|09.12.14 at 10:59 am ET|
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss news from around the NFL, mainly the fallout from the Ray Rice/Roger Goodell situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Carroll said earlier in the week that he was deeply affected by the Rice saga.
“I’m just speaking toward just coming to the point of understanding,” he said. “I’ve done some reading, I’ve done some research on it, the whole thing about domestic issues and stuff. My awareness is totally heightened to it, and sensitivity, and I just expressed that. A lot of people kind of seem like they keep saying they have all this opinion about it. Well, I didn’t know enough about it to understand it the way I do now. So I’m different about it. I’m looking at it differently. I’m more aware of the whole scene that follows and the relationship that follows so that you can understand how this happens and how you can be so surprised by individuals that are involved in those kinds of relationships.
“I’m hoping that my own direction of it and making my team aware of it we can all handle this thing better, and we will. Everybody’s going to look at it differently. It’s just become so apparent, and I just said it, that’s all.”
The Seahawks signed cornerback A.J. Jefferson in the offseason (he’s now on injured reserve) despite him having an arrest on his record for domestic assault.
“We did investigate his whole situation and his background and all that, and did what we thought was thoroughly,” Carroll said. “But maybe we would look differently, we would respond differently to understanding the depths of the issue so that we can anticipate how that was going to work out.
“One thing that we’ve got to [understand]: People have a chance to get better. And they have the opportunity to rehabilitate or turn their world around. I would like to think that we’re going to give people an opportunity if they’ve done the hard work and have come through and demonstrated that they can see things differently and they’re going to act differently.
“But I will never see it the same. That was my point.”
Asked if he would considering signing Rice a year from now, Carroll was noncommittal.
“It’s too hard of a question to answer,” he said. “I can’t answer that to you. Right now, no. We wouldn’t know how to find a place for him right now. But everybody gets a chance to get better. We’ll see what happens. I don’t even know what this all means in terms of the courts and all that kind of stuff. I don’t have that background to understand that kind of stuff. But we would be very, very slow to make a decision to take a guy [like that].”
|09.12.14 at 10:59 am ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick remembers last October in Cincinnati very well.
He’d like to forget it, of course, but when Bengals shut down the Patriots offense, holding them to just one first down conversion in 13 tries on third down and holding Tom Brady without a touchdown pass for the first time in three seasons, it’s hard not to learn a lesson or two from what then-Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was trying to do.
“A lot of carryover,” Belichick said, anticipating what the Vikings would try to do this Sunday in Minnesota. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they xeroxed the same game plan. We couldn’t do much. One-for-13 on third down, six points, whatever it was, they did a good job. Yeah, we’re certainly prepared for that. If they did the same thing they did last year, it wouldn’t shock me at all, until we can show we can do something about it. We didn’t do much last year.”
Indeed, the Patriots gained just 15 first downs all game, passed for 197 yards, no touchdowns, and gained just 279 yards, all season lows. Zimmer’s Vikings certainly look capable of doing more of the same, using the same 4-3 front to steamroll the undermanned Rams, 34-6, in their season opener last week.
“They can [bring pressure],” Belichick said. “Strong side, weak side, up the middle, bring secondary pressure, linebacker pressure. They do a good job keeping you off balance. I’d say that’s one of the real strengths, they give you not so much different looks but different combinations of similar looks. You have to be ready for everybody. You can’t just say it’s going to be this or it’s going to be that.
“Sometimes it’s strong side, sometimes it weak side, sometimes it’s up the middle, sometimes it’s man, sometimes it’s zone, sometimes it’s blitz-zone. Sometimes it’s all-out blitz, sometimes all max coverage and drop everybody off but off that same look. They do a good job. [Safety] Harrison Smith, [Linebacker Chad] Greenway, [Cornerback Captain] Munnerlyn, those inside guys do a good job disguise, not really letting you know or giving you a great read on what’s going to happen and you have to figure it out after the snap. Your receivers and your quarterback and your line has to make post-snap adjustments. They do a good job of that.”
|09.12.14 at 10:35 am ET|
FOXBORO — Cordarrelle Patterson may not feel the love from Bill Belichick but the Patriots coach gave him his props on Friday as one of the elite kick returners in the game, comparing him to Baltimore’s breakaway threat Jacoby Jones.
