|10.08.10 at 8:43 am ET|
Jaguars at Bills
* – Buffalo averaged 7.13 yards per rush last week, the highest in the NFL and the highest by a Bills team since 2001 (min. 15 carries). It was the Bills’ highest average at home since 1992. Last week was the first time that the Bills have rushed at least 15 times without getting stuffed (i.e. losing yardage) since the 2003 season.
* – The Bills are 4th in the NFL in first-down efficiency as they have gained 4 or more yards on 54.9 percent of their first-down plays, including 65 percent vs. the Jets last Sunday. Their offense is pretty much downhill from there, though.
* – The Jaguars have gone three-and-out on just 6.7 percent of their possessions this season, the lowest percentage in the league. Buffalo has gone three-and-out 34.1 percent of the time, the highest percentage in the league. Buffalo’s total includes seven such possessions last week.
* – The Bills have allowed 9.3 rushing first downs per game this season (worst in the NFL), while Jacksonville has averaged 8.5 rushing first downs on offense (third best).
* – Jaguars opponents have had 10 “goal to go” drives this season and have scored a touchdown on all 10. New England is the only other team to have as many as five such opponent drives and allow 100 percent touchdowns.
* – Buffalo’s is the only 2010 defense without an interception.
|10.08.10 at 7:27 am ET|
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and talked about the Randy Moss trade. To hear the interview, check the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Asked on a scale of 1-10 how surprised he was when he founds out Moss was sent to the Vikings, Mayo said: “I’d say about an 8. But at the end of the day, it’s the nature of the business.”
Mayo said he did not have any insight as to why Moss was traded, and he considered the receiver a friend. “He wasn’t a distraction at all,” Mayo said. “He’s a great teammate. Great in the locker room. To my knowledge, he hadn’t done anything wrong, as far as in the locker room.”
With Moss out of the equation, Brandon Tate is expected to become a much bigger part of the offense. “He’s a good player, hungry to learn,” Mayo said. “And we have other guys like Julian Edelman who are ready to step up and make plays.”
Mayo said the players haven’t lost any confidence in the team, despite what some prognosticators might be saying. “I don’t think guys are really thinking like that. … I hear guys talking all the time, ‘We’re still a good team, still have a chance.’ It’s not like we’re giving up. We’re going to go out and play hard each and every week.”
Following this weekend’s bye, the Patriots return to action next weekend with a game against the Ravens, who blew out the Pats in the playoffs last season. Asked if Bill Belichick would show video of that game to the team next week, Mayo said he expects it. “You know that’s coming,” Mayo said with a laugh. “That’s going to be on the big screen.”
|10.07.10 at 9:13 pm ET|
The Patriots have reportedly looked into acquiring disgruntled Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, according to CSNNE.com, with New England possibly offering offensive lineman Logan Mankins in return. The two players are in similar situations — both of whom are restricted free agents in the fifth season in the league who are sitting out rather than playing for their tender offers.
|10.07.10 at 6:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In his first public comments since wide receiver Randy Moss was traded, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told “Patriots All-Access” (click here for the clip of the interview that will air Friday at 7 p.m.) that while he loves Moss “as a guy, as a person, as a player,” he understands the decision to trade him to the Vikings.
“Randy really knows how I feel about him,” Brady said. “I love him as a guy, as a person, as a player. He did a lot of great things for this team. At the same time, I think coach [Bill] Belichick feels that’s what he thinks he needs to do for the team. So we as players, we deal with it and we move on. I think I’ve been around long enough to realize that nothing really surprises me. The best thing for me to do is to be the best quarterback that I can be for the team.”
|10.07.10 at 5:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a lengthy question-and-answer session at his locker Thursday afternoon, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork talked about how close he had grown to Randy Moss in the three-plus seasons the two played together, and that he never saw Moss as a distraction — contrary to statements made by former Patriot Tedy Bruschi.
Bruschi, currently an analyst for ESPN, said on Wednesday “there [were] some players frustrated with Randy. … He’s saying the right things, doing the right things in front of the media. But inside that locker room he’s turning into the same player he was toward the end of his time in Oakland.”
“We’ve never had problems with Randy. Our locker room is our locker room. We’ve never had an issue. I can’t remember an issue that we had. I don’t know what Tedy’s bringing up,” Wilfork said of Bruschi. “That’s not an issue in this locker room. That was business. It’s all business and it happens. You have to move forward from it. And that’s one thing we’ll do around here, especially for myself knowing him personally, I’ll move forward from it.”
Wilfork and Moss were especially close, and one thing Wilfork reiterated several times in Thursday afternoon was the fact that the two will remain “friends forever.”
