Patriots

Matt Cassel: Blame N'Keal Harry, not Tom Brady, for key interception vs. Texans

Matt Cassel: Blame N'Keal Harry, not Tom Brady, for key interception vs. Texans

The New England Patriots' 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday was pretty ugly. 

One of the biggest plays of the game was when a Tom Brady pass targeted at rookie receiver N'Keal Harry was picked off and set up the first touchdown for the Texans. 

While Brady received plenty of flack for the play, Matt Cassel put more of the blame on Harry when discussing it with Tom E. Curran on the latest Patriots Talk Podcast. 

"It wasn't a slant, it was an under route," Cassel said of Harry's play that resulted in an interception. "The number one thing for any receivers, especially when you have tight coverage like they did, when you cross space and you start to come inside: one you can't slow down, two there's no possibility once that guy's on your back that he should ever be able to beat you to the ball as long as you come downhill at that angle and don't slow up. The minute you slow up, you give that DB an opportunity to run through your back and cut you off to that angle.

"What happened on the play, some of it might have been footing, but it almost looked like he slowed up out of the break and then when he decelerated, that guy beat him to the point of attack of the ball and became a catastrophe and a big pick and everything else. A lot of times when you're throwing an under route versus man coverage it's a gray route because you've got a big body, and like we always talk about as long as you accelerate out of that route and come downhill and keep fighting for that ball, he should at least in the worst-case scenario, the guy should have to play through you on your back. He should never beat you to the ball. That was the main issue that I had with that play. That's a play that he [Harry] should get the ball and at the very least it should be an incomplete pass."

Following that play, Harry only saw 10 snaps the rest of the game. Bill Belichick insisted that Harry didn't see less time because of the interception, but it appeared that the play was a factor in the rookie's decreased playing time.

That pass play wasn't the only one that went astray for New England. Curran and Cassel break down Phillip Dorsett's missed signal and Jakobi Meyers' miscommunication with Brady on the podcast as well. 

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Tom Brady: 'Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms'

Tom Brady: 'Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms'

The New England Patriots are facing a lot of uncertainty this offseason as Tom Brady will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

At this point in time, it's unclear what he will be doing. And Brady isn't giving any hints ahead of his mid-March decision.

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Brady recently addressed his future in an interview on Westwood One radio and said that he will embrace the future "with open arms."

"I am open-minded about the process and at the same time I love playing football and want to continue to play and do a great job," Brady said. "I am looking to what is ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms."

Patriots fans won't be encouraged by this seemingly non-committal answer, as it seems that there is a legitimate chance Brady will leave. This is especially true considering the rumors that Brady is planning on hearing pitches from opposing teams this offseason.

Still, there's a chance that Brady returns to Foxboro. But as long as he keeps his preferences close to the vest, there will be uncertainty surrounding the Patriots starting quarterback position.

Why Patriots center David Andrews is rooting for the Titans in the AFC Championship

Why Patriots center David Andrews is rooting for the Titans in the AFC Championship

Fans of the New England Patriots may be conflicted about whether to root for the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game. They are coached by former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, but they also knocked the Patriots out in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

But regardless of how fans feel, there is one member of the Patriots who will be pulling for the Titans on Sunday. And that's center David Andrews.

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Andrews, who spent all of the 2019 season on IR with blood clots in his lungs, is rooting for one of his college teammates and closest friends, Titans center Ben Jones.

"Watching him have success is really special," Andrews said of Jones to ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I'm pulling for him all the way."

Andrews spoke about how close that he and Jones became during his recruiting process. And Andrews described Jones as a mentor to him.

"When I was in high school, I remember a lot of people said, 'You're too small to play at Georgia.' But then came Ben, and he wasn't much bigger than me, and I really looked up to him," said Andrews, per Reiss.

"When I was getting recruited, he was always great. I would go see him and he'd let me hang out with him. He'd give me leftover Georgia gear that I could wear around my high school and think I was pretty cool. Then once I got to Georgia, he really took me under his wing. Ben was always a sounding board for me -- people called us father and son because we acted a lot alike."

Jones clearly did a good job helping Andrews to develop. Despite his lacking size, Andrews has been one of the NFL's most consistent centers when healthy. And though Ted Karras filled in well in place of Andrews this past season, the team still missed their solid interior blocker.

It's easy to see why Andrews is rooting for his friend and perhaps Jones and the Titans will pull off a third consecutive upset. We'll soon find out who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl as Jones' Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs will square off for the conference title on Sunday afternoon at 3:05 p.m.