“Probably the kid from Baltimore,” Belichick said when asked if Patterson reminds him of anyone he’s prepared for in the past in the kick game. “[Patterson is] big, strong, aggressive, hard to tackle. He’s got good vision, hits seams but even when there’s a lot of times guys get shots at him, they just can’t tackle him or he runs through tackles. And he’s got breakaway speed. So, he’s that type of player, can hit the home run, can go the distance.
“Sometimes it’s there but sometimes it’s really not there and he still makes a lot out of it and that’s a mark of a real good returner, a guy that can take something that doesn’t look like it’s great and turn it into a big play.”
Last year, Patterson returned 43 kicks for an NFL-leading 32.4 yard average. Those numbers also included an NFL-best two touchdowns, including the longest of the season at 109 yards. In other words, no kick-off is safe if it’s in the field of play.
But Belichick reminded everyone Friday that Minnesota’s punt return game can be just as dangerous. Marcus Sherels returned one punt for a touchdown in 2013 as part of his best season yet as a punt returner. He returned 22 punts for a 15.2 yard-per-return average. In his first two full-time seasons with the Vikings in 2011 and ’12, he split duties between the punt return game and the kick return side. Last year, with Patterson on board, Sherels was made into an exclusive punt returner.
“I think Sherels is probably as dangerous on punt returns, different type of guy, different style of guy but equally explosive and dangerous so their return game is the best in the league last year, the combination of the two so that will be a big challenge for our special teams units,” Belichick said.
After what happened with the Patriots special teams last week in Miami and the big returns they allowed throughout the preseason, this will be a big challenge indeed for Scott O’Brien and the special teams coverage unit.
|09.12.14 at 10:13 am ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst and former Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss the Ray Rice saga and the state of the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan on demand page.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has come under heavy criticism this week for the way he’s handled the Rice situation, and there have been calls for him to be fired.
“I don’t think it’s anything just black and white,” he said. “I just think there’s been so much confusion, I think the public, I think I’m confused, I think everyone is kind of confused with all of the information that’s coming out. I think we’ve got to sit tight and ultimately let everything play out. But I will say this, if the commissioner had seen that video previously, and still only handed out a two-game suspension, I think we would have to take a fierce look at him no longer being the commissioner.”
Some players, such as recently retired linebacker James Harrison, have been enjoying seeing Goodell have to deal with all of the pressure of the last week. Rodney Harrison said that while some players might not like Goodell, everything the commissioner does is under the microscope.
“Anytime you have a position of power and come in and start changing rules, it’s always going to be met with some form of resistance,” he said. “At the same time, that’s something as a commissioner you can’t really allow the outside world to control what you’re trying to do. It’s one of those things where he’s one of the most powerful men in football, so anything that he does is going to be scrutinized. This is a situation where everybody knew, but he only handed out a two-game suspension. He really put himself in a tight position.”
Harrison said he was shocked when the league originally handed just a two-game suspension to Rice.
“We knew that [Rice] knocked her out,” Harrison said. “It’s just one of those things where, two games, I couldn’t believe it was two games. I felt should have been 8-12 games.”
|09.12.14 at 7:38 am ET|
Cordarrelle Patterson may be overdoing it in his desire for motivation this Sunday against the Patriots.
“I’ve seen a little article today where Belichick, I think he said he didn’t want me,” Patterson told the Pioneer Press. “So that’s the kind of things that stick in the back of a player’s head. And you get out there, you just want to beat the defense up since people say things like that.”
Patterson is referring to the fact that the Patriots traded the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft to the Vikings, who used that pick to select Patterson. Patterson views that as the Patriots not wanting him and thinking he wasn’t good enough for New England, a team that was in dire need of a deep threat for Tom Brady.
