Tom Brady could face a series of intriguing defenses the rest of the way. (Greg M.</p>
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Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

FOXBORO — It remains to be seen whether or not Malcolm Butler will be matched up against Steve Smith on Monday, but Butler certainly respects the Ravens receiver.

Despite being 37 years old, Smith has 54 catches for 589 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“A lot of respect,” Butler said of Smith. “Age of 37, man, he’s out there running around like he’s 26 or 27. That’s a lot of respect. Great player.”

Butler went on to say Smith is one of his favorite players in the entire league because of his toughness.

Another thing with Smith is he isn’t afraid to trash-talk on the field. The Patriots know this all too well, as when the Patriots faced the Panthers in 2013, Smith and Aqib Talib went at it all game long.

Smith ultimately got the best of Talib and afterwards, Smith had one of the better quotes of the season saying, “Ice up, son. Ice up” when Talib didn’t finish the game.

Butler is aware of this and knows he cannot get involved with such after the play talk.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Credit Martellus Bennett, as the tight end is typically very forth coming when speaking to the media, which occurred once again on Thursday.

Bennett has been on the Patriots injury report since Week 5 with an ankle injury and then a shoulder injury popped up a few weeks ago, but he still has yet to miss a game.

Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett is playing through both ankle and shoulder injuries. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Credit Martellus Bennett, as the tight end is typically very forth coming when speaking to the media, which occurred once again on Thursday.

Bennett has been on the Patriots injury report since Week 5 with an ankle injury and then a shoulder injury popped up a few weeks ago, but he still has yet to miss a game.

The tight end acknowledged he isn’t 100 percent healthy.

“Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot,” Bennett said. “But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding and get ready.”

Perhaps Bennett could benefit from a week off with only four regular-season games remaining and the playoffs to come, but the tight end admitted he isn’t thinking about that.

“I never thought about that. I just keep going,” he said. “I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it’s [expletive] when you’re out there playing with different injuries. You can’t do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because you’re dealing with different things.

“But, throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that’s the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it’s adjusting as the game goes on.”

Bennett also may have hinted he’s playing through something more serious than just a low-ankle sprain.

“The thing about this sport is it’s always something,” he said. “You never go through a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there’s a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league — go on IR and things like that, but it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance.”

The 29-year-old said occasionally it helps missing practice like he did on Wednesday, but ultimately he wants to be on the practice field, which he was on Thursday.

“Sometimes. Sometimes it’s like, thank God. I needed that today,” Bennett said. “It varies each week — I’ll fight through whatever and I think that’s something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I’m going to try to give them everything I got no matter what.”

Bennett and the Patriots will host the Ravens on Monday Night Football.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tom Brady praised Terrell Suggs on Thursday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady praised Terrell Suggs on Thursday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The one-sided feud between Tom Brady and Terrell Suggs has continued this week.

On Wednesday, Suggs spoke to reporters in Baltimore and once again wouldn’t say Brady’s name.

On Thursday, Brady was asked about Suggs’ play this season and Brady praised the linebacker who is in his 14th season in the league.

“I think it’s – every year he’s had pretty major injuries, and then he comes back and he looks like he didn’t miss a beat,” Brady said. “It’s his 14th year. He’s been a great player for as long as he’s been in the league, and I think he just does a lot of things very well. He’s got all the rush moves, he actually drops into coverage, he bats down balls, he butches the tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage, he’s really a playmaker for their team, and it’s not just sacking the quarterback like probably most defensive ends. I think he makes plays in a lot of ways. I’ve seen him intercept slip screens, jumping up and picking [Ben] Roethlisberger off, going the other way.

“I think he has great instincts. I mean, he definitely plays with his instincts, so if he feels like the ball is going to go inside, he rips inside to try to take it away even though that’s not really his assignment, and I think 99 percent of the time, the ball goes inside. I think he just has great instincts for what he’s doing and you can’t ever really count on the same thing from him. I think you have to kind of play him straight up and see what he’s going to do because I think he makes a lot of really good decisions out there and he makes a lot of plays.”

