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Posts tagged with "Belichick"

Sometimes 2-2 is a reason to celebrate (see: Jets, New York), other times it’s a potential disaster.

The Patriots fell to .500 on Sunday, falling 33-30 on a last-second field goal against a Panthers team that had scored 45 points combined in their first three games.

“Disappointed, 2-2 is just a record, but just in terms of how we played and what we need to do in order to play better and win,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said on WEEI on Monday morning.

“Hopefully, we can figure out a way to play consistently over an entire game.”

The Patriots just as easily could be 1-3, with Texans safety Corey Moore dropping an interception that would have sealed a Houston Week 3 victory, instead turning into a 36-33 Pats win thanks to some Brady magic.

We’ve been here before. We’ve buried the Patriots before.

In 2014, after getting pummeled 41-14 by the Chiefs on Monday night with Brady playing dreadful, the New England dynasty was declared dead. Brady was washed up. Bill Belichick had lost his magic touch.

That season ended with a Super Bowl.

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The standard procedure following each Patriots game is for coach Bill Belichick to amble into the assembly room for his Marshawn Lynch-like I’m-just-here-so-I-won’t-get-fined media session.

When Belichick is done, quarterback Tom Brady speaks. If there’s some star-of-the-game type whose accomplishments merit podium time, he gets ushered into the room.

Sometimes Brady goes first, either because Belichick is predisposed, or because a ball-and-chain device is being applied to the coach’s ankle in order to keep him from escaping his Happy Time with the sportswriters. But it was just as well Brady batted leadoff following the Pats’ 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night, considering he delivered much of the time-tested, all-phases-of-the-game oratory we’ve come to expect from Belichick.

“Every position that we have is going to have to do a better job than we did tonight,” Brady said. “There was nothing really positive about anything that was done, so we’ve got to get back to work. We’ve got nine days before the next game, and hopefully we play a lot better than tonight.”

“Every position that we have” = all phases of the game.

“We’ve got nine days before the next game” = we’re on to New Orleans.

But Brady also slipped a little note under the door that should come as maybe not alarming news to Patriots fans, but definitely something to think about.

In response to a question about the Rob Gronkowski touchdown that was called back, Brady started with some boilerplate stuff: “Yeah, that was a disappointing play. I mean, that would have been a big play in the game . . .”

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The Patriots pass rusher has a chance to take on a big role in 2017.

New England Patriots EDGE Geneo Grissom is a forgotten man on the depth chart as he enters his third season in the league. Grissom was the Patriots third round selection out of Oklahoma in the 2015 draft, but he ranked behind Chandler JonesRob Ninkovich, and Jabaal Sheard in the depth chart for 2015 and wound up on the practice squad in 2016.

Grissom toiled away in practice until he received the promotion back to the active roster, but he remained behind Ninkovich, Sheard, fellow 2015-draftee Trey Flowers, and veteran Chris Long. But Grissom proved his value on special teams and carved out a nice role on the team.

For 2017, Grissom is hoping to make more of an impact on defense and he’s tried to improve his defensive versatility.

“[Versatility is] something that Geneo’s worked really hard on this year in the spring and in training camp,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Monday morning. “We’ve used him inside as a rusher, used him outside. He’s got some versatility. He can fill in at some different spots for us depending on where we need him, even some linebacker responsibilities.

“So, he definitely understands how valuable that is to our team and our defense to be able to combine those defensive roles with the kicking game and multiple roles on defense. He’s worked hard at that, and I think he made a jump this year, just really understanding, now that he solidified his special teams role last year, understanding how he can move to the next step defensively.

“And Joe [Judge] and Bubba [Ray Ventrone] have both done a good job on that, as well, kind of in practice and meetings and so forth being able to allocate the time so he can be most efficient with the multiple responsibilities that are part of his job, part of his role.”

Grissom may not be the best player at any position, but his skill on special teams and his ability to back-up multiple positions on defense could make him an economical choice for the final roster, especially with roster spots in such great demand. And if Belichick is right in that Grissom has “made a jump this year,” then perhaps he could be a regular part of the defensive rotation.

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We can add Donald Trump to the list of world leaders who can officially say they have a Patriots‘ Super Bowl ring.

The team confirmed to CSN New England on Monday that Trump was recently given a Super Bowl LI ring. The Patriots decided to give Trump a ring because they were to the first championship team to visit the White House after Trump had taken office.

Ex-White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told Reddit that Trump’s plan is to put the ring in his presidential library one day.

The Patriots sending a ring to Trump isn’t a huge surprise. Team owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have all been outspoken supporters of Trump over the past few years. On the day before the election in November, Trump mentioned that Brady had called him and that Belichick had written a letter to Trump congratulating him on a “tremendous” campaign.

Of course, Brady and Trump might not be on the best of terms right now considering that Brady skipped out on the Patriots’ White House ceremony back in April.

Anyway, the gesture by the Patriots means that Trump is now the proud new owner of a Super Bowl ring that contains 283 diamonds. If you’re wondering how in the name of Vince Lombardi you can squeeze 283 diamonds on to one ring, here’s an up-close look of the jewelry.

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Credit: Nancy Lane

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during a media availability at Gillette Stadium on Monday, August 21, 2017. Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

FOXBORO — Two games into their preseason schedule, the Patriots have an O-fer in the win column.

The significance of that number in the grand scheme of things is also zero. The projected starters have seen limited action to this point, and coach Bill Belichick and Co. have yet to install game plans for opponents. The scores have been recorded and statistics kept, but the decisive metrics in the losses to Jacksonville and Houston rest in smaller details.

So even though — both from a personnel and preparation standpoint — Friday night’s game in Detroit against the Lions figures to more closely resemble the regular season, the stripped-down nature of the first two exhibitions in some ways had greater value, especially when decisions loom on how to go from a 90-man roster down to 53 by Sept. 2.

“You’re able to evaluate your basic fundamentals against another team’s basic fundamentals,” Belichick said Monday of the Jacksonville and Houston games. “So, it’s not an X-and-O game. It’s just a basic fundamental game. There’s a lot to be said for that. I mean, that’s the foundation of every play is good fundamentals. So, we win some, they win some, but along the way, even if you’re losing on a fundamental matchup on a particular play, hopefully you’re improving, you’re gaining experience and you’re correcting mistakes and moving forward on it for the next player and the next game, that type of thing.”

Third-year safety Jordan Richards knows the drill by now when it comes to that distinction. For someone who is not an established starter, he finds himself on the bubble to make the final cut. He understands that to do so, he has to mind the minutia.

“It’s football in its truest sense,” Richards said. “They’re trying to find out who can compete. And we’re trying to prove to each other and our teammates that we belong on the field. So whether it’s a fundamental game or a true game-plan week, it’s an opportunity to go compete. The fundamentals of the game never leave the game, so you’re just trying to focus on that and make the most of the opportunities.”

But whatever type of game, “fundamental” or not — at the end of the day, it’s all just football. For running back Rex Burkhead, strategic installation aside, he always holds himself to the same standard.

“You look at (fundamentals),” said Burkhead, who is a safe bet to make the team. “You look at everything still, just like it’s a regular season game, honestly. I’m such a competitive guy. I think all of these guys are. We’re always trying to play our best. Even if we’re going to be rusty on things, we’re going to be upset. We’re always trying for perfection. If there’s things we see we need to improve on, I’m like, ‘Man, I wish I did that better.’ We’re definitely going to do our best to get better.”

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The Giants might be willing to trade one of their pass rushers. Should the Patriots be interested?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 11: Owamagbe Odighizuwa #58 of the New York Giants motions to the fans during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium on October 11, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots pass rush has been weak this preseason due to all of the roster changes. Rob Ninkovich retired. Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard left in free agency. Rookies Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise have been dealing with injuries. Trey Flowers hasn’t suited up. Even hybrid linebackers like Dont’a Hightower and Shea McClellin haven’t been playing.

There is simply not enough healthy talent at the position.

But despite this apparent weakness on the roster, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has stated that he is not looking to add another pass rusher to the roster. We’re not Belichick, though, and our friends over at our New York Giants site Big Blue View think one of their pass rushers might be available for a trade– and I think he’d be an awesome fit.

BBV’s Chris Pflum writes that former 2015 third round selection Owamagbe Odighizuwa could be available for pennies and that’s why I’m interested.

“Odighizuwa has missed time with injuries of his own and has yet to produce anything like a third round pick, but unlike our other potential trade targets, is a bona fide athletic freak,” Pflum explains. “Odighizuwa is also young and still has two years left on his rookie contract…In light of the injury to rookie Derek Rivers, and their plan for the 2017 off-season, the New England Patriots might be another potential trade partner. The Patriots have been bold about trading for players this year, and Belichick has a long history of getting production out of players who have floundered on other teams. Likewise, Odighizuwa’s athletic ability and experience in both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses might appeal to Belichick.”

There’s a lot to break down here. Odighizuwa matriculated from UCLA where he was a part of their hybrid 3-4 defensive front, which could make a transition to New England a little more seamless. At 6’3, 267 pounds, he meets all of the team’s athletic requirements for the position, too.

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How does Bill Belichick keep bringing in under-the-radar talent on the cheap?

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

We all — well, most of us — agree with you: The Patriots are an insufferable football machine that must be stopped. But here’s the thing: Can anyone stop them? Five weeks before the season kicks off, New England is favored to win every game it plays in 2017. Sixteen years since their first Super Bowl win and 10 since their 16–0 regular season, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still the class of the NFL. So, welcome to — ugh, yes — Patriots Week! Ahead of what could be the most dominant New England season yet, read along as we take a look at the good, the bad, and the Jets-y of modern football’s defining dynasty.

If it seems like the Patriots are randomly plucking players from nowhere and vaulting them toward stardom, they’re not. They’re doing it all by design.

2017 NFL Preview

“When the season started, [Bill Belichick] showed us an empty depth chart,” said Rodney Harrison, former Patriots safety and current analyst with NBC Sports. “He does not care how many Pro Bowls you’ve made. He says: I don’t make the depth chart; you guys make the depth chart.”

In 2003, Harrison was widely seen as banged up and on the wrong side of 30. He’d been released by the Chargers, and he joined a Patriots team with longtime stalwart safety Lawyer Milloy already on the roster. Belichick told Harrison that he brought him in because he liked the way he warmed up for games. He felt Harrison was worth a look. This is how Belichick operates: He needs to see everything for himself.

“In my first month in camp, he saw what I could do and named me a team captain,” Harrison said. “He said, ‘You’re a great athlete. You can guard the tight end.’ He figured out that I could line up as a straight linebacker or blitz off the edge or the middle.” Harrison also said that Belichick praised him for his smarts: “He’ll take a slightly less talented player if he’s got a higher football IQ.”

There are plenty of factors that make the Patriots the most dominant team of their era—Tom Brady and Bill Belichick top among them. But here’s another big reason: the organization’s ability to generate contributors on cheap contracts and to acquire them at low costs through trade, restricted free agency, or waivers.

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A little different personality from Rob.”

Glenn Gronkowski in the Patriots-Jaguars preseason game.
Glenn Gronkowski in the Patriots-Jaguars preseason game. –AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

While he doesn’t grab as many headlines – or touchdowns – as his older brother, Glenn Gronkowski has nonetheless earned praise from Bill Belichick since first joining the Patriots in October of 2016.

Aside from being the younger sibling of one of the team’s dynamic players, the 24-year-old has also notably been cut and re-signed to the Patriots’ practice squad three times before signing (and remaining) last December. He earned a Super Bowl LI ring and was signed to a futures contract in February.

And his consistent work rate recently drew compliments from Belichick during a Monday press conference:

Yeah, hard-working kid, quiet, a little different personality from Rob [Gronkowski] around here, but he just comes in every day, works hard, runs well, has played for us in the kicking game, some as a pass receiver, some as a fullback, so he has a little combination skills there. Just trying to develop kind of that role for himself, but he’s a hard-working kid that’s improved. He was kind of on and off the practice squad roster last year for the last, I don’t know, I forget how many weeks it was – eight weeks, whatever the time frame was – but this year has obviously been a lot more consistent, as you said, through the offseason program, through OTAs and through training camp. But he’s been durable, hasn’t missed a day, hasn’t missed anything. Just continues to work hard and get better.

Gronkowski went undrafted as a rookie in 2016. He made the Bills’ opening day roster before he was eventually released, winding up in New England.

The Patriots’ chances of winning the AFC East got even greater on Thursday.

After sustaining a knee injury in practice, according to ESPN, the Dolphins fear quarterback Ryan Tannehill will need season-ending knee surgery, but no final decision has been made at this time. Another option is rest for six to eight weeks and try to come back from the knee injury for the second time, as he tore his ACL at the end of last season.

The Dolphins were the second-best team in the AFC East and really the only team seen that could challenge the Patriots, but without Tannehill they will not be the same.

While we’re not saying, or even suggesting the Patriots would ever trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the Dolphins this preseason, it does raise the question would the Patriots ever trade Garoppolo inside the AFC East?

The short answer is yes, as long as it isn’t to the Jets.

Bill Belichick has made trades with every NFL team except one team — the Jets. Belichick has never shied away from trading inside the AFC East. Just look at when he sent Lawyer Milloy to the Bills, or acquired Wes Welker from the Dolphins.

The downside to trading Garoppolo inside the division would be it improves a team in the AFC East, but these teams aren’t as close to competing with the Patriots than say the Texans. The Texans are a quarterback away from being one of the best teams in the AFC, which makes them a team Belichick likely would never consider trading Garoppolo to.

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