Some news and notes on this Friday:
1) The league may have released the 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule last week, but one bit of mystery locally was that the date and kickoff times of each of the preseason games for the New England Patriots were still unknown.
That bit of news finally came to light Thursday when each of the dates and times for their three preseason contests was confirmed.
The Patriots will play each of their first two exhibition games at Gillette Stadium, with the initial game coming against the New York Giants on Thursday, August 11th at 7:00 pm. They’ll follow that up with another home game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday, August 19th at 7:00 pm.
From there, they’ll make their first trip to Las Vegas to take on Josh McDaniels and the Raiders, which will be played on Friday August 26th at 8:15 pm ET.
New England also plays a regular-season game out in Vegas, with another visit scheduled for December 18th in a Sunday night game against the Raiders.
That game comes following a meeting on the road against the Arizona Cardinals on December 12th and will likely see the Patriots stay out west for an additional week leading up to what could be a critical week 15 Conference match-up against Las Vegas, depending on their record at that point.
For now, given much of the controversy after the most recent draft, it’s probably safe to say that training camp can’t get here soon enough. The rookies have already started minicamp, but media coverage isn’t expected to begin on that until next week when reporters finally have access.
2) Apparently Ryan Fitzpatrick felt the need to take a shot at Tom Brady, with the former Dolphins quarterback bringing up an odd revelation during a recent appearance on ESPN’s America’s Caddie.
On the episode, host Michael Collins asked Fitzpatrick about his favorite moment during his 17-year career, which included seeing him play for nine different teams.
His answer was just bizarre.
“Beating Tom Brady, after the first time, because after the first time he didn’t shake my hand,” said Fitzpatrick via Insider.com.
That meeting came against Brady during 2011, when Fitzpatrick was the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills and it was a tough day all around as the Patriots let that one completely get away from them.
Brady threw four touchdowns and four interceptions that afternoon, with the turnovers contributing to New England blowing a 21-0 lead as the Bills finished that game outscoring the Patriots 34-10 from that point.
That included Buffalo scoring 17 fourth quarter points to pull off the 34-31 win, which also saw Brady throw a pick-six with the score knotted at 24-24 with just over 10-minutes left to give the Bills a 31-24 advantage.
Brady would later tie things back up on the ensuing drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker, but the Bils and Fitzpatrick finished off the day with a game-winning drive that saw Ryan Lindell hit a 28-yard walk off field goal for the win.
Fitzpatrick then highlighted another similar moment between the two.
“I was on the Jets and I had to chase him down on the 50-yard line,” Fitzpatrick continued, speaking of their second meeting. “Apparently, he hates losing more than everybody else hates losing. When he does lose, I want a handshake.”
That loss came during the 2015 Patriots season in Week 16 in a frustrating 26-20 overtime defeat on the road in which Fitzpatrick threw three touchdowns and no interceptions for the Jets.
Brady never touched the football in that overtime period, as New England won the toss but deferred the football on the coin flip. But Fitzpatrick started things off with a 48-yard pass to then Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa, which got New York deep into scoring territory and then followed that up two plays later with a deep pass to Brandon Marshall.
From there, Fitzpatrick delivered the dagger with a six-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker, sealing the victory for New York.
That game was difficult, as they were already shorthanded without both Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. To make matters worse, they also lost right tackle Sebastian Vollmer just five plays into the game.
It left Brady with few targets and, with Vollmer gone, little protection, as Brady saw himself sacked twice and hit five times.
So given the context behind each of the two losses, it’s understandable why Brady was frustrated and eager to get off the field.
For the journeyman quarterback, it sounds like his most memorable highlights Fitzpatrick enjoyed was inflicting some misery for the future Hall of Fame QB.
However, at the same time, if those were truly the best moments of his entire career, that’s actually a little sad.
But then again, this is a guy who obviously felt pretty great about himself, so there’s that:
3) Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal had a good piece on rookie draft pick Cole Strange, highlighting his athleticism during his workouts leading up to the draft.
The former standout from Chattanooga spent time working at Peak Kinetic Performance, with Strange showing off some impressive agility and strength during his workout.
They posted a video from his workouts, which for a guy who is 6’5″, 310 pounds, is fairly amazing given that Strange doesn’t look at all that large.
