Patriots

Eric Reid's dangerous hit to Ben Watson's head sends Patriots TE to locker room

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Eric Reid's dangerous hit to Ben Watson's head sends Patriots TE to locker room

FOXBORO -- New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson was slow to get up late in the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason game at Gillette Stadium after taking a late hit to the head.

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid came in after Watson had already been tackled and threw a shoulder that appeared to make contact with Watson's head. 

Here's a look at the play:

Watson sat up on the ground for a few moments before walking off the field under his own power with his helmet off. He went to the locker room shortly after, where he likely will be checked for a possible concussion.

Reid's hit was over the line in any setting, and especially a preseason game.

It's not the first time we've seen this kind of hit from him, either. Reid has a history of going overboard with egregious hits. He was ejected from a game last November for a head hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Earlier in the 2018 season, Reid tackled Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz well after a hanfoff and then did what looked like a wrestling move on tight end Zach Ertz.

The Patriots are a bit thin at tight end following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski in March. Watson will miss the first four games of the upcoming regular season due to a failed drug test.

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Ex-Ravens scout unearths Bill Belichick's blueprint for ideal quarterback

Ex-Ravens scout unearths Bill Belichick's blueprint for ideal quarterback

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has done things by the book since his days as the Cleveland Browns head coach nearly 30 years ago. 

After a long wait, Belichick finally landed his perfect quarterback in 2000 (though he didn't start him until 2001). Well, at least in relation to a 1991 handout that detailed what he looks for and expects from the ideal QB in his system. 

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Daniel Jeremiah, an ex-Baltimore Ravens scout, revealed a document he received in his time with the Ravens, who descended from the Cleveland Browns after they moved from Baltimore. It details what Belchick's ideal offense looks like. Most notable was Belichick's description of what he's looking for in a QB: 

 

QB: #1 is to make good decisions -- then arm, size, physically tough, leadership, guys look up to and have confidence in, a real competitor. Accurate rather than guy with a cannon. Emphasis on our game will be on decision, timing, accuracy -- guy needs to be confident, intelligence is important but not as much so as field awareness and judgement. Can't be sloppy fundamentally unsound guy w/ ball handling, tech's, etc. Footwork, drops, release, etc. -- QB has to be able to throw the ball with accuracy. 

Sound like anyone familiar? After 10 years (remember, this document was from 1991), Belichick finally landed his guy in Tom Brady when he drafted the Michigan QB in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft and eventually replaced Drew Bledsoe the next season. What's more remarkable is he managed to hang on to his dream QB for 20 years before Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. 

Brady certainly fits that description -- he makes extremely good decisions, has a strong arm and is a true competitor. While Brady doesn't necessarily have a "cannon" of an arm compared to other QBs, he's accurate and places a high value on the fundamentals. 

The descriptions in the document Jeremiah tweeted definitely still hold true to what Belichick maintains as his standards today. It'll be interesting to see if he does, in fact, draft a quarterback this year.

If he does, you can bet that guy will be someone who makes smart decisions above anything else. 

 

This Patriots fan is still rooting for Tom Brady, even with the Bucs

This Patriots fan is still rooting for Tom Brady, even with the Bucs

In every good story you need a protagonist (our hero) and the antagonist (the villain).

What I have observed in the Patriot fan base is an equal balance of views that place Tom Brady or Bill Belichick in either category. Logical? Certainly, because both possess justifiable reasons for their actions. 

But that’s no fun!

Riding in from the North on his steady and loyal steed named Alex, the white hat-wearing, TB12-pitching, best ever to play the game quarterback gallops into Tampa Bay to not only save the day but save his career as well. 

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For the third time in his life, he is the underdog.

He is John Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn charging across the field with reins in mouth and a gun in each hand blowing away the bad guys. He is Paul Newman’s Frank Galvin who battles his own demons and the Boston medical establishment in "The Verdict." He is Robert Downey Jr’s. Tony Stark/Iron Man in "Avengers: Endgame," willing to give his life in order to save humanity. 

Sorry, I got carried away on that last one.

I just wanted to throw a movie reference in from this century. If you haven’t seen "True Grit" (the original, though Bridges and Damon perform admirably in the remake) or "The Verdict," penned by David Mamet, stream them. What else do you have to do? 

Let’s be real, people. Tom is Luke Skywalker and Bill is Darth Vader — yes, he is his football father! Bill wears that damn hoodie that he has made legendary but in actuality, it looks like hell. With that hood on, Belichick even looks like he is the dark side.

Tom represents what we have all experienced at one time or another: the feeling of being unwanted. That's whether you have been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, cut from a team or fired from a job. (I have been whacked twice by the way. It sucks!) 

The Patriots and Darth Belichick no longer wanted Tom Skywalker. Holy Jabba The Hutt!

It does not matter that Tom is 43 years old and no longer a fit for the Patriots’ rebuild, and it is a rebuild. Or that Belichick has never been wrong when letting go of a veteran. Or that the way to go is with a more mobile quarterback who can throw on the run. 

NO! NO! NO! 

None of those perfectly justifiable reasons will keep me from rooting for Tom Skywalker. You can’t go against the underdog!

May the Force be with you, Tom.

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