|Julian Edelman on OM&F: ‘Any time you get a win in this league it feels unbelievable’||09.26.16 at 12:01 pm ET|
Julian Edelman checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday to discuss the Patriots’ 27-0 over the Texans last Thursday and also to look ahead to this Sunday’s game against the Bills To hear the interview, go to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.
The Patriots were able to blowout the Texans Thursday night with rookie third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett leading the way. Edelman said any time the team wins a game it feels good, no matter what the circumstances are.
“Any time you get a win in this league it feels unbelievable,” Edelman said. “When you’re down a player with a guy hurt, or a guy is not playing who is a big-time player and you scrap and get a win, that’s just showing the mental toughness of a team. Of course it’s good, but winning any game in this league — it doesn’t matter who is there or who is not there — it’s so satisfying because you put so much time and effort into that one game. It’s not like other sports where you can take off five games and you can take off a game here and there, every game matters in the National Football League. Regardless of the situation, it’s always fun and the team is excited to get a win.
“On the other note, you have to move on because there’s only 16 games. It’s fun for those couple hours and that day or so and the long weekend because of the baby bye weekend, but you have to move on and we have a division game staring us right in the face against a team that got a big time win over a good opponent last week. It’s fun, but you have to get back to work.”
Edelman gave credit to the coaching staff for getting everyone to buy in and also talked about how the winning attitude is apparent throughout the organization.
“We have a coaching staff that works its tails off and what they are really good at is taking the players they have and using their strengths and going out and being able to call a game,” he said. “I’ll tell you right now, it’s not just the coaching staff, it’s also the players and the guys buying in. It’s the attitudes of everyone — the equipment guys, the people that are cooking for us — it’s just like a good attitude right now. That’s what winning does. It gets that whole complementary style and it’s what we’re trying to do.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Target Practice: Danny Amendola continues remarkable run of reliability in passing game||at 11:19 am ET|
Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown through the first three games of the regular season.
WR Danny Amendola: 9 catches on 10 targets (90 percent)
WR Julian Edelman: 18 catches on 24 targets (75 percent)
TE Martellus Bennett: 10 catches on 14 targets (71 percent)
RB James White: 8 catches on 12 targets (67 percent)
WR Chris Hogan: 8 catches on 13 targets (62 percent)
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 4 catches on 9 targets (44 percent)
RB D.J. Foster: 1 catch on 2 targets (50 percent)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
WR Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 1 catches on 1 target (0 percent)
In his last 19 regular-season games, Amendola has caught 74 of the last 97 passes thrown in his direction for a remarkable 76.3 percent catch rate. It’s the highest rate for any wide receiver with at least 90 targets in that span. For the record, Keenan Allen at 76 percent and Doug Baldwin at 75.4 percent are just off the pace. In that same span, Julian Edelman has a 71.2 percent catch rate, second-best among the Patriots’ receivers.
Through three weeks, no team has run it better than the New England Patriots.
They are averaging 150.7 yards per game and 4.19 yards each time they don’t pass. Those two stats are key reasons why they are 3-0 without Tom Brady.
For all the credit the offensive line and coach Dante Scarnecchia has rightfully earned over the first three games for their efforts in run blocking, the key to the production might very well lie on the outside.
Tight end Martellus Bennett was a huge factor in the run game in the win over the Cardinals.
“I was just trying to whoop their ass all day,” the tight end said after the Patriots ran for 106 yards on 31 carries in a Week 1 win.
In wins over the Dolphins and Texans, LeGarrette Blount bounced outside several times, including a run of 26 yards against the Dolphins and dashes of 41 and 14 yards against the Texans. Jacoby Brissett even raced outside for a 27-yard touchdown run.
The runs to the outside aren’t successful without a combination of the offensive line doing its job at the initial point of attack and the tight ends and receivers blocking at the secondary or perimeter levels.
Malcolm Mitchell executed a block downfield that sprung Brissett into the end zone. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola were big factors on Thursday night. Rob Gronkowski has always taken great pride in his blocking, and is rightfully considered one of the premiere blocking tight ends in football.
|5 things we know about Julian Edelman, quarterback||09.21.16 at 11:53 am ET|
1. He was a wildcat-type of quarterback before it was cool. This video of him working out of all situations while serving as the signal-caller at Kent State should give you some sort of idea what the Patriots might be working with if he does get the call for whatever reason — injury, personnel shift, whatever — Thursday night against the Texans.
2. When he did have to throw in college, he wasn’t all that accurate. One of the most important aspects that the Patriots look for in their quarterbacks is accuracy, with 60 percent being the industry standard when it comes to completion rate. In his three seasons at Kent State, he had completion percentages of 55, 52 and 56 percent, and more interceptions (31) than touchdown passes (30). There’s no denying his toughness and his ability to get yards on the ground. It’s just to suggest that even if he does get into the game on Thursday, don’t look for the Patriots to open up the passing game.
