|09.16.10 at 4:05 pm ET|
“We have to hit him,” Ryan said of Welker, who caught 15 balls for 192 yards in New England’s 31-14 win on Nov. 22, 2009 at Gillette Stadium.
That might be their best chance because the way they’re losing bodies on defense, they won’t be able to cover anyone.
The New York Jets, already reeling from a season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens and injuries to Kris Jenkins and Calvin Pace, are monitoring the condition of their Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Revis, who played his first game back Monday night after missing all of training camp in a contract dispute, was limited on Thursday in practice by hamstring tightness and his availability for Sunday is unknown, though the New York Daily News reported Thursday that he continued to practice after feeling tightness and will practice Friday.
Revis has publicly called Patriots star receiver Randy Moss a “slouch” for his work ethic and held Moss to nine catches and one touchdown in their two meetings in 2009.
Meanwhile, Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Thursday he has told his players they need to do one thing to contain Patriots receiver Wes Welker.
One player Welker and the rest of the Patriots receiving corps will still have to contend with is Antonio Cromartie, the defensive back Welker on Thursday called one of the best in the NFL.
“He’s super fast,” Welker said. “I don’t think there’s anyone faster in the league than that guy. His speed and range and recovery. And not only that, his size, he’s a big guy. He’s a rare combination of size and speed and definitely someone who you have to stay on top of your routes and can’t get sloppy out there.”
|09.16.10 at 2:18 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For the second straight day, Terrence Wheatley (foot) and Nick Kaczur (back) were the only players missing as the Patriots practice in full pads on the upper fields outside Gillette Stadium.
Wheatley was spotted in the Patriots locker room on Thursday before practice without the walking boot he had been using during the healing process.
And once again, music played over the speakers during the open portion of practice, with Public Enemy‘s “He Got Game” being played, which includes a sample from the Stephen Stills/Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” from the late 1960s.
The video is below and – of course – stars another well-known Boston athlete – Ray Allen.
The Patriots play the Jets Sunday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. ET at the New Meadowlands Stadium as they begin a stretch of three straight against AFC East rivals.
|09.16.10 at 2:08 pm ET|
With the Patriots’ playing at the new Meadowlands Stadium for the first time this weekend, check out this cool video of the changeover process from Giants to Jets at the new place.
|09.16.10 at 1:21 pm ET|
Former Patriots great and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison joined Dale & Holley to talk about the Pats game with the Jets this Sunday and all the other issues surrounding the team. Harrison also spoke candidly about his suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.
On the game Sunday, “I think the Patriots will win, definitely,” Harrison said. “I’m really impressed with the defense, the youth and the speed. I’m watching the tape and I’m like, ‘Wow, look how fast how these guys are.’ They look like they know exactly where they’re going. [Tom] Brady looks good.”
Here are some more highlights from the conversation:
On Wes Welker’s return
That almost brought tears to my eyes because I know how hard this kid worked. I know how I felt when I had that injury. I basically thought my career was over.
Is Jets week different?
I can sum it up like this: The Patriots hate the Jets, but I still think the Indianapolis Colts [are] the bigger rivalry. You look at the Jets and you go up a couple of notches for Jets week. When you play against the Colts it goes up another notch. The simple fact is: The Patriots respect the Colts. The Patriots hate the Jets.
On Darelle Revis
He’s a terrific young player. He can play off coverage. Tremendous hips. Guy has great ballhawking ability, great awareness, tremendous instincts. Ty Law called me when he Ty played in New York and he told me, ‘We’ve got a kid down here who’s going to be the best cornerback in the National Football League. Might be the best defensive player.’ He said he’s be a young Ty Law with athletic ability. Ty was really high on the guy. I’m really high on the guy. I think he and [Oakland's] Nnamdi Asamoah are the best corners in the league, but I think he has more ballhawking ability than Nnamdi and I think he’s the best cornerback in the National Football League. Read the rest of this entry »
|09.16.10 at 12:47 pm ET|
FOXBORO — As much as he can’t stand the feeling of the bulky contraption on his left knee, Wes Welker knows the brace is there for a reason.
