Here’s a quick look at some stories for this morning.
Brady Talks on QBs Interception Success – One of the things Bill Belichick preaches pretty strongly about is ball security, and through eight games the Patriots’ quarterbacks can boast about the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Tom Brady have only connected on passes to their own players.
At the halfway point, Brady is now the only active NFL quarterback with 100 attempts or more this season who has yet to throw an interception. Bears QB and former Patriot Brian Hoyer would have been the other, however, Hoyer’s season is over and he’s on injured reserve after suffering a broken arm against the Packers earlier this season.
The veteran quarterback said on Wednesday that a variety of factors have come into play that has made them so successful with not turning it over, and he knows they’ll have to be careful against a tough Seahawks defense.
“Yeah, that’s been a real, I think, strong point for our team and I think that’s been a product of a lot of things,” said Brady. “I think interceptions are – sometimes it comes down to quarterback decision-making, it comes down to protection in the pocket, it comes down to what the scoreboard looks like. If you’re down 14 points in the fourth quarter, that risk-reward scenario that I talk about a lot changes in your mind and you’ve got to start trying to make tighter throws. We’ve played with a lot of leads which has been very helpful, but yeah, this week is all about turnovers for us.”
“I know they preach that a lot. I know the coaches talk to us a lot about Coach [Pete] Carroll’s philosophy and saying, ‘It’s all about the ball, it’s all about the ball.’ They really thrive with turnovers. It’s a really turnover-driven defense. They’ve got a lot of playmakers at a lot of levels to get the ball off the quarterback, get the ball off the running backs, so it’ s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Belichick, Brady Deflect Trump Questions – To no one’s surprise, Bill Belichick and Brady had little to say as it pertained to President-elect Donald Trump and the letters he read on Monday night from the two during his rally in New Hampshire.
Brady was asked in a multitude of ways about his support for Trump, with the quarterback responding, “I talked to my wife; she said I can’t talk about politics anymore, so I think that’s a good decision made for our family.”
Belichick took care of it with one word. “Seattle.” He used it after he was asked if he was happy or annoyed that Trump read his letter, and then repeated it four times during a follow-up question where he just kept repeating it over and over as it was being asked.
After a flurry of football questions Belichick was asked two final questions, with one reporter asking him to offer up a story about some good memories about Trump.
“Yeah, I could do a lot of that but really we’re just trying to focus on Seattle here,” said Belichick. “This is a huge game for us this week. It’s a great challenge and that’s where all of our energy is going.”
He was then asked if he was the one who created the distraction to begin with by sending the letter to Trump, and if this was just him trying to “squash it”.
“This is where we are,” answered Belichick. “It’s Wednesday before Seattle. It’s Seattle.”
As a result, that went about the way that most people should have expected.
Pete Carroll has already won a Championship since returning to the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)
Carroll Makes Interesting Comment About His Coaching Days Here – For anyone who followed the team back when Pete Carroll was here as head coach for three seasons from 1997-1999, the situation was a little different for him than it is for Bill Belichick.
Carroll didn’t have any control over player and personnel decisions, which back then were handled by GM Bobby Grier, who is currently in his 16th year with the Texans as a personnel advisor. But listening to Carroll, it sounds like, with hindsight obviously being 20/20, that lack of control may have been an issue for the former Patriots coach.
“When I went into New England, I was really committed to being able to bring the philosophy and do it exactly the way you wanted to do it and be in control of it,” said Carroll on Wednesday. “It didn’t really work out that way, the way I hoped, until I went back to USC and when I got a chance to be in charge again and be a head coach, I got to see the philosophy through, from the head coach throughout.”
“I thought that was really important, I had learned that along the way. It’s proven really true to me that at USC I had a chance to do it really the way I wanted to do it and make all the calls and you win or you lose, you fail or you succeed. I felt like that was a really learning illustration for me, coming out of there.”
Carroll, who mentioned that having full control in Seattle was important to him when he took the job, said that seeing what Belichick has done is a prime example of why it’s so important for the head coach to be able to make those calls, and the success speaks for itself.
“When Bill [Belichick] got the job there, Robert [Kraft] gave him the chance to take that thing over and run it and do it exactly the way a football guy sees it and the rest has been a great history and a great success story,” said Carroll. “I couldn’t have agreed with that approach more and I was thrilled to see it happen. I think it’s good for football coaches that we’ve had a chance to show that when a coach runs the whole program and takes charge of it, it’s the best way to do it.”
Bennett, Edelman Limited at Practice – The Patriots are in good shape coming off the bye week, but there were a couple of notable names on Wednesday’s injury report.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) and receiver Julian Edelman (foot) were both listed as “limited” on Wednesday, which is obviously a concern with the team getting set to take on a tough defense in the Seahawks.
The two each caught four passes from Brady during New England’s 41-25 win over the Bills back on October 30, 2016, with Edelman also coming away with his first touchdown of the season.
Meanwhile, Alan Branch joined those two players as limited with a back injury, while Elandon Roberts, Jonathan Jones, Malcolm Mitchell, Vincent Valentime and Woodrow Hamilton were all removed from the injury report after each being listed two weeks ago.
One quick transaction note, the Jets signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson off of the Patriots’ practice squad. That one is interesting as the team has yet to face the 3-6 Jets this season, and they’ll be traveling to New Jersey for a Sunday night battle in two weeks, and will face them next month in a home game at Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve.
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