|12.02.10 at 6:15 pm ET|
The Patriots have claimed running back Thomas Clayton on waivers for a second go-round in New England, according to ESPN. Clayton, who was with the Patriots in the preseason and for the first two months of the 2010 season before he was cut, is a 5-foot-11, 225-pounder who was drafted by San Francisco in the sixth round of the 2007 draft out of Kansas State. He’s played for the 49ers, Patriots and Browns, and had zero rushing yards in two games with Cleveland this season before he was waived by the Browns on Wednesday.
|12.02.10 at 5:29 pm ET|
But does Ryan really mean it? Or is all of this just another one of his elaborate schemes designed to trick the Patriots quarterback. In Week 2, Brady was 20-of-36 for 248 yards, getting strip-sacked once by Jason Taylor and picked off twice in the 28-14 Jets win.
If it’s a trick, you can bet that Brady is more than savvy enough to see through the smokescreen and figure it out.
But Ryan certainly seemed like he was throwing all caution to the wind when openly proclaiming that if you don’t blitz Brady and blitz him a lot, then you’ve lost before playing a down in the game. Ryan was asked if balancing the blitz with dropped coverage is one way to handle Brady after his brother – Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan – had so much success on Nov. 7.
“Yeah, if that sounds good to you, then go with it,” Ryan joked. “But as for us, we just play our style of football. Brady’s a guy where if you just run standard coverages, then he’ll just kill you. He can write up what he wants. If he wants 21 out of 22, 24 or 25 completions or whatever he had in the playoff game against Jacksonville once ‘ that was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen.”
Wow. A direct shot across the bow at Jack Del Rio and his approach last December when Brady went 23-of-26 for 267 yards. Del Rio’s team also allowed Brady to pick them apart in Jan. 2008 when he was even better at 26-of-28 for 262 yards in an AFC Divisional playoff.
“We’re not going to let him just sit back there and go through pass skelly,” Ryan said. “We’re going to pressure him, mix our coverages, change our coverages, change our blitzes. Sometimes we’re going to go all out blitz, sometimes simulated pressure, sometimes three-man rush, sometimes four-man rush, multiple coverages. That’s how you play Brady. You can’t just let him sit back and know what you’re in.”
Brady’s reply? The Jets will blitz. But who knows when and how much?
“Well, they’ve always done that,” Brady said. “I don’t think that’s anything that we don’t expect. When you look at their blitz percentages, they blitz about half the time. On third down, they blitz about three quarters of the time. They’re blitzing a lot and that’s really a trademark of the defense: to try and find different ways to get after the quarterback.”
Rob Ryan’s Browns got to Brady just once but Brady threw for just 224 yards that day, as Brady struggled to find his passing rhythm.
“That runs in the family,” Brady said. “Rex said the same thing and I know, talking to Coach Belichick, [Rex's] dad was the same way. If you could hit the quarterback, who cares about the coverage? But, with this team, they cover you well, too. They hit the quarterback and they cover. I think that’s what makes them so unique.”
|12.02.10 at 5:01 pm ET|
|12.02.10 at 4:53 pm ET|
The Patriots worked out linebacker Alex Hall, defensive back Chevis Jackson and defensive end Eric Moore Thursday, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network. The 25-year-old Hall is a 6-foot-5, 250-pounder out of St. Augustine who spent the last two years with Cleveland, finishing the 2008 season with 26 tackles. Jackson, 24, is a 5-foot-11, 193-pound cornerback who went to LSU and has played for both Atlanta and Jacksonville. His best season was 2008 when he had a pair of interceptions for the Falcons. And Moore is a 29-year-old out of Florida State who is 6-foot-4 and 268 pounds, who has played for the Giants, Saints and Rams.
|12.02.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ The Jets had just one player ‘ offensive lineman Damien Woody ‘ miss practice on Thursday. Here’s a look at the full injury report:
Did Not Participate in Practice
T Damien Woody (knee)
Full Participation in Practice
CB Drew Coleman (groin)
LB David Harris (calf)
S Jim Leonhard (calf)
C Nick Mangold (shoulder)
LB Calvin Pace (foot)
DT Sione Pouha (ankle)
QB Mark Sanchez (calf)
G Matt Slauson (knee)
WR Brad Smith (back)
|12.02.10 at 4:16 pm ET|
“Who?” Revis joked in front of his locker following practice on Thursday. “Where is he know? Oh yeah, I don’t think we play Tennessee. He’s not here, he plays for the Titans. But you know, they still have a lot of good guys playing receiver over there.”
And one of “those guys” is Deion Branch, who was wasting away in Seattle the last time the Jets and Patriots faced off. But now Branch is back in the mix, playing well and entering Monday night’s game off a two-TD performance in a win over the Lions on Thanksgiving.
“The guy has always been a very good receiver,” said Revis of Branch. “I got to play against him my second year, I think [a 12-21-08 contest that saw Branch catch just two passes for six yards in a 13-3 Seahawks win]. I think bringing him back was smart for them. He knows the system, he’s a Super Bowl MVP a couple of years ago. Good move, he’s comfortable in that system.”
Rex Ryan also lavished praise on the veteran wideout during his meeting with the media on Thursday.
“He’s pretty darn good,” Ryan said. “All you had to do was watch that Detroit game, look at the plays he made there. You know, he’s still got vertical speed and he can still run and he does a lot of things underneath. A tough kid and he’s doing a great job for them.”
|12.02.10 at 4:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ The Patriots had three players who did not participate in practice on Thursday, and a fourth ‘ quarterback Tom Brady ‘ who was limited. Here’s a look at the full injury report:
G Stephen Neal (shoulder, placed on IR)
Limited Participation in Practice
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder, foot)
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