Patriots

Mallett: It's hard to play catch-up in this offense

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Mallett: It's hard to play catch-up in this offense

FOXBORO -- Without a doubt, Ryan Mallett worked his tail off to get in shape this offseason. The results are obvious enough.
"I've lost a little fat," he said Friday. "I feel stronger, I feel quicker."
But more important than cutting fried food out of his diet was his dedication to the offense. Mallett doesn't shy away from the fact that he felt behind in his rookie season. He's just relieved he's made progress.
I was lost sometimes last year because I wasnt here from Day 1 of the camp, he admitted.
I think having a spring under my belt and going back to day one of how we do things is the stuff that I missed last year from Day 1. So I was trying to play catch-up last year and its hard to play catch-up in this offense.

There was no question to Mallett's standing last season: Backup to the quarterback's backup. He's hoping this year -- with no NFL lockout in his way -- to at least make a pass at that No. 2 spot.
Patriots director of personnel Nick Caserio hasn't discounted the possibility.
"I think its been a pretty good competition," Caserio said during his morning press conference. "I know Bill Belichick alluded to this the other day, I think, the competition between Brian Hoyer and Ryan has been pretty good.
"Theyve both had their share of good plays; theyve both had their share of bad plays. I think the most important thing is to try to eliminate the number of bad plays or mental mistakes or whatever it may be."
Unfortunately for Mallett, there have been several.
Despite his optimism ("I feel like I know what's going on, making smarter reads, protecting the ball.) he's been inconsistent at best. It seems for every pretty play there is a corresponding interception, ball in the dirt, or show of indecision. More than once during camp, the coaches have him in drills that don't have much to do with passing.
He's young, yet.
And a young quarterback being around a player like Tom Brady can't hurt. The way Caserio sees it, even if the veteran doesn't have a lot of personal time to devote to Mallett's development, communication is good enough in the meeting rooms that some wisdom can be gleaned.
Mallett will take whatever he can get.
I feel like you can always take the knowledge that theyve learned over the years and apply it to your game. You learn, you work on all the little things, then overall all the big things when it comes to the team drills," he said.
Its a process, but I feel a lot more comfortable.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

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