We discuss the QB situation, Bill's longevity in the league, the players who lead, the 4th pre-season game and much more on this Patriots Monday-Wednesday.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday (taped on Monday) to discuss the quarterback situation among other things heading into the fourth and final pres

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday (taped on Monday) to discuss the quarterback situation among other things heading into the fourth and final preseason game. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Tom Brady played four series’ in the third preseason game against Carolina last week and reportedly made the trip to New Jersey for the final game Thursday night. Even though he won’t play in a real game until Oct. 9 against the Browns, Belichick explained the value of Brady playing in preseason games.

“Well, I think it’s obvious playing in games is different than practicing,” Belichick said. “Your backup quarterback, I mean, your backup quarterback can play in the preseason. I mean who knows when he is going to play again, but whenever he does it’s going to be very important. We know when Tom is going to play next. That’s going to be important and I think these games even though they are not right on the doorstep, they are still an important part of his preparation and the team’s preparation with him at quarterback. That’s what we did.”

Also in last Friday’s game, third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett went 9-for-9. While the numbers were outstanding, Belichick said he still has things to work on and noted the competition in the second half of games isn’t the same as the first half when first and second-team players are in.

“Well, Jacoby definitely did some good things in the game and there’s some things that came up that he needs to work on,” Belichick said. “He knows that. I think he recognized probably before the coaches did, but anytime you go 9-for-9 that’s a good start with no turnovers. He’s protected the ball pretty well. He’s shown that he can handle the offense. There are a lot of things that he still needs to learn. There are a lot of things he hasn’t seen.

“In all honestly, some of the things that have come up in the second half of these preseason games from a scheme standpoint would be a lot more challenging in the regular season, or possibly some of the earlier parts in the game. He’s handled [things] well. He will need to see a lot more. He will need to handle a lot more, but he’s making progress. He works hard. He spends a lot of extra time going over things and obviously has some talent. That is the kind of guy you want to work with — somebody who can throw the ball accurate, got some size and ability to maneuver in the pocket a little bit. He has a lot to work on, too.”

On a different subject matter, Belichick is 64 years old and the second oldest coach in the league. He isn’t showing any signs of retiring either.

“I enjoy it,” Belichick said of why he keeps coaching. “I enjoy all the aspects of it — the team-building in the spring, the new guys that come in and the rookies that come in in the summer and training camp and working with them. The competition of the season, working with the most experienced, best players arguably ever in the game, or amongst the best. There are parts of it that are challenging. Every week is a challenge against the good teams, good players, good coaches, other good organizations. It beats working.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
A.J. Derby

A.J. Derby

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. In addition, like our look at offensive opportunities in the preseason, it gives you some sort of indication as to the chances younger pass catchers are getting. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown after the first three preseason games.

TE AJ Derby: 10 catches on 14 targets
WR Chris Hogan: 9 catches on 11 targets
TE Martellus Bennett: 5 catches on 10 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 6 catches on 9 targets
RB James White: 4 catches on 7 targets
WR DeAndre Carter: 4 catches on 6 targets
RB Tyler Gaffney: 5 catches on 5 targets
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 4 catches on 5 targets
WR Devin Lucien: 1 catch on 5 targets
RB D.J. Foster: 3 catches on 3 targets
RB LeGarrette Blount: 3 catches on 3 targets
TE Clay Harbor: 2 catches on 3 targets
WR Julian Edelman: 1 catch on 3 targets
WR Chris Harper: 1 catch on 3 targets
TE Steven Scheu: 2 catches on 2 targets
FB Joey Iosefa: 1 catch on 2 targets
FB James Develin: 0 catches on 2 targets
WR Nate Washington: 1 catch on 1 target
RB Brandon Bolden: 1 catch on 1 target
TE Bryce Williams: 1 catch on 1 target
WR Keshawn Martin: 0 catches on 1 target

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

While exactly how the Patriots quarterback reps will be shared Thursday night is unknown, it does look like all three will be making the trip.

All three Patriots quarterbacks reportedly will make trip to New York. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

All three Patriots quarterbacks reportedly will make trip to New York. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

While exactly how the Patriots quarterback reps will be shared Thursday night is unknown, it does look like all three will be making the trip.

According to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett will all be making the trip to MetLife Stadium for the fourth preseason game against the Giants.

Typically, if a player travels to a road preseason game, they play.

Brady and Garoppolo both said this week they would like to play in the game. For Brady, it’s his final chance to see game action until Week 5, as his four-game suspension begins this Saturday and for Garoppolo, it’s his last chance to get ready for Week 1 in Arizona. Usually in the fourth and final preseason game, much of the playing time goes to the third string quarterback, which in this case is Brissett.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Well, we know what Tom Brady is going to do for at least a small part of his suspension.

Well, we know what Tom Brady is going to do for at least a small part of his suspension.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh told “The Rich Eisen Show” Wednesday that Brady will be the honorary captain for the Wolverines’ Week 3 game against Colorado, set for Sept. 17 at The Big House in Ann Arbor.

Brady said Tuesday he was still unsure as to what he was going to be doing during his upcoming four-game suspension.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower called in to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss the defense and other team news.

Dont'a Hightower

Dont’a Hightower

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower called in to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss the defense and other team news. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Hightower recently got some extra defensive help, as the Patriots traded for former LSU linebacker Barkevious Mingo from the Browns. Mingo, listed at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, might not look like an average linebacker, but Hightower said that the former Brown ‘has a great skill set’ that can help the defense in many ways.

A University of Alabama product himself, Hightower said he had heard of Mingo during his college days. The Crimson Tide and the Tigers may be rivals, but Hightower says there is no beef to squash with him and Mingo.

“I think it’s more of a mutual respect,” Hightower said. “Back in college, both defenses had a lot of highly recruited guys. … We both know each other or whatever, but most of that stuff is passed and [we’re] just trying to get him caught up and speed things up so he can get on the field and help us out.”

With 10 defensive starters returning this season, and plenty of new faces expected to make an impact, this Patriots defense has the chance to do something special. Hightower acknowledged that feeling during his interview.

“Everybody has definitely been more hands-on about it,” Hightower said. “Definitely feel like we’re making a lot of great strides in the right direction. We definitely feel like we’ve got something special, and we try to take advantage of that every day, whether it’s in the meeting rooms or on the field.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com.patriots.

On the team’s performance in last Friday’s 19-17 preseason win over the Panthers: “We knew what kind of team that Carolina has, I think we went down there and played a good game. Like you said, first time on the road … It was just a great test for all of us to go down there and play the way that we played. We may not have finished the way we wanted to, but definitely all the way around, we all competed.”

On having his locker moved to the former spot of Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi and Jerod Mayo: “I didn’t really know the history of it until a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of upset my locker did move that I’ve been in for going on five years, and then they just move my stuff without asking. But it’s definitely a great honor knowing all those guys and what they represent and what they mean, what they meant to the team. I’ll definitely try to fit both those honors as well as I can.”

On if he will play in the Patriots’ final preseason game agaianst the Giants on Thursday: “No clue, man. The best way to go about it is prepare like any other game, so I’ll be ready to go.”

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier