|Darrelle Revis: ‘Much respect’ for Charles Woodson||09.18.14 at 3:45 pm ET|
“I’m still in year eight right now,” Revis said with a laugh after practice on Thursday. ‘I’m a big fan of him. Watched him at Michigan and looked up to him. He’s … hopefully, he’s a future Hall of Famer. The guy has played great ball in the league, and [is] still making plays. Bill [Belichick] put up some plays and he’s still making them, in year 17. I tip my hat off to him. I have much respect for him.”
Revis won’t have to worry too much about Woodson — that’s more for quarterback Tom Brady. Instead, his focus is going to be the Oakland passing game, led by rookie quarterback Derek Carr. On Thursday, the veteran crier talked about the challenges that come with facing a rookie signal-caller for the first time.
‘The material that we have, you just have to rely on that and go from there,” Revis said of Carr. “We’re doing the best we can with game planning against that offense, and we have to stick to the material we have and go from there.
“He’s running their offense. He can throw every route.”
Of course, Revis has been known to bait a young quarterback into a bad throw from time to time. Could that be the case again on Sunday?
“I can’t give you all of that,” he said with a laugh. “Like I said, we’re going to do what we think is best to make sure we’re successful in the game plan. We’re still going through it. We have another day tomorrow to finish up red zone. So far, it’s been going good with the game plan and we just have to go through some more film study and figure out come Sunday where our best matchups are the best game plan on defense.
‘Their receiver corps, they have [Denarius] Moore, who’s very fast. I’ve played against him in the past. Him, you have to watch him at all times on the deep routes. [Rod] Streeter — we don’t know, but we’ll figure that out. Then you’ve got James Jones, the savvy vet. We feel like we give them a lot of respect, their receiving corps. We’re just looking forward to the matchup and covering those guys. Like we said, there’s not a lot of material on Carr. We just have to focus on what we know about Jones, Moore and Streeter.”
In the end, while the Patriots figure to be favored heading into this one, Revis knows this sets up to be a classic trap game.
“I know a lot of guys on that team, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Revis said of Oakland. ‘The Raiders always come to play. We just have to be ready for what they’re going to bring. They’re 0-2 right now, and I’m sure they’re searching for a win coming off 0-2. We know they’ll be ready — we just have to be focused and make sure we don’t let one slip away at home.”
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“Woodson really doesn’t look like a 17-year veteran, I’ll tell you that,” Belichick began. “He makes plays all over the field ‘ very aggressive, fast, instinctive, strong tackler, tough. Just couldn’t say enough about how impressed I’ve been watching him on film. The Raiders have real good team speed. They’re a big, physical team. We have a lot to get ready for in terms of their scheme and personnel.
“I think Coach [Dennis] Allen has done a good job there defensively with emphasizing the turnovers. They caused a lot of fumbles last year. I think it was the fourth-most in the league or something like that. They do a good job of turning the ball over.”
Of course, it’s the one turnover that Woodson thought he caused on Jan. 19, 2002 that will haunt him and the Raiders forever. Charles Woodson came on a corner blitz and sacked his former Michigan teammate in the snow of old Foxboro Stadium. Woodson stripped the ball from Tom Brady and Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovered. With 1:43 left in the fourth and the Raiders leading, 13-10, in the AFC divisional playoff game, all hope appeared lost for the Patriots.
Brady and Woodson were best of friends at the University of Michigan. They were separated by just two locker stalls. Brady even threw to Woodson a little while the two were with the Wolverines. This Sunday will mark the sixth time the two have met in the NFL but Brady says the two have never discussed the way their first encounter ended.
“I don’t think we’ve ever talked about that, but I remember it very well, and I’m sure he does, too,” Brady said Wednesday. “He was making plays back then, and he’s still making plays the same way. He’s got long arms, a really strong tackler. He’s been a ball hawk his entire career.”
|Tom Brady posts old resume on Facebook: ‘Thought I was going to need this after the 5th round’||at 10:08 am ET|
FOXBORO — There must be something nostalgic in the air in Foxboro this week.
On Wednesday, Bill Belichick spent nearly 15 minutes of his 27-minute press conference waxing poetic about his eighth-grade football playing days and the influence of the “Single-T”, “Wing-T” and “Wishbone” offenses. On Thursday, Tom Brady, apparently inspired, posted a copy of his resume from 2000 just before his was taken with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
As part of the pop phenomenon “Throwback Thursday” or #TBT, Brady held the resume in one hand and took the picture with the other. He then wrote: “Found my old resume! Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round. #tbt”
Brady was acknowledging the fact that he was somewhat nervous after not being selecting in the first five rounds of the 2000 draft before the Patriots selected him and changed the course of his life and football in New England forever.
Highlights of the resume include his work at Merrill Lynch in Ann Arbor, where he “assisted” the Senior Sales Broker, was “exposed” to upper-level management and company strategy and “programmed inventory control and reporting systems” for clientele.
He also listed his work in researching stock and mutual fund reports while updating client portfolios while gaining knowledge of broker activity and day to day administrative duties.
Brady resume also highlights his academic achievement while earning a Bachelor of General Studies from the College of Literature Science and the Arts from the University of Michigan, graduating in Dec. 1999 with a 3.3 (4.0 scale) GPA.
Under “ADDITIONAL,” Brady itemizes his achievement as team captain of the ’99 Wolverines and the fact that he “guided the football team as starting quarterback to 1998 Big Ten Championship and postseason bowl victory.”
FOXBORO — The Raiders are well aware of what they are walking in to.
Oakland coach Dennis Allen ripped off a few of pertinent numbers on his conference call with the New England media Wednesday, painting a less-than-favorable scenario for his team heading into Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium.
“I understand that this is a good football team — they’re well coached, they’re good on offense, they’re good on defense, they’re very sound in what they do special teams-wise, and they’ve been that way for a long, long time,” he added. “So, we understand that it’s a great challenge going up there.”
Historically, it’s been tough for West Coast teams to play East Coast games at 1 o’clock, and the Raiders are no exception. Oakland is looking to end a 14-game East Coast losing streak this Sunday — the Raiders last win in the Eastern Time Zone was Dec. 6, 2009 in Pittsburgh. While most teams come to New England a day before kickoff, Oakland will touch down in New England on Friday in hopes of getting better acclimated to the time difference.
“The schedule is what the schedule is, and our job is to show up and try to win a football game, and that’s really what we’re focused on doing. We’re not really focused on the travel,” Allen said when asked about prepping for playing a game that is essentially at 10 a.m. their time. “We don’t change a whole lot as far as what we do. We start pretty early here anyways, so we kind of keep the schedule as normal as possible.”
In truth, even if this were a home game for the Raiders, they would still face a sizable challenge in the Patriots. Oakland has lost its first two games of the season, having been outscored by a combined 40-7 margin in the first three quarters of each game while yielding an average of 200 rushing yards per game, the worst total in the league. (Veteran Raiders safety Charles Woodson told reporters, “We suck” shortly after Oakland suffered a 30-14 loss to the Texans last weekend.)
Allen said Wednesday that the biggest sticking point for the Raiders to this point has been inconsistency.
|Rob Gronkowski says earning Tom Brady’s trust ‘takes a long time’||09.17.14 at 6:25 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The two buzzwords flying around Gillette Stadium this week are “balance” and “trust.” Balance in play-calling and distribution, according to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, will lead to a more efficient and productive offense.
Trust in the receiving corps will lead to Brady looking over all of his passing options and not zeroing in on just one or two targets.
Balance, as we saw on Sunday, can be found by tweaking play-calling from week to week. Earning Brady’s Trust, as Rob Gronkowski pointed out Wednesday can be something altogether different.
“It’s takes a long time,” Gronkowski said. “I’ve been here a few years now. You just have to go out there every practice, work hard, work overtime, stay after practice, get the same chemistry down. It’s just the chemistry with Tom, it’s the chemistry with the other wide receivers, with the timing. Chemistry with the offensive linemen. It’s just overall working together as a whole, as a unit.”
Gronkowski has earned Brady’s trust by becoming the most dependable red-zone target while also getting himself open many times in key third-down situations and holding onto the ball in traffic. But Gronkowski, who has caught eight passes on a season-high 17 targets over the first two games, knows he and Julian Edelman (15 targets) can’t do it all. Tom Brady acknowledged Wednesday that distribution starts with the quarterback and goes from there. If the Patriots are to be the offense everyone expects, then contributions need to come from receivers such as Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Tim Wright.
“Definitely,” Gronkowski said when asked if balance would make his life easier. “It will open up holes for everyone on the offense. That’s why you want to click as a whole on offense. You want everyone to be on the same tempo. You want everyone to be on the same page so everyone has equal opportunity when their number is called to make that play. If you’re working together, you know the sky’s the limit if everyone’s clicking. That all starts in practice. You have to keep working hard, keep doing reps in practice and we have to be all on the same page and go out there and be a unit.”
|Chandler Jones: ‘Whenever you can get the ball into [Tom Brady's] hands good things will happen’||at 5:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Winning the turnover battle is one of the biggest keys to winning each week in the NFL, regardless of the opponent.
Since 2000, the Patriots are 116-12 when winning the turnover battle, compared to 27-37 when they don’t. Even further, New England is 97-5 since 2003 when having a plus turnover margin.
The Patriots have won the turnover battle in each of the first two games this season and are tied for the lead the AFC with a plus five turnover differential. They are also tied for second in the entire NFL, with only the Panthers having a better differential at plus six.
“We try and emphasize on just getting the ball,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “Turnover differential, turnover margin, we just have to win always. We try and get the ball back into our offenses hands and whenever you can get the ball into Tom’s hands good things will happen.”
Although Jones didn’t have any of the four Patriots turnovers against the Vikings, he did have a monster game. Jones blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown to give New England a 24-7 halftime lead. He also finished the game with eight total tackles and his fifth career two-sack game. For his performance he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
“Our defense played very well, but there is always room for improvement,” said Jones. “As far as the Player of the Week thing, that’s our defense. It’s a defensive effort, it’s all 11 men on the field. We play hard out there and the biggest thing is moving forward to Oakland.”
The defense enters Sunday’s home opener against the Raiders ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense. They will have a chance to build even more confidence as the Raiders come into the game with the second-worst ranked offense in the entire league.
After allowing 33 points in Week 1, the defense rebounded nicely only allowing seven last week against the Vikings, partly because of the team’s preparation leading up to the game – something they are already hard at work on getting ready for Week 3 and the Raiders.
“I feel like we went out there and we saw the results of buying into what the coaches said and doing our job — executing, paying attention to detail, the little things that coach said trying to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” Jones said. “It definitely showed out there when we go out and execute.”
|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price preview Patriots-Raiders and what Tom Brady has to do to spread wealth||at 2:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Patriots’ home opener vs. the Oakland Raiders. The pair talk about how Bill Belichick has adjusted his offensive line to provide a spark to the running attack, Stevan Ridley’s resurgence and the need for Tom Brady to start distributing the ball in the offense.
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