|Rodney Harrison on D&C: ‘I guarantee the Jets won’t quit’ against Patriots||12.19.14 at 10:16 am ET|
The Jets are in the midst of one of their worst seasons in recent memory, going 3-11 through 14 games. The possibility at a high pick in the upcoming draft has some thinking the Jets might not be motivated for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Harrison said coach Rex Ryan and his staff will get his team to play its hardest.
“I think one of the strengths of Rex Ryan is his ability to motivate his players and really give them perspective. And he’s been really good at that, getting the most out of his players,” Harrison said. “As bad or as crazy as that may sound, I do believe that Rex Ryan is a heck of a football coach. Sometimes the in-game management is off a little bit — he doesn’t have that as a strength of his coaching ability. But at the same time, he’s one of those guys, he can motivate you, he’s very emotional, he cares about his players. So, he can tell his players, ‘Look, we’ve had success against the guys. We feel like offensively they don’t have the weapons they had before. Yes, they have Rob Gronkowski and some other things, Tom Brady, but we can compete with guys and we can beat these guys.’ Just like you said before, ‘We’re not afraid of the Patriots.’ He’ll have those guys pumped up.
“The main thing for the Patriots is, as a player, you never want to get into a situation where you overlook a team. I’ve been on a team where I played on a 1-15 team, a 4-12 team, and you’re still playing for your livelihood. Guys are playing for contracts, guys are playing not to get injured. So you have a lot guys who have a lot of stuff on the line and also the coaches evaluate and the general managers and other teams evaluate this team and see if guys are quitting. And I guarantee the Jets won’t quit. But the one way you make a team like the Jets get discouraged is you come out and you take a 14- to 17-point lead and all of a sudden you’ll see those guys shutting down.”
Harrison said Belichick has a few methods to make sure the Patriots won’t take the Jets lightly.
“I think one aspect is he’ll go back and he’ll probably grab some plays of just what the Jets can do, what can they can do offensively, how good they are from a defensive line standpoint,” Harrison said. “And he’ll continue to push the guys. In meetings, he’ll call out different guys in practice and making sure the guys hustle. And he’ll be tough this week. He won’t be one of those guys walking around smiling, he’ll be tough on the guys.”
|Darrelle Revis gets a chance to connect with ex-Patriots CB Mike Haynes||12.18.14 at 4:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When he was in San Diego recently, Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis had the chance to catch up with former New England cornerback Mike Haynes.
Haynes, who was drafted by the Patriots in 1976, played his first seven seasons with New England before finishing his career with seven years with the Raiders. Revis said “it was great” getting the chance to connect with a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
“Just picking his brain and asking him how he covered wide receivers, his techniques,” Revis said after practice on Thursday. “And some of them were similar in the things he was talking about and sharing. And some were different. I definitely took some of his tips and will hopefully try to use them in my game.”
Revis said Haynes — who currently lives in Southern California — was invited to spend some time with the Patriots by coach Bill Belichick.
“When I saw him at first, I was kind of like, ‘I know I know that face.’ It looked familiar,” Revis recalled. “Then Bill brought him around the team and introduced him and said, ‘Hey, this is Mike Haynes.’ I’m like, ‘I knew it. I knew it was him.’ I just waited around afterward. A bunch of guys did. Me, Brandon Browner, Devin McCourty and we actually got to talk to him.
“It’s just my position and being a fan of those guys,” he added. “They’re very successful at what they do, so why not ask questions, so see what answers you can get from those guys.”
FOXBORO — With the debate around Darrelle Revis and Rob Gronkowski as potential MVP candidates, this afternoon in the Patriots locker room, we decided to ask each player about the other one and what they bring to the field.
“He’s a great player,” Gronkowski said of Revis. “He’s just so great with ball skills and he’s just so relaxed out there. You don’t even think he’s trying — that’s how good he is. When you see a player like that, you’re like, ‘Man, is he trying?’ He’s just right at the ball every time. That just means he’s got a lot of skills and he’s quick on his feet. The day he can react to a ball is unbelievable. He’s a great corner. It’s great to have him on our team.”
“The same stuff you see in the game, he’s doing at practice,” Revis said of Gronkowski. “He’s humble. He’s humble about it — the way he approaches the game. He goes out and works. He works at it. Him and Tom [Brady], the chemistry they have, you see them working at it, week in and week out at practice. You just have to give them credit for what they do. They’re working hard, and the catches you see in the game are the ones you see in practice. You’re just in awe sometimes of how much chemistry they have between the two.”
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|Tom Brady appreciates the ‘amazing’ Darrelle Revis and ponders what makes up an MVP||12.17.14 at 9:58 pm ET|
Brady had no such restrictions on him when he was asked his impressions of what Revis has meant to the Patriots’ defense and the team overall.
“He’s a phenomenal player and I’ve loved playing with him,” Brady said. “I’ve hated playing against him, and I’ve had my fair share of those opportunities. He’s a great teammate. He’s a phenomenal player. I think the thing that I’m so impressed with is his coverage skills without getting penalties.”
Avoiding penalties has certainly been a challenge, not only for the Patriots but everyone across the NFL. Flags are up around the league at the rate of two more per game. But Revis has been able to avoid the laundry being heaved in his direction. He has been hit with just two accepted penalties this season, both for defensive holding. Brady sees that as remarkable considering officials have been on higher alert for illegal contact beyond the line of scrimmage.