And he only has to look at the opponent this week for a reminder as to what can happen if you discard the precautionary device too soon.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins re-injured his left knee last week and was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week. Asked if that provides enough motivation to keep wearing his brace, Welker smiled nervously and said, “Yeah, thanks for that.”
Welker could certainly be forgiven if he’s is playing it cautious with the precautionary brace.
“We’ll see where we’re at,” Welker said. “I’m definitely ready to get rid of it. We’re definitely going to be cautious with it.”
Welker admitted Thursday that he would love to be without the bulky brace on his left knee but that might be wishful thinking at this early point of the season.
Welker caught eight passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-24 win over the Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Still, Welker doesn’t feel he’s physically back to where he was before tearing up the knee on Jan. 3 in last year’s regular season finale at Houston.
“It takes a full year until I’m me again, is what they say,” Welker said Thursday.
|09.16.10 at 12:31 pm ET|
|09.15.10 at 9:46 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Sure, Tom Brady hates the Jets. But he respects them, too.
The all-world quarterback wanted to make that perfectly clear on Wednesday in his weekly gathering with reporters huddled around Bret Lockett’s locker.
“I will say I have respect for the Jets because I think they play extremely hard,” Brady said. “And they are very well-coached. It’s just the way the rivalry is. I don’t think there’re a lot of Boston people who like New York people. The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry goes back a long ways. Over the years, there’re have been very competitive football games played between the two of us. Really, we’ve got to go out there. Obviously we all talk, we all feel confident about what we’re doing, but we’ve got to go out there and execute our plays and play well.”
But Brady admitted Wednesday that he has used the ‘H’ word we all try to keep out of the mouths of children to describe the their arch-rivals from Gotham.
“I’ve said it a few times,” the quarterback said with a sinister smile.
Probably most of those times were when he either caught an episode of “Hard Knocks” or was asked about all the trash-talking coming from New York this summer.
“How can you not hear it? Of course we hear it. We just go about our business a different way, and a way that has worked for us,” Brady conceded. “Every coach has their style. And we really take on the style of our head coach, who, as you guys know, doesn’t say much. So we typically don’t say much. And when we do, we get yelled at pretty good. That doesn’t seem that’s the program the Jets are on. That’s the way it is.
And this Sunday afternoon at the New Meadowlands Stadium, a rivalry will be rekindled. Whether it erupts into a raging inferno will depend on the score. One thing is for sure, there’ll be emotion aplenty.
“It gets ratcheted up,” Brady said. “When you are out there playing against these guys, there’s a certain level of intensity that these rivalries bring out. And it’s not just another game for us. They’re a division opponent. We know how hard it is playing a division opponent on the road. We’ve gotten off to a good start last week. Coach [Belichick] said we’ll have to play a better game than we did last week and I agree with him.”
“Randy’s a big part of our game plan. He is every week,” Brady said. “I know they feel very good about Revis. I know it’s pretty entertaining for the fans. Ultimately, what it comes down to is our offense against their defense. It’s never one guy against one guy. It’s about can we get the ball in the end zone. Obviously, when a lot of attention goes to Randy or Wes [Welker], we’ve got to go to other guys, and those guys have to be able to make those plays. It’s a team game. That’s what it comes down to. There’s no one keeping score on these one-on-one battles. Really, what we’re keeping score [with is] the scoreboard.”
In an effort to show respect back, Revis offered this up about Moss this week in preparing for the Patriots.
“He’s one of the best receivers in the league today,’’ Revis told Ron Borges of the Boston Herald. ‘I expect him to get the ball (thrown to him). He wants to make plays. He’s got a lot of things in his game to look out for.’’
Brady said he is prepared to take what the Jets give him and the Patriots offense on Sunday.
“It’s a chess match out there,” Brady said. “There are times when you’re aggressive, and there are times when they’re aggressive. You’re not aggressive on every play because you’ve got to take your shots when they’re there. We’re always expecting the line of scrimmage to go forward whether it’s a run or a pass. Every play is ultimately designed to score a touchdown.”
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