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Bill Belichick is the ‘best coach in the game,’ according to Rex Ryan 08.24.11 at 6:03 pm ET
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In an interview set to run Wednesday night on the NFL Network, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan talked about Patriots coach Bill Belichick and called him the ‘€œbest coach in the game.’€

‘€œI can put my resume out there, stats, with anybody’€™s who’€™s ever coached in this league. That’€™s a fact. Defensively, that’€™s a fact. But I don’€™t need any credit. I just want to win. I want what Bill Belichick’€™s got,’€ Ryan told Michael Irvin.

‘€œI think Bill Belichick is the best coach in this game. I don’€™t even think it’€™s close. But I’€™m trying. And I know one thing ‘€” he knows that I’€™m going to compete with him every time we play him,’€ he added. ‘€œIf it ever comes down to just me versus him, we’€™re going to end up on the short end of the stick. But when it’€™s about us ‘€” our football team versus his football team ‘€” that’€™s where I even have more confidence.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Michael Irvin, Rex Ryan,
Nate Solder and Shane Vereen return to practice with Patriots at 2:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” The Patriots just opened their Wednesday afternoon practice session under occasionally cloud skies on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. With Bill Belichick‘s pal Jon Bon Jovi in attendance, rookies Nate Solder, Shane Vereen and Lee Smith were all back on the field after time away from the practice field. (For Vereen, it was only his first practice since Aug. 3.) In addition, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was on the field as well.

The following players were not spotted at the start of practice: Stevan Ridley, Leigh Bodden, Kevin Faulk, Malcolm Williams, Jeff Tarpinian, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Brandon Deaderick, Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace and Mike Wright. In addition, the new player that Nick Caserio hinted at earlier in the day during his press availability was on the field ‘€” he was No. 66, and working out with the offensive linemen. We anticipate an announcement on his status later today.

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Brandon Deaderick, Brandon Spikes
Shaun Ellis wants to be ‘more explosive’ with Albert Haynesworth 08.23.11 at 5:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Shaun Ellis has all the motivation in the world to want to play Saturday night against the Lions in the Patriots third preseason game.

He has seen the likes of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Mark Anderson, Mike Wright and Andre Carter fire off against the opposing offensive line.

Now, the 34-year-old veteran entering his 12th NFL season has the chance to play in his first game as a Patriot, and he could be teamed with Albert Haynesworth on Saturday night at Ford Field if everything goes as planned this week in practice and, of course, Bill Belichick is satisfied that both vets are ready for game reps.

Game reps. It’s the preseason lifeblood of defensive linemen who are trying to get their hand and foot techniques in working order for when the bullets start flying for real in the second weekend in September.

Ellis said Tuesday that his first practice this week in full pads [on Monday] went well, and he was joined by Haynesworth on Tuesday.

“It went pretty good,” Ellis said before Tuesday’s practice. “Just getting in the flow and getting my timing back. Just trying to improve every day and going through my routine, just fundamentals of football and just keep persistent with that on game week.”

What will be the key for Ellis and Haynesworth potentially playing together on the D-line? Chemistry.

“We have a lot of guys that’s play-makers and that are good at what they do. We just have to gel, gel together and we’ll see what happens,” Ellis said. “We just have to put work in together. I think once we get together and everyone is there, I think we’ll be OK.”

But what was most telling about his pre-practice session with reporters was what he said about what he hopes to bring on the defensive line. Ellis is hoping to bring the explosive attack Pats fans saw all too often when he was with the Jets, including the two first-half sacks of Tom Brady last January in the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, detroit lions, New England Patriots
Jerod Mayo: ‘We’re a very multiple defense’ at 2:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Jerod Mayo wants everyone to pump the brakes a little bit. The linebacker says that just because the Patriots turned up the pressure in the first two weeks of the preseason, that doesn’€™t mean they’€™re going to be all cranked up every week going forward.

‘€œWe’€™re a very multiple defense: One week, we might come out with pressure, the next week, we may come out sitting back in coverage. You never know. I think that’€™s a good quality of this defense,’€ Mayo said before practice Tuesday afternoon. ‘€œ[There are] some different things. We’€™re very multiple this year, showing different looks and things like that.’€

The Patriots have used aggressive four-man fronts over the course of the first two weeks, and that’€™s paid off in the form of increased pressure on opposing quarterbacks. New England has seven sacks and registered 11 quarterback hits over the first two weeks of the preseason. In addition, the Patriots third-down defense has improved as well ‘€” after allowing teams to convert on 47 percent of their third-down chances last season, through two preseason games, teams are converting at just 20 percent.

But Mayo said that the new, pressure-packed scheme won’€™t be the case every week.

‘€œLike I said, we’€™re very multiple,’€ he said. ‘€œOne week, we may bring a lot of guys, next week, we may drop a lot of guys. There’€™s no telling what coach [Bill] Belichick is drawing up in that office right now.

