BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Normally when Matt Patricia prepares for a Super Bowl. he has a full season of film at his disposal to break down the opposing quarterback.
This week, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator is a little short on clips.
Carson Wentz was the starting quarterback for most of the season, and it wasn’t until the final three games of the regular season and the last two postseason games that Nick Foles took over. That’s not a lot of snaps to dissect.
The good news for Patricia and the Patriots, he said, is that he can watch the early Eagles with Wentz at quarterback and in his mind simply substitute No. 9 for No. 11.
“Obviously there is some dynamic quarterback play there by both guys, but really from an offensive standpoint there is a system in place,” Patricia said on Monday. “They do a great job of running the system and coach [Doug] Pederson does a great job of putting them in the best positions possible to make plays.”
There are clearly differences between the two players. Wentz was operating at an MVP-caliber level before he tore his ACL. Foles took some time to find his footing before his breakout performance against the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
“You understand that there are some differences between the quarterbacks themselves,” Patricia said. “But the decision-making and the process that they go through, their ability to control the game, is all similar. So it’s all relevant.”
Patricia is able to make the switch in his mind when he’s a Wentz-watcher. Can the players do the same?
“Absolutely,” he said. “You’re just watching the scheme. Wentz is a great player, he really kind of sparked them and got them going, and Nick has stepped in and kept them going. I think once they get that rhythm as an offense, they get in that mode that they’re in, they’ve just been clicking. It’s been pretty impressive to watch.”