Marcus Cannon garnered some well-deserved praise from the Patriots’ coaching staff Monday, one day after the right tackle neutralized All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller in New England’s victory over the Denver Broncos.
“Marcus, he did a good job for us in the running game and the passing game,” head coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call with reporters. “He’s done that for us all year.”
Miller racked up five tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, four quarterback hits and an interception against the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship Game. On Sunday, he finished with four tackles and zeros in every other category, with Cannon lining up opposite him for much of the afternoon.
“Those two really were matched up a lot,” Belichick said. “But I thought Marcus did a real solid job for us, as he always does. Sometimes he was on Miller, sometimes he wasn’t — he was on defensive ends or combination blocking the linebackers and so forth. But they certainly saw plenty of each other. I thought Marcus competed well. Our offensive line competed well against that front seven, which is a very good group.”
Sunday’s game, which the Patriots won 16-3, marked just the fourth time in 14 games this season that Miller had been held without a sack. He entered the weekend with 13 1/2 sacks, tied with Atlanta’s Vic Beasley for the NFL lead.
“(Miller) is one of the best players in the league at any position, and their entire defense is tremendous,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said in a conference call. “Coach (Wade) Phillips does a great job. Their entire staff does a great job. They always have a great game plan, and they make every yard hard. I thought we tried to have some presence on (Miller), and I thought Marcus did a really consistent job of just trying to make it hard on him and keep him from having an easy path inside to the quarterback.”
Cannon’s performance against one of the NFL’s premier rushers further illustrated how much he has grown as a player this season. That growth already has earned him a five-year contract extension, and it’s helped solidify a Patriots offensive line that was shaky at best in 2015.
“Marcus has just become more consistent each week, each year that I’ve had an opportunity to be around him,” McDaniels said. “I think he trusts in his preparation, and he always plays as hard as he possibly can. He prepares hard, he practices hard, and it means a lot to him to do his job. So we’re happy to have him over there, and I think he’s really had a nice year and good game for us (Sunday).
“He really answered a big challenge, and he’ll have another one this week.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP