Giants key pass-rusher ailing after practice crash


Giants key pass-rusher ailing after practice crash

FOXBORO - The Patriotstopic du semaine has been the Giants devastating pass rush. You may remember it well. The Giants may have taken an unexpected personnel hit on Thursday though. Jason Pierre-Paul, who leads the Giants with 8.5 sacks, injured his neck during practice.

Pierre-Paul sat out Friday's practice. Also watching were wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who hasn't practiced all week, and Ahmad Bradshaw. So the Giants may be without their leading receiver, running back and pass rusher. Could be a boon for New England, but the Steelers didn't have James Harrison, James Farrior and Hines Ward last week and things worked OK for them. Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick lauded Pierre-Paul, a second-year player out of South Florida. "We played against him in last year in preseason and just from last year to this year he's improved," said Belichick. "He's a great talent. He's long, very athletic, fast, quick. He's got good power. He runs well. He makes plays in pursuit. But from a technique standpoint, just overall understanding, recognizing draws, screens, the different pass sets, those kind of things. You can see he's made a lot of improvement over the last year."The Giants took Pierre-Paul with the 15th overall pick last year. Belichick was just getting warmed up with his raving with those opening statements.

"He's a good football player," Belichick added. "He's very disruptive. They play him everywhere too. Which is another sign that when you move a player around he must be catching on fairly well. He plays on our left side, on our right side, plays inside. ....He's a very disruptive player and they put him in a lot of different spots. When you come out of the huddle offensively, you're not sure where he's gonna be. There's not a lot of defensive lineman you can say that about. Usually they play one spot, maybe two, but he can pretty much be anywhere."Makes you wonder if the Patriots might have been interested in Pierre-Paul if he was on the board when they chose. Then you remember they don't draft guys who rush the passer and dismiss the notion entirely.
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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars


BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

0:41 - Tom Curran and Albert Breer discuss some of the big takeaways from the Patriots win over the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

4:49 - Jalen Ramsey told the fans in Jacksonville that the Jaguars would be going to the Super Bowl. Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith talk about if they have a problem with what Ramsey said and if the Patriots would be using his quote as bulletin board material.

9:25 - Curran, Breer, and Giles discuss Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels likely not returning with the Patriots as Patricia seems to be headed towards the Lions while McDaniels goes to the Colts.

14:06 - Michael Hurley joins BST to preview the Jaguars/Patriots matchup and discuss the Patriots schedule and road to the Super Bowl. 

Patriots react to Ramsey's guarantee: He should be confident


Patriots react to Ramsey's guarantee: He should be confident

FOXBORO -- Patriots players didn't seem all that bothered by Jalen Ramsey's proclamation that the Jaguars would win the AFC title game and head to Minnesota for the Super Bowl. 

"I ain't got too much to say, but y'all make sure you bring that same energy out here next week and the week after," Ramsey said in Jacksonville following his team's win in Pittsburgh. "We're going to the Super Bowl and we're going to win that (expletive). We're going to win that (expletive)."

Asked about those comments on Monday, Patriots captain Matthew Slater showed no hint of disapproval. 

"Man, that guy’s really good," Slater said. "And he should be confident, because he’s very, very good. The good Lord made that guy, and he said, ‘Let there be corner.’ And there he is. I’d be confident if I were him, as well."

Ramsey was named a First-Team All-Pro for his work on the outside opposite Second-Team All-Pro corner AJ Bouye. They make up arguably the best cornerback duo in football, and Ramsey has already established himself as one of the best at his position despite being just 23 years old and in his second pro season.

"Hey, man, Jalen Ramsey’s a good player," Patriots captain Duron Harmon said. "He talks a lot of trash. That’s part of his game, and you can’t take that away from him. He’s confident. He should be confident in his team. He has a really good football team. The top two AFC teams are left, and he’s a part of one of them.

"His approach to the game is different than ours, but we can’t knock him for it. We know they’re going to come ready to play, and we’ve just got to match their type of physicality and also just their emotion and their readiness to get ready to play."

Ramsey's best work as a trash-talker came eariler this season after he shut down Bengals wideout AJ Green. What he said about the AFC Championship was certainly a step (or several) below that in terms of its intensity, and judging by their reaction Monday, it seems to be a mere blip on the Patriots' radar.