Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories:
Belichick Pleased With Receivers – One thing that Bill Belichick loves is a complete effort, and the Patriots head coach certainly appreciates is when his receivers do just as well blocking in the running game as they do catching the ball in the passing game. One area that stood out Sunday was a play where Julian Edelman laid himself out to block on a play in the first quarter that took out three players by the Browns, which lead to a big gain by James White and helped set up the Patriots’ second touchdown of the day, a 7-yard strike from Tom Brady to Martellus Bennett, which was Brady’s first touchdown throw of the 2016 season.
Overall, Belichick said he was pleased with their effort.
“Yeah, our receivers – Julian did a good job – but our receivers have blocked well for us all year,” said Belichick. “They really compete in the running game and after the catch in the passing game, whether it be stock blocks or crack blocks or just second effort type plays. They’ve done a great job for us, all of them.”
“You can’t say enough about them whether it be [Malcolm] Mitchell on [Jacoby] Brissett’s touchdown run against Houston, or Chris [Hogan], Julian, Danny [Amendola] does a great job, [Matthew] Slater’s given us some snaps in there too doing those kinds of things, so that group really competes hard in the running game. They give good effort and they’re tough. They do it consistently.”
Brady Was Money On Third Down Sunday – Tom Brady was obviously in the zone on Sunday during his first NFL game back from his suspension, but while looking at the totals from the game, one area that stood out was his performance throwing the football on third down.
The veteran quarterback finished the game with his highest completion percentage coming on third down where he completed 9-of-11 (82%) for 157 yards along with a touchdown, as well as 7 passing first downs. He was also 1-of-1 in the red zone on 3rd down (3-of-4 with two touchdowns overall), with his lone completion being the 5-yard touchdown pass he threw to Martellus Bennett.
Here’s a quick look at his targets on third down:
Rob Gronkowski: 2/2 46yds – 2 First Downs
Chris Hogan: 2/2 66yds – 2 First Downs
Martellus Bennett: 2/3 18yds – 2 First Downs, 1 TD*
Julian Edelman – 1/2 12yds – 1 First Down
Malcolm Mitchell – 1/1 5yds
James White – 1/1 10yds
*Touchdowns count as a passing first down by league stats.
Stephen Gostkowski has had a rough patch to begin 2016.
Belichick Helping Gostkowski Get Through Rough Patch – One of the questions asked during Belichick’s conference call on Monday was how they help players like Stephen Gostkowski get through rough patches like the one he’s dealing with right now.
The veteran kicker missed another field goal on Sunday, pushing a 50-yard attempt wide right during the team’s 33-13 blowout win over the Browns as the Patriots attempted to add to their lead before the half.
Overall he’s missed three field goals so far this season, matching the number of misses he had for all of 2015. He’s converted on 7-of-10 of his attempts thus far this season, compared to last season when he hit 33-of-36.
It’s an unusual start for the veteran kicker, and Belichick said that in times like these it’s just a matter of getting back to working on technique and timing.
“Well, we do the same thing really at every position,” explained Belichick. “Every week we try to work on our techniques, our timing, our consistency and it’s the same with every part of our game; offense, defense, special teams. Just continually trying to work to get better, not taking anything for granted.”
“Stephen’s one of our hardest working players and I’d say one of the most respected players on the team because of the way he does work and how team-oriented he is. Whatever we’ve asked him to do, whether it be the training things or kickoffs or situations, the amount of field goals where we’ve multiple holders and snappers over the course of his career. He does a great job of working with those guys and just working to make the operation better and more consistent. We’ll keep doing that just like we do with everything else in our program.”
Players Honor Jim Brown After Sunday’s Game – Following Sunday’s win, with Belichick being the historian he is he likely spoke highly of Browns legend Jim Brown, who recently had his statue added this season by the Browns organization in front of their stadium. There were players who had their photos taken with the statue after the win, honoring a player who Belichick said has been a big influence during his coaching career.
“Jim Brown’s, in my opinion, the greatest player that ever played,” said Belichick. “I’ve had an opportunity to have known him Jim for over 20 years now. I met him when I was the coach at the Browns and just had so much more respect and appreciation for him knowing him well as a person and as a friend, even just as an observer from a distance, but I think he’s meant so much to this game.”
“He’s paved the way for all of us; players and coaches. [He’s] part of many people who have made professional football, the game of football, the great game that it is. I just felt like it was an opportunity for us as a team after the game to recognize and pay a tribute to Jim and all that he stands for, both in and out of football.”
Brown, who is now 80-years old, is still the Browns’ all-time leading rusher and that mark still stands after the former running back for the Browns retired back in 1966.
Patriots Work Out Three – According to NESN.com, the Patriots worked out three free agents on Monday as they currently sit with an open roster spot on their practice squad following the release of defensive tackle Woodrow Sinclair on Saturday.
Those players reportedly included former New Orleans Saints fullback Austin Johnson, former Buccaneers receiver Donteea Dye and former Bears tight end Gannon Sinclair.
The players currently have today off as they get set to start getting ready to prepare to face the Bengals this weekend at Gillette Stadium.
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown