|Bill Belichick rips meteorologists everywhere: ‘They’re almost always wrong’||10.31.14 at 10:01 am ET|
FOXBORO — Weather forecasts are something Bill Belichick often reads but almost never trusts. That was painfully evident Friday morning when asked about his preparations for potential inclement weather late Sunday afternoon for the game against the Broncos.
“When you play in New England, you’ve got to be ready for everything,” Belichick began. “I’d say based on the forecasts we’ve gotten so far this year, none of them were even very close to what the game conditions were.”
But Belichick was only getting started. He recalled the Thursday night game against the Jets, when the forecast called for monsoon-like rain throughout the contest.
“There was a 100 percent chance of rain last week and the only water I saw was on the Gatorade table,” he quipped. “It is what it is. It could start one way and change during the game so we’ve got to be ready for whatever it is. My experience of going with the forecasts in this area two days before the game, I’d bet a lot they’re wrong, just based on history, because they’re almost always wrong. An hour before the game, maybe you might have something to work with there. If you start game-planning for what the weather is going to be, and you’re wrong, you’ve wasted a lot of time.”
But he wasn’t just ripping New England weather casters.
“When you walk out on the field,” Belichick said. “That’s really when you know what it is. The rest of it is just a bunch of hot air. We played down in Miami two years ago and there was a zero percent chance of rain, zero, and it rained. I’m just telling you. If I did my job way they did theirs, I’d be here about a week.”
“I’m not saying I could do it better than them,” Belichick said. “I’m just saying they’re wrong a lot. That’s a fact. They’re wrong a lot. We all make mistakes. I’m not being critical of them. I’m just saying I don’t think you can go based on [forecast].”
As for the Foxboro forecast for Sunday from Weather.com, there’s a 50 percent chance of rain, with strong winds out of the north, northwest gusting at 22 MPH. Temperatures will start in the mid-40s and drop into the upper 20s, with rain possibly turning to wet snow by the end of the game.
Belichick won’t believe it till he sees it.
“When you walk out on the field, that’s really when you know what it is,” Belichick said. “An hour before the game and see what you have. Go out there in pre-game warmups, an hour and a half before the game in pre-game warmups, then a half-hour before the game and see if there’s been any change. I don’t think we’re going to see anything we haven’t practiced in. We’ve dealt with it in practice, we’ve dealt with it in other games though the course of time. Whatever it is, it is. We’ve played in hot weather, cold weather, calm, wind, rain, snow.”
“It’s something you do more game day,” Belichick said. “What it could be and what it is are usually two different things.”
|New Patriots LB Jonathan Casillas really wants to play this weekend against Broncos||10.30.14 at 4:08 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Jonathan Casillas hit the ground running this week, both literally and figuratively.
The linebacker, who was acquired by the Patriots from Tampa Bay on Tuesday, has been working to get ready for New England’s game against the Broncos Sunday.
“I’ve been running — I covered about six kickoffs today, full speed,” he said after practice on Thursday with a smile. “You want to test the hamstring out, I think that’s a good way to do it. I feel pretty good.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do,” he added. “[Special teams coach] Scotty O’Brien, as soon as I got here, he’s meeting with me and I’m doing extra work with him just to get caught up to speed, because they want me to go this weekend — and I want to go this weekend.
“I don’t like missing games, whether I’m new or not. I want to play. If I have to play all [on all] four special teams [units] and no defense to all four special teams and just a little defense, whatever that means, then I’m going to do it. I love this game. [Special] teams is something I do pretty well. I’m looking to get out there in all four.”
For Casillas, his best season for the 27-year-old came with the Saints in 2011 when he finished with 43 tackles, three sacks and two passes defensed in 13 games (five starts). In his five-plus years in the NFL, he has played in 55 games (20 starts), and has 138 tackles, three sacks and five passes defensed.
“We’ve known, watched Jonathan for a while,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “Athletic, smart guy. Has played defense — four-down player — played defense and in the kicking game. Been a productive player in New Orleans and Tampa. Played against him, practiced against him. I have a lot of respect for him, his experience, and his versatile skills.”
Welker, who played with Brady and the Patriots from 2007-12 before joining the Broncos, still maintains a friendship with the New England quarterback.
“I’m not surprised at all,” the Denver receiver said Wednesday. “I’ve seen it 100 times there, where it’s one bad week and everything’s falling apart … it’s one week and you can never really judge anything off that, and you knew they were going to bounce back from it.”
Welker said he and Brady “text back and forth” on occasion during the season, but it’s never really about football. (“It’s just really how he’s doing, the family and how my wife’s doing and stuff like that,” he said.) He said there probably won’t be much communication this week.
“This isn’t really a friend week this week,” he said. “So I don’t think so.”
Welker is in the second year of a two-year contract he signed with Denver in the spring of 2013, and has 19 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown this season with the Broncos. It represents a down year for the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder, who went from 118 catches in his final season with the Patriots (2012) to 73 last year, to now being on pace for roughly 40 this season.
However, he sounds OK with it, if that means more wins for Denver.
“Yeah it’s definitely been different, for sure,” he acknowledged. “Would I want the ball more? Yes. As long as we’re winning games and we’re being productive on offense and doing those things, I’m good with however we get that done.
“It’s kind of strange being … I feel like the weak link of our offense. [But] if I’m the weak link, we’re going to be OK. I’m excited about the guys we have and the camaraderie that we have together and really pulling for each other.”
He said he’s placing no added pressure on quarterback Peyton Manning to get him the ball Sunday because he’s going up against his old team.
|Bill Belichick is ‘way past’ Wes Welker’s hit on Aqib Talib||10.29.14 at 2:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Much was made of it at the time when Bill Belichick called it, “one of the worst plays [he's] seen” when Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker hit then-Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib on an apparent pick play across the middle of the field in last year’s AFC Championship game — knocking Talib out of the game with a hip injury and the Patriots lost the game 26-16, ending their season.
But, Wednesday in advance of the Broncos-Patriots matchup this Sunday, Belichick said he’s put that in the past and actually has “a lot of respect” for Welker.
“[I am] way past that,” Belichick said on a conference call with the Denver media. “I have a lot of respect for Wes and what he did for us and what he’s done for the Broncos and what he’s done throughout his career.”
Welker was a member of the Patriots from 2007-12 before the Broncos signed him prior to the 2013 season as a free agent when Welker and New England couldn’t agree on a contract.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Bill Belichick says Peyton Manning is ‘the best quarterback [he has] coached against’||at 10:05 am ET|
As he did during a conference call on Tuesday, the Patriots coach said the Broncos quarterback presents multiple challenges.
“He’s great. He’s obviously a great quarterback, the best quarterback I’ve coached against. He does a tremendous job,” Belichick said.
Belichick was asked if he gets more fired up to come up with a game plan to deal with Manning.
“Everybody is tough. I’m just saying relative to the Montanas or the Marinos or the Elways – and I’m not taking anything away from those guys – but this guy is tough.
“He’s good at everything. He’s good at everything. I see no weaknesses in his game.”
|What does LB Jonathan Casillas bring to Patriots?||10.28.14 at 4:51 pm ET|
Jonathan Casillas, who was acquired Tuesday in a trade deadline move by the Patriots from Tampa Bay, projects as an undersized linebacker who could have several roles in the New England system.
The 6-foot-1, 227-pounder — who finished last year on injured reserve with a knee issue — presents himself as a prospect who has gained a small measure of success working as a cover linebacker, as well as a special teamer. (His biggest turn in the spotlight in his five-plus years in the NFL came when he recovered the surprise onside kick as a member of the Saints to start the second half of Super Bowl XLIV.)
His best season likely came with the Saints in 2011 when he finished with 43 tackles, three sacks and two passes defensed in 13 games (five starts). In his five-plus years in the NFL, he has played in 55 games (20 starts), and has 138 tackles, three sacks and five passes defended.
(In a development that is not at all surprising, Casillas has a history with Bill Belichick’s friend Greg Schiano. The former Bucs and Rutgers coach — who is serving in some sort of undefined role with the Patriots this season — has known Casillas since the linebacker was in high school, and tried to recruit him to Rutgers. Casillas instead went to Wisconsin.)
With the Patriots, his playing history tells us that he will likely work as a special teamer, as well as someone who could contribute on passing downs (perhaps at the expense of another linebacker or defensive lineman) as a linebacker who might be capable of running with tight ends or running backs on occasion.
|Bill Belichick: Peyton Manning has no weaknesses||at 3:47 pm ET|
As far as Bill Belichick is concerned, when it comes to Peyton Mannng, it’s pretty simple.
“I don’t think there are any weaknesses in his game,” Belichick said on a conference call with the media Tuesday afternoon.
The 38-year-old Manning, who has thrown 41 touchdown passes in his career against the Patriots, will get a chance for a few more Sunday when he leads the Broncos into Gillette Stadium for another clash with the Patriots.
“I think it doesn’t really matter who is out there with him,” added Belichick, who — when teamed with Tom Brady — is 10-5 as a head coach against Manning. “Whoever it is, he finds a way to utilize them. He’s had different players at different positions and different combinations and guys have been out and other guys have been in and all that. But no matter who it is out there, he does a good job of finding ways to utilize the skills of the particular group that is out there relative to their defensive matchup.
“It seems like he causes every defense a problem every week for the last 15 years or however long it’s been. You have to know who the other people are out there. Everybody has to do their job to defend them. You can’t just stop one guy or one thing. But he does a great job of utilizing his players, his resources relative to what the defense is giving him and what looks best — a combination of his personnel versus where the defense is soft. He’s good because he does everything good.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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