“Just like a guy, a 6-5, 310 just rolling and moving like that — looking like a kid almost, you’re just like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ ” trainer Gannon Hampton said. “This guy is just very freakishly athletic.”
The @Patriots had the best pick in the draft with @ColeStrange2
Easily the hardest worker in the draft. He’s an absolute monster.
I’ve never seen a man this size move like that! #nfldraft #pkpathlete pic.twitter.com/fDsbakIJ7G
— PeakKineticPerformance (@peak_kinetic) April 29, 2022
Gannon talked about the fact that for Strange to have the physical tools to perform the way he did, he was extremely surprised.
“It’s deceiving, like when you first see him. He’s not fat in the slightest,” Hampton said. “We tested his body-fat percentage and his was ridiculously good, but it is crazy for someone at 310 pounds. Just seeing him move, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ He has a 10-foot broad jump and just seeing the guy accelerate — we do some half-kneeling sprints and different stuff — and it’s like watching a horse get started.
“I’ve worked with some guys for NFL Combine prep who ended up getting drafted in the third, fourth round and seeing Cole move like that at that size and seeing how athletic and truly nimble he is shocked me, honestly.”
There’s some more great stuff on the rookie in the article, which you can read here.
4) Another funny moment regarding Strange came from MassLive on Friday, with Chris Mason pointing out what transpired when Strange got the call from the Patriots.
Apparently, Strange didn’t believe what was happening, believing that the call was a prank. That led him to actually question the initial call before Bill Belichick eventually got on the line.
“(Cole) said, ‘Sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all, but I’ve gotta know because I’ve got some crazy friends. Is this a prank?’”, Greg Strange, Cole’s father, said of his son’s moment, “The guy said, ‘Hold on just a second.’ And then Bill Belichick got on the phone and of course, unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, you know Bill Belichick’s voice.”
“As soon as I heard Bill Belichick’s voice, Cole and I both started screaming and hugging and acting crazy. Probably saying a bunch of inappropriate stuff. We were so excited. To his credit, you’ve gotta love the guy, Belichick is sitting there and when we got through, the first break he had, he said, ‘Hey Cole, you’ve gotta act like you’ve been there, man.’ It was classic to us. We absolutely loved it.”
Needless to say, it sounds like the rookie was just as surprised as everyone else to be heading to Foxboro as that moment will remain a terrific story behind how his Patriots career began.
5) We’ll leave you with this one. Julian Edelman appeared on AlltheSmoke, and provided a great story looking back on how Bill Belichick used to hilariously demoralize players during film sessions.
In the segment, Edelman recalled a moment where he dropped a pass in practice and Belichick took him to task in front of absolutely everyone.
“He’ll just demoralize you,” explained Edelman. “He had BillTube, it was like lowlights. After practice, he would throw on the next day, the morning, or something a bunch of s****y fundamental plays that we would do in practice. If you dropped the ball in the flat or something, he would sit there and he would rewind it. And this is in front of the whole team, f****n 60 guys.”
“He would sit there and rewind it like three or four times right where the drop is, right where the drop is, right where the drop is. Then he would look at the crowd of the team, because it’s like a pavilion, and then he would say, ‘You mean to tell me, you can’t make a wide route catch in the National f****n Football League? We’ve got kids in Foxboro High School that can make this play.'”
“Then he would rewind it like four times, then he would chime in again, ‘Like me and F****n Ernie [Adams] could make this play.‘ Then he would rewind it, and then he’d go back and ‘You a******s‘.”
“You’d be just sitting there, like if it was on you, like, ‘Aw f**k, Jesus, can we stop it, just the embarassment?'”
“I’ve seen 3,000 f*****g guys make this catch in this league.”
“Like, that’s how he is. The way he makes fun of guys is extremely funny, and demoralizing because he can bring in facts and players from … Like ‘You think you’re f*****n LT (Lawrence Taylor)? I’ve played with the best, I’ve coached the best f****n… ‘ Like, he’s seen so much football that he can just demoralize you with something he says along those lines.”
You can see the segment on the above here as it’s definitely funnier hearing Edelman tell it:
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: New England Patriots