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Galina: Bill Belichick was up to his old tricks in stifling Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers' offense

Dec 6, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler (70) sacks Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) in the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Chargers 45-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A bad coach will steal other teams' gameplans but fail to teach it to their players. The opposite is true for a good coach — they’ll copy gameplans and adapt them to their players.

Bill Belichick lets his opponents work themselves into a lather during the week of practice trying to counter the all-out blitzes they think he’s going to send their way because his buddy Brian Flores found success with them a few weeks earlier. But on game day, Belichick may go a different route. Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense found out the hard way against the New England Patriots in their Week 13 blowout loss.

Flores, one of many Belichick disciples across the league, laid bare the shortcomings of a rookie quarterback with a heavy blitz package that left the young Herbert’s head spinning in Week 10. For the game, Herbert was 20-for-32 with 187 yards passing. But against the blitz, he was only 8-for-15 with 93 yards to go along with one sack. Herbert struggled specifically against the all-out Cover 0 blitz concepts that Flores ran six times, managing only one completion.

These were part of the so-called read blitz family where many defenders are lined up around the line of scrimmage looking to blitz, but the offensive line’s protection rules actually dictate who is going to blitz and who is dropping into throwing lanes.

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