|10.22.14 at 4:13 pm ET|
Asked Wednesday about missing practice on Tuesday, Revis did not elaborate.
“[That's] between me and coach,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “Talk to him about it.”
In his first season with the Patriots, the 29-year-old Revis has one interception and 23 tackles.
“Having Darrelle here, I’ve really been impressed with his professionalism, how serious and businesslike he is in terms of his preparation and studying of games, of what we do and what our opponents do,” Belichick said Wednesday when asked about Revis on a conference call with the Chicago media.
“A hard-working guy that’s spent a lot of extra time in trying to do his job the very best he can do it,” added Belichick. “I have a lot of respect for how he’s gone about that. Those are the things you just don’t see when a players with another team — not the same kind of day-to-day appreciation that I’ve had the opportunity to have this year. He’s played well for us. I’m glad we have him.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.22.14 at 3:56 pm ET|
Revis and Marshall went after each other on several occasions when Revis was with the Jets and Marshall was with the Dolphins, a series of clashes that culminated with Marshall saying Revis received the benefit of the call because he’s a star player.
“My technique could have been better, but at the same time, I think they gave him ‘The Jordan Rule,’’ said Marshall after Revis picked off a pass for Marshall and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown in a 2011 game between New York and Miami. “You get a little close to Michael Jordan, they going to call a foul. It works that way in football. Some guys, they’re scared to throw the flag. . . . He may be getting that rule.”
On Wednesday, Revis seemed to indicate that whatever beef the two have had has since been extinguished.
“Great receiver, man. This week, we have our hands full in two big receivers in him and [Alshon] Jeffery. We’re looking forward to it — I’m sure he is too, ” Revis said when he was asked about Marshall. “I know Brandon personally. It’s football, man. We compete … that’s what we do for a living. We had our battles in the past. It’s great, man. This week is going to be great.
“He’s smart and he’s big. probably about 6-foot-4 or something. Very physical at the line. A possession type receiver who can go deep as well and run after catches — he’s taken hitches 60, 70, 80 yards. Like I said, we know what type of players they are. We respect them a lot. We know how explosive they are in the passing game, and we have to be able to stop that.”
Revis said that the directive of the secondary doesn’t necessarily change because defensive end Chandler Jones will be gone for roughly a month because of injury.
“No,” he said. “We know Chandler is our best pass rusher. Like I said, the next guy has to step up. We all have to step our play up, all across the board. We have to play tighter coverage.”
“That’s what we need to do as a whole. We have to continue to play consistent ball and do what we do best — that’s just create turnovers and get the ball back to our offense,” he added.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.22.14 at 3:11 pm ET|
But on Nov. 26, 2006, Brady, then 29, put a move on likely future Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, that Brady proclaimed after a 17-13 win at Gillette Stadium he would tell his kids about. With Brady and Urlacher all alone in the middle of the field, and Urlacher sizing Brady up like a lion before devouring its meal, Brady juked inside and then cut outside for a key first down, leading to the go-ahead touchdown.
“Somehow that always gets brought up, too, when we play these guys,” Brady recalled again Wednesday. “There weren’t many of those in my career, so it’s pretty easy to count them all on one hand when something like that happens. We’ve had some great games against those guys, some very memorable games. They’ve got a real good defense, and I think they always have. It’s kind of been a mark of that team for a long time. A lot of guys at different positions ‘ [Lance] Briggs is still there, Jared Allen is a great player ‘ they’ve got quite a few of them. And some new faces, too ‘ the type of guys that we’ve really had to take time to get to learn. So, it’s going to be a big challenge for us, but we’re excited for it. Hopefully we can go out and try to get to 6-2.
Brady didn’t have kids at the time of the move but now his kids are growing fast. Has he bragged yet about the play to them?
“They’re probably still too young to know that at this point. To figure out what dad does yet is still kind of confusing for them. One day, you’re right. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday, so it’ll probably be the only time I’ve made a Hall of Famer miss.”
|10.22.14 at 12:41 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady has had his best three games of the season the last three weeks, and a major reason why is improved protection.
While sacks can occasionally be overrated, Brady has been sacked just four times in the last three games, compared to nine times over the first four games.
“They’re doing a great job. I’ve got confidence in all those guys,” Brady said following Thursday’s win over the Jets. “They do a great job. I’ve got a lot of trust in all those guys.”
Despite using three different starting offensive lines the past three games, the quarterback has had an increasing amount of time in the pocket to throw each of the last three weeks. By our count, against Cincinnati he had an average of 2.16 seconds from snap to release, then 2.24 against Buffalo, and finally a season-high 2.58 seconds last Thursday against the Jets.
According to Pro Football Focus, last Thursday was the most time from snap-to-attempt Brady has had since Thanksgiving of 2012 in the “Butt Fumble” game.
To this point, Brady has had his three statistically best games of the season the past three weeks — throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals, 361 yards and four touchdowns against the Bills and 261 yards and three touchdowns against the Jets.
