Good morning, here are Sunday’s New England Patriots news 7-10 and notes on what’s happening around the AFC East.
While the news front has been slowed the past few weeks with the team’s players and coaches taking some time off before training camp starts in a few weeks, stay tuned to PatsFans.com as we’ll have some training camp primers by position very soon.
Amendola Opens Up about Playing in the Patriots Offense:
Danny Amendola has found his niche in the Patriots offense and has earned his spot in Tom Brady’s Circle of Trust among the team’s receivers. As fans know it isn’t easy learning the Patriots complicated route tree.
While other teams in timing based offenses base their routes on a required number of steps, with New England much more is based on recognizing what’s in front of you and being able to feel the correct route from play to play. Amendola likened it to driving without street signs.
“In our offense, especially at the wide-out position, it’s all about feeling. It’s about trying to find open space, using your eyes,” Amendola said to ESPN. “Other offenses I’ve played in, West Coast offense, all the routes are run on steps. I kind of relate it to driving a car. If you’re out there on the road and you’re following all the signs, you’re putting your blinker on, it’s kind of like the West Coast offense; you follow the route on the page.
In our offense, it’s kind of like if you take away all the street signs on the road and you kind of just drive — you yield and stop at an intersection just by what you feel and what you see with your eyes.”
AFC East Still Runs Thru New England:
Every year at this time we always see the question, “is this the year that someone from inside the division pushes the Patriots for division supremacy?” and the answer is …not yet. The other teams have improved but questions remain for each of the remaining division foes and it looks like the Patriots should have the inside track for the division once again.
To get a better in-depth, albeit early look at the AFC East, take some time and listen in to our latest podcast “Patriots 4th & 2” where we broke down the Bills, Dolphins and Jets and what their seasons may entail. You can listen in here:
Martellus Bennett Speaks to the Country’s Black Youth:
Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett reached out to the black youth of America in a piece he wrote for the Player’s Tribune. After events this week that has inflamed people and culminated in the awful events in Dallas, he encouraged youth to do better.
“The low-hanging fruit is what the world prefers you to reach for, but we must climb the tree,” Bennett wrote in his piece. “Climb higher and you will discover that the fruit at the top of the tree is better than gold.”
He finished with thoughts on setting goals and dreams and encouraged the black youth of the country to reach for and realize their dreams.
Dream Bigger, Black Boy, Dream Bigger! For your dreams are valuable. No one can take those from you. You deserve to dream the wildest dreams and chase those dreams the same way you chase a loose ball in the fourth quarter, a running back breaking free down the sideline or a fly ball in the outfield.
Edelman, Boston a Perfect Fit for One Another:
Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman has made great strides since being drafted as an option QB from Kent State in 2009. He’s transitioned into an outstanding wide receiver and one of Tom Brady’s most trusted targets. But perhaps his biggest transition has been going from a California kid into a Bostonian.
Edelman did an interview with August Man magazine and the scrappy wide receiver made it clear he’s in love with being a part of the landscape here and not just during football season.
“Becoming a Bostonian has been unbelievable,” Edelman said. “It has been an incredible place to live and play a sport I love. Boston is a gritty, tough town and a perfect match for me coming from a blue-collar, humble background myself.”
“I’m a product of the late ’80s, early ’90s, the Bill Walsh era at the San Fransisco 49ers — so being a Patriot in a town like Boston reminds me of that golden era of football,” he said.
“I remember being in eighth grade and pretending to be Tom Brady at recess and now I am teammates and friends with Tom Brady. We held up the Vince Lombardi trophy together. So yeah, playing for the New England Patriots has been my greatest achievement, it has been the highlight of my life no doubt.”
Edelman and Brady both jumped on the Celtics welcoming committee by helping to try to lure Kevin Durant to Boston last weekend. But Durant decided that the grass was greener with Golden State and signed there early last week.
East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:
Dolphins and Gase Look to Improve Tannehill:
One of the selling points for new coach Adam Gase, when he was hired, has been his work with quarterbacks. He has worked with Peyton Manning as well as Jay Cutler. Now the rookie head coach has inherited Ryan Tannehill. The fifth-year QB is now in his third offensive system and his new coach admittedly worked him hard this spring.
Can Gase turn Tannehill into the franchise QB that the Dolphins are paying him to be? That is the big question surrounding Gase in his first season. The Dolphins have spent money in free agency and have some talent on both sides of the ball. But they are going to need their signal-caller to step up to do so.
Jets Season Will Hinge On Crucial First Six Games:
The New York Jets made some huge leaps in their first season under Head Coach Todd Bowles, going from a 4-12 team to a 10-6 season, narrowly missing the playoffs. Expectations are much higher this season and the team is built to win now.
But they still have questions at QB, they will eventually work out a deal with Ryan Fitzpatrick, they have to, otherwise, they’ll go with Geno Smith which isn’t going to get them to the postseason. But the other thing looking them in the face is their schedule, specifically the first six weeks of it.
The Jets go on the road for four of their first six games and face five playoff teams from 2015 during that time span. After opening at home vs Cincinnati they go on the road to Buffalo and then KC. They then return home to face the Seahawks before heading back on the road to Pittsburgh and Arizona. That is a tough stretch for anyone. If they want to make it to the post-season in 2016, they’ll have to face the music early in the year.
Bills’ Watkins Back to Running This Week:
Some good news on the Sammy Watkins injury front for the Bills this week as the Buffalo star WR posted a video on his Instagram account of him running sprints at the Bills training facility.
While he was only running in a straight line, that is expected after the foot surgery he had will take some time to recover from. Both Julian Edelman and Dez Bryant had similar injuries and surgeries. Watkins’ own timetable of being ready for training camp looks like it will be accurate.
Expect Rex Ryan and the Bills staff to be very careful with Watkins during camp and the preseason. It would be surprising to see him much if at all until the regular season opens in September.
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Tags: 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Danny Amendola Julian Edelman Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rex Ryan Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady