Belichick: Ball security is important...even for defensive linemen


Belichick: Ball security is important...even for defensive linemen

Don't tell Bill Belichick that ball-security is something that only running backs, receivers and tight ends have to worry about.

In his breakdown of some of the top plays from his team's win over the Jets last weekend, Belichick pointed out that one of the key plays of the game hinged on defensive end Trey Flowers holding onto the football. 

The play began with good, physical coverage in the secondary, which helped lead to Chris Long's game-changing strip-sack. Then came Flowers' big moment. 

"[Long] powers into [left tackle Ben Ijalana] and then works to the edge. One of the things that helps us here is jamming the receivers initially at the line of scrimmage," Belichick explained. "That just -- if you watch [Ryan] Fitzpatrick -- just forces him to hang onto the the ball just for that second clutch, and that's where Chris gets him and Trey makes the fumble recovery."

Belichick added: "Trey does a good job of securing it . . . We've talked about ball-security and taking care of the ball. You don't think you're going to be talking about that with a defensive lineman, but it ended up being one of the most important plays of the game."

Belichick also highlighted a pair of offensive plays late in the game. 

The first was Malcolm Mitchell's go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Patriots deployed Mitchell and Julian Edelman on the same side of the formation. With the Jets in man-to-man coverage, Tom Brady's receivers could have crossed and used a pick or "rub" action. Instead, with both Jets defenders playing inside leverage, both receivers broke outside.

"One of the things they could do, if they combo this, we could go one in, one out, and run right into 'em," Belichick said. "If we send both guys in the same direction, then it makes it a little bit tougher for them to cover, unless they happen to have that leverage. In this case, they were both inside, and we ran both players outside."

Belichick also gave credit to Cam Fleming -- often subbing in at tight end with Rob Gronkowski out -- as well as pulling right guard Shaq Mason and fullback James Develin as those three helped pave the way for LeGarrette Blount's game-sealing run. The 23-yard scamper allowed the Patriots to drain the clock and pick up their second straight win on the road.

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

1:20 - Despite throwing a depleted roster out there, the Celtics were able to get back in the win column vs. the Magic. Michael Holley and Tommy Heinsohn break down the win.

6:17 - Finally, the Patriots have done something! On Friday night it was reported that New England signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn as well as running back Jeremy Hill. Tom Curran, Alex Giaimo and Ben Volin discuss the impact these additions will have on the team.

11:05 - While the Celtics were able to pull out the win on Friday, the team did announce that Marcus Smart is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. A. Sherrod Blakely expresses his optimism on Smart’s return for the playoffs.