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Archive for the ‘ Commentary ’ Category

Patriots Ridley Hoping For a Repeat Performance


Stevan Ridley has family coming to town this weekend, giving him plenty of reasons to want to go out and have a big performance. (USA TODAY Images)

Last week’s performance was a solid one for Stevan Ridley, who carried the football 25 times for 101 yards along with a touchdown during New England’s win over the Vikings.  Now he’s hoping he can go out and do the same thing when the Oakland Raiders come to town on Sunday.

The veteran running back, who grew up as a fan of the Silver and Black as a child, has a family who apparently are also fans of the opposing team this weekend.  Of course, that’s all on hold for now as they’ll get to see their son play against them when the two teams meet on Sunday.

According to the Boston Globe, Ridley’s family will be in town to watch him hit the field against Oakland, adding some additional incentive for him to play well.

“It’s going to be awesome, man,” Ridley told the newspaper Wednesday. “Personally, my dad’s old favorite team was the Raiders, until of course I became a Patriot, so we’ve got about 14 people coming up this weekend. My mom’s very excited about it and family’s going to be here, and it’s going to be an exciting atmosphere to come back to Foxborough and get in the home stadium. We’re looking forward to it and the team’s excited about not being on the road and just coming back to New England and playing some Patriot football.”

Coming off of a season where he faced criticism with holding onto the football, the focus has been better ball security this year and for the most part he’s off to a good start.  The Vikings last weekend and also the Dolphins the week before were all over him on each hit, trying to rip the ball out and being physical with him each time they made contact.

That’s likely something he can expect to deal with all season.  However, so far he’s done his job and the team even went to him in the fourth quarter when it came time to run out the clock. Ridley delivered, carrying 8 times for 47-yards (5.9 avg) down the stretch to help New England close out their first win of the season.

“It was good that they stuck with me late in the game, but really that’s the coaches’ call,” Ridley told the newspaper.  “However I get them, I just go out there and run hard, so over the course of the game, maybe get them to wear down, and that defense was tired.  The offensive line was working on them, and that’s why we have all the big boys up front that we have, is to see if they can sustain our offensive line over four quarters. We felt good about how we were attacking them toward the end, and that’s how we kept moving the ball.”

Now he’ll try and do the same thing this weekend against a team that has already allowed 400 rushing yards through the first two games.  With his family in town, he certainly has plenty of motivation to go out and have a good performance. 

“It’s going to be awesome,” Ridley said via ESPN Boston. “Personally, my dad’s old favorite team was the Raiders, but I of course became a Patriot. … Family is going to be here. It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere to come back to Foxborough and get in the home stadium.”

Patriots WR Amendola a Non-Factor Through Two Games


Amendola is off to a slow start in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

During week one of the regular season in 2013, Patriots fans were thought to have gotten a glimpse of what the future might hold for newcomer Danny Amendola after a huge performance to open the regular season.

In that game Amendola, who at the time was coming off of a groin injury during the preseason, finished with a 10 catch, 104 yard performance that helped the Patriots beat the Bills 23-21 to start the season.  It was a gutsy performance for Amendola, who re-aggravated the injury during the game and it seemed to plague him for the remainder of the campaign. However, there seemed to be enough of a reason to believe that when he eventually got healthy he could be a valuable weapon in New England’s offense.


Danny Amendola hasn’t been productive so far in 2014.
(USA TODAY Images)

Fastforward to 2014, where the veteran made it through training camp and took part in 71% of the snaps last week in Miami.  However, so far he’s been a non-factor in New England’s offense, which has struggled through two contests and his ineffectiveness has certainly contributed.  He finished with just 3 catches for 16 yards in week one and on Sunday in Minnesota finished without a reception on one target.

As the team continues trying to find an identity on the offensive side of the football, it will likely need to include a way to make Amendola more of a factor than he has been.  He was brought in here to be a bigger part of the offense following the departure of Wes Welker, and his athleticism and quickness appeared to be two terrific attributes that could help this offense become more dangerous.

He’s currently in the second season of a five-year deal that could be worth up to $31 million, including incentives. Most fans heard about his past injury problems but knew how explosive of a player he was when he was healthy.

