Monday, September 21, 2015, 5:15pm
Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained how that ratio unfolds during a conference call today.
"We go into each game and that may change a bit based on how the game's going situationally and what the matchups are and what's working and what isn't," Belichick said. "I think when you look around the league, there were maybe two teams in the league, maybe one, I don't know how many, threw the ball less than they ran it. So every team was over 50 percent passing. Some teams were around 70 percent if I remember. The Bears, teams like that. That was last year.
"But, you know, that was kind of a general trend in the league. A lot of plays are based upon run, pass, checks in the league. Teams get into more coverage-type positions and that invites the run and vice versa. It's really hard to go and do this this many times or do that this many times. Each game is different and as you get into the game it just depends on how the game's unfolding, the score and the situation, but also how the matchups are working with the personnel you're facing and what type of defenses or coverages or pressures, how you want to attack those.
Belichick referenced games in the past in which the weather conditions dictacted a more run-based approach. He used past Bills games as examples, but he could have also referenced every Colts game since the 2013 season in which the Pats ran the ball more than they threw it to great success. It depends on the situation.
"It's kind of a long answer to a short question, but the bottom line is that if it works out that we're balanced, then it's great. And if it works out that we're favoring more of one than another, that's fine too."
You never know what you're going to get form the Pats. The fantasy negative to Julian Edelman was he didn't score TDs and he had two in Week 2. Dion Lewis wasn't put in the doghouse after a fumble and had more work than LeGarrette Blount. The Pats will continue to be one of more unpredictable offenses outside of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady analyzed Sunday's 40-32 victory over the Buffalo Bills, he touched on the contributions of many. Among the group was a player who hasn't always been in that discussion.
"Aaron Dobson stepped up," he said.
Dobson, the 2013 second-round draft choice out of Marshall, turned in arguably the best game of his career in finishing with seven catches for 87 yards. The seven catches tied a career high (vs. Tampa, Sept. 22, 2013), while the 87 yards were his second highest total (130 vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 3, 2013).
Developing a rapport with Brady has been a work in progress for the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Dobson.
As a rookie, he played in 12 games with nine starts, totaling 37 receptions for 519 yards and four touchdowns. But after undergoing surgery on his foot in the offseason leading into his second season, Dobson didn't build on that momentum in 2014. He finished last season with three catches for 38 yards, landing on injured reserve in early December (hamstring) as Brandon LaFell decisively took over his role as the top outside receiver.
With Brandon LaFell currently on the physically unable to perform list, Dobson has re-emerged, and has probably now emerged on the fantasy radar as well. Of the Patriots' 86 total offensive plays against the Bills, he was on for 70 of them, playing in the two-receiver set opposite Julian Edelman and staying on in the three-receiver package.
"Well I think he's a quality practice squad player," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "He was a roster player for us. He was a roster player for Oakland. So to have that level of player on our roster, but not on our roster, it's good. It gives us a lot of quality depth there. We had that same player basically on our team, but as a roster player."
"We'll see how long it takes, but it shouldn't be too long from a relearning standpoint," Belichick continued. "He's a good learner, but to just get back in to what we're doing and all that, to be able to compete for playing time based on where he was in the year before. And it looks like, based on a short look yesterday, it looks like he still has good skills to contribute. He's got the experience to play in the slot, which he did more in Oakland than he did here. He's kind of developed some versatility, so we'll see how it goes. But I think we're happy to have him and a player of his caliber in that position."
The Pats are carrying just four receivers on the 53-man roster -- Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and undrafted rookie Chris Harper. Harper impressed in the preseason, and perhaps the Patriots were afraid to expose him to waivers if they intended to get him on the practice squad. It would seem as though Thompkins could make a push for the No. 4 receiver spot, the story said. Granted, the No. 4 receiver may not have a ton of opportunities. Expect plenty of two tight end sets with Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler early in the season. Also, if Travaris Cadet is healthy, he can line up at receiver, too.
Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell is headed to the physically unable to perform list. Arguably the second-best wideout on the Patriots' roster, LaFell tweeted Saturday the date he's eligible to return. LaFell has been recovering from a foot injury that has kept him out all preseason. LaFell led the team in wide receiver snaps a year ago. Needless to say, 10/25 can't come soon enough for Brady and the Patriots. Then again, Tom Brady has been doing more with less than just about any quarterback in the NFL for more than a decade now.
LaFell has to miss his team’s first six games, which means he’s eligible to return in Week 8. Owners in leagues with an IR spot may want to stash LaFell for the second half of the season. He should be fully healthy by then, and the Patriots will need him. Counting the postseason, LaFell racked up 87-1072-9 in his last 16 games. That would have been good enough for a #13 finish in both formats. In the meantime, with Reggie Wayne being cut, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and the rest of the Patriots' receiving corps will have an opportunity to play big snaps opposite entrenched starter Julian Edelman.
Tom Brady has beaten the NFL in the Deflategate court case, with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman nullifying the league's four-game suspension Thursday.
Brady immediately becomes a mid-level QB1 and his ADP is bound to jump a couple of rounds from the 8th/9th round into the 5th/6th range. It's a bump for all of the Patriot skill position players, especially Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Brady is dealing with a receiving corps (Brandon LaFell, Edelman) suffering from mysterious ailments, so he may not have a full complement of weapons for Week 1 against the Steelers. Still, he should provide solid QB1 numbers in 2015.
The settlement talks in the Tom Brady case haven’t led to a resolution, which means the decision on Brady’s four-game suspension will rest with Judge Richard Berman.
“We did not reach a settlement. The parties tried quite hard I think,” Berman said, via Stephen Brown of the New York Daily News. “In some case [a settlement] doesn’t happen. This is one of those cases.”
The story went on to say the ruling is likely to come on Tuesday or Wednesday. The two sides had asked Berman to rule by September 4, less than a week before the Patriots will kick off their regular season against the Steelers. Berman’s eventual ruling could uphold the suspension (while potentially allowing Brady to play pending appeal), wipe it out (which the NFL could appeal) or send the whole thing back for another appeal heard by someone other than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 12:58pm
The Pats potentially won't have an answer until Sept. 4, when Judge Richard Berman is supposed to make a ruling on Tom Brady's case. Until then, Garoppolo must prepare to be the starter, and the Pats must prepare for a quarter of the season without Brady.
They've got to feel much better about the situation after Saturday's win over the Saints.
Garoppolo went 28-of-33 for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception as he led the Pats to victory. Yes, he did it against the New Orleans backups, but he looked in command of the offense virtually the entire game, the story said.
It wasn’t only that RB Andre Williams did not possess the best hands, it was that he seemed to lose track of the football and displayed poor depth perception when asked to come out of the backfield to catch a pass.
The Giants are working on this with Williams, their muscular second-year running back and leading rusher from 2014. Williams figures to do the heavy lifting this season, with Rashad Jennings doing a little bit of everything and newly signed Shane Vereen used mostly as a pass-catcher and safety-valve option for Eli Manning after excelling in that role for Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Williams’ primary role will not be as a pass-catcher, but if he is not somewhat of a threat, opposing defense do not have to play him honestly. So Williams has made several changes to make himself more proficient.
In mid-March, he underwent Photorefractive Keratectomy laser eye surgery and now no longer needs contact lenses.
“I don’t have to worry about the strain from the lenses, and I also don’t have to worry about getting knocked in the eye and having my contact get loose or fall out,’’ Williams said. “If your contacts are cloudy or something, it’s a problem.
“It’s cool to wake up in the morning and see right away and not go to bed with the ‘I forgot to take my contacts out and my eyes hurt.’ It’s nice. Best money I ever spent so far.’’
Williams also has been working on his hand-eye coordination by catching tennis balls. Before games, Williams takes part in a blind-ball drill. With his back to running backs coach Craig Johnson, Williams has to turn and quickly locate the ball in the air as Johnson flips it to him. Like the story said, Jennings and Vereen are likely to see a bulk of the passes at the RB position, but Williams will only help himself if he can at least make defense aware. His main role looks like a change of pace back who could see short yardage and goal line situations.
Strictly judging by appearances, veteran Brandon Bolden is currently the leader in the clubhouse for Shane Vereen’s third down back role. He’s moved ahead of second-year back James White and everyone else.
Bolden has been the main man for Tom Brady as the pass catching/blocking back during the past three practices.
He was the primary guy during Friday's session. But one practice doesn’t mean much. It could be a rotation type deal. But then, he was the lead again Saturday. So we've started a trend. Three days? Can't be a coincidence. We’re onto something.
“Any work is great out here,” Bolden said today, when asked about his added reps.
Bolden has been a guy who can fill in at any RB role, but never seemed to be a permanent fixture either. It's a bit surprising because many thought the team drafted White last year to be that guy this year. The story said White has fallen even since the pads came out, however. Travaris Cadet, who filled in as a third down back as a Saint last year, got hurt Saturday and the story said he also seemed like he was going to pass White. While there's a way to go yet, the story also mentioned Brady's trust in Bolden, which could be a factor in the winner of this job. It's certainly something to continue to monitor.
It’s not unusual during New England Patriots training camp for a player or a play to excite the thousands on hand to watch the defending Super Bowl champions.
On Sunday, it was wide receiver Aaron Dobson’s turn to wow the crowd. During an 11-on-11 drill, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a deep ball down the sideline when Dobson leaped and pulled it down with a dramatic catch over cornerback Malcolm Butler. After the catch, Dobson and Butler shook hands.
