|01.25.15 at 4:26 pm ET|
The Patriots embattled quarterback put out a call on Facebook, via a produced video, to rally Patriots fans around the organization.
|01.25.15 at 2:27 pm ET|
In their final Foxboro practice of the year and their last before departing for Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona, the Patriots had perfect attendance Sunday, according to multiple reports.
For a fourth straight day, the Patriots held their practice inside Dana-Farber Fieldhouse Sunday as they try to simulate game conditions inside University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale next Sunday.
The Patriots had a full pads practice on Thursday, followed by a walkthrough on Friday and a pair of sweats and shells practice on Saturday and Sunday.
The Patriots officially listed six as questionable in Friday’s projected injury report, including rookie center Bryan Stork, who injured his knee in the divisional win over the Ravens. His continued participation in practice is a good sign that he will be ready to play in the Super Bowl.
Sunday’s practice was the 65th and final one of the season on their Foxboro campus. The next big event for the Patriots is Monday’s send-off rally at 11 a.m. at City Hall Plaza in Boston. The Patriots land in Arizona Monday afternoon and will be available to the media at that time.
|01.25.15 at 10:47 am ET|
And so it continues.
Less than a day after Bill Belichick offered his explanation of the team’s scientific investigation and study of Deflategate, a scientific expert has come forward and accused the Patriots coach of being flat out ignorant.
Bill Nye, a mechanical engineer who worked at Boeing before becoming TV’s ‘Bill Nye The Science Guy,’ was a guest on Sunday’s “Good Morning America,” claiming Belichick’s explanation “doesn’t make any sense.”
[Bill Belichick‘s entire press conference, including explanation is listed below]
Belichick did get validation from another science think tank based in Pittsburgh that includes experts from Carnegie Mellon. Thomas Healy, founder of HeadSmart Labs, claims that the conditions of the AFC title game would have caused a significant drop in air pressure by result of their simulation.
“We took 12 brand new authentic NFL footballs and exposed them to the different elements they would have experienced throughout the game.’ said Healy, a masters student in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon. “Out of the 12 footballs we tested, we found that on average, footballs dropped 1.8 PSI when being exposed to dropping temperatures and wet conditions.”
“During testing, 12 brand new footballs were inflated to 12.5 PSI in a 75 degree Fahrenheit room. This was to imitate the indoor conditions where the referees would have tested the footballs 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff. The footballs were then moved to a 50 degree Fahrenheit environment to simulate the temperatures that were experienced throughout the game. In addition, the footballs were dampened to replicate the rainy conditions.”
|01.25.15 at 10:19 am ET|
Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower has seen enough of Marshawn Lynch to know he and his Patriots teammates better be in tackle mode next Sunday to stop Beastmode.
Hightower doesn’t need to look at Lynch’s regular season accomplishments of 1,306 yards and a career-best 13 touchdowns. All Hightower has to do is watch game film of how he’s been running in the playoffs.
In two postseason games, the All-Pro running back has carried the ball 39 times for 216 yards and a touchdown, including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game against Green Bay, a team he sliced through for 157 yards. He is averaging 5.5 yards every time he touches the ball.
When defenses know he’s going to get the ball, what specifically makes him so difficult to defend?
“A little bit of everything. He’s aggressive, he’s strong, he’s got great vision, great balance, good feet ‘ he has everything that you would want in a back,” Hightower said. “His feet never stop moving no matter what he’s doing, whether it’s picking up blocks in protection or getting out on a screen pass or a check down. He’s always looking to make that big play.”
Hightower laughed Saturday when asked about how elusive Lynch can be in answering questions from the media.
“I think everybody’s seen that,” Hightower said. “I think it’s apparent that [he] doesn’t want to talk to the media. It is what it is. A lot of guys don’t want to, but you’ve kind of got to.”
Does Hightower think it’s funny?
“Yeah, I think it’s funny,” Hightower said. “I’m pretty sure you all think it’s funny, too, so don’t just put me up here and act like I’m the only one. But it is.”
But Hightower knows tackling Lynch in Glendale will be no joke.
Hightower is second on the Patriots in the playoffs with 11 total tackles so far, trailing Jamie Collins’ 15. Both linebackers will have to make sure to wrap up Lynch, who ranked fifth this season among running backs in the NFL with 639 yards after contact.
“Of course, especially tackling Lynch or Wilson or [Doug] Baldwin. They have great skill players who all have big-play impact,” Hightower said. “If you go back and you watch film, a lot of those plays were to get the ball to them real quick and out in space. Any time they can do that, they’re willing to take advantage of it, and that’s something they want, is to have that big-play ability.
“Again, everybody kind of looks at Lynch and thinks that he’s just an aggressor and wants to run everybody over. That might be his game, but I see it as both. He’ll run you over to get where he wants to get, but you never see him run out of bounds. He’s always looking to cut back and make those big plays and those 80- and those 70-yard touchdowns that you see. He does everything.” Read the rest of this entry »
|01.25.15 at 8:30 am ET|
FOXBORO — Unfortunately for Jerod Mayo he cannot play in the postseason for a second straight year, as for a second straight year he suffered a season-ending injury. But, that doesn’t mean Mayo has stopped playing a part in the success of the team.
