Many firsts will occur for the Patriots in 2009.
Fred Taylor will dawn a non-Jaguars uniform, Tom Brady will take the helm for the first time in a year, and a completely upgraded secondary that includes Shawn Springs, Leigh Bodden, and Darius Butler, will patrol the defensive backfield among many other new sights.
One thing you can also expect to change, but not in the same way, is the Wildcat formation being installed in New England.
Recently I was granted the incredible opportunity as a fan to meet with head coach Bill Belichick and personally ask him whatever my little heart desired. This same opportunity was also afforded to about 40 others and they did an incredible job with their inquiries.
One question that stuck out in mind when asked was about the Wildcat. Belichick was plainly asked what the team was doing in preparation for defending and possibly operating the formation and whether he thought the philosophy would have any staying power in the league.
His response went along with common opinion as he admitted that there just isn't any way to know for sure until the season gets underway.
The coach did point to Miami's second-round draft pick, quarterback Pat White, as evidence that the system is long from dead at least for now. Belichick also expressed relative content that his team would have a few weeks of game tape on the Dolphins before they have their first ecounter of the season.
Last season, they were the first and worst victims when Miami debuted the Wildcat for the first time in week three.
Belichick also went on to address the second segment of the question about what the Patriots may or may not do with the system offensively. He clearly stated that they had indeed spent time on the system and had also discussed how much time they felt comfortable spending on it considering the fact that they dont yet have a sense on how much it will be used.
The amount of time that he said the team was spending on the formation was purely defensive and the coach at no point made any mention of the offense running any version of it.
Take it for what it's worth, but it would seem that if the Patriots have any Wildcat plans for the upcoming season they either don't know about those plans yet themselves, or don't want anyone else to know about them yet.
I would venture to guess that the head coach was being as honest as he could with the fans there that night. He was to the point when he said the only time they have invested is running defensive plays against it and scheming ways to stop it.
Obviously, if they're doing live drills, the offense will have to help out and run the system against the defense. So maybe that's where Julian Edelman comes in, but even that's doubtful.
The Patriots do not appear to have any interest in running the Wildcat in 2009. Julian Edelman appears to be running through camp as a wide receiver though it appears as if the Wildcat formation hasn't died in the rest of the league.
Then again, these all may be moot points by week one because nothing is guarenteed this early. Gotta love the NFL.
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