Heading into this season it seemed that things were lining up for him to shake off what happened last year. Just last month he talked about the fact that with a full year under his belt, he was more comfortable in the offense.

“I feel comfortable,” Amendola told the Boston Globe. “It’s different. A year under your belt in a new system, in a new place, in a new organization, it’s kind of like when a rookie comes in for the first time and tries to learn the offense. It might be difficult at times, but that second year that learning curve is much less. I feel very comfortable right now. I’m just trying to come out here and work.”

So far, that comfort level hasn’t translated production-wise onto the field.  Now that he’s healthy, the Patriots will certainly need more than Amendola’s been able to give them through the opening two games of 2014.  Tom Brady finished with just 149 yards passing with Julian Edelman (6 receptions, 81-yards) and Rob Gronknowski (4 receptions, 32 yards) as the team’s leading receivers.

On Sunday against the Vikings, Amendola had one reception that was good for 26-yards, but it was called back on an offensive pass interference penalty on Aaron Dobson after he ran into his man and was called for running a pick play on his defender.  The play happened back with 12:04 left in the second quarter.  Amendola never touched the ball again.

Despite the victory, a visibly solemn Tom Brady took to the podium after the game, looking fairly upset as he spoke to reporters.

“I’m happy we won. I just wish we’d go out there and play like we’re capable of,” said Brady.  “It’s just the way it is.  Just glad we won, it’s a great team win, a lot of guys contributed, a lot of great plays were made, hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.”

He knows they’re better than this offensively, and Amendola has to quietly be thinking he’s also better than he’s played thus far. Whether that translates onto the field next Sunday against the Raiders, and in the weeks to come, will certainly be something to keep an eye on.

Brady: Patriots Have to ‘Dig Deep’ After Sunday’s Loss to Dolphins


Tom Brady and the Patriots struggled in Miami on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

On Sunday the Patriots had their fair share of issues down in Miami after the Dolphins handed them a brutal 33-20 road loss to drop them to 0-1 on the season. As a result, heading into week two they’ll have plenty of things on film that should haunt them enough for the outcome to hopefully be different by the time they take the field again out in Minnesota.

Obviously at the forefront of their problems were their issues up front on their offensive line, which saw Tom Brady under massive pressure in the second half of Sunday’s game.  Miami was able to get good penetration, clogging the lanes when the Patriots tried to run, and they had no issue getting in Brady’s face despite rushing just four over the course of the final two quarters.

The frustrating was New England tried to adjust and just couldn’t do anything about it.  Give credit to the Dolphins’ players and especially the coaching staff, who made adjustments at the half that the Patriots clearly couldn’t adapt to.


Frustration was evident for Brady on Sunday down in Miami.
(USA TODAY Images)

During the first half of Sunday’s game Brady completed 66% of his passes and the Patriots had success moving the football and scoring points, converting 15 first downs and taking a 20-10 lead into the locker room.  However in the second half they were all over Brady and held him to just a 37% completion rate over the final two quarters, including 6-of-20 performance in the fourth quarter.  They also converted just five first downs.

That’s not exactly a formula for a victory, and Brady admitted after the game their inability to sustain a drive was frustrating.

“They’ve got a good front, good players in the secondary, they make you earn it,” said Brady on the Dolphins’ defense.  “We just couldn’t sustain anything.  Too many drives where we sputtered.  Certainly in the second half, the third quarter … you can’t play football that way.”

Defensively they also had their issues.  Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno carried 24 times for 134 yards along with a touchdown and his presence gives Miami another threat that the Patriots are going to have to figure out a way to deal with.  As the game wore on, especially in the second half, Moreno got stronger.  The veteran racked up 91-yards in the final two quarters, tiring out an already gassed New England defense that spent eighteen of the final thirty minutes of the game on the field.

Dolphins defensive tackle Branden Albert told ESPN after the game that Moreno’s intensity is infectious, and it helped lift everyone around him.

“When somebody’s got that type of energy and got that type of intensity, that puts it on everybody else to keep pushing,” said Albert. “That pushes us even more.”

Meanwhile the more they struggled, the more the frustration became visible on the Patriots’ sideline and the more the Dolphins dialed up the intensity.  Tom Brady came off the field on more than one occasion and sat down on the bench with his head hanging down, a bad sign for a team that was in need of matching the energy the Dolphins were playing with.

