|Revis Report, Week 2: Corner could face unique challenge in Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson||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 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 the pass went incomplete.
(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).
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|Revis Report, Week 1: Will it be Mike Wallace or Charles Clay?||09.04.14 at 11:13 pm ET|
Each week, we’ll present The Revis Report, a look at what’s on tap for the Patriots cornerback over the coming week. This week, it’s the first regular-season game for the Patriots, as they travel to Miami for a date with the Dolphins.
Overview: This is Darrelle Revis‘ first game with the Patriots, and so there’s not much to go on in terms of history within New England’s system. Over the course of the preseason, the cornerback played two games, and took 36 snaps overall. By our highly unscientific count, he was on the right side for 33 of those snaps, and on the left for three. He was thrown at three times, and there was one completion, a pass from Cam Newton to Kelvin Benjamin.
“I’m very excited. It’s the first week — it’s good to get things going now,” Revis said Thursday when asked if he was excited to get the regular season started. “I think we’re all excited. We’ve been waiting for this for awhile, and now, it’s here.”
Possible man matchups: Revis will likely be utilized against one of two people — either wide receiver Mike Wallace or tight end Charles Clay. Revis said Thursday he’s matched up against Wallace on several occasions times in the past — it appears the last time the two went head-to-head was Week 2 of the 2012 season. According to Pro Football Focus, Revis played in 43 of a possible 85 defensive snaps before going down with a knee injury that ultimately left him on the shelf for the rest of the season.
Then, there’s Clay. Why would Bill Belichick have Revis work against a tight end? A few reasons. First, Belichick has traditionally been all about trying to stop the opposing team’s No. 1 offensive option, and he has a clear level of respect for Clay, so much so that he assigned lead corner Aqib Talib (with some help) to Clay in last year’s contest against the Dolphins in Miami. Clay had one catch for six yards in the loss to the Dolphins.
Clay presents a myriad of challenges for a defender who might be assigned to him in single coverage, including the fact that he could line up at several different positions.
“You have to find him,” Belichick said of Clay earlier this week. “He’s all over. Sometimes he’s in the normal tight end location but you certainly can’t count on that — flex, could be in the backfield, could be detached as a receiver.”
|Aqib Talib on Tom Brady-Peyton Manning debate: ‘You’ve got to go Peyton Manning’||05.28.14 at 10:59 am ET|
Who’s the better quarterback: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? It’s the popular question that has consumed football fans for the last decade and has led to countless heated debates on TV and radio and even in the workplace.
Aqib Talib thinks he knows the answer.
The former Patriots cornerback, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal with Manning’s Broncos this offseason, told NFL Network that he thinks Manning — the reigning MVP — is a better quarterback than his former teammate in New England.
“You’ve got to go Peyton Manning,” said Talib, who was named the No. 79 overall player in the 2014 in the network’s Top 100 players series. “Tom is a good friend of mine … what’s up Tom, baby?
“[Manning] had an awesome year. He tore it up. He like set the record for touchdowns. He beat Tom in the AFC championship. You’ve got to give it to Peyton. Tom knows — that’s my dog, man, he knows.”
Talib said it’s “definitely a different scenery” in Denver.
Another cornerback likely to join Talib on that list is Patriots newcomer Darrelle Revis, whom the Patriots opted to sign on a one-year deal rather than give Talib a long-term contract.
“[Bill Belichick] sure didn’t want to give me that money, so hey, man, he gave it to Revis,” Talib said. “It is what it is.’
Talib also commented on Wes Welker, who ended the corner’s season in the AFC championship game with a big hit in the middle of the field that infuriated Belichick.
“Man, me and Wes, we’re good, man. It’s a football play, man,” Talib said. “It just so happened it happened on a stage in the AFC championship game. I watched the play 1,000 times. I’m sure Wes didn’t do it on purpose.”
|Reports: Patriots cleared of wrongdoing regarding injury reports||04.25.14 at 8:26 am ET|
The Patriots have been cleared of any potential wrongdoing when it comes to injury reports, according to multiple media outlets.
Both Aqib Talib and Brandon Spikes took their shots at the franchise on the way out the door, saying that the team played fast-and-loose with how it reports injuries. However, an NFL spokesman said the Patriots were acting within the rules regarding Talib and Spikes.
“It was determined that the Patriots complied with the injury report procedures regarding both players,” NFL Senior Vice President of Communications Greg Aiello wrote in an email to ESPN.
“I know, I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,” Spikes said shortly after he signed with the Bills. “That’s just how things go there. Almost like what happened with Talib and his hip.
“That was just from the labor throughout the season, man. It was just — you know how it is – it’s a tough 16 games. All I needed was rest and rehab.”
Spikes’ claim was the second in a month. When he signed with the Broncos, Talib said he was listed with a hip injury, but he was quick to say he had no such problem.
