Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacsIn the past few days, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick signed two former Dolphins players – Don Jones and Marcus Thigpen. Jones and Thigpen, who were on defense and offense respectively, played primarily special teams during the offseason. However, they surely brought some sort of information with them after spending so much time with the team and in the meeting room.
How much will they be able to help the Patriots though with just a few days to go before the game on Sunday? Belichick doesn’t know but he’s making sure he leaves no stone unturned.
“The opening game is probably the hardest game of the year to prepare for because there are just unknowns,” Belichick told the media on a conference call. “Teams have held things back that they haven’t shown in preseason. You’re not sure exactly how they’re going to use their personnel, what different wrinkles they have.”
"I know there’s a little bit of that from week to week, but there’s a lot more of it now. Teams have had a lot more time to work on it all through the spring and training camp and not show it in preseason games, but still be able to go out there and potentially run it with a high level of execution. That’s a lot different than putting a play in for a week and just having a couple days to work on it.
"And there are a lot of unknowns about the team that you’re on. You just haven’t been in this situation before. There are unknowns on your side of the ball; there are unknowns on the other side of the ball. And it’s opening day, so when you look back at Week One, there are always crazy things that happen in the league. I’d say particularly in the kicking game, but throughout the game: situations or unusual plays or just something that you wouldn’t really think would go the way it does, but that’s the start of the season. So yeah, I think it’s definitely the hardest game to prepare for.
"You don’t want to over prepare for it because there’s no way your opponent could do everything that you’ve seen them do over all the time that you’ve studied them or all the things they have the potential to do. But at the same time, you don’t want to underprepare and get in there and find out that they’ve done something that you haven’t worked on and you don’t have your team in a good position to work on it. It’s challenging to find that right line or preparations, definitely."
The Dolphins have said that they aren’t worried about Jones and Thigpen signing with the Patriots. It’s hard to imagine that the game-plan for this week’s game was out last week and it was most likely distributed earlier this week after they had been released. They may be able to give some overall information on the team but it probably won’t have too much to do with the game on Sunday.