Mayo tore his patellar tendon in Week 6 against the Bills, but he’s still helped out his fellow linebackers and defense, as the defensive captain has remained around the facility watching film, and even was on the sidelines in the last two playoff games — something unusual for an injured reserve player to be on the sidelines on a Bill Belichick coached team.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower has really appreciated what Mayo has been able to do despite his injury.
“He’s meant a lot,” Hightower said Saturday. “I mean, even before the injury, he was still a coach on the field to us, and he’s been a real big part, especially last week and the week before with helping me and Jamie [Collins] see things on the sidelines and giving us adjustments. Matty P [defensive coordinator Matt Patricia] has a big job on the sideline with talking to Bill and B Flo [safeties coach Brian Flores] and everybody, so Mayo has really helped that front seven just as far as seeing side things on the sideline.”
On WEEI this week Mayo talked about being on the sidelines and how he was able to calm the defense down in their win over Baltimore, as the Patriots trailed by 14 points on two occasions.
‘I just tried to keep the guys calm,” Mayo said. “I know it’s a long game and sometimes things don’t go your way,’ said Mayo of what he did in the Baltimore game. ‘I try and keep everybody calm and obviously I can see things from the sideline that you can’t really see on the field. It’s difficult to see the entire field when you’re out there looking at certain keys. I can see a lot of things on the sideline and I just try to rely some of the things that I see to the guys.’
|01.25.15 at 7:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — This coming week’s trip to Arizona won’t be the first time the Patriots have spent a week preparing for a game away from their usual confines of Gillette Stadium, as the team spent a week in San Diego in December prior to their game with the Chargers.
New England played Green Bay in Green Bay on Nov. 30 and then the Chargers the following Sunday night. Instead of traveling back to New England and then across the country again a few days later, the team instead went right to San Diego and spent the the week there.
Fullback James Develin said the experience could help the team a bit for what is to come this week in Arizona.
“I think so,” he said. “It’s always valuable to have some kind of experience like that – going away for a long period of time, but really, we’re just looking at this week and just trying to prepare for it the best we can and just try to get ready for Seattle because they’re a very good team.”
New England played one of their better games of the season after their week out West — a 23-14 win over the Chargers.
For kicker Stephen Gostkowski he doesn’t care where the Super Bowl is and where the team has to spend a week — as long as his family gets there, that is all that matters to him. He said the things will still be the same as the Patriots will still need to have their old saying, “Ignore the noise.”
“I mean, we don’t think about that stuff,” Gostkowski said. “We just worry about the game and the people who handle the logistics deal with that and we just worry about making sure our family and friends get down there safely and we enjoy the experience. At the same time we have a job to do and it’s all focus on the game, really. We could be playing in Missouri and we wouldn’t care. It’s the Super Bowl, it’s exciting, we’ve stayed at hotels before, nothing is different. There’s just going to be a big spotlight on it and we’re just going to deal with the distraction and ignore the noise.”
Cornerback Kyle Arrington joked how getting away from New England at time of the year is good no matter what, but having their families with them, unlike in December, will be a positive thing.
“Well, ideally, it’s nice to go somewhere warm this time of year and not be in Foxboro, but it was a good experience being out in San Diego for a week and being away,” Arrington said. “This time a lot of guys will have their families out there in Arizona, so it will make it less difficult.”
|01.24.15 at 8:50 pm ET|
FOXBORO — This was a Bill Belichick no one had ever seen before.
The coach with over 40 years of coaching experience rarely ever gets as fired up and passionate about something as he did Saturday afternoon in an impromptu press conference to put an end to the Deflategate story this week — at least for the time being.
It was in that 25 or so minute press conference that he went off course a bit and discussed this year’s team and how hard they work when referencing the footballs the team uses in practice, as they are often messed with (ie. pouring water on them) to prepare the team for the toughest of playing conditions.
“Anyone who has seen us practice knows that we make it harder, not easier, to handle the football,” Belichick said. “Our players train in conditions that a lot of people would recommend that we not drive in. That’s what they do. They’re a physically and mentally tough team that works hard, that trains hard, that prepares hard and have met every challenge that I put in front of them. And I know that because I work them every day.”
“This team was the best team in the AFC in the regular season. We won two games in the playoffs against two good football teams. The best team in the postseason, that’s what this team is,” he added. “I know that because I’ve been with them every day and I’m proud of this team.”
Despite all the distractions this week, the team still has their biggest task of the season ahead — Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks Feb. 1 in Glendale. The team is looking to avoid losing three straight Super Bowl games and give Belichick his fourth title as a head coach.
“This is the end of this subject for me for a long time, OK? We have a huge game, a huge challenge for our football team and that’s where that focus is going to go,” said Belichick.
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