Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories:
Bills Promising “Same Reaction” If Patriots Violate Their Space – Many fans may remember the pregame scuffle that happened prior to their last match-up where rookies Malcolm Mitchell and Jacoby Brissett were jogging up the sideline and Bills safety Robert Blanton came over and shoved Brissett unprovoked, leading to Mitchell to come to Brissett’s defense before it escalated from there.
The Bills claim the two got too close to their drills and broke an unwritten rule, which they believe justified their actions. In fact, they said if it happens again this weekend, the reaction will be the same.
“Uh, probably the same reaction they got last time,” Robey-Coleman said, via New York Upstate’s Matthew Fairburn. “There ain’t no other way around that situation. You know, just respect each others’ sideline.”
The attitude there seems to be the Patriots instigated the incident, saying the Patriots are the ones who like to do things to get under opposing teams’ skin and they’re not going to stand for it.
“You’re not going to let anybody push you around, you know what I’m saying?” cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. “But we have to play smart. We know them guys like to get under your skin and make you react a certain way, so we have to try to take it between the lines and play good football.”
Anyone knows that how New England handles themselves goes against that mindset, which just goes to show you how the mentality of Rex Ryan has been able to permeate into that group to the point where they honestly believe they’re not the problem.
For now, as usual, the Bills sound like this is their Super Bowl here in Week 8, with half of a season left to play as they get set to face New England for what will most likely be the final time this season.
“It’s probably going to be amped up,” Gilmore said. “I already know. It’s going to be a very emotional game. This game means a lot. We got to get this win to get to where we want to go. This is probably one of the biggest games of the season.”
Some things never change, and hopefully with Tom Brady under center this time, they’ll knock the Bills back to reality this weekend.
After his injury last year, it sounds like Lewis may finally getting close to a return.
Lewis Expected Back at Practice This Week – According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Patriots running back Dion Lewis is expected to return to practice this week, which is encouraging news after the veteran has spent nearly a year recovering from a season-ending knee injury.
Lewis started off with a terrific beginnign in his first year as a member of the Patriots, catching 36 passes for 388 yards and two receiving touchdowns as a dynamic force out of the backfield, as well as carrying 49 times for 234 yards and two rushing touchdowns for New England before his injury.
When he’ll return remains to be seen, as Wednesday wasn’t the day but it sounds like he’s getting closer. Otherwise Wednesday’s injury report saw eight players listed on the report, with Martellus Bennett (ankle), Brandon Bolden (knee), Jamie Collins (hip), Julian Edelman (foot), Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder), Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring), Elandon Roberts (ankle) and Vincent Valentine (back) all listed as limited.
Belichick Praises Chung, Cites Success vs Welker – Belichick had some praise for Patrick Chung on Wednesday and his ability to cover a variety of positions, including a player who was among one of the more difficult players before joining New England.
Chung was once called on to cover former Dolphins receiver Wes Welker, who was a thorn in New England’s side before joining the team. Chung was a player Belichick mentioned as someone who was able to at least make that a more competitive match-up, and he’s continued to do some great things since re-joining the team and has been a factor in their success this season.
“Pat [Chung]’s got – he’s got really good skills, very tough, very good tackler and he matches up against a lot of players,” said Belichick on Wednesday. “I think I’ve said before Wes [Welker] was a hard guy to cover in the slot but – and I’m not saying he shut Wes out – but I mean he covered Wes. Wes had his plays, too. But he covered Wes competitively in the slot in one-on-ones out here many times. That was a good battle. Wes was good, Chung was good, but I’m just saying that’s a pretty high level of player to cover.”
“Those were very competitive matchups. Like you said, he’s been on receivers, he’s been on fast tight ends, he’s been on big tight ends, he’s been on backs. He’s got good quickness, good strength, instinctive, tough, mentally tough, physically tough, very good tackler. Guys can catch passes on him but usually he tackles them so that keeps some of those plays from becoming bigger plays and that’s important, too.”
“He can play zone, he can play man. He’s a versatile player for us. He helps us in a lot of ways and he plays in the kicking game and you’ve seen him make plays on special teams as well. He’s one of our best-conditioned athletes. He’s able to play a lot of plays and able to play them at a high level.”
Brady’s Mom Believes He’s Among the NFL’s Elite For Speed – Moms always tend to have plenty of confidence in their children and according to Brady, his is definitely among the tops when it comes to how she views her son.
She has the luxury of knowing he’s one of the best QBs in the league right now and one of, if not the best of all time. But the veteran QB made a funny comment on Wednesday when a reporter said to him, “I know you’re not that fast but…” when referencing his quickness in the pocket.
“Don’t tell my mom that either because she would totally disagree with that,” Brady said.
The reporter then responded, “She thinks you’re fast?”
“Yes, she thinks I’m very fast,” said Brady. “I know. She says, ‘I think you’re the fastest person on the field.’ I say, ‘Mom, you are crazy. No way.’ That’s moms.”
Brady went on to say that he has been focusing a little more on extending plays, which has been something that’s benefited them so far as it gives the defense one more thing to worry about.
“We’ve been talking about that for a few years, just being able to, if there are two or three plays a game that you can make just moving the pocket, or sliding, or buying your receivers more time, or scrambling on third-and-two, it’s just one more thing that they have to defend,” said Brady.
As great as it is, hopefully for the sake of keeping him out of harm’s way, Brady won’t need to showcase his blazing speed too often.
Patriots In the Market For Tackles? – The Patriots may not be done making moves as we get closer to the trade deadline, and it sounds like there are a couple of names who might be on their radar.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, the Patriots could be in the mix for Cleveland offensive tackle Joe Thomas should the Browns elect to move him. Mike Florio reports that the asking price seems to be a second-round selection and some cap relief, although he calls the possibility “smaller than the chances of a trade were a year ago,” when the Browns apparently nearly sent him to Denver.
Meanwhile, another name mentioned was the 49ers Joe Staley, who could also be available if San Francisco elects to move him. Florio said there has been some varying degree of interest by several teams, with the Patriots in the mix, along with the Vikings, Giants, Cardinals and Seahawks, although Florio notes that a deal with the Patriots would be one the 49ers would make if they’re “willing to take whatever they can get”. He believes the 49ers want a first-round pick from a contender for Staley, which if that is the case, would seem unlikely the Patriots would make that deal.
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