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Bill Belichick on Tom Coughlin: ‘He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career’ 01.05.16 at 11:29 am ET
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Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15.  (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

The likely end of Tom Coughlin‘s career as an NFL head coach came to pass on Monday when he met with Giants co-owner John Mara and Steve Tisch and informed them that he would be stepping down immediately as head coach.

There is not another head coach in the NFL that knows Coughlin any better than Bill Belichick.

The two were on Bill Parcells‘ staff with the Giants from 1988-90. Coughlin was a wide receivers coach while Belichick was the defensive coordinator. They helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV over the Bills. Coughlin, who turns 70 this August, then took over as head coach at Boston College before leaving after 1993 to become the first head coach in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He led them to the AFC title game in 1996, where they lost to Parcells, Belichick and the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.

“Tom’s had a great career as a head coach and an assistant coach,” Belichick said in conference call Tuesday. “BC, Jacksonville, New York. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. I have a lot of respect for Tom, his family, the way he approaches his job and the way he coaches. We have a great relationship at the Giants when we were on the same staff and had good relationships through our respective careers.”

Most famously, Coughlin spent his last 12 years as head coach of the Giants, gaining a bit of revenge over Belichick twice on the game’s biggest stage. Coughlin will be most remembered as the head coach that ended the Patriots’ perfect season bid in Feb. 2008 when he beat Belichick’s Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII. Coughlin did it again four years later, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.

Their final meeting came this season when Stephen Gostkowski‘s kick at the end gave the Patriots a 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium over the Giants.

“Lots for him to be proud of,” Belichick said. “Unfortunately, a couple of his biggest wins came at our expense. He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Boston College, Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Tom Brady, Patriots mauling of Jaguars 09.27.15 at 6:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price talk Tom Brady and the total team effort of the Patriots in a 51-17 mauling of the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes, becoming the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 400 touchdown passes. The Patriots improved to 3-0 for the ninth time in team history and never punted in the game. The Patriots also tied a team record with 35 first downs and set a new NFL record for most first downs through the first three games with 88.

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Read More: Chris Price, Jacksonville Jaguars, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick feels ‘really fortunate’ to have coached Tom Brady, Stephen Gostkowski at 6:37 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Sometimes, even an accomplished coach like Bill Belichick has to take a step back and appreciate what he’s seen over his years.

As defensive coordinator of the Giants, he coached one of the most doiminating defensive players in history in Lawrence Taylor. For the last 15 years, he’s coached the most accomplished quarterback in the Super Bowl era in Tom Brady and now he’s coaching one of the most accurate kickers in history. Two of the three had significant milestones in Sunday’s 51-17 blowout win over the Jaguars.

Tom Brady threw touchdown passes to Danny Amendola and Keshawn Martin to become the fourth quarterback in history to reach the 400 touchdown plateau. Stephen Gostkowski converted all six extra points to set a new record for consecutive point after touchdowns with 425, breaking the old mark held by Matt Stover.

“That takes a lot of games, a lot of snaps to do that, and it’€™s certainly a tribute to both of them, the durability, longevity and obviously consistent production that both of them have had,” Belichick said. “So, I feel really fortunate to have coached and had guys like that on our team, and those two guys in particular, they had a good day as they’€™ve had for many, many days in their career. I’€™m really fortunate to have those guys on this team.”

Rob Gronkowski was the only player not to hit his milestone on Sunday, as he was held without a touchdown for the first time this season. He still needs one more touchdown to become the fastest tight end in NFL history to 60 touchdowns and the second in Patriots history (Stanley Morgan 68) with 60 touchdowns.

What made Belichick so pleased after the game Sunday weren’t the personal achievements but reaching the team goal of playing 60 good minutes for the first time this season.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski
Bill Belichick keeping an eye on Paul Posluszny: ‘Maybe better’ than he was in Buffalo at 10:11 am ET
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Paul Posluszny (51) is still making plays as MLB of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Paul Posluszny (51) is still making plays as MLB of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — As the Patriots get ready to take on the Jaguars, one opposing player that Bill Belichick will be keeping close tabs on is Paul Posluszny.

The linebacker in his ninth season out of Penn State anchors a Jacksonville defense that is rebuilding around a system that new head coach Gus Bradley has brought with him from Seattle, where he was the defensive coordinator.

Every rebuild needs an anchor, and Posluszny is the perfect candidate for Bradley. The middle linebacker is one of only eight active inside linebackers that has started at least 100 games since the start of 2007. He is also only one of three NFL players with at least 12 sacks and 12 interceptions in that same period.

In the first two games he has 16 tackles, 15 of which are solo. Pretty impressive numbers.

“He’€™s very good. He missed half the season last year but he’€™s been very durable,” Belichick said, referring to Posluszny’s torn pectoral muscle of last season. “He’€™s started over 100 games, and he’€™s pretty much there every week, and he’€™s very productive.”

Posluszny’s athletic ability has returned to form from his injury, showing the ability to go up the ladder and make a pick of Cam Newton in the season-opening loss to the Panthers.

“The interception against Carolina was a real athletic play,” Belichick continued. “A lot of players wouldn’€™t have even made that play. He went up, stretched high for the ball ‘€“ he looked like a receiver catching it. He’€™s got good length, he’€™s got very good instincts in the running game and the passing game, and just overall, his timing of blitzes with the quarterback cadence, being able to get his momentum running up into the line of scrimmage, things like that. Smart player, productive in the run, productive in the passing game, obviously controls their defense and their communication as it applies, as they need to do that. And he’€™s had a great career. He’€™s a good player.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots
Setting the scene from sunny Gillette Stadium as Tom Brady looks to make history against Jags at 9:32 am ET
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Ideal conditions are expected at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots host the Jaguars. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Ideal conditions are expected at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots host the Jaguars. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — The backdrop couldn’t be better as Tom Brady looks to make some history at Gillette Stadium.

The forecast calls for sunny skies, temperatures in the low 70s and a slight breeze out of the south for the 1 p.m. kickoff against the Jaguars.

Tom Brady needs just one more touchdown pass to become the fourth player in NFL history to reach 400 touchdown passes in a career, a feat that Brady addressed earlier in the week. The future hall of famer will join Peyton Manning (533), Brett Favre (508) and Dan Marino (420). Drew Brees is one behind Brady at 398.

Brady has a history of making history against Jacksonville. In a 35-7 win at Gillette Stadium in 2009, the Patriots quarterback set a franchise record when he finished the game with a completion percentage of 88.5, completing 23-of-26 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns. The 88.5 percentage is tied for 12th best in NFL history (minimum 20 attempts).

Brady isn’t the only Patriot looking to make history against the Jags. If Brady finds Rob Gronkowski for his 400th touchdown pass, there might be a battle over the ball. Gronkowski would record his 60th touchdown (58 receiving, 1 rush) in just his 68th game, by far the fastest tight end to that plateau in NFL history. The next closest is Antonio Gates, who hit the mark in 110 games. He will also become just the second player in Patriots history with 60 touchdowns. Stanley Morgan holds the franchise record with 68 (67 receiving, 1 return).

Kicker Stephen Gostkowski can also reach a milestone with four consecutive extra points. Gostkowski has connected on 419 straight extra points, including all eight this season from the new distance of 33 yards. Matt Stover holds the all-time record of 422.

The Patriots are looking to start 3-0 for the ninth time in franchise history, and for the fifth time under Bill Belichick. Only once (2004) in the previous four times under Belichick did the Patriots start 3-0 and wind up winning the Super Bowl. The Belichick Patriots also opened 3-0 in 2002, 2007 and 2013.

The Jaguars are just one of four teams that the Patriots have never lost to at home in the regular season. The Patriots are 3-0 lifetime in Foxboro against the Jags. They are 4-0 against the Ravens, 4-0 against the Bears and 2-0 against the Texans. The Patriots are also perfect lifetime overall in the regular season against the Jaguars, winning all six previous encounters. The Patriots are 9-1 overall against Jacksonville, with the only loss coming on Jan. 3, 1999 in a 25-10 loss in the playoffs in Jacksonville.

This is New England’s first game against the Jaguars since 2012 when they beat Jacksonville, 23-16, at EverBank Field two days before Christmas.

WEEI’s Chris Price has the scouting breakdown of the young but improving Jaguars, who rode quarterback Blake Bortles to a last-minute win over the Dolphins, 23-20, last week in Jacksonville, their first win under first-year coach Gus Bradley.

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Read More: Gronk, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski
Ryan Wendell wants to return ‘as soon as possible’ after dealing with mysterious illness 09.25.15 at 5:22 pm ET
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Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell isn’t putting any timetable on when he might return from an illness that has forced him to miss the last four practices and will keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

Speaking to reporters Friday in the Patriots locker room, Wendell didn’t offer details but acknowledged that the illness has forced him to the sidelines while the rest of his teammates work in practice.

“As soon as possible, that’s what I’d like,” Wendell said when asked when he might be able to return. “I’€™d love to be out there with my guys. The biggest thing to say is I don’t know how it is anywhere else, but to have the staff that we have, especially the relationship we have with all of the doctors from Mass General Hospital and everything like that, we have top-of-the-line health care. I’m so grateful and blessed to be at a place where I can get the kind of treatment that’s most effective. I have confidence in our staff and our trainers and medical staff to help me get back as soon as possible.”

Wendell’s willingness to speak to reporters and his upbeat mood Friday lead to speculation that this is more of a short-term issue than an ailment expected to linger.

“Playing football’€™s always on my mind. I’€™m excited to get back,” Wendell said. “The big story is on the guys that have been playing, doing all the hard work. They’€™re doing a great job, and I’€™m excited to get back out there with them.”

Wendell spent the offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and was taken off PUP on Aug. 28. He played in most of the preseason finale against the Giants, leading to speculation that he might be able to play on Sept. 10 against the Steelers. He was not listed on the injury report leading up to the season opener but was inactive against Pittsburgh.

Then, the 30-year-old showed up limited on the injury report as limited on Wednesday and Thursday before the Bills game. He missed last Friday and was ruled out against Buffalo.

‘€œI know it’€™s vague. Illness is a good way to describe it,” Wendell told reporters. “I wasn’€™t able to do my job. I needed some time to get healthy. Each day, I’€™m just following the doctor and trainer’€™s instructions,” he said. “As soon as they think I’€™m ready to go, I’€™ll be out there.”

Wendell will get more time to rest and recover next week, as the Patriots are on their bye week.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, ryan wendell,
Ryan Wendell once again missing from Patriots practice Friday at 12:00 pm ET
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Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell

FOXBORO — It would appear certain Ryan Wendell will miss his third straight game Sunday.

The veteran interior lineman was again the only player missing at the start of Patriots practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Friday, a session that was held in sweats and shells for a second straight day.

Wendell has been on the shelf since the start of the season, has now missed the last four practices with what the team has called an illness. Wendell also missed practice last Friday before the Bills game and was limited on Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the game in Buffalo.

With Bryan Stork on injured reserve (designated for return) and Wendell likely out, rookie David Andrews is in line to make his third straight start at center for the Patriots Sunday against the Jaguars.

Practice squad linebacker Eric Martin was also not spotted on the practice field while a new defensive lineman wearing No. 72 was on the field, a number worn most recently by Joe Vellano.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Eric Martin, Jacksonville Jaguars, Joe Vellano, New England Patriots
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