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Patriots Talk: Stephon Gilmore Press Conference

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Patriots Talk: Stephon Gilmore Press Conference

 

Much has been in discussion about the Patriots this off-season. Free agency, trade rumors and of course the NFL Draft. One of the shocks was of course [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore from the Buffalo Bills. Last week, he was in a discussion with the media and went into detail about his place on the team.

It was revealed that Gilmore will be wearing the No.24 in 2017 (same number he wore in Buffalo). He had talked with fellow [cornerback] and rookie Cyrus Jones to acquire the number. Previous players who have worn the No.24 were Patriots Hall of Famer, Ty Law and Super Bowl XLIX champion (former New York Jet) Darrelle Revis.

 

“I just always wanted the number, That’s what number a lot of guys I looked up to wore so that’s one number that I always loved.”

 

Gilmore said former Denver Bronco [cornerback] Champ Bailey was one of his favorite players while growing up.  Bailey was a 1st Round pick, 7th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft and was a 12 time Pro-Bowler and was voted to the 2000s All-Decade Team at Cornerback. Needless to say, he picked a very good player to admire as Bailey will be eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot in 2020.

 

 

Building The Secondary

While it seemed rather sudden that Gilmore wanted the number from Cyrus, he likely was alright with the decision. After coming off a horrifying rookie campaign last year (especially on special teams), Jones likely wants a new fresh start after a rocky rookie season. (his new number will be No. 41). There is alot of pressure on Gilmore to prove himself worthy of his big payday and many will be looking at him coming into next season.

However, the concern among many was how Gilmore’s signing would effect relations with [cornerback] Malcolm Butler. He has been the best cornerback for the team for the past two seasons and could signed have signed an extension around $6-7 million a year but according to sources, Butler’s agent and him wanted $10 million.

This whole situation with Gilmore made others believe that Butler would demand for a trade which almost came to be with the New Orleans Saints. He even had a visit with the Saints and they had reached an agreement for a four-year contract that was worth $50 million. The Saints were willing take a huge cap hit for Butler the deal was never finalized since Butler was a restricted free agent and they never came close to offering the Patriots a large enough draft capital to consider the deal during the draft. (The Patriots potentially wanted the Saints 11th overall pick to start but the Saints wouldn’t budge on that)

 

This means Butler is staying and likely will remain the Patriots No.1 Cornerback. (Gilmore will likely fill in for Logan Ryan as No.2 Cornerback) The questions surrounding Butler’s situation will not likely be answered till the 2017 season is finished. Is there a chance for a contract extension? Most definitely, but its unknown if the two parties will come to the same conclusion. It’s never wise to assume anything when it comes to Bill Belichick obviously. Even the very last scenario can’t be dismissed, but this isn’t something Gilmore can do anything about. The only thing thing that either Butler or Gilmore can do is work on their teamwork as a two man duo.

“I know [Butler]’s a talented player, but I just try to stay in my lane and handle the things I can handle. It’s a competitive group so I’m looking forward to it.

“(Butler) just competes no matter what. He just competes to the end of the play. I mean, all the guys do in the secondary, so that’s one thing that stuck out to me.”

Despite their differences, I feel that the Patriots’ secondary for the upcoming season will be something to watch out for.

New England Patriots

NFL Talk: Week 11 Picks

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We are finally getting down to the last stretch of the season where teams will finally start to line up where they will make the playoffs and those who will simply tank for the higher pick in the 2018 NFL draft. At this point, most people have teams figured out and know how games should go from here on out. As of now, I got 11-3 correct last week, which puts me at 95-51 for the season.

Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

At this point in the season, I think the Titans will likely make the wildcard as Jacksonville will run away with the division. The Steelers are pretty much a lock for the playoffs. Their division has the Browns with the worst record in the NFL, and the Bengals and Ravens have fallen off. Even though the game was already played yesterday here was my thoughts before the game:

They are playing the Titans at home and the Steelers defense has been a hack of a surprise for this season. It’s mainly because of how much money was invested into their offense yet their defense has improved substantially from last year. The 2nd best passing defense in the NFL (allowing only 181.8 passing yards per game) and 11th against the run (allowing 102.7 rushing yards per game).

The Titans will have some serious difficulties holding the Steelers down while they are playing at home. Despite the Titans not having a bad team by any stretch (they have the 6th best rushing defense in the NFL), this is the Steelers game to lose and thankfully after what we have seen, that isn’t alot. Steelers won by 40-17 and my prediction was they would score 27-20. (Titans couldn’t even get me that)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Jaguars

If the Jags somehow throw this game away I will be so done with predicting their games this season. The Browns are a team that needs a massive overhaul and I don’t see it being enough for them to win this game. The Jaguars will win this game 24-21 with Blake Bortles somehow almost throwing the game away. Almost.

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Patriots Simply Play In A Different League

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New England Patriots

Year after year since Bill Belichick has taken the helm in New England the rest of the NFL has been looking up at the Patriots. You can say one of the big reasons for that is having future hall of famer Tom Brady under center. But when it really comes down to it the real reason for New England’s success is stupidity on behalf of the other teams.

Sunday night’s win was a prime example of another team failing under the spotlight against the Patriots. Denver was a franchise who a few seasons ago won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. Now they gambled with Vance Joseph as the head coach, a gamble that looks to be failing. Denver on Sunday night looked ill-prepared, on Special Teams, and throughout every phase of the game.

At what point will opposing teams understand that the Patriots offense will sometimes go into a hurry-up mode? Do they watch film? When will other teams take special teams as seriously as Belichick? It is truly perplexing. Every season there is 4-5 games where the Patriots opponent looks ill-prepared.

Lately, it feels more often of an occurrence. Going into Sunday there was hope for a great game with New England historically being awful in Denver, but the game was so lopsided that it continues with a trend of poor NFL games.

New England’s record now sits at 7-2 with the AFC East all but locked up again with the second place Bills sitting at 5-4. Who will stop them? Maybe the Eagles, but that would be a Super Bowl matchup. And at that point, would Brady lose to a playoff rookie in Carson Wentz? Probably not.

For the foreseeable future, the Patriots will continue to run the NFL.

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Patriots Recap: Patriots Beat Out Broncos At Home 41-16

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Patriots Recap: Patriots Beat Out Broncos At Home 41-16

The New England Patriots tonight had a great performance almost all around. Despite several keys mismatches (particularly within the secondary), the Patriots dominated the Broncos throughout the whole game. The most obvious problems lied squarely with the Broncos special teams and offense inability to get touchdowns when they counted most. It was a bad night if you were a Broncos fan. With this loss, the Broncos fall to 3-6 of the season which puts them dead last in the AFC West. Their season at this point, most likely will be lost as this is their fifth straight loss. The victory didn’t come without much help as the Patriots have much to be proud of last night.

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