Jamie Collins endured a rare session with the media on Wednesday.  (Elsa/Getty Images)

Jamie Collins endured a rare session with the media on Wednesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — No high-level performer on the Patriots roster does a better job at keeping a low profile than linebacker Jamie Collins.

Collins, who is regarded by many as one of the best and most versatile defenders on the team, has absolutely zero interest in the art of self-promotion. His sessions with the media are few and far between, and when they do happen — like Wednesday — they are punctuated by two- and three-sentence responses. So when he talks, it’s a special occasion.

In his fourth year, the Southern Miss product takes criticism and praise the same way. Like when someone informed him that former teammate Jerod Mayo proclaimed that Collins was the MVP of the team through the first three games.

“I appreciate it, but I’m doing me,” Collins shrugged. “I’m trying to get it, regardless.”

That means always trying to find places he can improve.

“There’s always room for improvement. Like I said, I’m trying to get there every day by coming in here and doing what I do,” he said. “Getting faster, stronger, bigger. Seeing things quicker. Everything. Whatever it may be to make me get better.”

“Jamie’s an impact hitter. He’s got a lot of explosion, a lot of power,” said Bill Belichick. “He can certainly deliver a solid blow, and he’s long, and he’s athletic (and) he has got good range. So yeah, he’s a good player.

“He brings a lot to our team both in his talents and also in his playing style and his aggressiveness and ability to do whatever we ask him to do. Whether that’s playing zone-coverage, playing man-coverage, rush the passer, play on the end of the line, play in the middle of the line. With [Dont’a] Hightower out he’s had a lot of communication and play-calling responsibilities and he has not only handled those well, but it hasn’t affected any other parts of his game; that added responsibility.”

Whether you agree with Mayo’s assessment, it’s hard to argue with the results. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder leads the Patriots in tackles (23) and interceptions (2), and is tied for the team lead in passes defense (3), all to go along with one sack. Picking up some of the slack in the wake of the knee injury sustained by Hightower, he’s also worn the green dot on the back of his helmet.

But don’t tell him he’s unique because he gets to wear the communication device from the sidelines.

“Everybody makes too much of the green dot,” he said. “It ain’t really nothing. It ain’t nothing. It ain’t nothing.”

Collins also dismisses talk of added pressure on his shoulders because he’s in a contract year.

“No, man. I ain’t worried about none of that,” he said. “Like I said, man. I’m going to come in here and do what i do, regardless. Regardless.”

Would that include playing some quarterback? He lined up under center in high school, and the Patriots do have some uncertainty at the position going into Sunday’s contest against the Bills.

“I can play whatever,” he said with a small smile. “Whatever it is. I don’t care what the level is. Whatever it is you need me to do, I’m doing.”

Quarterback included?

“Yeah.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Martellus Bennett was cracking jokes in the locker room again Wednesday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett was cracking jokes in the locker room again Wednesday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett is one of the most outgoing personalities in the Patriots locker room and he was at it again on Wednesday.

Bennett was asked about the “calling card” of a Ryan brother’s defense as the team will face Buffalo on Sunday.

“Calling card? I think you can dial a bunch of different numbers to get the Ryan brothers,” Bennett said. “They do a lot of different things. It’s hard to have one phone number for them. It’s hard to track them down. I played with Rob when I was in Dallas, but I think overall you can’t just call it one thing.”

The jokes didn’t stop there as he was asked about “flying around” the practice field on Tuesday after getting the weekend off following the Thursday game against the Texans.

“I fly around every day,” Bennett said. “Can’t land this jet. It’s like having a private plane, wherever I want to go, I just go. I’m not worried about no jet fuel. I would say Gatorade, but they don’t sponsor me so I am going to get a good ole’ sip of that drink. Gatorade could have had a plug.”

Much has been made of the Patriots’ uncertainty at quarterback this season, but it’s not bothering Bennett.

“No, we just go do our job,” he said. “Just get open. They’ll get it to you. They are here for a reason.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — What’s the latest with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett? Is Rob Gronkowski close to 100 percent? And what are the latest shenanigans of Rex Ryan? All this and more as WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Patriots Bills inside Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — You can sense Rob Gronkowski is feeling better and better.

In a fairly animated press conference Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots tight end said he admittedly wasn’t 100 percent in his return to action on Sept. 22 against the Texans.

But the tight end said Wednesday he is getting closer and closer.

In the game against the Texans, he was targeted just once and didn’t catch a pass in the 27-0 win. The one target came at the end of the first quarter when the Patriots were third-and-1 at the Texans 6. Jacoby Brissett lofted a high pass to the left back corner of the end zone. The pass was well out of reach but Gronkowski couldn’t get very high off the ground.

The rest of the game he was a blocking tight end and served primarily as a huge decoy in the Patriots passing game.