For now it’s back to the drawing board as they get set to head out on the road to battle the Vikings in Minnesota.  This is a game they’ll need to put behind them and hopefully put up a better effort in the weeks to come.  Brady admitted that they did just about everything wrong in this game, and they’ll have to try and execute better next week.

“I think all of us have to go out there and play a lot better than we played today,” said Brady.  “I mean, you can’t play the way the way we played and think that we’ll win a game this season.  There’s nothing positive to really take from the things we were doing.  I think it’s a good example of if you do the things that we did today, you’ll get beat. ”

“We’re going to get back to work.  Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us.  The guys in the room have to dig deep and see if we can go out and get a win next week.”

For Brady, Mankins Trade An Ugly Reminder of Business in the NFL


To Tom Brady, the Mankins trade was another ugly reminder of the business side of the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)

Most players in the NFL tend to shy away from talking about the fact that the business of the NFL bothers them when it comes to transactions that sometimes directly affect them.

Players come and go, and in the NFL it’s a difficult situation because unlike most leagues most deals aren’t guaranteed and changes can happen anytime.  As the dynamics shift from year-to-year, sometimes players who don’t seem like a possibility to see their tenure come to an end are the ones who find themselves in the cross-hairs of a difficult business decision.


“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on.” – Patriots QB Tom Brady (USA TODAY Images)

That was obviously the case last week when Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins was shipped off to Tampa Bay in exchange for tight end Tim Wright, who adds another weapon to compliment Rob Gronkowski in New England’s offense.  Given Gronkowski’s recent injury history, the Patriots needed some additional insurance behind him and the move to add Wright looks, at least for now anyway, like one that may potentially pay dividends over the course of the coming season.

On the offensive line, the Patriots were deep and Mankins’ high price tag and cap number ($10.5 million) heading into 2014  put them in a position where they needed to make a difficult move to strengthen one area, while removing a player who was well-liked among his peers.

One player who was a fan of Mankins was quarterback Tom Brady, who finally spoke about the loss of the veteran guard during an appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” this week.  Brady said Mankins was a “a good friend” and that he represented exactly what the team stands for.

“I haven’t really spoken to anybody about it, so I have my own personal feelings that are very personal to me,” said Brady via ESPN Boston.  “I love Logan. Logan was a great friend of mine. Nobody stood for Patriots football more than him.”

Having had a week to digest what transpired, Brady said that he’s “moved on”, which as a leader is something that he feels the guys around him expect.

“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on,” said Brady.  “I have to move on, because that’s what this team expects me to do.”

There have plenty of guys who have come and gone, which certainly isn’t new given how much the dynamic has changed over the years.  Considering he’s been in the league for 15-years, one would think that the veteran signal-caller would be used to it by now.  However, Brady said that despite the business aspect of things he still cares about the guys around him and times like this are still difficult.

“Absolutely not,” said Brady when asked about it. “I’m a very person-to-person type of person, a very emotional person. I don’t think those things have ever gotten easier for me. I don’t think they ever will. But you have to come to grips with it also, and learn to deal with things in a mature way.

“We, as players, it’s the business side of things. We’re out there to play, we’re not out there to run businesses. We’re there to enjoy the camaraderie with our teammates, enjoy the playing experience with our teammates, and play for one another. And you deal with whatever comes up and then you move forward.”

That’s what Brady will have to do Sunday down in Miami when he takes the field for the first time without Mankins to kick off the regular season.

Mankins Departure Ends A Tumultuous Last Few Seasons


Tom Brady lost Logan Mankins but gained a tight end following Tuesday’s transaction. (USA TODAY Images)

In the NFL, business always ultimately wins out and what transpired on Tuesday was another good example after the Patriots sent offensive guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay in a surprising trade.

Truthfully, it’s a move that wasn’t surprising.  The team hit the free agency market back in March with around $15 million in salary cap space and needed to create additional room, which lead to the team seeking cap relief from players that also included Vince Wilfork. That created a contentious situation that fortunately was ultimately resolved.

However, Mankins, who had a big cap hit ($10.5 million) heading into 2014, dug his heels in again and rebuffed the idea of reworking his deal.  The veteran said via a source of Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald that if the team had looked his way to rework his current deal, he reportedly said, “It’s not going to happen.”

