may have contributed to this approach one week after Jones threw for a career-high 382 yards in a loss to the Vikings. But it was a struggle for the offense for stretches of the season, as the unit tied for last in the NFL in red zone efficiency, 25th in third place, 25th in sacks taken per pass play and 28th in total first downs. .
Head coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week that it’s “very difficult” to make drastic changes to the offense, adding, “If we can do, consistently, what we do, I think we’ll be fine.”
Joseph said the Cardinals would focus on running backs Ramonder Stephenson On Monday, he called him a “special” player adding that “the offense definitely goes through him.”
Despite the Patriots’ low ratings in several major categories, Joseph — whose last NFL defense is in the red zone and 31st in points allowed — sees potential on their offense.
“It’s scary to watch the group because they have so much talent around Mac, and Mac is a good, young midfielder. He can process information quickly, the ball is out of his hands quickly. He’s very, very smart,” he said.
“So you’re kind of waiting for it to explode, because they’ve got a lot of talent up front. But it turned on, a quick game and it was more screens. I hope they don’t change that too much on Monday for us.”
receiver Jacoby MyersWho leads the team with 593 receiving yards and is second with 50 catches, is officially in concussion protocol after suffering a blow to the head last Thursday. This puts his status into question for Monday’s match.
ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Winfuss contributed to this report.