Patriots

Winston on playing 'inspiration' Brady: 'A chance to witness greatness'

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Winston on playing 'inspiration' Brady: 'A chance to witness greatness'

The question seemed pretty generic. It had to do with the opportunity the Bucs had in front of them with the Patriots coming to town on Thursday night.

Where the answer went from there painted a picture of a young man getting the opportunity to play against his idol for the first time. The young man in this instance is Jameis Winston. His idol? Tom Brady, whom he'll be tasked with trying to beat.

"Really just a blessing for me personally," Jameis Winston said. "I don’t like talking about me, but to get a chance to witness greatness in front of us with Tom Brady coming into town, it gets you pumped up. It definitely makes you think about how hard you worked to get to this point. I’m thinking about what I’m going to say to him when I see him and meet him."

Winston watched film of Brady and others in the offseason, which was a quasi-continuation of what he did growing up, following Brady and his contemporaries from afar as a fan.

"Growing up, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, guys of that nature and more, every successful quarterback that was playing when I was coming up, I admired them," he said. "Tom Brady, in particular, he is the winningest. He has won more Super Bowls than each of those guys, so to me that is the most important part.

"His ability to protect the football and take advantage of those opportunities when they are given to him is impeccable. Just studying him, just seeing how calm he is [and] how precise he is, is very impressive. That is the reason why every offseason, every rep I get during the season that I’m trying to be better and better because I know that he’s still out there playing. He’s still getting better and better. He should be an inspiration."

Winston is one of the best young quarterbacks in football, who has shown improvement already from last season to this one, but there is certainly room for him to be more precise. He's completing 63 percent of his passes this year (19th in the NFL) and averaging a pick per game through three games. But thanks to some big-play weapons and an ability to extend plays within the pocket, Winston's numbers in terms of rating (No. 10 in the league) in terms of rating and he's sixth in the league in yards per attempt.

Winston -- who Brady touted as "a great leader, has been since he came into the league" -- said he won't necessarily take his leadership cues from Brady. He has a style all his own he's taken with him to the league from Florida State.

But in terms of playing style? He's open to being more like the guy who he considers walking, talking, passing greatness.

“You see his leadership with his team. We have all different types of leadership within teams," Winston explained. "Obviously, he’s a great leader, [but] I’m talking about play because that is very important. Imitating his leadership is huge, but the way that he plays . . . if you can imitate that, you’ll have more people happier with you."
 

QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense

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QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense

Jerod Mayo talks with Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry about the Patriots AFC Championship matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

(2:00) Jerod Mayo gives his X’s and O’s breakdown of the Jaguars defensive schemes and traits.

(5:00) Jerod gives his opinion on how the Patriots offense should attack the Jaguars defense.

(8:30) Could Gronkowski be the key to the Patriots offense? What would be the best way to use him?

(15:00) Does the Jaguars defense have a weakness against vertical routes?

(17:00) Jerod Mayo explains why James White could be a key once again for the Patriots. 

(21:00) Will Jaguars change their defensive scheme after allowing 42 to the Steeler?

(23:00) Will much will the Jaguars having the ‘nothing to lose’ mindset impact the game?

Replacing Patriots coordinators not easy, but 'the culture is built'

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Replacing Patriots coordinators not easy, but 'the culture is built'

FOXBORO -- The Patriots are looking at losing both coordinators, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels, to head coaching jobs in the near future. When it happens, that will prompt questions. What's next? How will this impact the on-the-field product? What about the culture?

The short answer: As long as Bill Belichick is around, the Patriots will be the Patriots. The expectations. The culture. The schemes. They all remain. 

"I mean, I believe so," said Patriots captain Duron Harmon. "The culture is built. The culture is built. This is two decades of winning. A winning franchise. Coach Belichick is going to make sure whoever is in the defensive room is going to be the right guy to display the message and the picture that he wants his defense to play with. That goes through the defensive coordinator, whoever he hires."

That's not to say that filling the coordinator job on either side of the football will be easy. Consistency at those positions has value, whether it's in how new players pick up the system, or how certain fundamentals are taught. 

"Whenever you're trying to get something done professionally, to be able to have consistent leadership and foundation upon which to build is important," Patriots captain Matthew Slater said. "A consistent message, understanding what you're trying to get done. And we're fortunate not only with Josh but obviously Coach Belichick and the rest of our coaching staff.

"That consistency with the character of the coach, with the message of the coach, with what he demands of you is important because it helps set a standard. And then when players come in you say, 'OK this is what's expected of me and anything less is not going to be good enough.' " 

Harmon acknowledged that the consistency of having one coordinator in place for several years -- both Patricia and McDaniels have held their titles since 2012 -- can help. But, as just Slater pointed out the consistency coming from the team's head coach, Harmon explained that everything starts with Belichick.

"It's important," Harmon said of having consistency on staff. "Not only is it important coming from the defensive coordinator, but it's important coming from the head coach. Coach Belichick does a great job of always portraying the message he wants, and how he wants his team to play, and it goes through the coordinators and then to the position coaches and then to the players. I think the consistency is not always built straight from the defensive coordinator. I think Coach Belichick does a great job of doing that as well."

It won't be an easy job to replace McDaniels and Patricia when they leave, particularly since the favorites to be their successors could in theory leave with them. But as long as Belichick remains, so too will the standard he's set.