“I was very fortunate to play with a guy like Randy. I had a chance to know him as a person, not just as an athlete. He was a great person, he was a great athlete, probably one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet,” he said.
While he was emotional about the situation, Wilfork understands the realities of life in the NFL.
“It’s business,” he said. “It happens all the time. But we’re going to keep rolling. I’m pretty sure Randy’s going to keep doing what he has to do in Minnesota. One thing for sure is that we’re friends forever. I’ll talk to him. He’ll talk to me. Just because we’re on the other side doesn’t mean anything. I do want to beat him, but from a personal standpoint right now, good guy. Good guy. [But] that’s business.”
|10.07.10 at 5:16 pm ET|
Randy Moss spoke to the media in Minnesota after his first practice with the Vikings on Thursday. The wide receiver spoke about his time in New England, his reaction to the trade, his contract status and his relationship with Bill Belichick.
Here are some highlights from the press conference …
Randy Moss: Before I start off with any questions, I’m very fortunate to be back where it all started. It’s been a hectic last 48 hours and I didn’t know what to expect. But I’m back home and it feels weird knowing I was just in New England trying to make things happen and just overnight get traded back home. I thought about this, time and time again about how this thing was going to play out. Was the love for me still here in Minnesota and all I’ve seen is nothing but positives. So to all the Vikings fans and that’s coming to the Metrodome — put you No. 84 jerseys back on because I think it’s going to be a fun ride. It felt good to be out there today. I’ve watched these guys from afar — Williams brothers, Brett [Favre], [Steve] Hutchinson, [Bryant] McKinnie, I’ve watched this team, I’ve paid attention to the team and the success they’ve had over the years. And by bringing me back I just want to see if we can get this thing done. I know we take it one game at a time, I know they came up one game short last year. So, hopefully no one in this organization is looking at a bigger picture because this game Monday night we have the New York Jets so we’ll take it one game at a time and see what happens at the end of the season.
When you were traded from the Vikings five years ago did you ever think you’d be back?
RM: I have strong faith, I have a lot of faith. I pray to God, praying every day and every morning that He would put me in the right situation. I think me being traded from New England to here was His plan so I’m going to embrace it and take it into stride and hopefully bring it home.
How long have you wanted to play with Favre? He’s wanted to play with you for years, since Green Bay days.
RM: Me and Brett have a long history with one another. I think when we started out in the NFC playing against one another … his agent Bus Cook and I have a very strong relationship so all along he just wanted to see if me and Brett could hook up one day. Knowing I’m a little older and he’s older — I know we don’t have that long window, the opportunity is closing, so we just have to take ti one game at a time, one practice at a time. I know I’m coming in late but we’ll get out there and get a little timing down and hopefully carry it on to the games.
It was reported that you were hurt when you learned of the trade. Were you hurt?
RM: No, I’ve been traded before. No, the hurt … I was more hurt when I left here [Minnesota]. I think when I got traded from New England to here it was more of an understanding. I’ve said time and time again that this is not football, man, this is a job. This is a business and whenever the fans understand the business I think it’ll be better for everyone. Did I want to get traded out of New England? I don’t really know what that answer is. All I can say is that there is no other place I really wanted to be traded to other than Minnesota. I started here, I feel obligated to this organization for drafting me. At the time it was coach Dennis Green and his group that drafted me. Me leaving here left a bad taste in my mouth, very depressed, but me coming back here over the last 24 hours I still feel obliged to try and make this thing happen because when no one wanted to give me chance the Vikings gave me a chance. Even I slipped late in the draft in 1998 I still have the same approach to the game. I know I’m a little older, but hopefully some of the younger guys pick up where I left off and hopefully make this ship move.
The possibility of a contract extension?
RM: I really don’t want to get into contracts. This is how the whole thing started. Some things in New England didn’t go according to plan and you see I’m here now. So I’m not really wanting to get into the contract thing, I think everything will work itself out. If I’m here next year as a Viking then that’s what it’s going to be. If not I’m not. Right now I have a job to do and it’s just to play football and we’ll leave it at that.
|10.07.10 at 3:28 pm ET|
The Patriots worked out a pair of kickers on Wednesday, veterans Shaun Suisham and Shayne Graham, according to Pro Football Talk. Suisham, 28, is a Bowling Green product who has spent five seasons in the NFL, having kicked for Dallas, San Francisco and Washington. Graham is a 32-year-old out of Virginia Tech who has been in the league since 2001 and has kicked for Buffalo, Carolina and Cincinnati.
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