Patriots

Patricia: Getting to know Talib is 'great'

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Patricia: Getting to know Talib is 'great'

There are a lot of questions regarding Aqib Talib since the Patriots traded for him, just not many answers.

That should change now that the cornerback's suspension was lifted Monday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

After giving reporters little on his conference call last week, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia finally surrendered his initial impressions this Tuesday.

"I had the opportunity to meet with him yesterday and just get caught up a little bit. That was all good," Patricia said. "Obviously were evaluating as the week goes, but were excited to get going with this week and get ready for Indianapolis. Well certainly see how that goes. But as far as getting a chance to get to know him, it was great. Professional, the guys been in the league, so no problems there."

Part of the hubbub surrounding Talib involves the fact New England made a move at all. The NFL's trade deadline is notoriously quiet. For the Patriots to go after a veteran cornerback -- and a wildcard because of off-field issues -- signals acquiescence to the serious needs of the secondary.

Last year the pass defense gave up the second-most yards in the league at 293.9 per game. Apparently, rising to No. 29 (285.3 average yards allowed) after another half a year isn't good enough after all.

It's hard to imagine Talib won't help.

But it won't be because the job is easy. Patricia was asked if cornerback is an easier position for a traded player to slide into. As to why, the reporter pointed to the independent work, the isolated match ups that are covered there.

Patricia sees it differently.

"I wouldnt really say hes an individual working on his own because as a defensive unit youre going to work together as an entire group because all the pieces work together in a scheme," he explained. "Its different for every position. If youre in the middle between two guys at linebacker and youre trying to communicate to both ends, its going to be a different dynamic than if youre to a particular side where youre communicating to one or two players inside of you right or left. Its obviously all a little bit different.

"I dont really think you can say that any position in the NFL is easy to step into. Obviously all the positions have fundamental skills and techniques along with different scheme responsibilities. They all have quite a bit of work that goes into playing them."

After a long wait, Talib hit the books this week. He'll see how it all translates on the field at Wednesday's practice.

As for how fast he learns, where he lines up, and how well he fits in with the Patriots . . . Those questions could be answered Sunday.

Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire

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Indy columnist rips Colts for Josh McDaniels hire

Gregg Doyel hates Josh McDaniels. 

That's the only takeaway one can have after reading Doyel's latest column in the Indy Star, anyway. In it, Doyel writes that McDaniels, who is expected to be hired as Colts head coach, already got his chance to prove his chops as a head coach in Denver and showed he stinks. 

Writes Doyel: 

We get a clean slate just once, same as Josh McDaniels, and his came in 2009 when he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos. And in less than two years he spray-painted so much graffiti on there that the Broncos fired him for a variety of reasons, so take your pick: his abrasive personality, his horrific judgment of talent, his team’s penchant for losing games, or those broken NFL rules.

Here in Indianapolis, where Josh McDaniels is about to be entrusted with our city’s crown jewel – he’s expected to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts – are we to pretend Denver didn’t happen?

Doyel also refers to a 2013 quote from former Broncos punter Mitch Berger, who compared playing for McDaniels to playing for an "equipment manager" and called him a "punk." Then there's this from Doyel, who likes where Berger's going with the "punk" talk: 

I still can’t believe this is happening. Can’t believe McDaniels will soon be hired by the Colts, and entrusted with Andrew Luck. Can’t believe he was the hottest commodity on the coaching market this fall. McDaniels is Lane Kiffin to me, an arrogant young punk who ascended rapidly after Daddy got him a cherry first job in coaching – McDaniels’ father, Ohio high school legend Thom McDaniels, was friends with Nick Saban, who hired Josh as a grad assistant at Michigan State in 1999 – and who kept getting promoted to the point of failure.

This isn't the first time Doyel has had a take critical of the Patriots, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. But he for sure hates Josh McDaniels. 
 

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Brady in a stew over Jags-just-another-tomato-can talk

Don’t let Tom Brady hear your nonsensical takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. This “tomato can” is packed with all the essential elements to give the Pats QB fits.

“This is the biggest challenge we've faced all year,” Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI. “We've had a good offense. They've had the best defense. And that's always a challenge when you go up against those guys. When you watch them play over the course of the whole season, you can see why. There is not a lot of time for the quarterback to throw, and I think the whole secondary knows it. The linebackers know it. And they're aggressive. They take chances. They get a lot of turnovers. They got a really good scheme, and the quarterback is just under pressure all day. Unless you get opened very quickly, there’s a lot of sacks and sacks turns into long yardage and long yardage turns into punts . . . "

Brady spent hours on Monday pouring over film to familiarize himself with a Jags team that he last saw in the preseason.

“There’s a reason why they’re in this game,” he said. “They’re the best team we’ve faced all season and if we don’t play our best, we’re not going to advance.”

That’s why Brady won’t allow himself to be distracted by all that comes with advancing to this point, or even the lingering stench of that ESPN/Seth Wickersham article. Who’s got time for that when there is so much on the line?

“This is a long time we’ve committed to each other since we came back together in April,” he said. “April, May, all those months committed to training and walkthroughs and practices and games and injuries and the emotion -- I don’t think we’re going to let anything get in the way of this week. I think the coach -- Coach [Bill] Belichick -- he does so many great things. One thing is he sets the best tone for the players because he knows what it takes to compete at this level without -- there’s more hype surrounding the game, there’s more distractions, there’s more people, there’s more people covering the game, there’s more to talk about it but we’re focused on our job . . . The hype only gets bigger from here so we just gotta stay focused on what we need to do.”

The Jags have obviously done a good job on that front as well. There is no way they’d be at this point, on this stage, without not only talent but that singular focus. Of course with some youth comes some exuberance and Jalen Ramsey’s comments to about 10,000 fans Sunday night has been a topic of conversation on sports radio and television and even in the Patriots’ locker room.

Brady doesn’t believe that’s something that would ever come out of Foxboro, but he’s not publicly shaming Ramsey either.

“What i’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play, it’s not what you say," Brady said. "Everyone has different ways of handling things. We do what works for us.”

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