|Darrelle Revis to Jets fans watching him in Super Bowl: ‘Not really my fault … I didn’t make the call’||01.27.15 at 6:47 pm ET|
PHOENIX — This is a tough time to be a Jets fan.
The quarterback situation is a mess. They have a new coach. And they’re about to watch arguably the best defensive player in their history playing for the hated Patriots in the Super Bowl.
On Tuesday, at media day at US Airways Center, Darrelle Revis was asked it must be like for a Jets fan to watch him play on game’s biggest stage after making a name for himself for his first six seasons in New York.
“It’s not really my fault,” Revis said. “I didn’t make the call. Management made the call at that time and they felt it was best to get rid of me. So that’s the situation. That’s how I look at it.”
Ironically, Revis is in the Super Bowl with a New York-type controversy swirling in Deflategate. That gave Revis another reason to recall what he went through in the Big Apple, and to a lesser degree in Tampa Bay, with the reported mutiny against Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.
“Things come up and I’ve been around a little bit,” said the Jets’ 2007 first-round pick. “I’ve been on teams where situations come up and you have to deal with them accordingly. Whatever the situation is, the league office is dealing with it, too, and you just have to really see what they do about it. Let them handle it.”
After tearing his ACL against the Dolphins in September 2012, Revis went through an extensive rehab program that was documented in “Hard Knocks” on HBO. The following April, the Jets traded him to Tampa Bay and he signed one of the biggest contracts in the NFL. Revis’ six-year deal was worth $96 million, making him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history. Read the rest of this entry »
|Julian Edelman is mentally ready to prepare for ‘ferocious’ Legion of Boom secondary||01.25.15 at 4:58 pm ET|
Julian Edelman is more than aware of the challenge ahead of him.
One of the best timing route receivers in the league has to find a way to get open against arguably the most physical secondary in football on the game’s biggest stage. Edelman hasn’t played against Seattle since 2012, when the “Legion of Boom” was coming into its own.
“They’re a little different because they’re all big,” Edelman said. “They’re all big, strong, ferocious players. They play in their scheme. They’re well coached. They play hard. We certainly have some guys that are big, but this a completely different group and like you said, I’ve never played against them. [We’ve] got to take these next few days [to] prepare [and] get ready for them and try to bring out the ‘A’ game.”
How does Edelman feel about the progress in the game plan so far?
“I feel good. Practice has had a high tempo; guys are focused,” Edelman said. “We still have a long way to go. We still have a few days out in Arizona to prepare so we’re going to try to take advantage of that. It’s been pretty good.”
This is Edelman’s second Super Bowl experience. Three years ago, Wes Welker had his job before leaving for Denver. Edelman was returning kicks and playing on special teams. He returned three kicks for 73 yards, including a 31-yarder. What did the experience in Super Bowl XLVI teach him about the crazy week leading up to the game?
“Just all the scheduling of everything, definitely being at one has helped,” Edelman said. “It’s always a little different every year I guess. I’m a little more familiar with what you’ve got going on when you’re there [and] being able to ignore a bunch of distractions and all that kind of stuff. It really is a business trip for us. [I’m] looking forward to that.”
Edelman made it clear that he’s anxious to get out to Arizona and take the game prep to the next level.
“Definitely. You’re anxious to get out there and kind of feel your surroundings, see what you’re going to be working with that week as far as facility, the meeting rooms,” Edelman said. “[You] don’t have to worry about anything else. You should have all your off-the-field stuff taken care of. You’re definitely anxious to get out there and start the preparing process out there. It’ll be nice to be in some 70-degree weather. That’s always nice. [We’ll] go out there and try to win the last game.
“Anytime you go to a Super Bowl it’s pretty exciting so I don’t know. I was really excited last time, I’m excited this time. Probably a little more focused this time as far as knowing what you have to do out there, knowing what’s going on ‘ experiencing all that kind of stuff. That’s how I feel about that question I guess.” Read the rest of this entry »
In their final Foxboro practice of the year and their last before departing for Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona, the Patriots had perfect attendance Sunday, according to multiple reports.
For a fourth straight day, the Patriots held their practice inside Dana-Farber Fieldhouse Sunday as they try to simulate game conditions inside University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale next Sunday.
