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Patriots Talk: NFL Head Coaches Comments on Bill Belichick and Former Players

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Patriots Talk: NFL Head Coaches Comment on Bill Belichick and Former Players

Last week, Bill Belichick was off checking out prospects at the Pro Days for the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators. However, the other 31 NFL Head Coaches were had other priorities. All were required to attend the annual NFL meetings held in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Many were not surprised with Belichick’s absence as he has done this previously. However, The NFL coaches were not afraid to voice their opinions about Belichick and his numerous trade acquisitions this off-season. Among many of the notable head coaches was New Orleans Saints‘ [Head Coach] Sean Payton. He was a large story due to his deal with the New England Patriots regarding [cornerback] Malcolm Butler. Here is the full quote that he stated on the situation:

 

“We had a chance to visit with him. Currently, it’s my understanding he hasn’t signed his tender, so it was just that. We can sign him to an offer sheet, but I don’t think we’re going to do that and give up the 11th pick. In fact, I know we’re not going to do that. It is what it is right now.” – Sean Payton

 

As of now, there has been no deal established according to Payton’s comments. Based on this, it is unlikely that a deal will be made before Butler officially signs his tender. Until then, talks will be on hold for now but Payton did address that the interest in Butler didn’t originate from the Brandin Cooks trade.

 

Another coach that drew attention was Cincinnati Bengals [Head Coach] Marvin Lewis regarding [running back] Rex Burkhead. His comments regarding the player were mostly concerns over his health during his 4 seasons with the Bengals. According to the Lewis, Burkhead had difficulties with maintaining his health especially during game time.

 

“Even in preseason opportunities and so forth like that where you’d go into the game, and it’d be Rex’s — in my mind, Rex’s ballgame — to carry the ball in the first or second quarter, and he wasn’t able to suit up that day.” – Marvin Lewis

 

Ravens' Head Coach John Harbaugh

Baltimore Ravens’ Head Coach John Harbaugh (Photo credit: NESN)

Concern over players health has always been part of the sport even now. However, one coach who was nothing but praise was shockingly Baltimore Ravens‘ [Head Coach] John Harbaugh. When he was talking about former [defensive tackle] Lawrence Guy, he stated:

 

“Don’t sleep on Lawrence Guy. Don’t underestimate this player. He is a really good football player, run and pass. I love him to death. Every time I see him, he gives me this big giant Lawrence Guy hug. He is a great guy, will be a leader in the locker room. I thought it was a great signing by the Patriots.” – John Harbaugh

 

To add further to the praise, Indianapolis Colts [Head Coach] Chuck Pagano also gave the media his comments and thoughts on former [tight end] Dwayne Allen.

 

“Dwayne is an excellent football player. I know he has a lot of great years left in him. We’re fortunate to have had him for the past five years. We wish him well, grateful for what he has done for the organization, but we feel good with the guys we have and this draft is loaded with talent at that position.”

 

Despite the praise for Guy and Allen from their former coaches, the opposite could be said for former Carolina Panthers [defensive end] Kony Ealy. His former head coach, Ron Rivera, showed concern for Ealy’s inability to handle coaching. He believes that Ealy will learn better in the Patriots’ system.

 

“I think being around a program like what coach (Bill) Belichick has established in New England will be really good for him. I think it will be an opportunity for him to grow and take another step. I think it’s a good situation. I really do. The biggest thing, more than anything else, is do things the way coach Belichick wants them done.”

 

His comments trailed more towards Ealy’s potential as he has not lived up to his status as a prolific pass rusher since he was drafted three seasons ago. Rivera ended his discussion when referring to Ealy’s Super Bowl performance and how replicating that performance will make him into an explosive weapon for the Patriots for certain.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Patriots Shut Out the Falcons in Super Bowl Rematch

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Many came into this game expecting the Falcons to fire on all cylinders but sadly they got shut out in embarrassing fashion in a score of 23-7 at home in Foxborough, MA. The Patriots are now back in the lead in the AFC East now with a 5-2 record. The Falcons needed this win last night in order to get themselves back into playoff contention with the New Orleans Saints seemingly on the rise. There was much to be watching during the night but there were key factors that helped in the Patriots dominating throughout the course of the game.

Falcons Offense Was In-Consistent

Despite Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan playing well, his team’s play calling was bizarre to say the least. Julio Jones was only given 3 catches in the second half of the game. The guy only had 9 receptions in the entire game for about 99 yards and a TD, which means he was averaging about 11 yards per reception. Then of course, the game didn’t get any easier for them when they started to switch between running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

What made the game so off with the Falcons was that they converted on multiple 4th downs within the game, which became very clear when they tried doing so on the 4th and Goal during the second half and not only failed to convert but ended up getting Freeman sacked by Patriots Linebacker Kyle Van Noy. This will need to be something that Falcons Head Coach Brad Quinn will need to address if he hopes for his team to salvage their season.

Weather Conditions

Out of all the games that I have seen, its been awhile since we saw a game that had fog as thick as last nights. In fact, the visibility was so bad that all upper deck cameras couldn’t see through the fog, so the NBC camera crew could only use the lower field cameras to catch all the action. Although the Patriots are used to weather conditions, it was clear that the Falcons are used to playing in a dome-environment without the impairment of bad weather conditions.

While the weather won’t be the regarded as the final element that put the Falcons game in jeopardy, it didn’t make things any easier for them. They were already down 17-0 by halftime before the fog got really bad. So it is clear that the Falcons still are suffering from something much worse.

Pats Defense Stepped Up

I doubt anybody expected to start the Patriots in fantasy this week but boy some people must have missed out. Holding a talented offense like the Falcons down to 7 points isn’t something that comes easy. The Patriots had many opportunities during the night, the biggest contributor being no other than Malcolm Butler. He had a stellar night holding down Julio Jones and many of the Falcons players down all night. Despite allowing Julio Jones the TD at the end of the game in the 4th quarter with 4:09 minutes left on the clock.

Many other standouts range from undrafted free agent Adam Butler, Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy etc. The players tonight had great communication and didn’t allow the Falcons the advantage. Thanks to the defense stepping up, the Patriots offense was able to have an easier time managing time of possession.

However, the defense had its most impressive showing by blocking not 1 but 2 field goals against kicker Matt Bryant got his first kick blocked by Defensive lineman Cassius Marsh. The second kick, Bryant got pressured by the Pats defense and kicked the ball wide right. Overall, the Patriot held the Falcons down to 0 points going into the second half.

Control The Clock

After all of this, the Patriots offense managed to have a clear advantage once they found a way to shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. Tom Brady had a great night with 249 passing yards, 72.4% passing completions, 2 TDs and a 121.2 passer rating. Brady having his whole family at Gillette Stadium last night including his mother, whom he dedicated Super Bowl LI too, really gave the QB much needed support as his team was able to keep the ball under control.

The Patriots defense kept the Falcons team at bay and this put the pressure off of the Pats as they just needed to keep the game clock running. The Falcons started to regain themselves by the second quarter but by then it was already too late. They tried a late onside kick to regain possession of the ball but the Patriots were smart enough to see through it. Patriots set the ball at the 2-minute mark and ran the clock out to end the game.

Despite the Patriots still seemingly struggling this game will bring up questions over this performance moving forward. The Pats defense seems to be clicking but basing it on just this game will not be enough. Atlanta seems to be suffering the Super Bowl hangover like I initially thought they would this season. The next team for the Pats to meet will be the Los Angeles Chargers at home on Sunday, Oct. 29th. The Chargers are coming off a 3 game winning streak so we will need to see if the Pats can get a win to secure themselves at 6-2 going into the bye week.

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Connelly’s Top Ten – Fog and Patriots dominate Foxboro

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1. Patriots

Thoughts

* complete game
* Patriots lost yet another coin toss and had to receive it being the game
* Like the all blue uniforms
* Why the fireworks before the game creating smoke and bad visibility
* Thanks, coach Quinn for going for it on fourth down
* Matt Ryan with no intention of scoring at the end of the first half padding his numbers

Brady

* Brady takes three kill shots every game – how many times in a season do the Patriots hit the other QB with equal violence
* Amazing watching Brady move through his progression so easily for the second TD  to James White
* Brady not only greatest clutch QB, and inclement weather QB, and Super Bowl QB, best QB sneak QB – but also best recover-er of his own fumbles
* Nothing better than a Brady run and fist pump

Offense

* Nice call on the fly sweep for Cooks for the TD by McDaniel
* Is it me on does Hogan look hurt after any contact
* Deion Lewis a weapon again
* Nice run blocking by offensive line
* Looks like Cook is making some nice route adjustments

Defense

* Tattoo man with blocked kick
* Van Noy’s best game – great stop on 4th down
* Defense stands up without Stephon Gilmore –  – how comes Jonathan Jones just makes plays
* Marsh lost containment on Ryan 4th down run

Bill gear / Kraft Sighting

*Bill blue wind breaker with white long sleeve shirt underneath
*Mr. Kraft – 4:42 of second quarter / end of first half – Mr Kraft sneaking up on us in a video being shown in Patriot Hall of Fame

Other

* With the fog floating over the field – the wine drinkers in the red seats still don’t know the second half started

2. Brady vs. Manning playoffs

* over 95 QB rating in playoffs –  Brady 14 of 34 / Manning 5 of 27
* Super Bowl TD to Int – Brady 15-5 / Manning 3-6

3. How come every athlete yells – Lets Go!

4. Doug Baldwin is wearing a shirt that says Equality – last four years in the nfl –

Doug Baldwin – $7.8mm salary / 288 receptions / 3,728 yards
Julien Edelman – $5.5mm a year / 356 receptions/ 3,826 yards

5. Dorset and Allen combined receptions this year

6. Red Sox hire a manager who is a minority – Celtics history as head coach and minorities:
* Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, KC Jones, ML Carr, Doc Rivers

7. How about this for a new Patriot tradition – at 2:12 of every third quarter at home. They change 28-3

8. Thanks Houston

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Brothers
* Chuck Cunningham
* Racer X
* Bobby Ewing

10. Randomocity
* Jane Fonda said she didn’t step forward on Harvey Weinstein because it didn’t happen to her – that didn’t seem to stop her in North Vietnam
* After the Yawkey Way comments of John Henry – didn’t it almost guarantee that the next manager would be a minority – welcome Alex Cora
* How come hotel doors to rooms are so loud and wake up all the other guests?

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Win In a Superbowl Rematch

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It was foggy in Foxboro on Sunday Night.  That is a bit of an understatement.  It looked like something out of a Halloween movie.  But what we saw was a different kind of thriller.  It was a Superbowl LI rematch of Atlanta vs New England.  And what we saw was Patriots’ dominance.  No really they had it in the bag by Half-time!  Atlanta just didn’t look like the same team from February.

First off the Pats scored first and never looked back.  They kept the Falcons off the scoreboard in the 1st Half, by blocking a Field Goal. It was a nice block from a 30 Yarder.  The Patriots’ Special Teams played excellent and got inside the Offensive Line to make the clean block.  Cassious Marsh got the block for the Pats.  They would recover it and it would be a turnover on downs.  This showed some serious toughness and you could just tell by the players that they were bringing their “A Game” tonight.

Brandin Cooks would go on to score the first Touchdown.  He rode Rob Gronkowski’s coat tails, as he blocked on a Wide Receiver pitch.  It was a huge TD and it set up the Patriots’ game plan of “Score First and Do Your Job”. Cooks would go on to make 4 Receptions for 65 Yards and that TD.  He played incredibly well and in fact the Patriots played well in all three phases of the game.

The Falcons on the other hand played poorly.  They went for two 4th Downs in the 1st Half and played desperate Football.  They were trying to avoid falling behind but it was still early in the Game.  In my opinion it ended up showing weakness.  They just didn’t trust their defense enough to make a stop early on.  And you know what?  The Patriots’ capitalized on it by scoring points.

Late in the 2nd Quarter the Patriots were up [10-0]   They had the ball with 2 Minutes on the clock.  Need I say anything more about what happened next?  Yep you guessed it they scored again.  Needless to say, but lets face it, this looked like a blowout!  And in point of fact it actually was.  Atlanta would only get one score and it was on a TD late in the 4th Quarter.  The Pats would add a few more Field Goals to make the final score [23-7].

Some real notables players/stats for the Patriots were: Dion Lewis who had 13 Rushes for 76 Yards, Rex Burkhead who made an important impact with 6 Rushes for 31 Yards, James White who had 5 Receptions for 28 Yards and a TD, Chris Hogan who had 4 Receptions for 71 Yards, Of course there was also Rob Gronkowski with 3 Receptions for 51 Yards and Mike Gillislee with 8 Rushes for 31 Yards.  Tom Brady really spread the ball around to everyone.  Brady went 21 for 29 in completions and had 249 Yards in the air.  It was overall a real team effort to get the Win.

Some of my takeaways from the Game are that the Patriots Defense has routed their “give up” 300+ Passing Yards per Game and looks to be back on track physically as well as mentally.  They played with so much confidence tonight that they seemed to be “ready for anything”.  Also I’d have to say that Offensively they are a Superbowl caliber Team.  But didn’t we already know that?  Yes, but now they have shown us how good they really are against a “Playoff Contender”.  They have that confidence in knowing that they aren’t always playing from behind.  They also showed that they can dominate another Team.  Which is something we have been waiting for!

On the other side of the ball I’d have to agree with Tony Dungee’s comments after the Game.  That Atlanta “wasn’t creative” with their offensive play calls.  The Falcons just didn’t make good play calls Offensively and Defensively.  I don’t know if the fog had something to do with it but they looked bad.  I mean really!  How many times are you going to call a 4th Down Play.  4th Down and Long too.  It just wasn’t smart Football.

The Patriots are now 5-2 and alone atop the AFC East.  Next Week they play the LA Chargers at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, on Sunday October 29th at 1 pm, on CBS.  It will be their last game before the Week 9 Bye Week.  So Another Week, Another Win.  Hopefully these guys can keep this going.  Oh and by the way after Half-time the Patriots out scored Atlanta 48-0 since being down 28-3 in Superbowl 51.  That’s not too shabby!  Just some food for thought, of what this Team can do!

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