Who's the hardest-working former athlete in sports? It could be Anthony Becht.
The one-time Jets first-round tight end, the fourth of the "Four Aces" in the 2000 draft, has his hand in many projects. During the season Becht does a full slate of college football games as an ESPN/ESPN2/ABC analyst. He's in the studio for Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre- and postgame shows, and he also worked the Jets' preseason radio pre- and postgame shows last year.
Then if you've missed his game deliveries, maybe you've seen him pitching on the Home Shopping Network.
"Many people may not know this, but I'm the co-host for the Football Fan Shop and I do 60 to 70 shows a year during the season," he told me at Jets House this past weekend. "That's in Tampa, and it's 24/7 TV so I could do a show at 3 in the morning for the West Coast or at 12 in the afternoon. So it's been a nice collection of things and it's keeping me busy."
Then there's AB the draft coach. For the next couple of months he's training tight end prospects at the IMG complex in Bradenton and also "up the road" in Tampa.
Becht shared his analysis for Jets House fans on Sunday's Super Bowl LI matchup between the Patriots and Falcons, and here are some of his thoughts on the big game for the fans on newyorkjets.com:
The Quarterbacks"This is a really good matchup. Matt Ryan isn't Tom Brady, but they both do the same thing. They both want to stay in the pocket, they keep it clean. The goal by their linemen is to set that pocket so their quarterbacks can be efficient. It's been much better for Matt this year because of Alex Mack at center. He's gimpy right now so hopefully he's OK, but I can't imagine him missing this game. Just processing information presnap is the biggest thing with these two guys. They're always getting themselves in the perfect scenario, whether it's a change of play or a check-with-me, and they always know where that last read has to be, so they're never just going to be flustered and throwing the ball up."
The Patriots' Defense"They spend a tremendous amount of time with the details. Cover-2 is Cover-2 but there are details on how it's productive and why it works. If your ninth or 10th guy isn't doing it properly, there are holes there. So the Patriots are just meticulous in that way. Guys are in the right spots and they don't give up a lot of explosive plays, bend but don't break, nobody gets behind them, and they challenge you on third down and of course in the red zone — they're just magnificent when it's squeezed down."
The Falcons' Weaponry"Julio Jones is obviously a guy who can be doubled and you can still get the ball to him. He can go up, extend, reach and do all those great things. I would anticipate the Falcons moving him around a little bit, trying to get him in the slot with some motions where the Patriots can't necessarily bracket him. And those other receivers and the tailbacks are very effective. The Falcons are not afraid to throw it to [Taylor] Gabriel and [Mohamed] Sanu and trust their guys to make plays at the other positions."
The Patriots' Way"Although many people might not be able to name a lot of their guys, the Patriots have experience in the biggest games. They're the best team in a seven-day work period, and now they've got 14. A lot of coaches in the league are scared to completely change a lot of things they do in a seven-day period — stick with what you're good at, don't confuse guys. Well, the Patriots pride themselves on that. They'll completely come out and do something different, expect their guys to go out there and understand it and learn it and be great at it, like they've been doing all season. If there's a tendency, they'll always break it. And they always keep other teams on their toes."
Becht's Pick"If you look at every Super Bowl that Brady's played in, [the victory margin] has been four points or less each game, so this is going down to the wire. I feel with the understanding of what the Falcons are trying to accomplish and their offense playing as well as it is, you won't see any letdown.
"I think it's going to be a close game. And I think Atlanta has a really good shot of winning this one."