Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news notes and what’s happening around the division:
Brady’s Next Milestone – 400: With a touchdown pass today versus the Jaguars, Tom Brady will join the 400 touchdown club joining a select few to hit the milestone. Only Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino have thrown more than 400.
Brady’s first touchdown pass back in 2001 went to Terry Glenn but he isn’t worried about hitting his 400th TD pass so long as the team is scoring.
“I really don’t care whether we throw them in or hand it off or if it’s a defensive score. Just however we can score points and win games — that’s what matters to me,” Brady said. “It’s always what’s mattered the most.”
He added, “So I’ve been blessed to be on, to me, the greatest team/organization in sports and played with so many great players and teammates. You’ve got to have everyone block, and you’ve got to have everyone do their job and run the ball to set up opportunities like that. So, as long as we’re scoring points, I’m happy.”
Bill Belichick made it clear the milestone he’s worrying most about is in the win column and nothing else. “Look, Tom is a great player, we’ve all said that plenty of times, but I don’t really care about any records this week,” Belichick said.
“We really need to beat Jacksonville. Whatever our team needs to do to beat them, that’s what we need to do. Setting records … that’s a very, very low priority around here other than winning; the winning record is what’s important. I don’t think he’ll care about it, I don’t think I’ll care about, I don’t think Josh McDaniels will care about it. I think whatever helps us win, I think that’s what we care about.”
Latest Brady Rumor…’NFL Sources’ Say he’ll serve suspension in 2015: Greg Carton of WFAN in NY says that he’s spoken with a “very influential person in the NFL” and that the league is convinced that Tom Brady will serve a four-game suspension in 2015.
Brady was suspended by the league for the Deflategate fiasco back in January but his appeal in the NYC Federal Court saw his suspension vacated. Now Carton says his source tells him that not only will the appeal be heard this year, but that the league will win.
So the big story is that hasn’t the NFL learned anything about all of their self-serving leaks that they used to beat the drum of public opinion in this sham from the beginning? Obviously not. It is time for the owners to clean house on Park Ave.
Questions Remain about the Nickel Corner: Right now the team is pretty much set at the starting two cornerback positions with Malcolm Butler and Tarell Brown. But after that the position becomes much less clearer.
Logan Ryan had a nice interception on Sunday in Buffalo but at this point, he is who he is and won’t be counted upon as a starter. Bradley Fletcher is a veteran corner who was signed as a free agent this spring from Philadelphia but he’s been shaky in the past two games. Buffalo was 4-4 for 64 yards and a touchdown while targeting Fletcher last week including a big pass interference penalty.
Mike Reiss of ESPN brought up a good point yesterday about the team possibly giving Justin Coleman some playing time and sitting down Fletcher a game to see what he could do. At this point, it would probably be a good idea to at least give it a shot.
I still think the team looks to swing a deal for a corner during the season. There are some intriguing possibilities with veterans and big salaries out there. We’ll have to wait and see.
Vellano Signed, Martin Released: Veteran defensive tackle Joe Vellano was signed to the practice squad on Friday and LB Eric Martin was given his release. Vellano was facing an uphill battle to remain on the team this summer and then was hurt in early August and was released.
Now with depth a concern given Dominique Easley’s current injury and the run defense a question mark, it makes sense to bring back Vellano, the free agent from Maryland who has been with the team the past two seasons.
The team will probably err on the side of caution with Easley today and sit him for the Jacksonville game and then give him the extra week during the early bye to rest up and heal and be ready to go for Dallas.
Jax Signs WR Washington to Active Roster, Cuts LB Reynolds: With the news that WR Marquise Lee was downgraded from probable to questionable this week, the Jaguars released LB and STs standout LaRoy Reynolds and signed WR Tony Washington from the practice squad.
Washington was a bright spot during the early portion of training camp but faded during preseason and was cut, then signed to the practice squad. His signing is a sign that perhaps Lee won’t be available today.
Reynolds may be worth a look; in 20 games for the Jaguars he made 39 tackles. Bill Belichick loves STs guys that can backup at linebacker. It will be interesting to see where Reynolds winds up after he is subjected to waivers.
East Bound and Down…Notes Around the AFC East:
Jets OL peaking, Marshall zeroing in on Milestone: The Jets offensive line through the first two games of 2015 have allowed only one sack of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick; a roll-out play against the Colts that fell flat and went for no gain. Other than that play Fitzpatrick has been clean and it is a big reason why the team is 2-0.
Brandon Marshall is nearing in on a milestone, with 66 yards receiving today; he’ll break the 10,000 yard barrier in his career. Possibly facing a struggling Byron Maxwell at corner for the Eagles….should be just what the doctor ordered.
The Jets defense has been very good in the first two games; the Eagles offensive line has been terrible. This isn’t a good thing for an Eagles team that many picked to go to San Francisco in February. They have a real good chance of going 0-3 to start the season. I like the Jets behind their defense this week.
Big Game in Miami for Dolphins – Bills: Sunday’s game between Miami and Buffalo isn’t just a ho-hum Week 3 matchup. Both teams are coming off losses and are looking to right the ship. Miami has been unimpressive during the first two weeks of the season and has been playing inconsistent. For a team that many talked about as a playoff contender, Sunday’s game puts Coach Joe Philbin firmly in the hot seat.
Buffalo is 4-2 in the last six meetings versus the Dolphins and their defense has sacked Ryan Tannehill 23 times in those six games, averaging nearly four per contest. The Bills defense is smarting after talking the talk last week but then not walking the walk and being shredded by Tom Brady and the Patriots to the tune of 500 yards and 40 points.
Miami has started slow both weeks and are still searching for their offensive identity. The Bills running game could be a big factor in this one. Neither team wants to fall to 1-2 but while Rex Ryan the Bills could shake it off, a 1-2 start for Philbin may be disastrous. It will be a game to monitor today for sure.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Chandler Jones Danny Amendola DeflateGate Jacksonville Jaguars Joe Philbin Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Rex Ryan Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Roger Goodell Ryan Tannehill Tom Brady Trey Flowers