The Patriots had a full pads practice on Thursday, followed by a walkthrough on Friday and a pair of sweats and shells practice on Saturday and Sunday.
The Patriots officially listed six as questionable in Friday’s projected injury report, including rookie center Bryan Stork, who injured his knee in the divisional win over the Ravens. His continued participation in practice is a good sign that he will be ready to play in the Super Bowl.
Sunday’s practice was the 65th and final one of the season on their Foxboro campus. The next big event for the Patriots is Monday’s send-off rally at 11 a.m. at City Hall Plaza in Boston. The Patriots land in Arizona Monday afternoon and will be available to the media at that time.
|Russell Wilson looks back on game against Patriots that started it all for Seattle||01.21.15 at 9:44 pm ET|
The Seahawks were just over nine minutes away from falling to 3-3 on the 2012 season. They trailed the Patriots 23-10 on their home turf.
Things didn’t look good for Seattle or rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Then he completed a touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards to make it close down the stretch. Still, Seattle trailed 23-17 and had the ball at their own 43 with 2:38 left in the fourth.
Wilson, a rookie out of Wisconsin was still learning the NFL game. That was the season that many Seahawks fans wondered why the rookie was getting the call at quarterback over recently signed free agent Matt Flynn and 2011 starter Tarvaris Jackson. With one deep pass to Sydney Rice over the Patriots secondary, Wilson validated the decision of head coach Pete Carroll.
The perfectly-placed 46-yarder resulted in a touchdown and gave the Seahawks a 24-23 win. The win improved Seattle to 4-2 but more importantly, established confidence in the locker room in the young kid and Seattle finished 11-5. The next season, Seattle overcame the 49ers in the NFC championship and won Super Bowl XLVIII.
Last week, Wilson did it again, overcoming a 19-7 hole in the final three minutes to post a heart-pounding 28-22 win in overtime to punch Seattle’s second straight ticket to the Super Bowl, and sent Wilson into tears.
“I’m not a very good crier,” Wilson joked. “I was ugly when I cry. No, it’s just a blessing to be on this football team. Just thinking about all the things we’ve been through this year and all the fight and one of the greatest come backs in my opinion. Especially with the circumstances with three minutes or so to go and score two touchdowns, then get the ball in overtime and win the game and go to the Super Bowl. I just think about my teammates. I think about all the hard work we’ve put in and it’s just been a blessing to come a mighty long way.”
On Wednesday, Wilson pointed back to that game on Oct. 14, 2012 as the turning point for him and the franchise.
“To go back to my rookie season, it seems like forever ago. But to go back to my rookie season, and to play the Patriots, I truly think that was one of the biggest games for me personally just to be able to come back against a great team and to take the lead throwing the ball to Sidney Rice. Tremendous receiver makes a big time play for us to win the game with about a minute and a half left. That was a huge comeback for us.
“I think that was kind of the momentum starter for the past three years really, to be honest with you. I think Chicago (23-17 OT win) was another big game for our offense and for me personally. So, I think back to those games and just remember the experience, the grit that it takes to win, especially against a big time quarterback like Tom Brady and their football team and what they do so well. They’re always on it, they’re always ready to go, and so we’re going to have to play our best football that’s for sure.”
What is the biggest difference playing the Patriots now as opposed to 2012?
“I think the biggest difference between me in my rookie year against the Patriots and now, I just think the experience, the composure, all the reps that I’ve had, all the practices, all the games, all the big games, and quote on quote, ‘big games’. I try not to look at them as big games, I just try to look at them as great moments and you just try to add up those moments and more great moments than bad moments,” Wilson said. “You just trust the guys you have around you. For me, just the development of our offense and what we can really do and the versatility of our offense and how we can quickly score and all the things that we can do.
|Patriots planning Super Bowl send-off for Monday||01.20.15 at 10:08 pm ET|
In a bit of a change from years past, the Patriots announced Tuesday evening that they will be leaving for Arizona and Super Bowl XLIX on Monday, Jan. 26. The Patriots will play Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1.
Factoring into the decision is the league’s Pro Bowl game at the same venue the Sunday prior to the Super Bowl. This season, the Pro Bowl will be held at the same site as the Super Bowl on the prior Sunday.
