Patriots

Lack of Wilson propaganda no big deal for Belichick, Patriots

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Lack of Wilson propaganda no big deal for Belichick, Patriots

FOXBORO - Bill Belichick doesn't care whether people think Tavon Wilson was off-the-radar, under-the-radar or through-the-radar.

Matter of fact, he doesn't care much for the radar in general.

Asked Friday night about the fact Wilson, the 48th pick, wasn't invited to the NFL Combine or easy to find in the exhaustive draft guides, Belichick said, "Similar situation with (Sebastian) Vollmer a couple of years ago. We drafted guys I think one year, didnt we draft like three of four guys that were non-Combine guys (2009: Vollmer, Rich Ohrnberger, Julian Edelman)?

"Some guys play in all-star games, some guys dont," Belichick added. "I dont know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I dont know who picks the Combine for that matter. How does (Miami of Ohio offensive lineman Brandon) Brooks not get invited to the Combine? How did Vollmer not get invited to the Combine? I dont know. We cant really worry about that. We just have to try to evaluate them the best we can. If theyre there, theyre there. If theyre not, theyre not. If they play in an all-star game, we look at it. If they dont, they dont."

Belichick was also asked about trading in this draft. The Wilson pick brought that on. With a player who seemed so lightly regarded around the league other than in Foxboro, why not trade down, add picks and get Wilson later. Belichick was asked about the "trade value chart" made famous by Jimmy Johnson.

"To make a trade, you have to have two people agree to it," Belichick pointed out. "So if two people agree, then whatever it is, its a good trade if youre willing to accept the terms that someone else is willing to give you and vice versa. If it works for both teams, then you have a trade. If it doesnt, it doesnt make a difference what any chart says or what any value is. If two teams arent willing to make the exchange, then you dont have a trade. I dont care what the chart says."

So did the Patriots field any calls about that 48th pick, any offers about dropping back?

"Again, each pick is its own pick," said Belichick. "Im not going to get into analysis on every call that was made. Honestly, I cant remember them all anyway."

The Patriots' only healthy QB offers little insight on Brady injury

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The Patriots' only healthy QB offers little insight on Brady injury

FOXBORO -- Brian Hoyer did his best Sgt, Schultz impression Thursday afternoon.

He saw nothing, he knows nothing and, had we asked him, Hoyer probably would have denied even Tom Brady’s existence. The Patriots backup quarterback has been thrust into the spotlight because of the right-hand injury Brady suffered in practice Wednesday. Though Brady appeared at the media access portion of today’s session, the team listed him on the injury report as not having participated. That would mean Hoyer -  as the team’s only healthy signal caller - had to get more reps than usual, right? 

“Define what is usual,” he said. “Since I’ve been here there’s been days where I’ve taken a lot of reps and days where I’ve taken any. I just do what’s asked of me.”

MORE BRADY:

So, you were asked to do more today?

“You’ll have to check the injury report. I don’t know if they put that on there or not.”

Okay then. This was just the beginning of a question-and-answer session that provided many of the former and almost none of the latter. Hoyer said he “wasn’t there” when the injury happened. When asked if Brady threw any passes today, the normally genial Hoyer paused before saying tersely, “you have to ask somebody else that question. I’m not going to answer that question.”

There were also a couple of “I’m not going to speak for him” or “you have to ask him” responses. Not unexpected given the nature of the queries but also handled better by every player we spoke to today, from Trey Flowers saying he’s not a hand doctor to James White joking the world will never know how Brady was injured to Kyle Van Noy saying of Brady: “He always looks good. He’s handsome”.

What Hoyer did have a good handle on was what he needs to do to be ready if his number does get called Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

“I prepare every week like I’m going to play,” he said. “Whether I do or don’t...that’s not really up to me. I did the one thing I can benefit from since I was the backup here - I played a lot of football. I’ve been a starter for three different teams. I know how to prepare as a starter. Whether I’m given those reps or not, each rep I’m not getting I take as a mental rep. I stand back there and I go through and I try to think who I’d go to, who would I’d make the Mike [middle linebacker] on this play. Whether I’m getting the reps or not I’m always preparing to play because you never know when your name is going to be called.”

The Patriots hope it doesn’t come to that. Hell, maybe even Hoyer hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“If I don’t play, that’s good for our team.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Brady injury has moved Patriots-Jaguars line 1.5 points

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Brady injury has moved Patriots-Jaguars line 1.5 points

FOXBORO -- You would have to be either supremely confident or supremely behind on current events to place a bet on the Patriots in this weekend's AFC title game. 

Tom Brady suffered a hand injury in Wednesday's practice and he was held out of Thursday's session (for all but the stretching portion), leaving him one final chance to practice on Friday before the Jaguars make their way to Gillette Stadium for a shot at a Super Bowl berth. 

MORE BRADY:

It's unclear how Brady's hand issue will impact his ability to play on Sunday. The expectation is that he will play, but his effectiveness . . . for now seems somewhat uncertain. And the line has moved as a result. 

The Patriots were once nine-point favorites at Caesars Palace, and they are now favored by 7.5 points. Westgate's line made the same move from Patriots -9 to Patriots -7.5. 

For those who feel as though Brady will be OK as he takes on the league's top-ranked passing defense, this represents a golden opportunity. For everyone else, this is probably a good time to focus your gambling efforts on the NFC Championship Game.