Sunday, January 30, 2005

Pass the Bruschi

ILB Tedy Bruschi is one of those players who always seems to do the right thing. Bill Belichick said it's an instinctive ability that you coach and can't really explain to other people. It's so valuable, though, that Belichick said he wants Bruschi on the field as much as possible to take advantage of it. A good example occurred in the divisional playoffs against the Colts, when Bruschi fielded a squib kick from Mike Vanderjagt and advanced the ball near midfield. It was the type of play that Bruschi spent virtually no practice time on, but when the situation arose he did the right thing. Belichick said that WR Troy Brown shares that gift.

As a linebacker, Bruschi can do most everything the position demands. He can rush the passer and cover against the pass. He's an instinctive, flow-to-the-ball run defender. He's a sure tackler. He's not going to blow up many blocks like his ILB counterpart, Ted Johnson, but he's usually able to dodge the contact and get to the ball carrier. Most of all, Bruschi's ball skills are outstanding -- which is fortuitous because he always seems to be around the pigskin. Off the field, Bruschi is a fiery team leader and tone-setter.

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