New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots’ Offense Similar To Rookie QB Ryan Mallet’s Offense At Arkansas

Peter King of Sports Illustrated believes we’re going to look back on this draft in five years and think one of the most compelling stories was Ryan Mallett. In a year when there’s a major premium on rookies being NFL-ready (with the lockout obviously preventing rookies from training to play right away), the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft was picked 74th — 37 slots behind the last of six quarterbacks chosen in the first and second rounds, but that isn’t to say he’s going to be a great pro, and who knows if he will be? But the value at 74 for a player of his stature is pretty hard to ignore.

Aaron Schatz of made this point: “The backup quarterback position becomes more important as the NFL enforces stronger concussion guidelines,” Schatz says. “There’s a much higher chance now that a team is going to have to start the backup quarterback for one or two games in the middle of the season, like what happened to Green Bay when they had to start Matt Flynn against New England last year. So Ryan Mallett doesn’t just have value as a player the Patriots can develop and possibly spin off for a first-round draft pick three years from now. He also has value because he gives the Patriots a stronger backup quarterback in case Brady takes an unfortunate hard hit at midseason.”

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald went to Texas and Arkansas (Mallett is from Texarkana, Texas, and played collegiately at Arkansas) to look into Mallett and found a couple of interesting points. His offense at Arkansas has much in common with what the Patriots will run in New England — thanks to college coach Bobby Petrino, and got coached hard by Petrino, and he’ll get coached hard by the Patriots.

“I grew up in Jacksonville with Tom Coughlin,” Petrino told Rapoport, “which ties back to [Bill] Parcells. Like, I heard [Tom] Brady call the play on TV: ‘136 Dual Y Choice.’ That’s the exact same way we would call that play. So, there’s certain things that are going to be real easy carry-over, because of the system we use. And he had responsibilities in protections, which obviously in the NFL, you have to do. We did protections very similar to the way he’ll do it there. I don’t think he’ll be shocked at how he has to prepare,” Petrino said.

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