Plenty of new toys for Pats’ DL coach

Patriots D-line coach Pepper Johnson, left, and Bill Belichick, center,
have long had a complex relationship.

Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson knows Bill Belichick better than just about anybody in the NFL. 

Johnson played under Belichick with the Giants in the 1980s, again with the Browns in ’93 and finished his career with the Jets in ’98 — a team for which Belichick was the defensive coordinator.

In 2000, Johnson joined Belichick once again — this time as an assistant linebackers coach with the Patriots. He was promoted to the D-line in 2004.

That unit has been talked about plenty this offseason, and for good reason: The Pats have brought in around 20 players who have experience on the line in some way, shape or form.

The reason is simple. New England wants to throw all kinds of formations at opponents this year, whether from its base 3-4 or a hybrid version of the 4-3.

So, what’s the most challenging aspect of having all those new players for Johnson?
“Bill Belichick,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what player comes out here, he wants this done, so it doesn’t matter who comes out here. … But I’m going to get the best out of you. That’s what Coach [Belichick] expects, and that’s the reason why I’m here.”

The “only the strong survive” mentality doesn’t exactly hold true when it comes to the Pats.
A lot more of it has to do with smarts.

“Coach Belichick wants techniques taught,” Johnson said. “He wants the defense learned, and he wants to know who can learn it to the ability that they don’t need a babysitter, they don’t need someone to hold their hand while they’re out there on the football field.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."