Belichick irked by question about Sheard's lack of playing time

Belichick irked by question about Sheard's lack of playing time

Jabaal Sheard played in just 16 snaps against the Seahawks on Sunday night, and only four of those came in the second half. It was a eyebrow-raising use of personnel given that Sheard, who was not dealing with any apparent injury, is perhaps the team's most physically-gifted defensive end. 

After the game, Sheard had no explanation for the amount of playing time he was given.

"That's just the game, man," Sheard said. "[That's] how the game goes . . . I'm just upset we lost, man. Try to bounce back and get ready for San Fran next week."

In Sheard's place, second-year player Trey Flowers saw 61 snaps and found himself in the Seahawks backfield on two seaparate occasions for sacks. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after the game that Flowers, like any player, earned his playing time. 

"There's really no difference for any players on the team," Belichick said. "Everybody earns their playing time. Players that play the best earn the playing time. If they play better than another player then they play more than the other player. If another player plays better than them, then they play less than the other guy. You earn your opportunities. You earn your playing time. That's the way it is."

When asked about the time Sheard's usage during a conference call on Tuesday, Belichick declined to provide specifics.

"Yeah, well again, that’s the kind of question that I get every week," Belichick said. "If one player’s numbers are a little bit higher and then others’ are a little bit lower, it’s basically the same question that you just asked, but change the players’ names around and it’s a weekly question. Again, there are a lot of things that go into our decision-making, game plans, matchups, the way the game unfolds, the type of game it is, which we could talk about a number of different things that fall into that category.

"In the end, we play the players that we feel like will give us the best opportunity in any given situation in a particular game, or the way that that game happens to unfold based on what our opponents are doing and how the game situations play out. Players that play, they play. The ones that are inactive are inactive. To a point, play time is based on performance, but it’s also affected by situations and the type of game and type of matchups that that particular game, that are particular to the characteristics of that game."

Going into Sunday, Sheard had started in every game this season and played in 70 percent of the team's snaps. When Belichick was posed a follow-up about the surprising nature of his decision to keep Sheard out -- though Sheard didn't do much with the snaps he saw -- the once coach once again deflected.

"We’ll have the same conversation next week about two or three other players, and then the week before and the week after that," Belichick said. "So that’s the question, that’s my answer. Sorry, that’s the best I can do."

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did. 


Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

AP Photo

Eyeing a QB, Jets trade up to No. 3 pick

After missing out on coveted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets signed Teddy Bridgewater and brought back Josh McCown as short-term solutions at QB, but with the trade they made with the Colts on Saturday, their future franchise QB could be drafted next month.

The Jets acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the April 26 draft from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the sixth overall pick, two 2018 second-round picks (37th and 49th) and a 2019 second-rounder.

UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold are considered the top QBs in the draft. The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants have the first two picks, the Browns have No. 4, too, and could be eyeing a QB. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley could be among the top picks as well. 

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