The excitement continues to rise as we got our first glimpse of this year’s Patriots is capable of. After months without football, the first in game action happened on Thursday night. If the preseason opener against the Saints is any indication, this year’s squad could be onto something big. This is without even having the likes of Gronk, Edelman, Amendola, Lewis, and of course, Tom Brady.
Host Harris Rubenstein highlights the preseason opener and discusses who his biggest stars of the game were. Also joining the Patriots Beat podcast is Mike Alongi.
Rubenstein begins by praising the Patriots defense. He even goes as far as saying “This Patriots defense might be the best in the AFC and top 5 in the NFL.”
Expectations are high for the defense this year. They finished in 9th for total defense last year, 2nd in sacks, and were 3rd in forced fumbles. This unit is clearly going in the right direction and with players like Malcom Brown and Jabaal Sheard looking to take steps forward in expanded roles, the defense is only getting better.
Both Rubenstein and Alongi highlight Trey Flowers as one of the biggest performers of the game. Rubenstein made it clear that Flowers is a player he feels will make a big impact on this defense especially with captain Rob Ninkovich out for the next few weeks. “One guy who I believe is gonna have one of the best seasons is Trey Flowers” said Rubenstein. Alongi followed up Rubenstein’s comments by saying He looks really good, a really powerful guy, has a couple different moves.” Flowers did not see much playing time last year as he was only active for one game and went on the Injured Reserve on December 1st. The bar is set high for the sophomore defensive end.
Rubenstein asks Alongi who are some of the other players he is excited for. Mike responds with Justin Coleman and Cyrus Jones as players who caught his eye so far. He expresses his surprise in Colemanas performance “I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw from Justin Coleman, I thought he played pretty well tonight.” And then goes on about Cyrus Jones and his excitement for him adding “I am very very very excited about Cyrus Jones” and continued his thoughts by saying Jones would be an “Instant playmaker in the return game”
One last big point from the interview with Mike Alongi was the extremely high expectations for 4th year linebacker, Jamie Collins. Collins leaped into the national spotlight when he leaped over the Colts field goal team to block an extra point and became a big name in the football community. After having a strong 2014 season, many thought Collins would break out even more in his 3rd year, which he did, but was slowed down with an illness in the middle of the season. Some, like Alongi, thought Collins was well on his way to being a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Being in a contract year and having another year of experience, Collins has many media members and fans excited for what he might do this year. Alongi says Collins is a “Potential DPOY candidate” while Rubenstein one ups him with a hot take of “Jamie Collins will win defensive player of the year.” Clearly people are expecting big things from him.
Jamie Collins is not the only one with high expectations, many players and different units are all being looked at to play big roles this year. Hear who else Harris and Mike think will play major roles on the August 12th podcast of Patriots Beat.