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Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Preseason games ‘absolutely brutal’ to watch due to penalties 08.18.14 at 11:53 am ET
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ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the huge number of penalties given out this preseason as well as Jimmy Garoppolo‘€™s potential in New England. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

NFL referees have come under fire for aggressively calling penalties in preseason games, something that revolves around the league cracking down on illegal contact, defensive holding and illegal hands to the face.

Hasselbeck said the number of penalties should decrease once the regular season kicks off.

“I watch all of these games, and you obviously can’€™t watch them all in real time, so I feel like I’ve had the benefit of fast-forwarding through the nonsense, because the games that I’ve watched in real time, it’€™s been brutal,” Hasselbeck said. “It’€™s been absolutely brutal. There’€™s no way this continues, because the league doesn’t want games like this during the regular season, and I can tell you right now, with all of this emphasis and all of this focus on this illegal contact and that nonsense, go look at every postseason for the last five years. The further and further you get along in the postseason, refs are afraid to take the flag out of their pocket. They won’€™t do it. … I feel like the officials in the NFL kind of missed the boat on this one.”

Hasselbeck said that Garoppolo’€™s impressive performances in the team’€™s first two preseason games, coupled with Ryan Mallett‘€™s upcoming free agency, has given Garoppolo the edge in terms of fighting for the backup quarterback role on the team.

“œI think, in terms of the ownership of the system, I think you need to be in it for a full year,” Hasselbeck said. “The advantage of being in something a full year is that you have command over it, rather than just knowing it. … There’€™s so many layers of it, so I think if you’€™re in it for over a year, to start to develop that type of ability. In terms of Belichick’€™s process with these guys, because of the contract situation for Mallett going forward and when he reaches free agency and because they’ve invested a second-round pick in Garoppolo, I believe that the scale is tipped a little bit in Garoppolo’€™s favor for them to really try to get him up to speed and feel comfortable with him being the backup, and so I think that’€™s why you’€™re going to see them give him opportunities.”

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Read More: Jimmy Garroppolo, Ryan Mallett, Tim Hasselbeck,
Why Ryan Mallett felt ‘a lot better’ about his night than preseason opener 08.16.14 at 11:24 pm ET
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Ryan Mallett scrambles for a touchdown Friday night against the Eagles. (Getty Images)

Ryan Mallett scrambles for a touchdown Friday night against the Eagles. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — After a 5-for-12 effort against the Redskins in the preseason opener, creating more speculation about his future in New England, no one needed a pick-me-up on Friday night at Gillette Stadium than Ryan Mallett.

Sure, the speculation will continue, even after his 7-of-11 effort in a 42-35 win over the Eagles. Mallett passed for 92 yards while registering a team-high 120.3 quarterback rating. His touchdown pass to Brian Tyms in the back corner of the end zone was the kind of touch pass that raises scouts eyebrows.

So was his 23-yard pass over three defenders into the arms of Josh Boyce along the right sideline that led to a a Roy Finch touchdown run.

Mallett’s first drive of the game came with little advance warning, when Duron Harmon intercepted Mark Sanchez on the second play of the third quarter. Mallett opened with a short pass of six yards down the the Philadelphia 6. That was followed by an incompletion. Right off the bat, Mallett faced pressure. Third and 4 and a field goal would be a big disappointment. He dropped back in shotgun. No one broke open so he broke free of the pocket and scrambled for a touchdown.

All told, Mallett led the Patriots to 21 points in a third quarter that might – at least for now – change how Mallett is viewed.

“€œYeah we had the momentum all game,” Mallett said. “I feel like we played well throughout the game and it continued throughout the second half and we still got some little things to overcome, but it was a lot better.”

This was a different kind of week for Mallett. He was given two “maintenance” days off from practice. He was not the first quarterback off the bench after Tom Brady.

“€œI get to play in the game and that’€™s all that matters. That’€™s all,” Mallett said. “I just want to get out there and try to get better as a player and I felt like I did that tonight and I just got to keep building on it.”

Yet, Mallett played Friday like a quarterback that still had confidence, and Tyms making circus catches was a big part of that.

“€œYou build confidence in practice,” Mallett said. “We’€™ve been watching [No.] 84 do that all camp. He’€™s been making plays and he got one-on-one coverage, so I’€™m going to let him make a play and just try and get it close to him.”

Mallett did take two sacks in the second half and couldn’t put points on the board in the fourth quarter but overall, still a very good night against an Eagles defense that provided different looks.

“It’€™s a totally different defense; you know. They’ve got a good team,” Mallett said. “It was close there at the end and we got a stop and then we moved the ball and ran the clock out. The offensive line did a great job right there during that last series as far as moving the ball. There were big holes for the running backs to see and get through. It’€™s a credit to them.”

But the biggest credit goes to Mallett who put the rumors of his future on the back burner, at least for one night.

“I don’t worry about that stuff,” Mallett said to a reporter asking him if he’s trying to make a point to his doubters. “I leave that to all you.”

Read More: New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Ryan Mallett,
Ryan Mallett expects to play Friday night against Eagles 08.14.14 at 1:26 pm ET
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FOXBORO –€“ After missing two practices early in the week and getting limited reps in practice due to the joint practices with the Eagles, quarterback Ryan Mallett is ready to go come from Friday night for the Patriots’€™ second preseason game of the season.

“Whenever they tell me to,”€ Mallett said, when asked if he expects to play.

With the Eagles in town this week, reps have been hard to come by in 11-on-11s because of the amount of players on the field at once. As a three-year backup, Mallett knows he has to take advantage of every play he is given.

“Any time you get a rep when you’re not the starter, you take advantage of it because you don’t get all the reps,” Mallett said. “That’s why I treat every practice like that, whether it be joint or if we’re just practicing against each other.”