“Whenever you’re coming back from an injury, you’re not all of a sudden at 100 percent or full-go, so just kind of taking it one day at a time and easing myself into the progression of playing football and doing everything out there,” Gronkowski said Wednesday.

“I felt good, definitely. You’re always sore no matter what after playing a game. No matter if you play 10 plays or 70 plays, [you’re] definitely sore like any other game, but no setbacks, no nothing; feeling good and just progressing every day.”

Gronkowski said he’s been doing a lot of reading up on hamstring injuries like his suffered in mid-August in joint practices against the Bears.

“You’ve got to be careful with any injury, but I mean, if you research hamstrings, if you know anything about hamstrings, you’ve definitely got to be careful,” Gronkowski said. “You’ve got to progress. You can’t just hop back in and be full-go 100 percent. I wish it was like that. I can’t wait until I’m going crazy out there again. So I’m just progressing myself into it and feeling better every single day.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — There was good news coming out of Patriots practice on Wednesday.

Both quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were present and were even throwing passes, as the media was able to see the first individual drill. Although they weren’t with much velocity, it’s a good sign for being available Sunday against the Bills.

FOXBORO — There was good news coming out of Patriots practice on Wednesday.

Both quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were present and were even throwing passes, as the media was able to see the first individual drill. Although they weren’t with much velocity, it’s a good sign for being available Sunday against the Bills.

The team had perfect attendance for the second straight day with defensive lineman Anthony Johnson returning after being released on Monday, as he replaces Ian Silberman on the practice squad.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Rex Ryan really must be feeling bored.

The affable Bills head coach reached a new level on Wednesday conference call when he posed as “Walt Patulski” a reporter for the Buffalo News and asked Patriots receiver Julian Edelman if he were playing quarterback for the Patriots.

“Are you playing quarterback?” Ryan asked.

Rex Ryan really must be feeling bored.

The affable Bills head coach reached a new level on Wednesday conference call when he posed as “Walt Patulski” a reporter for the Buffalo News and asked Patriots receiver Julian Edelman if he were playing quarterback for the Patriots.

“Are you playing quarterback?” Ryan asked.

“I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do,” an unsuspecting Edelman said. “If they ask me to go out and give a glass a water to someone on the sideline, I’m going to do that with a smile on my face if it helps our team win. You can ask our coach about that.”

Ryan quipped, “All right buddy, I will.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — In his first session with the media since he suffered a shoulder injury in a win over the Dolphins earlier this month, Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said he didn’t feel pressured to get back on the field last week to face the Bills.

Jimmy Garoppolo spoke with the media on Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

Jimmy Garoppolo spoke with the media on Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

FOXBORO — In his first session with the media since he suffered a shoulder injury in a win over the Dolphins earlier this month, Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said he didn’t feel pressured to get back on the field last week to face the Bills.

Speaking with the media at his locker for just over four minutes, the quarterback — who didn’t appear to have a sling or a wrap on his throwing shoulder — gave a quick “no” when he was asked about the report that he felt pressure from the team to return to the field. In a roundabout way, he also confirmed the reported injury in his throwing shoulder.

Asked about the injury and whether he’s played with an injury previously, he said he “never had an AC sprain or anything like that. This will be the first.”

He added: “I thought that the wind just got knocked out of me at first. But I don’t know. It escalated from there, I guess.”

He sounded an optimistic note when it came to his rehab.

“It’s coming along. Day-by-day right now, trying to get to the best of my ability on Sunday,” he said. “Just trying to get better every day, That’s all that you can ask for with this. … We’re just taking it day-by-day really.”

Garoppolo was asked if it was “frustrating” not playing last week against the Texans.

“It was different, that’s for sure. I’ve never really been in that situation,” he said. “Not the funnest thing. But it is what it is, I guess.”

Garoppolo has been out of sight since the injury against the Dolphins. He was seen at practice on Tuesday, but since the injury, it’s been a unique situation for him. He said that he doesn’t want to commit to a timeline.

“It’s been different. It really is,” he smiled. “All you really can do is get better.”

“I know it sounds very rhetorical. But all you can do is get better day-by-day and take it one day at a time. If you start looking ahead, it’s hard to predict what you’re going to feel like in three or four days.”

Despite the fact that Tom Brady is set to return following this Sunday’s game against the Bills, Garoppolo said there’s no more urgency than usual to get back on the field.

“You always want to be out there. That’s part of football. Part of being a competitor,” he said. “You want to be the guy out there and be the guy who is running the show.”

Garoppolo also acknowledged that he has to be “smarter” when he slips out of the pocket. On the play where he got hurt, the quarterback was dumped on his shoulder by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso, causing the injury.

“It was kind of one of those plays … it’s football. Stuff is going to happen like that. You just have to be smart in those situations,” he said. “It’s just one of those things, when you’re in the heat of the game, bottom line: I have to be smarter than that.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price