“There’s always a lot of chatter out here,” Dobson said. “It’s all fun out here. We’re all teammates and we look at this as a competition.”
This is an extremely important camp for Dobson, who missed the majority of last season due to foot and hamstring injuries, the story said. He played only four regular-season games and was placed on injury reserve in December. Despite all the setbacks in 2014, Dobson said he’s put all of that in the past and he’s focused on making his presence felt during camp. Dobson has shown his potential at times in the past, and the fact he's still around may very well say a lot in terms of how the team feels about him. From a fantasy perspective, it's a pretty deep group of WRs on the Pats, and you also have to factor in TE Rob Gronkowski as the top target.
Brady was suspended four games in May after footballs used by the Patriots during the AFC Championship Game against the Colts were found to be inflated under the minimum level prescribed by the league. Along with the NFL Players Association, Brady challenged his penalty and testified before Goodell at an appeal hearing last month.
Brady was suspended on May 11 after a report by Ted Wells, an investigator contracted by the league, asserted Brady's connection to the deflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship Game, which the Patriots won, 45-7. Wells did not allege that Brady himself improperly handled the footballs, but the investigator wrote that he believed Brady was "at least generally aware" of the alleged involvement of Patriots staff in deflating the footballs. Wells also noted that Brady did not fully cooperate with his requests during the investigation.
As it stands, Brady is suspended for the first four games, so his current ranking (which is dependent on his full season projections) is not reflective of his true value. If he decides to pursue the issue in the court system, he could get an injunction allowing him to play while the matter is settled. Given the allegations that he had his phone destroyed ahead of time, he may elect to take his medicine and serve his suspension. If he’s still around in the 10th/11th round, an Angry Tom strategy could be effective. Owners can draft Brady along with another quarterback (Carson Palmer?) later in the draft and stream the position until Brady returns in Week 6. Brady should return with a chip on his shoulder and provide good production down the stretch. Who knows, if he sues and wins an injunction, he could play Week 1.
Monday, July 27, 2015, 10:17am
Pats WR Aaron Dobson, reveal thyself.
This season — or maybe even this month — will define the second-rounder’s career after a pair of injury-plagued seasons. Dobson had a terrific first half in 2013 before a major foot injury derailed his rookie season and sabotaged his sophomore campaign, which ultimately ended when he popped his hamstring in Green Bay.
Quarterback Tom Brady showed spurts of trust with Dobson in the spring, so there’s reason to believe in the Marshall product who redesigned his offseason schedule with the goal of strengthening his lower body and preventing future injuries.
Julian Edelman has become a legitimate No. 1 receiver, even if tight end Rob Gronkowski is the offense’s top weapon. If Brandon LaFell builds upon his inaugural season with the Pats and Danny Amendola’s postseason momentum carries over (he restructured his contract to stay), that’s a nice trio, the story said. The story also pointed out that those WRs were also blessed with good health and that's not something you can always count on, thus the importance of Dobson to emerge.
Thursday, June 11, 2015, 5:18pm
The team on Thursday will sign veteran backup Matt Flynn, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. Flynn will join a quarterback room that expects to start second-year passer Jimmy Garoppolo against the Steelers come Week 1.
The NFL took deflate-gate very seriously, hammering the New England Patriots with unheard of punishment in the matter of deflated footballs.
The league announced Monday that quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games, the team was fined $1 million and will lose its 2016 first-round draft pick and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
If Brady doesn't win his (probable) appeal, his fantasy value will take a huge hit. The Patriots have a Week 4 bye, so he wouldn't be available to owners until Week 6. Jimmy Garoppolo will likely get the start in his place. One potential strategy would be to stream the position until his return, but it depends on how far his ADP falls. With a four game suspension, he won't be ranked in the top 25 in our initial projections. This will be a case of where his season-long ranking won't jibe with what he'll produce on a per game basis upon his return. The loss of Brady for four games will negatively impact the entire New England offense, though they have survived before without him (in 2008 with Matt Cassel). Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell all take a small hit.
Adam Schefter guesses that Patriots QB Tom Brady will face 'some sort of suspension' for DeflateGateThursday, May 7, 2015, 1:15pm
So what comes next for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots?
That's up for the NFL to determine. The Wells Report didn't find absolute evidence that the Patriots tampered with footballs. It found reason to believe they did.
ESPN's Adam Schefter appeared on WEEI Thursday morning to offer his take.
"If I had to guess, and I want to emphasize this is a guess, my guess is that Tom Brady is going to get some sort of suspension, a short suspension," Schefter said, via WEEI.com. "He's going to appeal it. He's going to have grounds to appeal it. He may even waive the appeal and this whole thing about air pressure in footballs continues to go on and detract from a sport and a defending world champion in a completely unnecessary way."
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