It’s not a shock given the rough negotiations during his last contract that saw him hold out in 2010 following his restricted free agent tender, which at the time was worth $3.26 million. He refused to sign the deal due to a change in the collective bargaining agreement that kept him from becoming a free agent. In June Mankins even told Mike Reiss he wanted to be traded.

“I want to be traded,” Mankins told Reiss. “I don’t need to be here any more.”

“This is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people.”

That lead to a holdout which saw him sit out the first eight weeks of the season.  He ultimately signed the tender, which was reduced to $1.54 million and reported in November.

That year saw Dan Connolly, who is still on the roster, fill in for him over that span as the team started 6-1.  They also allowed just 12 sacks with Connolly filling in.


There were certainly some difficult times between Mankins and the Patriots during his tenure in New England.
(USA TODAY Images)

The team then franchised Mankins in 2011 and things got a little ugly during the negotiations. Mankins eventually gave in and signed his one-year, $10.1 million contract at the end of July but weeks later agreed on a six-year contract extension that closed the book on those hard feelings and brought him to where he is today.

There was never a story regarding any issue with Mankins following the Herald report from earlier this year, which seemingly would have led most to believe that he would have been on the opening day roster despite the financial implications.

However, the Patriots have contracts to extend (Devin McCourty, Shane Vereen, Nate Solder, Matthew Slater, among others) and the money will have to come from somewhere.  Mankins, who is slated to earn $6.25 million this year and $6.75 million in 2015 and 2016, didn’t seem interested in working with the team to help provide any financial relief.  As a result, Tuesday’s trade to Tampa Bay seems to be more of a business decision for both sides.

They already have a host of depth on the offensive line, with a deep group that should allow them to survive his absence.  Meanwhile, the team adds a player in tight end Tim Wright who can provide them production at that position, which they desperately needed.  In the event Rob Gronkowski suffers any setbacks or Michael Hoomanawanui gets hurt, they have a player who caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season and seems like he could potentially overtake Hoomanwanui on the depth chart.

In a statement released by the club last night Bill Belichick admitted that Mankins was “everything we would ever want in a football player”, but like past decisions, the overall health of the team was their top priority.

“Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player,” wrote Belichick. “It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.”

That apparently means they feel they’re better off without him.  Hopefully Wright helps Brady forget about the fact he’ll no longer have Mankins in the huddle or on the line to his left this season, and that the money they saved will help keep the rest of this group together in the years to come.


The release of Tommy Kelly was likely a disappointment after the veteran had been looking forward to playing next to Vince Wilfork since signing last season. (USA TODAY Images)

When the Patriots signed Tommy Kelly before the start of last season, the veteran seemed excited about his opportunity to be in New England.

More importantly, he was looking forward to the chance to play on a defensive line that would have paired him next to Vince Wilfork, whom he expressed quite a bit of admiration for and at the time he said it factored into his decision to come to the Patriots.


Tommy Kelly is now looking for a new team after being released. (USA TODAY Images)

“You get to the end of your career, you get the opportunity to play with a real good team like New England — it came down to a couple teams — but I guess after talking with Coach [Bill] Belichick and then just the opportunity to play with Vince,” Kelly told Patriots Today at the time. “You wanna play with someone that can play. You know, you always watch people who play your position. I mean, he’s a real good player. A hell of a player.”

Kelly got to enjoy playing with Wilfork for just three and a quarter games, with Wilfork suffering an Achilles injury just 4:40 into the fourth game of the season in Atlanta.

To make matters worse, Kelly would suffer a torn ACL just a week later that cost him the rest of his season as well.

Now at the age of 33 and coming back off the injury, Kelly found himself caught in a situation where the team had been adding younger depth. After losing both he and Wilfork last season and getting caught without a lot of options inside, the Patriots appear focused on trying to build more depth to make sure they’re better prepared this time around.  We saw the addition of Dominique Easley through the draft and looking at this group there are a host of other players who will likely factor in with Sealver Siliga (barring any setbacks during his recovery from his hand injury), Michael Buchanan, Jerel Worthy, Joe Vellano or Chris Jones, among others who could find themselves in the rotation.