In last Thursday’€™s game, the quarterback struggled at times, going 5-for-12 passing for 55 yards in one half of action. Mallett is itching to get back on the field and correct some of the things that may have went wrong.

“€œThere are some things we obviously have to do better — we didn’€™t play very well,”€ Mallett said. “There were some things we obviously have to do better –€“ we came out, practiced well and got better. That is what we’€™re trying to do everyday — get better and be ready for the Eagles tomorrow.”

There were a few occasions where Mallett and his receivers as well as running backs had some miscommunications leading to incomplete passes. On one play receiver Josh Boyce ran into a defender when Mallett thought he was going to do something else and on another, Mallett hit running back Roy Finch in the back of the head on a route Finch was running out of the backfield.

“That is part of the preseason — all those things are going to happen,” he said. “€œIt shows why you can’€™t let it happen when it gets to the regular season. We just have to learn from that and get better from it.”€

Asked if there were any particular throws he’€™d like to have back, Mallett joked, “All the incompletions.”€

“I’ve already moved passed it and ready for this week,” Mallett said. “Rear-view mirror kind of game right now.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Ryan Mallett,
Ryan Mallett: Two missed practices were ‘maintenance’ days at 12:45 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Many wondered what was wrong with quarterback Ryan Mallett when he missed both Sunday and Monday’s practices. That was in the wake of last Thursday’s preseason game against the Redskins where he slid awkwardly at one point in the first half on his left knee.

Following Thursday’s walk-through with the Eagles, Mallett cleared the air.

“Just maintenance stuff,” the 26-year-old said when asked about the absences.

Mallett did wear a heavy brace/sleeve on his left leg for the three joint sessions with the Eagles, but insists that wasn’t anything new.

“Same thing — I didn’€™t change anything. Same old, same,” said Mallett.

The quarterback went 5-for-12 passing for 55 yards playing the first half against Washington.

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Read More: 2014 training camp, Ryan Mallett,
Ryan Mallett at start of Patriots practice Tuesday afternoon 08.12.14 at 1:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — After missing the last two practices with an undisclosed absence, Ryan Mallett was back with the Patriots on Tuesday. The quarterback, who struggled in the preseason opener against the Redskins, was not at practice on Sunday at Monday in Foxboro. However, he was on the field at the start of the first of a series of joint practices with the Eagles Tuesday afternoon.

Read More: 2014 training camp, Ryan Mallett,
Tom Brady on D&C: Ryan Mallett ‘just needs an opportunity’ 08.11.14 at 12:37 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan Monday morning to discuss the preseason, Ryan Mallett‘€™s struggles and the state of the New England offense. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While Brady may not have participated in New England’€™s first preseason game against the Redskins Thursday, he stated that he did not find out about whether or not he would play until coach Bill Belichick told him right before gametime.

“I think Coach does a great job of just making sure everyone’€™s prepared and ready to go,” Brady said. “The preparation leading up to the game is so important. You can always learn a lot from those experiences in practices. … He just said before the game that he thought that we got a lot of good work in and we weren’€™t going to play. I always love playing in those games, because to play real football where you’€™re getting hit and you’€™ve got a clock in your head to throw the ball and all those preparations are important for me, so hopefully I make up for lost time this week.”

One of the biggest takeaways from New England’€™s 23-6 loss to the Washington was the lackluster performance of quarterback Ryan Mallett. Starting for the first time in his professional career, Mallett was 5-of-12 for 55 yards on 18 snaps. Despite his poor showing, Mallett is still considered to be one of the more promising backup quarterbacks in the league – a notion that Brady agreed with.

“Ryan just needs an opportunity,” Brady said. “He hasn’€™t had a chance over the last few years to get in there and show what he can do. I’€™ve always loved working with Ryan and he’€™s got a great ability to be able to step in there and do the job and I think everybody’€™s got a lot of confidence that he can do it, he just hasn’€™t had the chance. You can’€™t judge anybody based on one half of the first preseason game. I think you have to look at the total body of work and that’€™s how coaches have always evaluated it.”

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Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots, Ryan Mallett, Tom Brady
Ryan Mallett feels he ‘did a few positive things’ 08.08.14 at 12:30 am ET
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LANDOVER, Md. — Ryan Mallett knows the numbers don’t tell a pretty story from Thursday night’s preseason opener.

But he still says that on a night when he went 5-of-12 for 55 yards and a rating of 55.9, he took some steps forward.

“I feel like I did a few positive things,” Mallett said. “A few things I wish I could do different, but that’€™s what practice is for. We go back to work next week and get ready to go again.”

Mallett did show he could handle adversity, not entirely of his own making. Nate Solder and the offensive line had a hard time blocking for him, as he took an early sack, a quarterback hit and watched two passes get called back because of holding calls.”

Mallett showed the ability to run with the football, scrambling for a 15-yard gain up the middle in the second quarter. He took the opportunity to poke fun at those who have questioned his footwork as it relates to his mechanics and throwing consistency.

“You guys [media] want to talk about my feet,” he said. “I can move my feet a little bit.’€

Thursday was ugly as he couldn’t put points on the board. But asked point blank if he felt as if he were running out of time to prove himself in New England, he scoffed at the notion.

“No, not at all,” Mallett said. “€œI have to go watch the film ‘€“ a lot of stuff we’ve got to work on, too many penalties.

“I felt comfortable back there. I mean, you never know what’€™s going to happen, who you’€™re going to play against. You go out there and do the best you can and, like I said, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get better as a team.”

Mallett also insisted he doesn’t think he is auditioning for other NFL teams at this point.

‘€œNot at all. I’€™m playing for the Patriots. I’€™m playing for my team,” Mallett said.

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Read More: 2014 training camp, New England Patriots, Ryan Mallett,
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