|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price on Brandon LaFell, Darrelle Revis and ‘game-ready’ Patriots||08.19.14 at 6:55 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price assess the comfort level of Brandon LaFell, the readiness of Darrelle Revis and the “game-ready” approach the Patriots are taking toward Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in their third preseason game Friday at Gillette Stadium.
|Darrelle Revis says despite not being tested in debut, he was ‘ready at all times’||08.16.14 at 12:52 am ET|
FOXBORO — It wasn’t much of a test for a preseason debut.
Darrelle Revis suited up like he did against the Redskins the week before but this time he actually stepped on the field for game action. He might as well not have.
Whether it was his reputation as the game’s best shut-down corner or wanting simply to test other parts of their offense, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Nick Foles didn’t challenge Revis all night long in a 42-35 Patriots’ win that evened New England’s preseason record at 1-1.
With Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper out, Revis was matched up against Arrelious Benn. Revis played on Philadelphia’s first three series (the first series was one play and a turnover) and not a single pass was thrown to Benn.
“I don’t know what their game plan is,” Revis said. “My thing is just to go out there and do my job. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. But you always have to be ready at all times.”
Perhaps just as impressive is that for all the penalties that were called against both secondaries, not a single yellow cloth landed on Revis Island.
“It’s a new rule in 2014 that they’re emphasizing about illegal contact down the field on plays with the wide receiver and the defensive backs,” Revis said. “Like I said before, we have to do the best that we can by being comfortable with the new rules and trying to do the right things out there on the field. I don’t know how many penalties it was. It was a lot, just watching the game and going through it, but I don’t know. It was a lot, but at the same time, the refs are going to call what they see.”
Of course to Revis, it’s all about the secondary getting better as a unit, with he and Devin McCourty leading the charge. Malcolm Butler started opposite Revis and continued to show progress, stripping a receiver in the second half and recovering the ball. Kyle Arrington even got the starting nod at safety with McCourty.
“We’re getting better every week,” Revis said. “We’re trying to reach our peak by the time Week 1 comes around. We’ve been working hard and we’ve made a lot of great plays out there today on defense so those are the types of things we are looking for. The coaches always stress turnovers to us so we’re just trying to do a good job of that and tonight we did.”
|Vince Wilfork on new points of emphasis enforcement: ‘There were a lot of flags [Tuesday] – it’s kind of different’||08.13.14 at 6:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — For the second time this preseason the Patriots got a first-hand look at how the new league points of emphasis will be called when referees were on hand at Tuesday’s joint practice with the Eagles following last Thursday’s first preseason game with the Redskins.
The referees called drills like they were a game — throwing flags for the penalties they saw. The general theme with the players, coaches, as well as officials is there will be an adjustment period.
“There were a lot of flags today — it’s kind of different, but they are making a point of emphasis of certain things and they are throwing the flags so we had a good look at it today and we have to be better on that end,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.
There were a number of flags thrown at defensive backs for defensive holding and illegal contact during 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, which was one of the main points of emphasis for the season. This was clearly evident by the number of these types of penalties called in the first week of the preseason. For players who play in the secondary, they understand it is just part of what the game has evolved into.
“I think it’s just the way the league is,” Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty said. “They want to see points scored and if it gets too crazy and they feel like the defense is impeding too much on points being scored then there will be a rule change or point of emphasis on that to try and help the offense score.”
For cornerback Darrelle Revis, he’s just trying to get accustomed to the new rules by the time the regular season hits.
“It’s the beginning. It’s the beginning stages and the only thing we can do is ask questions and learn,” Revis said. “There were a lot of flags out there today, but at the same time, it’s a new rule and we’re just trying to get acclimated and do the best thing we can do by covering receivers in the preseason games and in the regular season.”
|Darrelle Revis on extension talk: ‘Only thing I’m focused on is this year’||08.12.14 at 7:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis did not address last week’s report that said there’s a possibility of a contract extension for him in New England, only saying he’s “focusing on this year.”
Last week, there was a report that a new deal for the cornerback could be in the preliminary stages. However, after Tuesday’s practice, Revis deftly dodged any talk about his future beyond 2014.
