Patriots

Bademosi did 'tremendous job' filling in for Gilmore on short notice

Bademosi did 'tremendous job' filling in for Gilmore on short notice

What was it that Clark Griswold - aka Chevy Chase - said in ‘Christmas Vacation’ when Cousin Eddie showed up for an extended stay? “Oh, Eddie… If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now…”  Well judging by the reaction of both players and the head coach - at least publicly - the Patriots were pretty surprised at the news Stephon Gilmore would not make the trip to MetLife Stadium due to a concussion.

“We found out Saturday,” said fellow defensive back Duron Harmon.

“Saturday. I knew on Saturday,” corroborated nickel cornerback Jon Jones. 

MORE:

When the Pats officially ruled Gilmore out around 3 o’clock on Saturday, the first thought was to check the injury report and see if Gilmore was or had been on it during the course of the week. The answer to that was no. Had something happened during the course of practice during the week? Again, if it had, and the symptoms were conveyed at the time, Gilmore - by NFL guidelines - should have appeared on the report. When asked about it in the postgame press conference following the 24-17 win over the Jets, Bill Belichick was direct, saying the team “followed the rules to the letter on the injuries like we always do. They were reported exactly as it happened.”

The league has access to the practice tapes so were there to be any inquiries, the tapes would have to be turned over. It seems unlikely - despite past transgressions - that the Pats would mess with such a thing. So this could simply be a case of Gilmore either not experiencing concussion-related symptoms until late in the week, or attempting the play through it before deciding discretion would be the better part of valor. Regardless, it is just another strange story in a season full of them for Gilmore and this Patriots defense.

Instead of turning to Jones to take the majority of snaps in Gilmore’s absence, the Pats looked to special teams whiz Johnson Bademosi, who was acquired back on September 2nd and hadn’t played a single defensive snap with New England. However, Bademosi isn’t a stranger to getting playing time at corner. Last season, he had 283 for the Detroit Lions.

“I’m a cornerback,” declared Bademosi postgame. “Every play is an opportunity to gain respect. Or lose respect. I’m not big on being disrespected.”

"The good thing, is (Johnson) Bademosi has been backup him up all week,” said Harmon. “Bademosi kind of knew the gameplan, knew what it was going to be, had some practice reps. And Bademosi did a tremendous job today. He didn't get all the reps, he got some. But for him to be able to go out there and execute the gameplan the way he did, it let us know that we can always count on him when his number is called." 

Dependability/reliability is a trait often admired by Belichick, and that’s something that Gilmore has yet to provide during his brief tenure with the Pats. He was brought to Foxboro - in part - because of his size and ability to match up with some of the biggest receivers the Pats see on their schedule this year. He finally did that in Tampa versus Mike Evans and had by far and away his best performance. Now Julio Jones looms in prime time Sunday night, and if Gilmore can’t be there, Bademosi will be under the gun.

To go back to where I started, Clark Griswold just reached for another mug full of that “loaded” egg nog…

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

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.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

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

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

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.