3. He’s played a lot of quarterback in practice for the Patriots since he first showed up in 2009. As Bill O’Brien alluded join his conference call on Tuesday, there have been plenty of occasions in the past when New England has utilized him at quarterback in training camp, as well as when they were prepping for a team with a mobile quarterback. That doesn’t mean that he’d be game-ready if he were tossed into the contest on Thursday. It’s only to suggest he wouldn’t be starting from square one if he did have to cram a bit this week.
4. Remember that pass to Danny Amendola? That was awesome, wasn’t it? It was just one pass, but man, that throw he delivered to Danny Amendola in the 2014 AFC divisional playoff game against the Ravens was still the nuttiest moment of that postseason, not counting Malcolm Butler’s interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. The fact that he delivered a dime in a clutch situation has to be part of this conversation.
5. Taking him from the wide receiver position creates a domino effect the Patriots might not be completely prepared to deal with. Even if you’re OK with the idea of moving him from wide receiver to quarterback — at least for the short term — the fact that you are taking your most reliable pass catcher and sticking him somewhere else on the field will be impactful. As this Tweeter noted, Tom Brady without Edelman is a dicey proposition. You take Edelman the receiver away from Edelman the quarterback, and that will present a new challenge for the passing game. That would necessitate the rest of the offensive skill position players stepping forward and taking up some of the slack. If you’re confident they can, then it might work. But if there’s a question as to who might fill that target void, well, that’s a whole different discussion.
|Danny Amendola on OM&F explains convincing Chris Long to join Patriots||09.19.16 at 4:56 pm ET|
Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday following the Patriots’ 31-24 win over the Dolphins to discuss the game and also the Patriot Way. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Defensive end Chris Long signed with the Patriots this past offseason and has already made an impact as he has five tackles and a sack over the first two games. After playing with him for a few years in St. Louis, Amendola wanted him to sign with the Patriots and experience the Patriot Way.
“Chris has been a good friend of mine for a really long time and we’ve always talked about philosophies and ideas and stuff like that within the organization and NFL football,” Amendola said. “We’ve played in St. Louis and I’ll tell you what, we weren’t a very good football team for a long time. I always tell him I am eager to see the Patriot Way evolve in him and how he molds as a player.
“When he was looking to come here or go to another place, I had a lot of conversation about I wish he would come here for at least the end portion of [his] career or at least a year to see how it it’s run because I know where [he] had been in the eight years and I know what it was like playing in St. Louis. Not that it was bad. It was a great city and I am thankful for that opportunity because it was awesome. I am really happy that a new guy like Chris is here to kind of figure it out.”
Amendola also told the story of when he first realized what the Patriot Way was all about.
“The Patriot Way, that’s been here a long time and I didn’t know that until I first got here too and it opened my eyes,” he said. “Honestly, when I signed here, just meeting Bill [Belichick] — usually when you sign a contract somewhere you will go do a press conference or something like that and Bill said, ‘No, we’re not doing any of that [expletive].’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah. We’re getting to work now.’ I learned pretty quick.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Danny Amendola explains why he held American flag during national anthem||09.15.16 at 10:15 am ET|
While Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett made headlines Sunday night for raising their fists after the signing of the national anthem, just a couple of feet down the sideline wide receiver Danny Amendola helped hold the American flag that was draped across the entire field.
On Wednesday, Amendola explained how it all came about as it wasn’t a planned thing.
“Two ladies were right there and I was standing there waiting for it to start and they said, ‘Hey, come up here, come up here.’ So I did,” he said via CSNNE.
Amendola was asked about the silent protests around the league during the anthem during Week 1 and he explained how he was inspired by Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who joined the Army after Sept. 11 and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.
“I can only speak for myself,” Amendola said. “I read a Pat Tillman story before I went on the field the other day. What he did for the flag and what he did for the country is pretty remarkable. That was inspirational to me.”
— Daniel (@colavs2184) September 12, 2016
|Target Practice: Julian Edelman, Jimmy Garoppolo had perfect connection rate in opener||09.13.16 at 12:24 pm ET|
Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown from Sunday night’s opener.
WR Julian Edelman: 7 catches on 7 targets (100 percent)
RB James White: 5 catches on 7 targets (71 percent)
TE Martellus Bennett: 3 catches on 5 targets (60 percent)
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 2 catches on 5 targets (40 percent)
WR Chris Hogan: 3 catches on 4 targets (75 percent)
WR Danny Amendola: 3 catches on 4 targets (75 percent)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
Sunday was the first game where Edelman was targeted at least five times and had a 100 percent catch rate since Week Three of the 2013 season. On Amendola, one of the reasons he’s been able to stick as long as he has is the fact that he consistently makes catches when the ball is thrown in his direction. It sounds simple, but dating back to the start of the 2015 season (including the 2015 postseason), he has caught 75 passes on 102 targets. At 74 percent, that makes for an astoundingly high catch rate for any receiver. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin is the only other receiver in the league who has a similar amount of catches who can boast a similar catch rate in the same span.
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