‘€œWe did a good job executing the game plan that coach Belichick had, [but] it changes every week.’€

Regardless of the scheme, those plans include a heavy dose of Mayo. The 25-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker, coming off another standout season, isn’€™t getting too comfortable with his role.

‘€œTo be honest with you, that’€™s up to Coach Belichick to evaluate us,’€ said Mayo, who was recently ranked No. 62 in the NFL Network’€™s countdown of the Top 100 players in the game. ‘€œYou think you go out there and have a good practice, then all of a sudden you watch the film and it’€™s not as good as you thought it was, or not as bad as you thought it was. That’€™s up to those guys.’€

‘€œHopefully I’€™ll make the team, though,’€ he added with a smile. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo,
Garrett Mills knows full well that star power is ‘diffused a little’ in New England 08.22.11 at 9:08 pm ET
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FOXBORO — From the day he was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Tulsa, tight end Garrett Mills has been blessed to play with three of the most high profile quarterbacks of this or any era.

Mills, whom the Patriots signed on Sunday, entered the league playing with Tom Brady. He moved onto Minnesota when the Vikings claimed him off waivers, a move by then-Vikings coach Brad Childress that Childress said didn’t sit well with Bill Belichick. After three seasons there, including the final season spent with Brett Favre, he moved onto Philadelphia at the start of the 2010 season, where he played in seven games, starting three, catching two Michael Vick passes for 19 yards.

He was waived and picked up by the Bengals, where he played the final two games of the season with Carson Palmer.

So, when asked the impact of stars coming to the Patriots like Chad Ochocinco, with whom he teamed last year, to go along with defensive stars Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis, Mills thinks the Patriots are perfectly suited to not only cope but succeed.

“I think in this locker room star power is kind of diffused a little bit, and it’s a good thing,” he said Monday before his first practice back with the Patriots since 2006. “That’s one thing I appreciate about this organization is everyone is in it to win. It’s definitely a team perspective here.

“Obviously, starting off here, spending my rookie year here and playing with some great players, Tom, and being able to play with Brett in Minnesota and last year with Vick so I’ve been around some good players and tried to learn a lot from them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, Brett Favre, Carson Palmer
Vince Wilfork on Big Show: ‘You have to be on your toes at all times with Bill Belichick’ at 6:18 pm ET
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Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork joined The Big Show following practice at Gillette Stadium on Monday afternoon to discuss last Thursday’s second preseason game, his physical condition midway through the preseason schedule, playing defensive line in different schemes, among all other things Patriots related.

Wilfork had no further comment on the allegations that reportedly took place at the University of Miami when he was there.

“I commented a couple of days ago, I am done with that,” he said. “That is all I have to say on it and I am going to move forward from that. I am looking forward to Detroit.”

To hear the entire interview, click here.

Here are the highlights from the interview:

ON LAST THURSDAY’S SECOND PRESEASON GAME: “It looked like peaches and cream, but I think Bill [Belichick] hit it on the head when he said it looked good, but it really wasn’t and then things looked bad and it really wasn’t. You can take the good and the bad out of that game, especially in the first quarter. They had 11 yards rushing, but we still had mental errors, people missed assignments and stuff like that. In preseason you’re going to have that. We went out and wanted to hit the ground running and we did. There were mistakes, but that is why you have the preseason and training camp to work on, look back on film and correct those things. That is what we try to do each week.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Vince Wilfork,
Devin McCourty ready for the challenges that await at 1:36 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” After one of the finest rookie seasons in Patriots’ history, cornerback Devin McCourty knows that the challenges will be even greater entering his second season.

Many believe that the biggest adjustment for an NFL player is not the move from college to the pros, but going from his first season in the league to his second. With the arrival of a sophomore season, teams have a book on each and every player ‘€” status as an unknown commodity is a thing of the past. There’s no sneaking up on anyone, especially for someone like McCourty who, as a rookie, started every game, made 82 tackles and ended the season with seven interceptions. (His seven interceptions in 2010 are the second-most by a Patriots rookie and were tied for second in the NFL in 2010.)

“There’ll be more challenges [this year],” McCourty acknowledged before practice on Monday afternoon. “I think the biggest thing [coach Bill Belichick] tries to remind you is to be focused and not really think as a second-year player or a veteran. Kind of lean more toward thinking you’re a rookie. You still have a lot to learn. I think that’s the biggest message he gives you ‘€” just continue to try and learn and do the things you did well last year and kind of fix the things you didn’t do well last year.

“I don’t think you can come back and be the same player, I think you can either get better or get worse, so my focus is just trying to get better as a player.”

This coming from a player who was selected to his first Pro Bowl, becoming the fourth Patriots player to be selected as a rookie. In addition, he was named to the Associated Press All-Pro Second Team. Where can the improvements come from? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty, pat chung,
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