|Julian Edelman on OM&F: Patriots preparing for ‘tough environment’ in Buffalo this week||10.24.16 at 1:21 pm ET|
Julian Edelman joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday to look back at Sunday’s win over the Steelers and also ahead to this Sunday’s game in Buffalo against the Bills. To hear the interview, go to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.
New England fell to the Bills 16-0 at home in Week 4, but Tom Brady didn’t play in the game. Edelman noted how a lot of things have changed since that game and the Patriots need to get ready for a tough environment.
“With Buffalo, they are a confident team,” Edelman said. “They are going to be in there and treat this game [importantly]. Any time you go to Buffalo, it’s always a very tough environment. Bills Mafia is going crazy. There’s beers being thrown. There’s freaking everything going on over there. It’s going to be a tough environment.
“The last time we played them, that’s in the past. You learn from the stuff you didn’t do right, but it’s a different time of the year. It’s a different situation, there’s different players on both teams playing now and different players on both teams that aren’t playing now. It’s one of those things that we’re going to have to have a really good week of practice and that is what it comes down to, especially when you play the Bills with a spin the dial mentality.”
As for this past Sunday, Edelman had a season-high nine catches, which were partly because of the style of defense Pittsburgh played.
“We were out there and we were just taking what they were giving us,” Edelman said. “That’s what happens when you play against a zone like that, so you just have to dink-and-dunk. We got good production from our running game. It was a pretty decent day. We had a couple of drives that were negated either by a penalty, or turnover, but other than that we just have to keep on improving and working to get the team in sync.”
Every week it seems the Patriots have had a different player leading the way, which is a good problem to have according to Edelman.
“That’s a good problem to have as a team is when you have a bunch of guys that can make plays,” Edelman said. “You look at James White, I mean he’s been doing very good this year. LG [LeGarrette Blount] has been running the ball well. Gronk is Gronk. Marty B [Bennett] has been making big plays. [Chris] Hogan has been making big plays. [Danny] Amendola has been coming in situationally making big plays. Malcolm [Mitchell], he’s made plays. There’s guys that are just making plays. Any time you have that is just going to strengthen the offense, so you don’t really go to the quarterback, especially that guy and tell him you’re open because he usually finds the guy that is open.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s 27-16 win over the Steelers, among other things relating to the Patriots offense. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.
Julian Edelman had a season-high nine catches for 60 yards, while Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett combined for just five catches. Brady said that was because of the way the Steelers played defense, as they didn’t want the tight end duo to have a big day.
“[Edelman] had a lot of opportunity based on how they really chose to play us,” Brady said. “We had some good matchups there in the middle of the field and I tried to get it to him. He was able to make some plays and really get into the defense, show his run after the catch. It was a very productive day for him. We really needed it. They made it tough in a lot of ways for our offense to really create big plays, but we had a lot of those plays underneath and Jules was a big factor in the game.”
Brady said the tight ends didn’t complain much as they know how the offense works.
“They really don’t. I think for our offense right now, I think it’s going to be different players each week,” he said. “They understand. They all want the ball. They are all working hard to get open. Sometimes the coverage that the defense is playing dictates where you throw the ball and if they are not in that position, they are all smart enough to know that’s not when they are going to get it. I think [the Steelers] were pretty intent on not letting Gronk and Marty have big days yesterday.”
Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point for the second time in as many games and he’s now missed a kick in six of his last eight games dating back to the AFC title game last season. Brady isn’t concerned, though.
“I just think you show support and encouragement,” he said. “He’s a great kicker. He’ll find his rhythm. I don’t think anyone is really worried about that. He’s one of the best kickers that has ever played the game. I have 100 percent confidence he will find his rhythm.”
Running back LeGarrette Blount had his third game of 100 or more yards rushing this year as he finished with 127 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns. The quarterback noted how important it’s been for Blount to get off to a good start this year.
|Scouting Report: What you have to know about Patriots-Steelers||10.22.16 at 11:29 am ET|
What you have to know when the Patriots and Steelers meet Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh:
WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL
The run defense totals against the Steelers have to be put in context, but no matter the situation, I can’t stop looking at the Miami-Pittsburgh boxscore and the whopping 222 rushing yards that were allowed by the Steelers. Holy moly. (Jay Ajayi had 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, including 153 in the second half as Miami gave him the ball time and again in hopes of helping protect the lead.) That came after Pittsburgh held four of its first five opponents under 100 yards rushing. In all, the Steelers are 13th in the league against the run, having allowed an average of 101.2 rushing yards per game, so the numbers are skewed a bit by what happened against the Dolphins. While every situation and every week is different, the feeling here is that if the Patriots get their chances — that is to say, get up early and are able to control the tempo — they should hand the ball to Blount about a zillion times in the second half. As expected, Blount’s production has taken a hit the last two weeks with Tom Brady back, but he’s still seventh in the league with 439 yards rushing. The 3.7 yards per carry isn’t so hot, but his six rushing touchdowns more than make up for it. If New England takes a comfortable second-half lead, look for Blount to get a lot of work.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL
Brady (76 percent completion rate, 782 passing yards, six touchdowns, no INTs, passer rating of 135.5) has an almost impeccable track record against the Steelers: In eight career games against Pittsburgh, he’s 6-2 and has averaged 326 passing yards and almost three touchdowns per contest. In his last five starts against Pittsburgh, Brady has 17 touchdowns and no interceptions, with a 127.9 passer rating. Bottom line? The names and faces might change, but he’s always been a pretty safe bet to light up the Steelers hyper-aggressive defense. Pittsburgh will be forced to try and stop New England’s double tight-end set, which managed to overwhelm the Bengals in the second half last week. Rob Gronkowski (13 catches, 282 yards, 1 TD) appears to be back to his old self, while Martellus Bennett (26 catches, 362 yards, 4 TDs) has made an excellent complementary fit alongside him. Julian Edelman (28 catches, 261 yards) has been slowed the last few weeks, but should be in for his fair share of targets, along with Danny Amendola (13 catches, 160 yards, 2 TDs), Chris Hogan (13 catches, 275 yards, 1 TD) and James White (25 catches, 212 yards, 2 TDs).
