Patriots

Another lock-down day: Gilmore motivated by Adams' bravado

Another lock-down day: Gilmore motivated by Adams' bravado

FOXBORO -- Stephon Gilmore didn't love what he heard from Davante Adams earlier this week, when Adams said, "I don't feel like anyone can guard me right now."

Gilmore followed Adams around the field when the Patriots were in man-to-man coverage, allowing two catches on four targets for 15 yards. He also had a pass-breakup in coverage on Adams on a throw to the end zone from Aaron Rodgers. 

"He was pretty good," Gilmore said. "But I play my game regardless of who I'm going against. I didn't like what he said earlier in the week. I kinda took it personal a little bit. But he's a good receiver."

Adams ended up with 40 total yards, but the majority of those -- including a two-yard touchdown -- came with the Patriots playing zone and Gilmore not the primary defensive back in coverage of Adams.

After dominating performances against Sammy Watkins, Allen Robinson and Kelvin Benjamin, for Gilmore to be able to limit Adams the way he did was arguably his most impressive performance of the season. Rodgers' No. 1 receiver was coming off of a three-game stretch in which he recorded 140, 132 and 133 yards receiving.

"I'm just trying to play my hardest," Gilmore said. "If they don't respect me, I'm trying to prove myself every game. That's what I try to do week in and week out."

Gilmore came into this week's game with a quarterback rating against of 55.7. He's now Pro Football Focus' highest-graded corner in terms of coverage, and their top-ranked corner overall. 

I asked Gilmore if he felt as though this recent stretch is the best he's ever played. 

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"Yeah. Week in and week out, yes," he said. "Just try to prepare. I have great teammates, safeties allow me to play aggressive, and coaches put me in position to make plays. So it's not just me."

The signature play from Gilmore's latest standout performance was probably his breakup in the end zone, which helped limit the Packers drive to a field goal. 

After the snap, Gilmore ran into teammate Duron Harmon with three Packers receivers aligned on the defensive right side of the formation. Gilmore pushed through the contact to recover just in time -- he had to lay out -- to impact the throw.

"Had to get through," Gilmore said. "Sometimes when you get all those receivers together, you're running through so much you gotta fight yourself through to be able to make the play. It's a little make-up speed, and not giving up. Can't give up. Just gotta keep fighting to the end."

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NFL Rumors: Patriots have spoken with WR Terrelle Pryor

NFL Rumors: Patriots have spoken with WR Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor is ready to attempt an NFL comeback, and the New England Patriots apparently have expressed some interest in giving him a shot.

The 31-year-old quarterback-turned-wide receiver last played in 2018 when he spent two games with the Buffalo Bills and six with the New York Jets. Last November, he suffered serious injuries to his shoulder and chest in a stabbing incident that put his career in jeopardy.

With that scary event behind him, Pryor has resumed working to get back onto the field and he says he has been in contact with five NFL teams -- namely the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

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"Those two are very intriguing," Pryor told TMZ Sports. "Especially Cam [Newton]. I've been a big fan of him throughout the years ... And, obviously, Big Ben [Roethlisberger], that's my hometown of Pittsburgh, so that's just two teams that I really want to play for."

"I can still play," Pryor added. "And, I can still make plays and dominate. I know that."

Watch below:

It's been a while since Pryor has been a productive receiver. His most notable season came in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns, when he hauled in 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns.

It wouldn't hurt the Patriots to bring in Pryor on the cheap, especially since they recently created major cap space. New England's wide receiver depth chart is a bit thin heading into training camp with Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, N'Keal Harry, Marqise Lee, Damiere Byrd, and Jakobi Meyers currently on the squad among others who will compete for roles on the 53-man roster.

Ex-Panthers player says Cam Newton with Bill Belichick is 'terrifying'

Ex-Panthers player says Cam Newton with Bill Belichick is 'terrifying'

A healthy Cam Newton at quarterback is an exciting thought for New England Patriots fans, but a "terrifying" one for players across the league.

Newton clearly has a chip on his shoulder as he returns from an injury-plagued 2019 to compete for the Patriots' starting job. The 2015 NFL MVP already has posted multiple hype videos and social media posts emphasizing his motivation as he begins his new chapter.

If Newton indeed is at full strength in 2020, that could spell trouble for the rest of the league. New York Jets guard Greg Van Roten, who spent five years with Newton on the Carolina Panthers, explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio why Newton joining forces with head coach Bill Belichick could be a serious problem for opponents.

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"It's definitely terrifying to think if Cam Newton's healthy and he's in Belichick's offense, you know, in my division, it could be a long year for the other teams, because he's a game-changer," Van Roten said. "He came into the league, you know, he's a league MVP, brought a team to the Super Bowl – he's just built differently than a lot of quarterbacks. And he's a headache to game plan for.

"So when he's healthy, you can stop the run from him, but then you gotta defend the pass. If you can stop the pass, well then you've got to account for the run. So, it's basically, pick one thing and he'll do the other. And then you couple him with Belichick, who only cares about winning and Cam really wants to prove himself, so it's definitely a recipe for disaster for the rest of the league if they can figure it out."

Watch the full clip below:

Newton still will have plenty to prove once training camp comes around, but the three-time Pro Bowler has wasted no time getting up to speed with the Patriots offense. Last week, Newton posted a photo of himself studying the Pats' playbook and also spent some time working out with second-year wide receiver N'Keal Harry.

With a motivated Newton ready to learn under arguably the greatest head coach of all time, it's easy to see why opposing teams are petrified of what the duo can accomplish together.