“No. I’m just here,” Revis said when asked if he could comment on the report of a new deal. “I’m here, I’m focusing on this year. That has nothing to do with what’s going on right now.”
Revis signed a reported two-year, $32 million deal with the team in March after being released by the Buccaneers. The second year is a team option that includes a $12 million roster bonus, something it’s unlikely the Patriots would commit to.
Asked about potentially signing a long-term deal with the Patriots, Revis reiterated his stance.
“I’m here for right now. I’m in this contract,” he said. “The only thing I’m focused on is this year.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Rob Gronkowski on practice sessions against Darrelle Revis: He’s making me a better player||08.10.14 at 6:30 pm ET|
The tight end, who continues to work his way back from a season-ending knee surgery, has been a regular presence in pads throughout camp. However, he hasn’t engaged in any 11-on-11 work to this point in the summer. Instead, the closest he’s come has been semi-regular work with Brady, catching passes in a series of drills with the quarterback while Revis offers resistance.
“It’s good just to have a defender out there, instead of [me] just running my routes [against] air,” Gronkowski said following practice on Sunday when asked about working against Revis. “To break off a guy right in front of you, just like it’s a game — you have to break off the guy, break off the defender. Having Darrelle out there and having him give me some contact — a little bit, pushing me on my routes — [it's] just making me a better player out there right now.”
The work looks a lot like what Brady and former teammate Randy Moss used to do when the receiver was with the Patriots from 2007 through 2010, with the only difference being that those sessions were used to build communication and a rapport between Brady and Moss. The current work between Brady and Gronkowski is another step in the rehab process for the tight end, as well as a chance for Revis to spend some time working against a bigger target like Gronkowski.
“[It's] basically more of a drill for me, but he’s definitely learning too, I would say,” Gronkowski said. “He’s just breaking a little bit, not going full, full out. He’s just helping me out and getting me back adjusted to having a defender out there in front of me.”
Gronkowski, who did not play in the preseason opener against the Redskins (and missed the three practices leading up to the contest) remains optimistic about the state of his rehab.
“Pretty good. Improving every single week,” Gronkowski said. “No setbacks or anything like that — just going out there and getting better every single time I get out on the field.
“Getting closer every single day to getting in there with the team and getting in there and getting some contact,” he added. “Just talking to the trainers — we don’t have a set date yet or anything. Just taking it day-by-day and we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Just improving every day.”
|Jason Cole on MFB: Robert Kraft ‘laying the foundation’ to try to convince Darrelle Revis to stay long term||08.06.14 at 12:29 pm ET|
Cole reported Tuesday that the Patriots have had initial discussions with Revis regarding a contract extension after an impressive showing early in training camp.
“They haven’t started negotiating, so let’s peel it back a little bit,” Cole said. “I will say that Robert Kraft is laying the foundation and the work for trying to convince Darrelle to stay here long term. He’s doing the thing that he’s best at, which is schmoozing people and making people feel like they should buy into the Patriot Way and all those kinds of things that Kraft is excellent at. But as far as terms of getting to the point of talking about dollars and cents, they haven’t gotten that far.”
Added Cole: “It’s more like, ‘We love how you’ve done this offseason and we love how you’ve done in camp. You would look great in a Patriot uniform for the rest of your career.’ All of those little things that you put into somebody’s mind that make them think that being a Patriot long term is in the best interest of themselves, not just of the Patriots as a team.
“That’s probably why Robert Kraft is the best businessman in the league. He’s really good at convincing people to do things his way and making them understand, at least from his viewpoint, that you’re actually good for them, too.”
|Mike Petraglia wraps up Day 3 Patriots, Redskins practices, looks ahead to preseason opener||at 12:25 pm ET|
RICHMOND, Va. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia wraps up Day 3 of joint practices Wednesday between the Patriots and Redskins in Richmond. Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo all got in their final reps in a light walkthrough while DeSean Jackson appeared to get tangled up with Darrelle Revis and left practice early. Petraglia details which rookies to be on the lookout for as the Patriots and Redskins open the preseason Thursday night at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
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