The league presumably would like to avoid the distraction of the Super Bowl competing teams arriving on the same day as the Pro Bowl.
Since January 2010, the Pro Bowl has been played the week before the Super Bowl. That year, the game was held at same venue (Miami) as the Super Bowl. The game then moved back to Hawaii for the next four years.
The Patriots also revealed they will practice Thursday through Sunday before flying west on Monday, just a day before the annual media day at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Seven years ago, the last time the Super Bowl was in Glendale, the Patriots left on Sunday, with a rally beforehand at Gillette Stadium. The team announced Tuesday evening that details of a send-off rally are still to be determined.
In years past, teams have traditionally arrived at the Super Bowl location on the Sunday before. However, there have been cases in the last several years of teams arriving the Monday before and the Patriots are making that adjustment this year.
Three years ago, the Patriots arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday, with a rally beforehand at Gillette Stadium.
|How defensive will Bill Belichick get with Seahawks?||at 7:48 pm ET|
A strong defense starts with a strong front.
After watching film from Sunday’s 45-7 romp over the Colts, the Patriots defensive line looked strong to Bill Belichick. What was particularly encouraging to the Patriots coach was the way the unit, anchored by nose tackle Vince Wilfork, played without Chris Jones and depleted by the mid-game loss of Sealver Siliga to a foot injury.
“I thought our line played solidly,” Belichick said. “It was good. We brought Joe [Vellano] up on the roster for Chris, who was inactive. So with Joe, Alan [Branch], Sealver and Vince [Wilfork], the play time was kind of divided there. It was good that we had that little bit extra depth, especially when Sealver went out for, I don’t know, half a quarter or however long it was.”
Of a possible 56 defensive snaps, Rob Ninkovich (52) and Chandler Jones (50) led the way among edge rushers and down linemen. Wilfork led all interior linemen with 31 snaps (55 percent) while the rotation of Siliga (26), Branch (20) and Vellano (20) filled out the rest of the reps for defensive tackles.
What Belichick saw upon further review was the effort they provided in disrupting Andrew Luck‘s passing pocket.
“I thought those guys, it was kind of an unsung job in that game of pushing the pocket, trying to keep Luck from stepping up. It wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t make it as easy for them as maybe he’s had at other times to move up into the pocket and deliver the ball that he had to deal with some guys getting pushed on him a little bit. That was kind of the idea there. But no, I think those guys competed well. They gave us a high level of play.”
The line may have to go to the next level if they are to disrupt the Seattle running game, led by Marshawn Lynch. The disruption led to a dominance on the stat sheet in the AFC championship. The Colts converted just three of 11 chances on third down and ran the ball just 19 times for 84 yards. Compare that with 194 rushing yards on 35 attempts by Seattle against the Packers last Sunday, to go along with 8-of-16 conversion rate on third down. Read the rest of this entry »
|Duron Harmon says ‘I knew I was going to have pick this week’||01.11.15 at 12:14 am ET|
FOXBORO — Duron Harmon beat Joe Flacco at his own game.
The Ravens quarterback came in the winner of five straight in the postseason and appeared on the brink of doing it again late in the fourth quarter. That’s when he lofted a pass for Torrey Smith down the left sideline, with Logan Ryan on him.
Ryan, filling in for the injured Brandon Browner, stayed tight in coverage as another pair of eyes watched Flacco. Those eyes belonged to Harmon who read the play perfectly. He drifted over and then, once the ball left Flacco’s right hand, raced over and leaped at the right time to pick off Flacco in the end zone with 1:39 left.
“I told the guys [in practice] that I was going to get one this week,” Harmon said. “I’m just glad it helped us win the game.”
Harmon was asked if he were serious about making that bold prediction.
“Yeah, I knew I was going to have a pick this week,” Harmon said.
“Yeah, he said that in practice but he says that every week,” Brandon Browner confirmed. “But I’m really happy for him. He had a great week of practice.”
Flacco would get the ball back for one final “Hail Mary” but that fell incomplete on the game’s last play. It was Harmon that, for all intents and purposes, put the stake in a 35-31 Patriots win.
“It was just me reading the quarterback,” Harmon said. “He threw the ball up there and gave me a chance and I just came down with it. I’m glad I caught it and it ended the game for us.”