How should the Patriots split the QB reps Thursday against the Giants? (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

How should the Patriots split the QB reps Thursday against the Giants? (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady has played in just four preseason finales since he took over as the starting quarterback:

2015: DNP
2014: DNP
2013: DNP
2012: DNP
2011: 5-for-9, 116 yards, 15 snaps vs. Giants
2010: 4-for-8, 51 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 13 snaps vs. Giants
2009: DNP
2008: DNP
2007: DNP
2006: DNP
2005: DNP
2004: DNP
2003: 8-for-10, 63 yards, 1 TD, 12 snaps vs. Bears
2002: 7-for-10, 59 yards, 20 snaps vs. Redskins

In a usual year, this would be the type of game where Brady and backup Jimmy Garoppolo would sit for almost all of the evening while the third-stringer would go just about wire-to-wire. (Last year, Ryan Lindley played the whole game against the Giants.) But this isn’t you’re usual preseason. As a result, expect the workload for Garoppolo to resemble Brady’s 2010 and 2011 outings against the Giants — anywhere between 12 to 15 snaps or two series, whichever comes first, before yielding to Jacoby Brissett for the rest of the evening.

To add some context to the discussion, Garoppolo has played in one preseason finale while with the Patriots. That came as a rookie in 2014 — he played all 69 offensive snaps against the Giants and went 22-for-42 for 284 yards, with one touchdown, one interception and three sacks.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

It looks like Bryan Stork is still interesting in playing football.

The former Patriots offensive lineman, who had apparently been pondering retirement following a trade from New England to Washington earlier this week, said Saturday he was ready to suit up for the Redskins.

It looks like Bryan Stork is still interesting in playing football.

The former Patriots offensive lineman, who had apparently been pondering retirement following a trade from New England to Washington earlier this week, said Saturday he was ready to suit up for the Redskins.

Stork was dealt from the Patriots to Washington for a conditional seventh-round pick. The former Florida State center was a fourth-round selector of New England in 2014, and played the last two seasons with the Patriots.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett could all see some time Thursday against the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett could all see some time Thursday against the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

After spending last week wondering how Bill Belichick was going to divide the quarterback reps in the third preseason game against the Panthers, it looks like we’re all going to be asking the same question this week for the preseason finale against the Giants.

On a conference call with the media Saturday, Belichick said there are several things at play when it comes to making his decision: It’s the last chance for Tom Brady to get game reps until he starts his suspension. The game also represents one more opportunity for Jimmy Garoppolo to get fully ready for the regular-season opener. And the hope that Jacoby Brissett can continue to build on an impressive performance Friday against the Panthers. All have to figure into the game plan for Thursday’s clash with New York.

“We want to get Jimmy ready for the Arizona game,” Belichick said. “Tom isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them.

“We could play all three quarterbacks a lot [against the Giants] and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t. We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another.”

In the end, Belichick said “there’s no perfect solution.”

“They all need to get ready for different things,” Belichick said of the quarterbacks. “What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again.

“So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Jonathan Freeny

Jonathan Freeny

Hours after it was revealed linebacker Jonathan Freeny received a two-year extension, Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke very highly of the work that the 27-year-old has put in over the last year-plus to become a “very dependable player” for New England.

“He is able to do a lot of different roles for us,” Belichick said on a Saturday afternoon conference call. “He can play inside and outside on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He’s been very valuable for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size.

“A four-phase special teams player and one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training; he always does things right. He works hard, doesn’t say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think all of the other players — everybody in the organization looks up to him.”

The linebacker/special teamer played in 13 games last year with New England with 50 tackles (27 solo), one sack and one pass defensed.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Jonathan Freeny

Jonathan Freeny

Hours after it was revealed linebacker Jonathan Freeny received a two-year extension, Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke very highly of the work that the 27-year-old has put in over the last year-plus to become a “very dependable player” for New England.

“He is able to do a lot of different roles for us,” Belichick said on a Saturday afternoon conference call. “He can play inside and outside on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He’s been very valuable for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size.

“A four-phase special teams player and one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training; he always does things right. He works hard, doesn’t say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think all of the other players — everybody in the organization looks up to him.”

The linebacker/special teamer played in 13 games last year with New England with 50 tackles (27 solo), one sack and one pass defensed.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots have signed linebacker Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The Patriots have signed linebacker Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder out of Rutgers is entering his second season with the Patriots. The linebacker/special teamer played in 13 games last year with New England with 50 tackles (27 solo), one sack and one pass defensed. The 27-year-old figures to work as a backup this season behind the likes of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Defensive lineman Terrance Knighton was noticeably absent from Friday night’s action against the Panthers.

Terrance Knighton didn't play Friday night. (Michael Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Terrance Knighton didn’t play Friday night. (Michael Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Defensive lineman Terrance Knighton was noticeably absent from Friday night’s action against the Panthers. After the game, Bill Belichick offered a partial explanation as to why, saying that Knighton is still picking up on some of the things New England does differently.

“Some new techniques, some new things. [Just] different things than what he’s used to doing,” Belichick said of Knighton. “We played the younger guys tonight. We didn’t get as much of a look at him as some other players. He played a little more last week. I think there’s good competition at that position. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out.”

For his part, Knighton told reporters after the game that it was “disappointing” not getting a chance to play.

“Everybody wants to play. I didn’t get a chance to,” Knighton said after the game. “That’s the decision they made. … I have faith in my ability. I have faith in the coaching staff’s decisions, whatever the decision was. I’m not looking for an explanation or anything. [I’ll] show up to work tomorrow. I still got a lot of ball left in me, so it is what it is.

“It’s disappointing, just because I’ve played a lot of ball in this league,” the 30-year-old Knighton added. “I’ve seen a lot of things. I’m not going to make too much of it. It is what it is. Whatever happens happens. If I’m here, I’m here. If I’m not, I’m not. I’m just taking it a day at a time.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price