Either way the club seems to believe Wilfork is healthy enough to be able to give them a veteran presence inside for these guys to gain experience.  Unfortunately for Kelly, they didn’t feel the same about him.  Belichick has been a guy who has shown respect to veterans by releasing them early enough so they can start auditioning for other team sooner rather than later after being let go.  It’s just too bad for Kelly that he wasn’t able to get the opportunity he had hoped for before he landed here.

Patriots vs Eagles: 5 Things to Watch For Tonight


Tom Brady will seemingly see his first action of the preseason tonight. (USA TODAY Images)

Friday night marks the Patriots’ second exhibition game of the year and should be a night where some of New England’s starters see some action for the first time in 2014.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is among players who will hopefully see time tonight, which will be the first time fans will have seen him throw a football in a live game since New England fell to Denver in the AFC Championship Game back in January.

However, the slate is clean and the outlook for this season appears to be bright given some of the players coming back from injuries, as well as some of the Patriots’ offseason acquisitions.  These games may be meaningless in the standings, but the reps are valuable in terms of preparing for a long year and will be ones they’ll use to iron out the kinks as they continue getting ready for the regular season.

Here’s a quick rundown of some things to keep an eye on tonight:

1) WITH TOM BRADY, IT’S ALL ABOUT EXECUTION:

It appears that every offseason moving forward will center around the potential demise of Brady, with quite a few critics circling him like buzzards while looking for any weakness to suggest that he’s no longer as good as he’s continued to be.  For Brady, the noise doesn’t matter, but this is still a key opportunity to make sure that he and his receivers are able to use this time getting more in sync so they can start better than they did in 2013, most notably in the first half over their first two games.

In the first half of the opener in Buffalo last year Brady was just 13-of-25 for 122 yards, with the only player he seemed to be on the same page with being Julian Edelman.  He was 5-of-5 for 31 yards and two touchdowns over the first two quarters when throwing Edelman’s way and the offense was shaky up until the latter part of the game before he and Danny Amendola turned it on and started moving the football in the second half.

They also struggled in week two against the Jets, with Brady finishing the first half 11-of-24 for 136 yards, with the quarterback leaning once again on Edelman after completing 7-of-12 over the first two quarters.  He was just 5-of-17 overall combined for the game when targeting Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, with Brady and Edelman clicking in the second half after catching 6-of-6 passes thrown his way.  That’s something that can’t happen this season and it would be great if Brady can achieve that type of precision with the other guys around him heading into this year.  That work starts tonight.


Jimmy Garoppolo looked good last week, but can he follow it up tonight against the Eagles? (USA TODAY Images)

2) CAN GAROPPOLO FOLLOW UP HIS WEEK ONE PERFORMANCE?

Rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the lone bright spot at quarterback last week after a pretty dismal week one showing offensively for New England, but he showed enough to make the back-up quarterback position a little more interesting given Ryan Mallett’s struggles in that game.  As a second round pick the expectations are already fairly high for the former Illinois standout, especially given who he’s playing behind.

So far Garoppolo seems to be gaining confidence while Mallett has appeared a little tentative, which is disappointing for anyone hoping to see New England receive any value for him before he hits free agency and likely moves on. Mallett’s availability for tonight seems in question, but should Garoppolo play well against the Eagles, it may set up an interesting situation over these final two weeks given their focus on having plenty of depth at other positions.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility to carry three quarterbacks, but if he does play, Mallett needs to step up and finally have a strong performance.  He doesn’t get many opportunities to show what he’s capable of and so far, given the sample we’ve seen, he’s definitely not taking advantage of his time on the field.

3) MALCOLM BUTLER LOOKING TO BUILD ON HIS STRONG SHOWING

As the Patriots continue trying to revamp their secondary, Butler was a player who last week was impressive and that’s continued through this week during their joint sessions against Philadelphia.  The undrafted rookie finished with two passes defensed and six tackles in Washington and so far has actually looked like a player who has been in this defense for a while despite being a newcomer.  It’s a group that overall is fairly crowded and Butler’s presence only muddies it further, but it’s a problem that New England should be happy to have given how he’s played.

