FOXBORO, Mass. — The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to believe the New England Patriots are mind readers. Or the Jaguars just know the Patriots are very well prepared.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and defensive lineman Calais Campbell both noted the Patriots will know what plays teams are running based on pre-snap formations.
Marrone mentioned it first in a conference call with the New England media when asked about the Patriots’ defense before Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the two teams.
“It’s 11 players all being on the same page,” Marrone said. “Matty P (defensive coordinator Matt Patricia) has done a great job with them, putting them in the right spot and just playing so well together. When you watch them schematically it’s such a challenge for us from the offensive side of the ball. …
“They play extremely well and they’re really — I mean they’re just really above the charts on knowledge of what you’re doing. I mean, shoot, you can line up and they can call out the plays that you’re running.”
Marrone must know that from his time as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Or perhaps that was happening in a preseason game between the Patriots and Jaguars this summer.
Campbell began his press conference in Jacksonville talking up Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Is he saying it behind closed doors, though?!)
“He’s the best quarterback to ever play the game,” Campbell told reporters. “The reason why he is is because he prepares. He knows everything you want to do.
“He literally can call it out as soon as you call a play. You line up, he knows exactly where he wants to go, because he knows what you’re in.”
Before anyone accuses the Jaguars of accusing the Patriots of cheating, it genuinely sounded like Marrone and Campbell merely were praising the Patriots. That probably won’t stop some folks from reaching that conclusion anyway, though.