|09.16.14 at 7:00 am ET|
Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. Here’s a look at the target breakdown after two regular-season games this year.
WR Julian Edelman: 12 catches on 15 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 catches on 17 targets
RB Shane Vereen: 6 catches on 10 targets
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 5 catches on 10 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 3 catches on 6 targets
TE Tim Wright: 3 catches on 4 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 2 catches on 2 targets
FB James Develin: 2 catches on 2 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 1 catch on 3 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 1 catch on 2 targets
TE Michael Hoomananwanui: 1 catch on 1 target
WR Brandon LaFell: 0 catches on 6 targets
|09.15.14 at 11:45 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Julian Edelman knows there are more than enough rocks to go around.
After two weeks, the receiver leads the Patriots with 12 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown. He’s responsible for 27 percent of Tom Brady‘s completed passes through two games, and has established an impressive Welkerian-style chemistry with the quarterback — going back to the preseason, he’s caught 22 of the 25 passes thrown in his direction this year.
But he knows that the time is going to come when there’s going to be greater distribution in the passing game.
“I’m not the quarterback, so I’m sure — it’s only two games, there’s a lot of season left — there’s going to be games where other guys are going to get more rocks than me,” he said Monday, a day after he had six catches in a 30-7 win over the Vikings in Minnesota. “But, I’m just going to continue to try to get better and do my job.”
It’s hard to be any better than Edelman was in the first half against the Vikings, particularly on the scoring drive that gave the Patriots a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. First, quarterback Tom Brady found Edelman down the sideline for a 44-yard pickup, which tied his longest gain of the year. Then, he followed that up with a 9-yard touchdown reception on a play where Brady stood in the pocket, took a big hit and still managed to loft the ball perfectly toward Edelman, who gathered it in for his first score of the year.
‘The quarterback putting us in the best play, and Tom did that as he has time in and time out,’’ Edelman said Monday when asked to describe the play. ‘It’s just going out and executing a play, running a route, making a catch, the line doing their job, the running back doing their job, Tom taking a hit and making a throw.
“You expect nothing less from a guy like him. He’s tough as nails, he’s our leader, and he’ll give up his body to do that.”
|09.15.14 at 6:23 pm ET|
With the win, Belichick became the seventh head coach in league history to win 200 games. Belichick credited those he was able to coach as he reached the landmark win total.
“That means I coached a lot of good players, that’s what that means,” Belichick said. “Those guys are the ones that win them. They go out there and they’re the ones who make the plays. I’ve been very fortunate to coach a lot of great players.”
Continued Belichick: “When I got into coaching, it certainly wasn’t for the money. It was because I enjoyed the game and the competitiveness of it and all that goes with football. Twenty-five dollars a week, that isn’t why you do it. But things have worked out well financially since then, so I have no complaints about that. But that’s not why I got into it. As a head coach you just try and have the best year you can have each year. I don’t think in 1991 I was thinking about 2014. I probably wasn’t thinking about 1993 too much either. I was probably thinking about 1991. That’s kind of what our job is, year to year and week to week. So right now I’m just thinking about Oakland.”
The absence of running back Adrian Peterson from Sunday’s game forced the Vikings rely on backup tailbacks. Belichick said the change did not affect the Patriots’ defensive scheme in any way.
“They still have good quality backs,” Belichick said. “I think that Norv [Turner], the system that he runs is still pretty much his system. I think it would have been no different if a player got hurt on the first series or first quarter of the game. They would probably do what they would kind of normally do with the other 10 guys. It’s really hard to change an entire offense or defense when one guy goes out. It’s easier to try and replace whoever that person is and work around it the best you can.”
|09.15.14 at 5:19 pm ET|
Against the Dolphins in Week 1, the Patriots defense allowed 23 unanswered points in the second half. Wilfork said after the game that the Patriots would step up their performance against the Vikings. The defense did just that, allowing just one touchdown early in the game against Minnesota.
“I think we did pretty well,” Wilfork said of the defense. “Everything wasn’t perfect, but it definitely was a step in the right direction. Going into that game just kind of felt that this week was a good week for us to get back on track and start playing the way we want to play. That was a huge step forward for us. We just have to continue to just keep grinding away, this week, weeks after this. It’s going to get tougher. Every game gets tougher. Every game is more important.”