Belichick said Wednesday they used the pick to address other needs and praised Patterson.
“Patterson is obviously an explosive guy,” Belichick said. “You see that in the return game. He’s a deep threat. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands, whether you hand it to him or throw it to him on a short pass. He’s a dangerous catch-and-run guy; he’s also a vertical guy. He’s a strong player.”
|09.11.14 at 11:35 pm ET|
Each week, we’ll present The Revis Report, a look at what’s on tap for the Patriots cornerback. This week, New England travels to Minnesota for a date with the Vikings.
Overview: This will mark Darrelle Revis‘ second regular-season game with the Patriots, and his first against the Vikings since he was with the Jets on Oct. 11, 2010. New England is coming off a surprising 33-20 loss to the Dolphins in the regular-season opener.
“We’re ready to go,” Revis told reporters after practice on Thursday. “We had a great practice today [and] we’ve just got to focus on [Friday] and tie all three practices together, and we’ll be ready to go.”
Last week: According to NFL gamebooks, Revis played 62 of a possible 74 snaps against the Dolphins (84 percent), and after looking at the All-22 film, we had him lined up on the left side for 61 of the possible 62 snaps. (This would certainly jibe with what we saw from him over the course of the preseason, where he was on the left side for 33 of his 36 preseason snaps.) In all, he was targeted five times by Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and yielded two catches for a total of 36 yards to Miami’s Mike Wallace, and also had two pass breakups.
While Revis stuck to one side of the field for the bulk of the afternoon, most of his action came in head-to-head matchups with Wallace. The most eventful play came in the first half when Wallace dropped an impressive double-move on Revis, allowing him to get some separation on the cornerback and get some clearance on the way to the end zone. However, the ball was just slightly off the mark, and Wallace was unable to come down with the ball inbounds. Revis ended the game with one tackle and a fumble recovery.
(For what it’s worth, Wallace’s move caused us to think about the most notable quote of the previous week from Revis on the receiver, saying that his speed can sometimes be deceptive. “Film can play tricks on your eyes sometimes when you watch it,” Revis said when asked about preparing for Wallace. “Until you get out there … film speed and game speed are totally two different things. I played against him in the past — a lot of guys on this team have — and I know how fast he is. He’s probably the fastest receiver in the league.”)
Ultimately, Wallace ended the game with seven catches (on 11 targets) for 81 yards and a touchdown, an uptick from the numbers he had averaged against Revis-led defenses in the past (four catches for 41 yards per contest).
Read the rest of this entry »
|09.11.14 at 9:53 pm ET|
The news keeps getting worse for Roger Goodell.
According to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report Thursday, Ray Rice told the NFL commissioner in a meeting on June 16 that he punched his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. OTL cited four sources that indicated Rice’s admission to Goodell in a disciplinary hearing.
If true, the assertion directly contradicts Goodell’s statement this week that “when we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”
Goodell made that claim Tuesday during an interview with CBS News, saying the latest video released by TMZ Sports about the incident was “inconsistent” with what the former Baltimore Ravens running back had told him.
But the four sources close to Rice say that during the disciplinary meeting in the commissioner’s office in New York on June 16, Rice made it clear to Goodell he had hit Janay Rice, then his fiancee, in the face inside a Revel Casino Hotel elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and had knocked her unconscious. Goodell and the Ravens insisted prior to the release of the TMZ elevator video released this week that they had no knowledge of what happened inside the elevator.
“Ray didn’t lie to the commissioner,” a source with knowledge of the meeting told “Outside the Lines.” “He told the full truth to Goodell — he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again.”
“He told the truth,” a second source said. “This is a public lynching of Ray.”
A third source with knowledge of Rice’s discussion with the commissioner told ESPN that “there was no ambiguity about what happened [in the elevator].” A fourth source also confirmed how the information was relayed at the meeting; however, a fifth source with knowledge of the meeting said Rice told Goodell he had “slapped” his fiancee.
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