|Darrelle Revis thinks Calvin Johnson is ‘a man amongst boys out there’||11.19.14 at 5:24 pm ET|
While it’s possible Revis won’t spend the entire game playing “Megatron” straight up, he will still likely have to know where he is most of the time.
Having missed several games in the middle of the season with an injured ankle, Johnson has been limited to 34 catches for 520 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson needs just two more touchdowns to reach 75 for his career, joining Barry Sanders as the only players in Lions history to reach that milestone. It could happen Sunday.
“He’s Megatron,” Revis beamed on Wednesday. “That’s what makes him different. He’s a man amongst boys out there. You see it all the time. He’s 6-6, 230 pounds and he runs a 4.3 [40-yard sprint]. That’s pretty freakish. It’s like the ultimate receiver you want. If you can create him on the video game, that’s basically what he is.
“A lot of respect for him. I feel our defense has a lot of respect for him. He’s a lot of respect around the league as well.”
Revis has played against Johnson twice before, and his teams are 2-0 against the Lions. In those games Johnson has eight catches for 128 yards, although Revis did leave the second game against him when he was with the Buccaneers. Would he welcome the chance of going up against him again mano-a-mano on Sunday?
“Bro, it’s competition,” Revis said with a big smile. “Like I said, we don’t back down from whoever the receiving corps are, the guys are, it’s competition. I’m sure it’s the same if you ask Calvin. We’re looking forward to it as much as him and their offense. It’s competition. Competition is fun. We just have to keep on competing and working hard at what we do and what we do best.”
Johnson, who technically is listed at 6-foot-5, will be like facing Rob Gronkowski but only with a lot more speed.
|Robert Kraft: Early season negative comments ‘really ticked’ off Tom Brady||11.14.14 at 6:00 am ET|
There is no question the Patriots’ season turned the week of the Cincinnati game in Week 5.
The Patriots were coming off of being embarrassed on Monday Night Football in Kansas City in Week 4 and the national media began to question quarterback Tom Brady. But, in typical Brady and Patriots fashion, the Patriots rolled to a 43-17 win over the Bengals and have now won five games straight to post a 7-2 record to lead the AFC.
In a wide-ranging interview with USA Today’s Jim Corbett, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said how fortunate the team is to have Brady as its quarterback, and the negative comments in the media may have actually helped Brady and the Patriots.
“Tommy? Absolutely. We’re so fortunate to have him as the face of our franchise in many ways as a quarterback,” Kraft told Corbett. “He’s just such a wonderful, genuine person. He works so hard. Whoever was putting those [negative] comments out there, helped us. I think it really ticked him off. You see how he trains, how he takes care of himself. He has his own personal trainer and dedicates his life to conditioning. He’s like a guy who is 10 years younger. What he puts in his body, how he works out, everything he does is done off the charts in a special way. And we’re so lucky to have him. That Kansas City game in a way was maybe a watershed moment for us. I think the whole team came together after that.”
Another star player this season has been cornerback Darrelle Revis. Revis was signed this past offseason, and according to Kraft has made “a big difference.” He also compared him to a former Patriot and new member of the Patriots Hall of Fame — Ty Law.
|Darrelle Revis, Patriots looking to limit Colts WR T.Y. Hilton and his big-play ability||11.13.14 at 3:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It figures to be strength-against-strength on Sunday night when the Patriots secondary squares off against Indy receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton, who has 56 catches on 84 targets for 937 yards and three touchdowns this year, has made his bones as one of the best big play receivers in the league this season. The 5-foot-10, 183-pounder out of Florida International averages 16.7 yards per catch (sixth-best in the league). His 15 catches for 20-plus yards is third in the NFL, and his four catches of 40-plus yards is tied for fifth.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots have been one of the best teams in the NFL at limiting the deep ball this season. New England is the only team left in the league that has allowed only one pass play of 40-yards or more. When it comes to allowing pass plays of 20 or more yards, the Patriots are 12th-best in the NFL in that department.
“He’s very fast and very explosive — he makes big plays,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said of Hilton on Thursday. “I think he’s the No. 1 receiver at making big plays. He’s very fast.”
While the Patriots have mixed up coverages over the course of the season, Hilton told Indy-area reporters this week he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing Revis on Sunday. But at the same time, he’s come to expect the unexpected when facing New England.
“You know [Bill] Belichick always has that scheme,” Hilton said.
“They’re going to give you chances,” Hilton said, “but when those chances come, you have to take advantage.”
Sunday will mark Hilton’s third career game against the Patriots. In a 2012 regular-season meeting, he had six catches on nine targets for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In last year’s AFC divisional playoffs, Hilton had four catches on six targets for 103 yards.
“They were trying to not let me wreck the game,” said Hilton of last year’s playoff contest. “They were trying to keep everything in front of me.”
|Reggie Wayne says Patriots secondary is ‘best complete’ in his 14 years||11.12.14 at 5:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne has been in the league a long time — 14 years to be exact — so when he makes a statement such as calling a secondary, “the best complete secondary” he’s seen, it certainly deserves some merit.