The increased amount of time is coming following the blowout loss in Kansas City when Brady had an average of just 1.96 seconds to throw by our count, and had 17 of 24 plays (71 percent) where he took less than two seconds to release the ball. In comparison, against the Jets he had 12 of 37 plays (32 percent) where he took less than two seconds.
Keep in mind a lot of the release time numbers are based on scheme and game planning against certain opponents with quick wide receivers screens, etc. skewing the numbers a bit, but there is no question having more time to throw has led to Brady’s better performances of late.
|10.22.14 at 12:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When Bill Belichick sees Matt Forte on tape, he sees one of this favorites types of players in the NFL – someone who can make something (or even more) out of nothing.
Forte enters this week’s game in Foxboro as the most prolific running back since the start of the 2008 season, gaining even more yards from scrimmage than Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson. Forte’s 10,469 yards from scrimmage are 173 more than Peterson and 181 more than Johnson.
This season, the 28-year-old Forte has been passed by the sensational season being enjoyed by Dallas’ DeMarco Murray and the upstart Le’Veon Bell. But still, his 884 all-purpose yards ranks him third in the NFL. But Forte is doing much more than running the ball.
No one in the NFL has caught more passes this season than Forte, as his 52 receptions are two more than Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown. That’s a lot for Belichick and his coaches to prep for. In Weeks 1 and 6, he gained 75 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving. The last time a Bears player accomplished that feat twice in a season was the great Walter Payton in 1983.
“Very challenging. He’s a threat every time he steps on to the field in a number of different ways: passing game, running game. Any time he gets the ball in his hands he’s a good solid player,” Belichick said. “He’s tough, great vision, great balance. He definitely has the ability to turn nothing into something in a hurry and he can turn something into a lot in a hurry too. Hard guy to tackle, does a good job of creating space for himself and finding openings, getting to places where there are fewer defenders and then taking advantage of it.
“They can run the ball. They’ve got a great runner and one of the best backs in the league, maybe the best back in the league. He’s certainly been an impressive guy to watch, both in the passing game and in the running game. [He] breaks tackles, has good quickness, good balance, good vision, excellent hands, smart and aware in the passing game. He doesn’t just catch the ball well but he knows how to get open.
“But even when he’s boxed in or guys get a shot of him, he still makes yards. He’s a terrific player; couldn’t say enough good things about him. He’s very good. He gets tough yards, gets yards in space. Catches short passes, runs downfield routes. He’s a very, very complete player.”
Belichick is not classifying Forte specifically as a receiver or running back.
“He’s leading the league in catches so in that respect they get the ball to him a lot,” Belichick added. “I think you have to treat him as what he is, let’s put it that way. There are times when if you didn’t have any numbers on the jerseys, if you just watched the play, you’d say, ‘This looks like a receiver.’ But I’d say most plays he’s a back ‘ a good back, but [he] doesn’t do some of the things that a receiver would do scheme-wise. I’m not saying he couldn’t do them, he probably can. But they use him as a back as opposed to using him as a receiver.
|10.22.14 at 12:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After missing Tuesday’s practice, cornerback Darrelle Revis returned Wednesday as the Patriots held practice in a heavy mist in full pads on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium in preparation for Sunday’s game with the Bears.
Chandler Jones missed his second straight day of practice as it’s been reported he is dealing with a hip injury, which could sideline him for about a month.
Linebacker Akeem Ayers, who was officially traded to the Patriots from the Titans earlier in the day, was present and wore No. 52.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.22.14 at 10:55 am ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick is understandably cautious when talking about throwing linebacker Akeem Ayers immediately into the mix of his 3-4 base defense, a defense that has lost Jerod Mayo (patellar tendon) for the season and Chandler Jones (hip) for a month.
There are several factors that create that approach.
First, Ayers, a pass-rushing specialist, had trouble getting on the field for the Titans, as he was inactive for five of Tennessee’s first seven games this season.
There’s also the matter of going from Ken Whisenhunt‘s 4-3 scheme to Belichick’s 3-4 base. Belichick wouldn’t speculate on why Whisenhunt wouldn’t play the linebacker on a defense in the lower third of NFL rankings.
“You’d have to talk to them about that,” Belichick said. “You’ve got the injury reports so you can look at all the injury reports this year.”
The injuries Belichick references has to do with the not-so-small matter of the 25-year-old linebacker’s knees. He had patellar tendon surgery on both knees in the space of two months this past winter.
So, what can Ayers do for the Patriots?
“We’ll see,” Belichick said Wednesday morning. “Start working with him today. He’s played linebacker, defensive end in sub situations. We’ll start working with him.”
Can the versatility bring a new element to the Patriots defense?
“I don’t know,” Belichick said. “We’ll see. I’d say he has some versatility but we’ll see. I’d say just the combination of us getting to him and him getting to know our – learning our scheme, learning our system and us evaluating him on the run and trying to figure out how he can best help us.”
Belichick and the Patriots had a chance to scout Ayers when he came out of UCLA for the 2011 draft as one of the fastest linebackers (between 4.7-4.76) in college.
“We did [scout and talk to] him coming out of UCLA,” Belichick said. “We spent time with a lot of players. That was a long time ago. I don’t think that’s really that relevant.”
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