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson did not play in Sunday’s game because of a domestic abuse incident involving his son. Despite not having to go against one of the league’s best running backs, Wilfork said he wished the Patriots could have faced him.
“I was kind of bummed out because I really wanted us to face a good back,” Wilfork said. “Not saying that the backs they had weren’t good, but when you talk about Adrian Peterson, he’s one of the best in the game. I thought it’d be a good challenge for us defensively to go in off of a performance that we had a week before, with a running back that definitely knows what he’s doing. But we didn’t get it. But at the same time, we didn’t let that affect how we went into the game plan.”
|09.15.14 at 4:10 pm ET|
Former Patriots linebacker and current ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi, in his weekly interview on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, slammed the Vikings for their decision to reinstate running back Adrian Peterson after a one-game suspension in the aftermath of his arrest on charges of reckless or negligent injuries inflicted on his 4-year-old son.
Bruschi suggested that the incident and its handling “sickens” him, and that Peterson has no business being back on the field. He decried Vikings owner Zygi Wilf’s statement suggesting that the Vikings will let Peterson play in deference to “due process” as the facts of the case are examined by the legal system.
“It was hard to cover the NFL, hard to be a former player. I just tried so hard during my 13 years in the NFL to progress as an individual also, to realize that I know I’m still playing the same sport that I did in college and in high school, but your progression as an individual must continue in terms of getting better in terms of who you are, what you believe, the actions that you take. Some of these guys, they just don’t understand and they can’t learn. They can’t learn,” said Bruschi. “Violence, it’s a terrible excuse not to use your mind, not to think, not to find another alternative, not to find another way to solve a problem that you may have in your life. It’s just a shame to almost be a former player in the NFL right now with some of the issues having to dealt with.
“The reinstatement, that can’t happen. That can’t happen. The words due process, I’m really getting tired of hearing those words from powerful people in terms of, you’re making the decisions. It’s your organization. It’s your team. You own a team. It’s yours,” Bruschi said. “The owners are using, or whoever it may be, you’re using due process as something to hide behind, something to hide behind where you don’t say, ‘This is what I believe in, and I don’t care what’s going on. This is the action I’m going to take.’ It seems like they’re afraid to state what they believe. That’s sort of a shame because we’re dealing with some pretty sensitive issues here with child abuse and domestic violence. The fact that one owner, you won’t take the lead. You won’t take the lead and do something. I know what happened to Ray Rice and how he was basically cut from the Ravens. The words due process, it’s really such a cop-out to me in how they’re using it and how cowardly they’ve been using those two words.” Read the rest of this entry »
|09.15.14 at 2:45 pm ET|
Adrian Peterson issued a statement Monday regarding the child abuse charges that have been leveled against him:
My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.
I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.
I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.
I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.
I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.
I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.
I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|09.15.14 at 12:28 pm ET|
The Patriots were flagged for 15 penalties on Sunday in their win over the Vikings, not including the calls that were declined or offset. Through two games, New England has been hit with 24 penalties and assessed 263 penalty yards. That stands in stark contrast to last season, when the Patriots had seven penalties in their first two games of the season and didn’t hit the 24-penalty mark until their fifth game of the year.
On a conference call with the media, coach Bill Belichick said it was something that the Patriots “absolutely” need to address going forward.
“It’s way too much. We can’t keep doing that. We had a lot of penalties last week, we had a lot of penalties this week,” he said. “it’s not just the penalties — it’s the yardage, it’s too many personal fouls. We had two interference penalties on their last drive that got [Minnesota] almost down there the whole length of the field. It must have been almost 60 yards in penalties it seemed like. Things like that, we just can’t afford them.
“One is too many. If each player gets one penalty, we’d set an all-time record. It can’t be well, ‘I just had one penalty.’ We have to play penalty-free. We have to do a better job of that. We have to coach it better. We have to. Not that we haven’t spent a lot of time on it because we have, but that’s certainly an area that we need to improve in.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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