Patriots Talk: Pete Kendall on protection issues that plagued Pats vs. Dolphins

·3 min read

Pete Kendall breaks down protection issues that plagued Pats vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

When pointing out the New England Patriots' issues in Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, the offensive line tops the list.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was sacked twice and hit three times in the 20-7 defeat. Dolphins safety Brandon Jones strip-sacked Jones in the second quarter and linebacker Melvin Ingram returned the fumble for a touchdown.

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Jones was under constant pressure throughout the game. He had the second-quickest time to throw in the NFL in Week 1, according to The Athletic's Chad Graff. He had three seconds or more to throw on only three percent of his dropbacks, the lowest mark in the league.

On a new episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, former NFL lineman Pete Kendall breaks down what went wrong with the Pats offensive line in Miami. He also explains how the coaching staff will address the issues leading up to the team's Week 2 trip to Pittsburgh.

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"The two sacks in the first half had me really scratching my head," Kendall said. "The first one, the free hitter (Emmanuel) Ogbah, I've watched maybe 25 times and I can't tell exactly what they're trying to do there. ... Cole Strange and David Andrews setting to their right is curious to me, very curious."

Kendall didn't see as much of a breakdown on the strip-sack, but it still appeared to be the result of a mental error or a communication issue.

"The good news on that one is it looked like at least four of the five guys were on the same page. I don't know if you want to call that improvement," he said.

"What happened is it looked like Mac pointed out the Mike linebacker, everybody was on the same page, they're gonna slide to the left. I think either the call didn't get out to Trent (Brown) or he just got locked on, and I think that one is just unfortunately a mental error. Just a bust. But there also could be some communication in there that needed to come out and maybe didn't."

So, how will Bill Belichick and Co. attempt to remedy the offensive line issues heading into next Sunday's game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers? Kendall explained what the process could look like leading up to the Week 2 matchup.

"Your job as a coach is to make sure your guys are prepared and are on the same page and understand and see things the way that you do," Kendall said. "If that means literally going back to square one and identifying defenses, then you go back to square one and start with identifying defenses. Then you go through your protections, you go through your adjustments, then you move on to the next defense.

"That's really not much different than what happens when you play a clean game. You come in on Monday, you watch Sunday's film, and then you turn on the film for the next opponent and you throw last Sunday away, good or bad. It's on to the next, and again, you start with the basics. What do they do on regular down and distance? And as the week goes through, you work your way through situations. Third down and short, third down and long, red zone, goal line, and you literally do the same thing week in and week out."

Also discussed in the episode: Dan Orlovsky rips the Patriots for being unprepared against the Dolphins. Will there be pressure to play Kendrick Bourne more against the Steelers? Mark Kaboly on the Steelers being 1-0 and cautious optimism from the fan base. And can Brian Flores exploit the Patriots’ offense?

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.