Suggs of course has been on the record bashing Brady multiple times over the years. He’s called Brady a cry-baby and then in the summer of 2015 said Deflategate tarnished what he’s accomplished in his career.

Brady is 5-1 against the Ravens during the regular season, but 2-2 in the postseason.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second practice of the week Thursday in advance of Monday’s game against the Ravens.

The team got two players back who missed Wednesday’s session in Martellus Bennett and Matthew Slater, but still were without Jordan Richards and Danny Amendola.

This is a 2016 photo of Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots NFL football team. This image reflects the New England Patriots active roster as of Wednesday, May 25, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

Martellus Bennett

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second practice of the week Thursday in advance of Monday’s game against the Ravens.

The team got two players back who missed Wednesday’s session in Martellus Bennett and Matthew Slater, but still were without Jordan Richards and Danny Amendola.

Richards suffered a knee injury against the Jets and missed last week’s game with the 49ers, while Amendola suffered an ankle injury against the Rams. He reportedly is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

It’s worth noting D.J. Foster again worked with the receivers, while Glenn Gronkowski, who is on the practice squad wore No. 88, likely to imitate one of the Ravens’ tight ends.

The first injury report of the week will come out later in the afternoon.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — As Tom Brady has done many times over the years, he wouldn’t take the bait.

The Ravens were one of the teams that helped start Deflategate, as reportedly some Ravens assistant coaches helped tip off the Colts prior to the AFC title game that the Patriots were allegedly using under-deflated footballs.

Deflategate of course began following that game.

Tom Brady said he doesn't have any animosity towards the Ravens. (WEEI.com)

Tom Brady said he doesn’t have any animosity towards the Ravens. (WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — As Tom Brady has done many times over the years, he wouldn’t take the bait.

The Ravens were one of the teams that helped start Deflategate, as reportedly some Ravens assistant coaches helped tip off the Colts prior to the AFC title game that the Patriots were allegedly using under-deflated footballs.

Deflategate of course began following that game.

On Wednesday, Brady was asked if he holds any animosity towards the Ravens given what took place a few years ago?

“For me personally? I think all these games are kind of the same,” Brady said. “Look at the opponent and look at what they do. The only thing that matters is what we do this week in practice and in the game. I think you just try and put everything aside and whether it was that, the playoff game a couple years ago, whether it was the regular season game a couple of years ago or championship games, none of those really matter.

“It’s really going to be about what this team does this week and like I said, Coach [Bill Belichick] has tried to put a lot of urgency on that and we understand that. We know we’re facing a team that is 7-5 and at the top of their division. They have a lot of confidence in what they do and so do so it’s going to be a good, tough matchup.”

Brady is 5-1 against the Ravens in the regular season, while 2-2 in the postseason.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tom Brady said he doesn't have any animosity towards the Ravens. (WEEI.com)

Tom Brady said he doesn’t have any animosity towards the Ravens. (WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — As Tom Brady has done many times over the years, he wouldn’t take the bait.

The Ravens were one of the teams that helped start Deflategate, as reportedly some Ravens assistant coaches helped tip off the Colts prior to the AFC title game that the Patriots were allegedly using under-deflated footballs.

Deflategate of course began following that game.

On Wednesday, Brady was asked if he holds any animosity towards the Ravens given what took place a few years ago?

“For me personally? I think all these games are kind of the same,” Brady said. “Look at the opponent and look at what they do. The only thing that matters is what we do this week in practice and in the game. I think you just try and put everything aside and whether it was that, the playoff game a couple years ago, whether it was the regular season game a couple of years ago or championship games, none of those really matter.

“It’s really going to be about what this team does this week and like I said, Coach [Bill Belichick] has tried to put a lot of urgency on that and we understand that. We know we’re facing a team that is 7-5 and at the top of their division. They have a lot of confidence in what they do and so do so it’s going to be a good, tough matchup.”

Brady is 5-1 against the Ravens in the regular season, while 2-2 in the postseason.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable