By: Ian Logue
We’re now just three days away from Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, with the anticipation building for this AFC East showdown. The trash talking has been a little tamer this week compared to last year, but there are still some compelling stories that continue to make this an interesting week.
One bit of news that came out yesterday was the fact that defensive back Darrelle Revis was limited in practice on Thursday after experiencing tightness in his hamstring. He’s expected to play Sunday, but in the event Randy Moss gets the best of him Ron Borges of the Herald writes that Revis at least established his alibi with this news and will probably blame that as his reason.
Jerod Mayo was on the Dennis & Callahan show on WEEI Friday morning, and thinks that this news was likely a decoy by the Jets and isn’t buying into Revis being injured.
When it was suggested that Darrelle Revis is faking the hamstring injury that appears on the Jets’ injury report, Mayo agreed. “When I saw that story, I thought the same thing. Look, he’s healthy, he’s 100 percent healthy. I’m not buying into that.”
Asked if Mayo would want the Jets to know if the Patriot wasn’t at full strength, Mayo said: “I wouldn’t want anybody to know. For him to come out looking like that, it’s just a decoy. So then everybody can be like, even if he goes out and has a great game, everybody will be like, ‘Oh, he’s the greatest, he has a tender hamstring, he’s coming out, running back sticks and stuff like that. I’m not buying into that.”
There are 32 people out there this morning that are likely very big Brandon Tate fans, as he provided a gift for them thanks to his 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the third quarter last Sunday. During Labor Day weekend, the Mastria Auto Group in Massachusetts offered its customers a chance to take home a new car, and any customer who purchased and took delivery of a new or pre-owned vehicle during the holiday weekend had a chance to win $5,000 if one of the New England Patriots returned an opening kickoff for a touchdown in the season opener. Tate did that, and thanks to him each of those people now have a bunch of spending money.
“This promotion has been so exciting for everyone in the Mastria community,” said Rick Mastria, President of Mastria Auto Group. “We designed this promotion in the hopes that we could give back to our customers and that is exactly what has happened.”
Ian Rapoport has a piece this morning focused on the rookies on the defensive side of the football, who after one game are already making an impact with this defense.
Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi fired a shot at Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez yesterday, saying that when the game is on the line that Sanchez “tanks it”, calling him a “front runner”.
“When Sanchez gets going and things are going well, I think he’s a great quarterback,” said Bruschi. His attitude is infectious. He’s a leader of that team. But when things go bad I think he tanks it. Right now I see Mark Sanchez as a front-runner, and that’s not something that you want at that quarterback position.”
Jets head coach Rex Ryan disagreed with that assessment, and fired back at Bruschi’s comments in Sanchez’ defense yesterday.
“I respect the heck out of Tedy Bruschi. No question. But I think he would have a different opinion if he was here every day,” Ryan said. “Just because of the way [Sanchez] leads on the practice field. The personality he has. What [Bruschi] says about him when we get ahead, that’s how he is every day here on the practice field.
“It never went our way on Monday night, but I would definitely not put Mark in a front-running category. He’s a competitor. I think Bruschi would have loved to have played with him.”
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker had a solid opening game, and now he’s looking to follow it up Sunday in New York. The wide receiver has said he’d love to get rid of his knee brace, but was reminded by a reporter yesterday that Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins got rid of his and then tore his ACL yet again. He also had some comments about his thoughts heading into the game yesterday in this report from the Attleboro Sun Chronicle.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that while the battle between Moss and Revis is going on, Welker will be the one who will likely be a bigger factor in this game. Reiss points out that in their loss last September Welker missed the game with a knee injury, and sliced them up for 192 yards on 15 catches during their second meeting. It’s also worth noting that Jerod Mayo also missed that game with an injury as well.
Ian Rapoport has more on the Jets acknowledging the fact that Welker had a big game against them the last time they played, with Rex Ryan saying “Yeah, let’s not have that happen again.” Rapoport also looks at some of the other matchup problems the Patriots could potentially give them.
WEEI’s Christopher Price takes a deeper look into Sunday’s game, and points out some key factors to watch for in an excellent piece you’ll definitely want to check out.
And finally former WEEI radio personality Pete Sheppard is returning to the New England media, and will be joining Patriots.com for a new show called “The Pete Sheppard Show”, which will air every Tuesday from 4pm-6pm on Patriots.com starting next week.
That’s it for this morning. Be sure to check back throughout the day for updates, and we’ll have more for you later on.