Some Patriots news on this Wednesday:
O’Brien On This Year’s Group: “We’re in it Together”
Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien met with the media on Tuesday, talking about a variety of topics coming off of Sunday’s loss. One of the things he mentioned was how pleased he’s been with the fact everyone is on the same page and he believes that they’re heading in the right direction.
“I think that’s one of the really good things about this football team as we sit here today,” said O’Brien. “This is a team that’s very together and we all realize that we’re in it together. That the coaches are working hard to improve, the players are working really hard to improve, and like I’ve said from day one, it’s really a fun group to coach, and we all want to get on the right track, and we’re working very hard to do that, and we’re doing it together.”
Monday is also a day when the club took a look at the film coming off the loss to Philadelphia, and O’Brien said that time is always important as they look to make corrections.
The Patriots offensive coordinator called the session a productive one, with the overall communication being part of what he said was “a really good process” as they broke down what went wrong Sunday.
“That’s something that we really look forward to,” said O’Brien on that process. “Obviously, losing is unacceptable, and we have to change that, and we have to get back to being on the right side of the score. But at the end of the day, when we all come together and watch the tape as a unit, that’s a really good process that’s always been the process here. I think Monday was a really good day. We were able to get some things corrected. We were able to watch it together, and I think it was a really productive day. We have a lot of smart players in the room. There’s really good communication between the coaches and the players, and I think that will be a really good start to this week.”
That was the theme for much of his press conference, using the word “together” frequently when talking about this year’s group. That’s definitely a good sign coming off a tough loss, and it should certainly have fans feeling pretty optimistic heading into Sunday’s match-up against Miami.
Jones Decision-Making Draws Praise From O’Brien
O’Brien was also asked about the play of Mac Jones, who came out of Sunday’s game having completed 65% of his throws while throwing for over 300-yards for the fifth time of his career, as well as tossing three touchdown passes.
Obviously, a lot of the talk since Sunday has centered on the mistakes Jones made (the pick-six to Kendrick Bourne), along with the plays he didn’t make. However, when asked about Jones’ decision-making on the field, O’Brien praised Jones for his preparation and his approach, and he believes he’ll continue to improve this season.
“Mac’s a really good decision-maker,” said O’Brien. “Very smart, very prepared. He goes into every practice, every game, whether it was preseason or this first game, every practice, very prepared with the information that he’s received. He studies hard. He studies a lot on his own. He studies with us. He’s very regimented in the way he goes about his process getting ready each day, each week. So I think that always leads to improvement and good decision-making. So I think Mac is a really good decision-maker.”
Another thing he talked about was the fact that the two also spend time during practice working on their between-possession communication, with O’Brien saying it’s something head coach Bill Belichick allows them to do, and it obviously carries over to game day. He believes that made a big difference, and he feels that will also improve as the season continues.
“It was really good,” said O’Brien. “You know, we spend a lot of time together in the meeting rooms and on the practice field and so that carries over. The coach-to-quarterback communication was good. Bill allows us to do that in practice, so that’s really a big help when we’re able to do that in practice. Between series, we do that between team periods in practice so it’s not the first time we’ve ever done that. It’s probably hundreds of times that we’ve done that. So we understand what we’re trying to do in the game and we communicate well together.”
“I think that that process is good. It can always be better, it’ll be better from just technically using the iPad because it was raining and things like that. So technically, I’ll get better at that but just working with Mac on the sideline during the game was really good.”
Law Talks Slowing Down Tyreek Hill
Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill finished Sunday’s game in Los Angeles with a monster day, hauling in 11 receptions for 215-yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Chargers.
Clearly, he’s a dangerous player and he’s been a guy who has had some good battles against players like Jonathan Jones, who has played him pretty tough in recent meetings.
Shannon Sharpe talked about Hill recently and called him one of the “scariest guys” he’s seen, and former Patriots defensive back Ty Law agreed during his appearance on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on Tuesday and talked about what it’s like to go up against someone like Hill.
Law said that one of the big keys is getting hands on him and slowing him down is key, which is something he feels they’ll need to do against him this weekend.
“Tyreek Hill, with his speed and quickness, I always say match-ups with cornerbacks and receivers, it’s like boxing. It’s match-ups,” explained Law. “I would rather cover guys like Randy Moss, Keyshawn [Johnson], Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Eric Moulds, the bigger guys, because we can sit there and wrestle. It’s the little guys like a Tyreek Hill that gets on your nerves. That’s all they want to do is just get out and run. But once you get your hands on him, I won. But the hard part is getting your hands on him. So yes, I can see where Shannon Sharpe is coming from saying he’s one of the scariest guys because he is that fast.”
Hill was tough last season for the Patriots. He finished the first game with 8 catches for 94 yards in the opener in 2022 down in Miami, as well as finishing with 4 catches for 55 yards in their Week 17 outing with Tua Tagovailoa sidelined.
He’ll likely be a difficult match-up again this weekend, so it should be interesting to see how the Patriots approach this one.
Patriots Sign QB After Hosting Him For Workout
As things continue to play out with quarterback Matt Corral, who the club placed on the “exempt list” after he failed to show up to the facility at the end of last week, the Patriots did some additional due diligence on one NFL quarterback on Tuesday, with a workout that had been scheduled for today.
According to reports, the Patriots brought in free agent Ian Book for a workout on Wednesday, one day after he reportedly visited with the San Francisco 49ers.
Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald has since reported that Book was signed by the team following that workout and will now join the Patriots’ practice squad.
The former fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame in the 2021 draft by New Orleans has just one NFL appearance under his belt after stepping in back in Week 16 against Miami during his rookie year where he completed 12-of-20 for 135-yards, but finished without a touchdown and threw two interceptions, including a pick-six on his first series, in a 20-3 loss to the Dolphins.
Book was waived by the club the following August and spent 2022 with Philadelphia and was recently released as the team cut down to 53 during the preseason.
This preseason Book completed 12-of-19 (63.2%) without a touchdown or intereception in two appearances, with his most recent outing seeing him complete 11-of-15 for 80 yards during the Eagles’ final exhibition game against Indianapolis.
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