Brady can talk as nicely as he wants to about the Steelers, but the fact is that they’ve had trouble defending anyone you could call an even slightly better than average quarterback. Pittsburgh has yielded an average of 294 passing yards per game, which puts them 29th in the league through six games: Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz threw for more than 300 yards on the Steelers. The Steelers struggle to get consistent pressure, as they have just eight sacks and three picks in six games. (Only four teams have fewer interceptions than Pittsburgh.) Ross Cockrell and William Gay are the Steelers’ two lead corners, and Cockrell leads the team with seven passes defensed.
|Jamie Collins (hip), Julian Edelman (foot) among 9 Pats questionable for Sunday vs. Steelers, DeAngelo Williams (knee) out||10.21.16 at 4:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots head to Pittsburgh in relatively healthy shape.
The team did officially announce Friday afternoon that nine players are officially questionable for Sunday’s game, including linebacker Jamie Collins, who missed last Sunday’s game against the Bengals with a hip injury.
Collins practiced all week leading into the Cincinnati game but was ruled out Sunday morning. Collins was limited all three days in practice. Also listed as questionable are Julian Edelman (foot) and Brandon Bolden (knee). Edelman was limited in practice all week while Bolden was limited Wednesday and Thursday before missing Friday.
This week, the team took the opportunity to take several players off the injury report altogether, including Rob Gronkowski with his hamstring issue, Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and LeGarrette Blount (hip). The move indicates that both players fully participated in practice and are expected to be available at full strength for Sunday.
For the Steelers, not only will they be without Ben Roethlisberger (left knee), running back DeAngelo Williams (knee), defensive end Cameron Heyward (hamstring) and receiver Markus Wheaton (shoulder) will all be unavailable after being ruled out Friday.
Here is Friday’s complete practice report.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Brandon Bolden (knee) QUESTIONABLE
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jamie Collins (hip) QUESTIONABLE
LB Shea McClellin (concussion) QUESTIONABLE
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
DL Vincent Valentine (back) QUESTIONABLE
WR Julian Edelman (foot) QUESTIONABLE
|Jimmy Garoppolo (right shoulder) taken off injury report, 9 Patriots remain limited||10.20.16 at 4:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo is back to full strength.
The Patriots removed Garoppolo from the injury report on Wednesday, close to five weeks since suffering a shoulder injury against the Dolphins in Week 2.
Other than Garoppolo, it was the same injury report as Wednesday with nine players being limited including Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle) and Jamie Collins (hip).
Here is the complete injury report.
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Patriots won’t comment on Vontaze Burfict being fined||at 2:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — A lot of the talk surrounding the Patriots this week hasn’t been about the upcoming game against the Steelers, rather the fallout from last Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was reportedly fined $75,000 for appearing to stomp on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount’s leg late in the game.
Many felt given his track record he should have been suspended, but the league decided on a fine.
Patriots players didn’t want to discuss the matter on Thursday.
“That’s last week,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “It’s the rules. I’m worried about Pittsburgh right now, so I’m not getting caught in that one.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was in the same boat.
“Yeah, it’s all up to the league,” he said. “I’ve got really no say in anything, so I’m just really focused on what I’ve got to do, and that’s to prepare for the Steelers this week. That’s all really what I’m on to, is the Steelers.”
Gronkowski was involved in some of the chippiness late in the game and was asked if he was fined for what he did, which included getting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
“I haven’t heard of anything,” he said. “Have you? Sometimes you guys know more info than I do, no lie.”
The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers Sunday afternoon.
|Jamie Collins (hip), Julian Edelman (foot) and Martellus Bennett (ankle) all limited for Patriots||10.19.16 at 4:18 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), linebacker Jamie Collins (hip), linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot) were among the 10 players limited in Wednesday’s practice, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.
Collins missed last Sunday’s win over the Bengals because of the hip issue.
The news of who is on the list is just as big as who isn’t on the injury report: tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had been suffering from hamstring issues and a stomach bug this year, is not on the first one of the week.
Here’s the complete list.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle)
Running back Brandon Bolden (knee)
Linebacker Jamie Collins (hip)
Wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (right shoulder)
Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
Linebacker Shea McClellin (concussion)
Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
Linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle)
Defensive lineman Vincent Valentine (back)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
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