In a nutshell:
- Coach Pettine on Manziel: “He has a tendency to keep both teams in the game.”
- Based on confusing quarterbacks' pre-snap reads, the "shape-shifting" defense features players rotating jobs within the scheme.
- Keep it simple for the dumber players; partner them with the smarter "sponges," who more often are relied upon to perform a variety of assignments.
- Don't give the playbook to Belichick's buddies!
- Most defensive meetings are with the whole unit, not broken down by positional groups.
- Run a variety of tempos on offense.
- Pettine, in his first head coaching gig since his high school days a dozen years back, is studying up on those game management situations that not infrequently tilt wins into losses or vice versa.