Wayne has gone against Patriots secondaries that have included players such as Ty Law, Rodney Harrison and Lawyer Milloy, but on a conference call with the New England media Wednesday, the 14-year veteran put the 2014 Patriots secondary above any Patriots secondary he’s seen in the past.
“Actually, this secondary here is, in my 14 years of playing New England, this has probably been the best complete secondary,” Wayne said. “I think it allows them to do more things up front with the front seven guys they hadn’t done probably during the past years. They’re very talented. They’re ball-hungry. They’re definitely talented. It gives them a little bit to where they can be more risk takers with blitzes and things of that nature. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us: receivers, tight ends. It’s a challenge that we look forward to and hopefully we go out there mano-a-mano and see who can win at the end of the day.”
The Patriots defense and secondary enter Sunday’s game riding high, coming off of limiting Peyton Manning‘s Broncos powerful offense to just 21 points in its 43-21 triumph two weeks ago at Gillette Stadium. For the year, the Patriots defense is in the middle of the pack in overall pass defense (14th), allowing 2,116 passes yards, but a lot of that has come in garbage time. For example, Manning threw for over 400 yards, but Denver lost by 22 points.
|Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I was kind of fast and loose’ during early part of NFL career||11.10.14 at 7:32 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and talked about living it up in his early days in the NFL and how his lifestyle habits have changed through the years. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady said he enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with his wife and kids during the off week.
“My family and I got away for a couple of days,” he said. “It was really nice to be with our kids. They get, not neglected this time of year, but there’s just not as much time. So it was nice to get a way for two or three days.
“Yes, I did watch football yesterday. Not really the whole day, but bits and pieces, certain games, seeing what happened in our division, which was great for our team, and a little bit of the game last night. It’s a thing to be a spectator. There’s not too many weekends where we’re really spectators — really once a year. It’s fun to just kind of sit back and watch a little bit.”
According to a recent report, teammate Julian Edelman raved about Brady’s worth ethic and noted that the QB goes to bed around 8:30 most nights.
“I do go to bed very early, ’cause I’m up very early,” Brady acknowledged. “I think that the decisions that I make are always, they always probably center around performance-enhancement, if that makes sense. So whether that’s what I eat, or what decisions I make, whether I drink or don’t drink, it’s always football-centric. I want to be the best I can be every day, I want to be the best I can be every week, I want to be the best I can for my teammates.
“I love the game and I want to do it for a long time. But I also know that if I want to do it for a long time I have to do things differently than the way that guys have always done it, because you hear stories of people when they get older this declines or this declines. I don’t really believe those things, so I have to kind of take a different approach, so strength training and conditioning, how I really treat my body, it’s important to me. Because there’s really nothing else that I enjoy like playing football. I want to do it for as long as I can. And that’s what a lot of the decisions that I make that hopefully does affect my teammates, because I know a lot of my teammates have the same goal. And a guy like Jules who’s more dedicated than anybody, he’s very much the same way. Those are the type of guys you love to play with, that are going to do everything they can to help the team, that are going to be their best all the time, in the offseason when the lights aren’t shining, that’s when it matters the most.”
Looking back on when he was just making a name for himself with the Patriots, Brady said he was able to enjoy the experience off the field.
“The 25-year-old Tom Brady had a great time. [Laughing] I probably wouldn’t change much from those days,” he said. “It was a different time than it is now, because there’s so much attention now. I don’t know how these young players do it. I was kind of fast and loose back then. I was still a responsible person. I’ve always had certain responsibilities that I’ve always felt. But I’d say more so now. When you have obviously a wife and kids, your life transitions into other things. So it’s simplified in a lot of ways. Now it’s just football and it’s being with my family, and that’s the most important stuff. I wouldn’t change anything when I was 25. I wish it would have lasted a little longer.”
|Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner have provided practice challenge for Patriots offense||11.06.14 at 6:30 am ET|
FOXBORO — Over the course of his first season with the Patriots, Darrelle Revis has not only had an impact on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s also given a boost to the guys on offense.
“He’s a great player, and I’m glad he’s on our team,” said quarterback Tom Brady, who has welcomed the challenge of facing Revis every day in practice.
“You’ve got to make a great throw, you’ve got to run a great route, [and] you’ve got to have the right scheme called at the right time because he always challenges you. It’s good work for our team.”
According to wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea, Revis and newcomer Brandon Browner have provided a wealth of information to not only the defensive backs, but the receivers as well.
“Absolutely. Darrelle Revis has been a great teammate to us from a defensive standpoint,” O’Shea said. “He’s had great communication with our wide receivers — I think Brandon Browner has done the same thing. They really are great professionals, great teammates. And I’m glad to gave them on our team. Browner and Revis have been great professionals, great teammates. They’ve really shared a lot of information [and] they’ve done a good job.”