Patriots

Patriots QB Tom Brady praises N'Keal Harry for rookie's touchdown catch

Patriots QB Tom Brady praises N'Keal Harry for rookie's touchdown catch

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry caught two passes from quarterback Tom Brady in Sunday's Week 15 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and one of those receptions played a critical role in the defending champs blowing the game open in the second half.

The Patriots had good field position on their first drive of the third quarter thanks to an interception by veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore. After driving down to the 7-yard line, Brady and the offense faced a 3rd-and-goal situation. Brady took the snap, went through his reads and couldn't find an open target. The Patriots offensive line provided great protection, and Brady finally fired a pass into the back of the end zone, where Harry made a fantastic diving play to haul in his second touchdown catch of the season. The score put New England up 20-10.

"It was a good play by (Harry)," Brady told reporters after his team's 34-13 victory at Paul Brown Stadium. "He adjusted his route, and then came back and found some space. It was a good play. We needed it."

Brady likes the work ethic Harry is showing in an effort to improve as much as possible as the playoffs near.

"He's fighting. He's working hard every week to learn," Brady said. "He's a very hard-working guy. It's fun to see him make those plays."

Harry also ran the ball twice for 22 yards, showing his versatility as someone who can be a threat in the passing attack and also make plays in the run game.

The rookie wideout played 40 snaps Sunday after only playing only two in last week's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots gave Harry more responsibility and he responded well. Giving Harry even more of an opportunity to make plays over the final two weeks of the regular season will best prepare him to make a positive impact when the Patriots need it most in the playoffs.

Patriots vs. Bengals Analysis: Instant Overreactions from Week 15 win>>>

NFL Rumors: Patriots hiring ex-Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch

NFL Rumors: Patriots hiring ex-Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch

The New England Patriots reportedly have made an addition to their coaching staff.

According to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe, they've hired ex-Los Angeles Rams assistant offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

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Fisch's official role with the Patriots offense is to be determined. But now that there's an opening at wide receivers coach with Joe Judge joining the New York Giants, Fisch could be a candidate for the job.

He brings plenty of experience to the table having coached Denver Broncos wide receivers in 2008 and Michigan receivers from 2015-16. Fisch also coached Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks in 2010 and was the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive coordinator from 2013-14.

What Jim Gray has learned from his weekly Tom Brady interviews

What Jim Gray has learned from his weekly Tom Brady interviews

For the last 10 years, Jim Gray has conducted weekly interviews with Tom Brady throughout the NFL season. Over that period of time, Gray has learned plenty about the longtime New England Patriots quarterback.

In a recent interview with the New York Post, Gray opened up about the admirable way Brady has approached each of his interviews on Westwood One Radio. It all started with a promise made by Brady 10 years ago that he's kept to this day.

"Meticulous, prepared, very responsive, on time, humble, he’s unbelievable really," Gray said. "He never says, “Don’t ask me anything.” If he doesn’t want to answer the question then that’s how he will respond to it, but there are no preconditions.

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"He wrote me a handwritten note 10 years ago now before we started this. It said, “I look forward to doing the show. You’ll get the same effort out of me on Monday nights that I give my teammates on Sunday afternoons.” And that has been the case, he’s never missed a show."

Although the Patriots' season ended weeks ago, Brady remains the center of attention in the NFL world. The 42-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time of his career on March 18.

Despite maintaining a close relationship with Brady over the years, Gray knows as much about the six-time Super Bowl champion's future as the rest of us. When Brady himself doesn't appear to know how his offseason will unfold, Gray says there's no reason to ask him about it.

"He doesn’t know," Gray said. "When he doesn’t know I am not sure how any of us can know. How many times can you ask the same question? As it evolves he will let us know. It’s not like he’s hiding something. I’ve asked him and he’s committed several times on the air to us that he’s playing next season. There’s not much he can be involved with outside the Patriots till March 18."

All signs point toward Brady returning for his 21st NFL season, so the weekly Westwood One interviews should continue. As for whether Brady will be a Patriot for his 11th year of interviews with Gray, that'll likely remain a mystery for the next couple of months.

Gray and Brady's final interview of the 2019-20 season will take place before Super Bowl 54 on Feb. 2.

Perry: How will Pats approach WR position this offseason?