Some news and notes for this morning:
1) Wednesday’s final Patriots practice session didn’t quite go as planned for rookie Mac Jones, who had quite a frustrating finish after what had been a pretty consistent group of practices up to that point.
Jones, who was the first person out on the field for the team on Wednesday, had actually looked pretty good for much of the session but he had some difficulty down the stretch, including an interception to Adrian Colbert on his final throw of the day. The normally reserved Jones actually showed his frustration, which on that play he badly misfired and threw it right to Colbert after missing a wide-open Kristian Wilkerson.
That reaction surprised the media on hand considering they’re not used to seeing Jones show that level of emotion. Meanwhile, to add to it, Newton had what most are saying to be one of his best practices to date, with the veteran missing on just four passes while looking on-point as he hit throw after throw. His injured hand is clearly improving and the fact he was able to go out there and execute is a good sign and certainly gets him back closer to evening things out after Jones had looked so consistent up to this point.
For Jones, the only positive is that he walks away from these sessions with a bit of a sting, which will likely just further fuel his desire to keep working until the next time we see him on the field. As we’ve heard from various reports, he hasn’t let up from the day he was selected and that likely won’t change in the coming weeks until he gets his next opportunity to get back out there.
With these sessions now coming to a close, the next time we see the players it will mean that training camp is underway and the season will be nearly upon us. It definitely can’t get here soon enough.
2) One player who has stood out during these sessions is linebacker Josh Uche, who apparently has been spending a lot of time honing his skills heading into this season.
According to Nicole Yang of the Boston Globe, Uche attended Von Miller’s fifth annual pass rush summit prior to minicamp, allowing the former Michigan standout to be a part of the same event he’s been watching since middle school. He actually FaceTimed with Miller the night he was drafted, with the two staying in touch since that night.
He was one of just 12 players to participate, with Uche getting instruction from both Miller, along with pass-rushing coach Chuck Smith and Super Bowl 50 champion DeMarcus Ware.
It appears to have paid off, as his name came up quite a bit as a player who was pretty disruptive on the defense and he looks like he could be ready to take the next step heading into this season.
Uche said that he believes that being successful requires working hard, which is something that he has continued to do because it’s simply part of who he is.
“This isn’t something you can turn on and off, in my opinion,” Uche said. “Football is something I try to work on year-round, whether it’s watching film, watching old games, or just continuing to be involved in football and what it is we do here at the Patriots.”
3) Yesterday marked the final practice for long-time Bill Belichick confidant, Ernie Adams, who Belichick took the time to emphasize how much he’s meant to the organization as well as the personal relationship the two share, and how much he’ll be missed.
You could tell he was a little emotional, and his press conference was followed by one from Adams, with the 68-year old saying he’s just enjoyed trying to help the team win and he hopes he’s made some meaningful contributions.
“Basically, my job is to figure out as many things as I can to help the New England Patriots win football games,” Adams said. “In the end, that’s what we’re all about here, that’s what we do. So, whether it’s strategy, personnel or anything else. The thing that’s been great about my job is I’ve never really had any constraints put on me, I could go in any area I thought would help us and hopefully I’ve made some positive contribution.”
Belichick admitted that he’s leaned on Adams during the course of his career, saying that Adams has been such an asset and that he’ll definitely be missed.
“I’ve leaned heavily on Ernie for 21 years here and going back to Cleveland and New York, our relationship, which started at Andover, over 50 years ago,” said Belichick. “Ernie’s been a great friend, he’s certainly been a great asset to this organization and to me personally and I think that a lot of the things that he’s done have also been recognized by other coaches and other staffs in the league, a lot of people, they’re doing things that he does for different organizations but some of the things that he really I’d say started and uncovered and showed the value of ’em here. His versatility and ability to do so many different things, his passion for football is really second to none.”
4) Apparently, there’s been a feud between running back Le’Veon Bell and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, which likely won’t see him appear in a Chiefs uniform ever again.
The running back recently wrote, “I’ll never play for Andy Reid again. I’d retire first”.
The problem apparently stemmed from a comment by Reid that Bell took issue with, leading to what Bell called a “personal problem with the dude”. He didn’t reveal what that was, but it’s obvious that it’s created a rift that will see Bell playing elsewhere next season. However, he’s still a free agent and his future remains uncertain with just over a month to go until NFL training camps open.
For now, Reid took the high road, simply saying, “I enjoyed my time with him. I’m pulling for him. That’s how I roll. I wish him the best,” via Herbie Teope of the KC Star.
5) Out in Buffalo, the Bills have been quietly off of everyone’s radar this offseason but the loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game appears to still be fresh in their minds.
For quarterback Josh Allen, getting so close and coming up short is something he says has been motivating them all offseason and he’s excited to get back to work.
“The loss we had in the AFC Championship game is still sitting with us,” Allen said via USA TODAY. “No one here thinks our success last year means anything this year. So we’re recommitted to being playoff caliber to give ourselves a chance to go win a championship.”
The Bills appear to be improved on their offensive line and have enough offensive firepower to again be dangerous. The big question will likely be whether or not Allen can follow up on his most productive season to date, with the fourth-year quarterback finishing with 4544-yards passing along with 37 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions while completing nearly 70% of his throws.
Allen says he’s been working with a coach to help him keep from falling back into hold habits and he’s enjoyed getting ready for what he hopes to be a good year.
“They definitely both present their challenges,” said Allen when asked if staying taking the next step is a physical or mental challenge. “Physically just reverting to old habits, and making sure you’re staying on top of your mechanics and everything sequencing correctly. I got a guy Chris who owns Biometrics that came out last week. I did some more digital mapping of my mechanics. Just making sure I’m staying on top of that and allowing my muscle memory to kind of take that in and stop reverting back to old ways.”
“As far as mentality or understanding defenses, and really understanding how the league goes that’s just kind of going on with repetition. The more that you play, the more that you’re around, the more that you learn. It’s a fun process to be a part of.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Andy Reid Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Josh Allen Cam Newton Ernie Adams Josh Uche Kansas City Chiefs Le'Veon Bell Mac Jones New England Patriots Von Miller