The bigger question now is whether or not he can remain consistent and continue to improve.  There are still three games to go and tonight’s performance should hopefully be a reasonably good indication of  what direction he’s headed in.  However, so far he’s a player who is starting to look like a roster lock if he can keep it up.


For Kenbrell Thompkins, the time is now for him to step up and show he’s a starting NFL receiver. (USA TODAY Images)

4) TIME FOR THOMPKINS TO SHINE

Kenbrell Thompkins has looked good in practice during this preseason but didn’t have a strong showing during his one appearance last week in Washington.  He was targeted just twice with one reception, having played 29 offensive snaps.  For a player who is trying to re-establish himself as a starter in this offense, he needs to look like a man among boys when he’s on the field.  He can’t afford to be just another player and tonight is another opportunity to hopefully have a better performance.  

To this point he’s seemingly slipped down the depth chart and finds himself behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson.  But the problem he faces now is the fact Brandon LaFell’s stock has been rising, leaving Thompkins and Josh Boyce seemingly at the lower tier of that depth chart.  As a result, the time is now for the second-year receiver to show everyone what he’s got.

5) HOW WILL REVIS’ PRESENCE AFFECT THE GUYS AROUND HIM?

Friday night may mark the first time fans get their first glimpse of Darrelle Revis in the secondary, which should be interesting in terms of seeing that dynamic and how well he works with Devin McCourty and the rest of that defensive unit.  There were times in the past where the lack of solid play at corner has put McCourty out of position trying to help out, which was emphasized when that changed following the addition of Aqib Talib to this group.

Once Talib arrived McCourty was able to focus more on his job and having Revis there should once again allow him the same luxury. Revis’ experience and calm demeanor has seemingly already had a positive effect with the other guys and so far they seem to be each working well together.

The good news is this unit already looks completely different from last year’s and it seems like Revis’ impact on the guys around him is having quite a positive effect.  We’ll see tonight how that translates during what few snaps they ultimately play, but it should be exciting to see them in action.

It should be another interesting game, but hopefully we’ll see additional players take advantage of their opportunities as the team continues the evaluation process building a roster that will hopefully see New England among the NFL’s elite by the end of the season.

Another Inconsistent Outing for Patriots QB Ryan Mallett

A lot of the buzz this week centered around how good quarterback Ryan Mallett looked during the Patriots’ joint practice sessions against the Redskins, but on Thursday night it certainly didn’t translate onto the field for him during the team’s first preseason game.


Ryan Mallett was inconsistent during the Patriots first preseason outing of 2014.
(USA TODAY Images)

Mallett started the game and played the entire first half, finishing the night 5-of-12 (42%) for just 55 yards and over that span the offense had a difficult time moving the football.  A lot of that stemmed from the fact they struggled running the football and he also didn’t have much success completing passes on early downs. He finished 0-for-3 on first down and just 1-of-3 on second down.  That put him in long yardage situations throughout most of the game.

He faced nine second down plays Thursday night, seven of which were from eight or more yards.  Third down was just as dismal, with Mallett converting just three of seven on the night, largely because five of those seven were from 10 or more yards.

Granted he didn’t have all of New England’s best offensive weapons, with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola among those who sat out Thursday night’s contest. However, he still had Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Shane Vereen and Brandon LaFell and there were situations where he wasn’t as accurate as he needed to be.

He had moments where he threw at LaFell’s feet coming back over the middle and another where he badly overshot Roy Finch on a screen pass. Then he would make a tremendous throw like the one he made to Boyce when he fired a laser in between three defenders on a third down play for a first down.

The frustrating part was the fact they couldn’t get anything going and failed to put up any points, with Mallett and the offense only crossing midfield twice. They never reached any farther than the Redskins’ 36 yard line and that drive ended with a missed 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowksi late in the second quarter.

It was simply another inconsistent night in a game where most had hoped he would turn the corner. Considering these opportunities and that much playing time don’t exactly come around that often, it’s just too bad he didn’t rise to the occasion.

After the game Mallett admitted he still has some work to do.

“I feel like I did a few positive things,” said Mallett. “A few things I wish I could do different, but that’s what practice is for. We go back to work next week and get ready to go again.”

For now he’ll get back to the drawing board as he gets ready for the Eagles, who will visit the team for joint sessions next week prior to their second exhibition game.