“The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa,” Talib said. ‘The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury, but that’s how they do things.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Takeaways from our Thursday afternoon talk with Devin McCourty||04.24.14 at 9:43 pm ET|
FOXBORO – In addition to the news the defensive backs continue to try and build some semblance of chemistry, here are three other takeaways from our Thursday afternoon chat with Devin McCourty.
1. There’s no update on a new deal.
McCourty is going into the final season of a contract he signed as a rookie in 2010, but isn’t sweating his future.
“I don’t even worry about it,” he said when asked about his contract situation after 2014. “I just focus on playing football and let everything else (get) handled by my agents and the team and all that.”
2. It means something to him that he’s associated with Rutgers.
While everyone in the New England locker room displays some level of pride in their school, McCourty has been a tremendous advocate for Rutgers over the last few years. He’s maintained a high profile on campus, coming back frequently for Pro Days and workouts. (He lamented that he didn’t make it back for Pro Day this spring.) He said Thursday that it’s important for him to keep his ties to his alma mater.
“For me, it’s key, because I think that university played a huge part in my life,” he said of Rutgers. “Some of my best friends, I met there. One of the good things is that every time we go back we get to reconnect and have some fun. I just love the program. Just seeing them, now moving to the Big 10, I got to check out one of the spring practices. It’s an exciting time for them. I know they’re ready to go. I just love being a part of it. Just anything I can do to help, I’m always there to help out.”
McCourty was asked about the current group of pre-draft prospects from Rutgers, including wide receiver Brandon Coleman.
“He’s probably the most interesting (one),” McCourty said of Coleman. “The thing I loved about him is his work ethic. I remember one summer, I went back there and we were just doing 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s with those guys and he was going each time. If one of the NFL guys got up there, he would go just to get the work. I’m happy for him, getting a chance to live out his dream.
“Really, all those guys,” he added. “They work hard there. I know whether it’s here or somewhere else, those guys will land somewhere and they’ll work their butt off trying to keep a job.”
3. The only thing constant in the NFL is change.
With the addition of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner and loss of Aqib Talib and Steve Gregory, the secondary has undergone the most personnel changeover to this point in the offseason. McCourty talked about the changes:
On Gregory: “Steve is a smart football player. A guy who is always in the right spot. A guy who is a playmaker. He was big for us the last two years when he was here. He made plays. He’d kind of that older figure who has a lot of knowledge and had a lot of football games under his belt and has been able to just push us the right way. It just stinks a little bit — but that’s the business of football. Since I’ve been here, we’ve always had guys coming in and guys going, so, nothing new. Just wish him the best and hope he lands with another team.”
On Talib: “The same thing. A very good football player who has played very big for us in the last two years. But the business is the business. You just wish him the best in Denver — not that good, of course. But hope he does well. We’re happy for him.”
|Ty Law: Hall induction would be ‘icing on the cake’ as far as career with Patriots||04.16.14 at 7:24 pm ET|
For Ty Law, it’s the chance to bring a legendary career full circle.
The cornerback, who is one of three finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame, admitted Wednesday that when it came to how things ended with the franchise, it was a less than ideal scenario.
After playing 10 years with New England, he left as a free agent following the 2004 season. He ended his career with brief stints with the Jets, Chiefs and Broncos (and retired following the 2009 season), but it was a bittersweet final act for one of the best defensive backs of his era.
“I’d be the first one to admit now, I’m older, wiser, more mature, that if I could have done something all over again, I would have tried my damnedest to stay in New England and finish my career,” he said on a conference call with New England media.
“Not that I have any regrets about the teams that took me in as far as the New York Jets, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs — I’m thankful for the opportunity. I think I said this early in my career; I would have loved to start and finish my career with the Patriots. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have made more effort to stay a Patriot.”
Now, Law has the opportunity for a final farewell. It was revealed Wednesday that he’s one of three finalists for the Hall of Fame, a class that includes cornerback Raymond Clayborn and former coach Bill Parcells. (Fans can vote on the finalists for the next month at Patriots.com.)
Law was a three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), a four-time Pro Bowl player (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003) and a two-time All-Pro (1998, 2003) during his tenure with the Patriots. Law tied Clayborn’s career franchise-record with 36 interceptions and finished with the most interception-return yards in team history with 583
Law, who said he was “speechless” when he was informed that he was a finalist, said, ‘it would mean a lot’ if he gets the nod.
“It will put the icing on the cake, as far as my playing career with the Patriots, and give some validation to me that I’m appreciated by the fans, they still care for me and they show me that with my business on and off the field and it just puts a stamp of approval [from] Patriot Nation,” he said. “I’m really humbled by that to even be considered with the great Bill Parcells and Raymond Clayborn, who was such a great player and spent so much time in New England. I’m honored just to be considered and on the list with those two guys.”
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|Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents||04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.
Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
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