“That’s a rare thing to be backpedaling when the guys who are some of the best athletes in the world are running at you as fast as they can with the size and speed of the way the receivers are, and to be able to cover those guys like he does is pretty amazing.”
Brady also spoke of the growth he’s seen from Rob Gronkowski in the five years he’s spent with him. In Brady, Gronkowski and Revis, it could be argued that the Patriots have three players putting up MVP-type seasons. So, what is the difference between a valuable football player as opposed to an outstanding one?
FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis said Wednesday it was “kind of sad” when it came to his former coach Rex Ryan and what he’s been going through this season in New York.
Revis, who played with the Jets from 2007 to 2012, was asked on a conference call Wednesday if he was shocked that the Jets were 3-11.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Like I said, they have a lot on their plate over there in that situation this year,” he said. “It’s kind of sad for the position that Rex is in right now. But at the same time [the record is] something that they’ve got to change.
“Me and Rex have a lot of history, and we all know that,” he added. “Some of those guys are dear to my heart and everything, but like I said, I’ve got to focus on the things that I am doing here and I wish Rex the best.”
Revis, who played under Ryan from 2009 through 2012 with New York, said it’s a different experience playing on the other side of the rivalry.
“It’s two different schemes,” he explained. “Rex is more aggressive with his approach and up here it’s a mixture of man coverage and zone too. So it’s just two different systems that I’ve played with two different cultures that have two different styles of defenses.”
Revis was asked several times by the New York media about possibly returning to the Jets — or reuniting with Ryan — next year, but he wouldn’t comment on the possibility.
“Right now, my focus is playing against the Jets,” he said. “I’m not really thinking about the offseason right now. I’m thinking about focusing on the next game and the rest of the season.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Rex Ryan insists ‘our record is the only thing that stinks’ heading into Patriots showdown||at 11:25 am ET|
Rex Ryan knows his team is 3-11 on the season. He also knows his team is a heavy underdog this Sunday in what could be his final game as Jets coach before the New York faithful.
But for all that has been written and said about the discord and dysfunction around the Jets in another season to forget, the Jets coach insisted Wednesday in a conference call with the Patriots’ media that he loves his team and their effort.
“Anything that is swirling around inside our team, I’m proud of this team,” Ryan said. “We’ve got nothing [in terms of controversy]. Some guys’ reports are probably as far off as any I’ve ever seen. This team is tight. Our record is the only thing that stinks. We’ve got a great group of guys that care, that prepare, practice hard and it’s just obviously unfortunate that our record is what it is but it has nothing to do with the type of character in this room.”
Asked what he thinks of his place in the Patriots-Jets rivalry, should this indeed be his last game coaching the Jets, Ryan begged off, preferring instead to focus on the game at hand.
“I have no idea. We all know what’s getting ready to happen in this game. We know that both teams give their maximum effort against each other,” Ryan said. “I don’t think each team particularly likes each other but it’s on. Regardless of what the record is, we could be playing for first place, or whatever, but it’s the same effort always. It’s usually a close game and it’s usually a physical game.
“I never have to worry about them, regardless of who we play. We’re professionals and we get a chance to play a game, and it’s a game we love and we’re going to play it to the best of our abilities.”
“Well, I think their whole defense has changed quite a bit since the last time we played them,” Ryan added. “They’ve brought in a couple of big guys. Chandler Jones [hurt against Jets], a tremendous player. But the coverages and recognizing a lot of different coverages that haven’t really played in the past that they’re playing now.
“There’s a couple of different ways to play man coverage but they’re starting to do some different things in the man. It’s kind of hard to explain but we recognize it. They’re doing a good job of it, obviously.”
ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the Patriots’ upcoming game with the rival Jets. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With the Jets sitting in the basement of the AFC East and near the bottom of the entire NFL standings, some expect Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium to be a blowout. Woody, though, said New York will come to play.
“They’re going to bust their butts for Rex [Ryan],” Woody said of the Jets. “Just my time playing under Rex Ryan, the one great quality that Rex has is that he knows how to rally the troops. He just has an uncanny ability to know the pulse of the team and guys rally around that. Rex makes himself feel like he’s just one of the guys, he doesn’t make himself feel like, ‘Well, I’m the head coach and you’re the player.’ He kind of takes himself to the player’s level, and the players really respect that. People [have] got to expect the Jets to really bring it into the tank in this game.”
It has been reported throughout the season that Ryan will be fired after the season. His next potential job, however, has been up for debate. Another head coaching job and television gigs have been on the list of things Ryan could do if he is indeed axed by the Jets front office.
Said Woody: “I think the worst thing he can do is go somewhere and be a defensive coordinator because isn’t that feeding in to what everybody already perceives him to be? In my opinion, if Rex were to get fired, he’d be better to just go on TV, kind of put that big personality out there on TV for everybody to see, and then if I were him, I would go around all across the country, especially in the college game and study offense. … He’ll get another shot again, but if he can improve in that aspect of his repertoire, Rex can be a heck of a coach.”
In Ryan’s first two years with the Jets, New York reached the AFC championship game both times. Yet after those seasons, the Jets have failed to make the playoffs each season.
“I think the talent eroded around Rex and the team,” Woody said. “When the Jets went to back-to-back AFC championship games, we arguably had the best offensive line in football. You had great, stable running backs. Mark Sanchez was a young guy but he wasn’t asked to do much. We had Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. And the defense was top notch. When you have all of those things working for you, you can do some things. But as the years went on, the talent level just steadily eroded. When you don’t have the talent to go with the schemes, it’s not going to work.”