It’s a beautiful Friday here in New England, and with the Patriots and Chargers game just a couple of days away, here are this morning’s headlines.
Much of the talk heading into last week’s game against the Ravens was how good their defense was. However, it’s the San Diego Chargers who have the league’s best defense, and Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger writes that New England will face another tough challenge this weekend.
Andy Vogt of the Milford Daily News echoes that sentiment, with Tom Brady pointing out that this is the fifth game in a row they’ve faced a 3-4 defense.
“This is about the fifth game in a row we’ve played against the 3-4,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “So it means you have good pass rushers, outside linebackers. It typically means you have a good, athletic group of linebackers – and these guys certainly do.”
Ian Rapoport writes that while the two teams have had some heated moments, most of the players in the locker room don’t feel like there’s still a “rivalry” between their players and the Chargers.
Rapoport also takes an in-depth look at past games between the two sides, which years ago made for quite a rivalry that became pretty heated.
Rapoport also has a good notebook, which leads off with owner Robert Kraft talking about how difficiult it was to get tickets for last week’s game – and then touches on several other topics.
Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan and continued the discussion on the enforcement of leading with the helmet and how guys are dealing with it. Mayo said during the interview that it’s tough sometimes to avoid it when you’re going at full speed, but they’ll need to adjust.
Mayo did admit it can be difficult to avoid contact with the head. “It’s kind of hard hitting a moving target when you’re running full speed and he’s running full speed,” he said. “You’ve kind of got to aim a little lower now.”
Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has an article on New England’s special teams, which is an area where they’ve certainly had plenty of success so far this season.
Michael Vega of the Boston Globe has an article this morning on Sebastian Vollmer, who was thrust into the line-up when Matt Light injured his knee out in Denver last year, and ended up earning himself a full-time role in the offense.
“Everything happened so fast,’’ Vollmer recalled. “The coaches were like, ‘Well, get in.’ Matt was out, so it was, ‘Get in.’ So there was really not much thinking involved. It was like, ‘OK, gotta go.’ ’’
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an article on safety Patrick Chung, who so far this season has played well defensively and is getting the job done for New England. Farinella points out that Chung is currently second on the team on total tackles (44, behind Jerod Mayo’s 65) and tied with Rob Ninkovich for the team lead in interceptions with two.
Dan Duggan of the Herald has an article on defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, who has gone from a 7th round pick to a starter here in New England.
And finally, thanks to Patriots fans the Chargers sold out their home game for this weekend against New England. The Herald reports that it was the Patriots who implored west coast fans to grab tickets to see New England battle San Diego, using social media to help to spark fans to purchase tickets.
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll see you tomorrow.