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

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FOXBORO — All is proceeding as normal with Jacoby Brissett.

The quarterback who led the Patriots to a 27-0 win over the Texans on Sept. 22 said his injured right thumb is not preventing him from preparing for the Bills

“Feeling fine,” Brissett said Wednesday.

Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett

FOXBORO — All is proceeding as normal with Jacoby Brissett.

The quarterback who led the Patriots to a 27-0 win over the Texans on Sept. 22 said his injured right thumb is not preventing him from preparing for the Bills

“Feeling fine,” Brissett said Wednesday.

So the thumb’s OK?

“Yup,” said Brissett, who said it felt good to throw the football again on Tuesday at practice.

Asked if the thumb was “100 percent,” Brissett hedged just a bit.

“C’mon, you know we’re not talking about injuries here,” he said.

He practiced Tuesday with a wrap on the thumb. He wasn’t sure if that would continue throughout the week.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m trying to see how I feel going out there but whatever it is, you’ve just got to deal with it and go out there and have a good day of preparation.”

Brissett also admitted that he has to take into account the thumb when gripping the ball to throw.

“It’s just something I deal with. Whatever happens, just happens. And whatever coach wants me to do, I’ll do,” Brissett said. “Played with it. It’s fine. Didn’t think about it. That’s the main thing, just not think about it.”

Asked if he’s been cleared to start Sunday if needed, Brissett deferred to Bill Belichick.

If it’s not him, it is likely Jimmy Garoppolo, who spoke just after Brissett finished his two-minute chat with reporters.

“It was good to have one of your friends on your team out there,” Brissett said of Garoppolo at practice on Tuesday. “It was good to get him back out there.”

“That’s coach’s decision. I can’t make that decision,” Brissett said. “I’m just focused on the game plan. You know, we have a tough game this weekend. You just got to go out there and prepare. We’ve got a good plan. We’re going against a good team coming off a big win. So, we’ve got to go out there and do our job.”

Brissett said the 27-0 win over the Bills was big for his confidence but he has long since moved onto Buffalo.

“It was huge but the Bills pose a different threat,” Brissett said. “They’re coming off a big win. We’ve got to come out there, ready to play.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick isn’t ever going to feed into the media hype over Rex Ryan.

File Sep 28, 10 12 24 AM

Bill Belichick speaks Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick isn’t ever going to feed into the media hype over Rex Ryan.

He showed that again Wednesday in his press conference. The Patriots coach was asked about his reaction to Ryan doing an impersonation of Belichick talking about the injuries to his quarterback and his answer of “we’ll give our injury report on Wednesday, as we’re required to do,” and that he plans to still come after the quarterback, even if it’s Belichick.

Does Belichick take this all in good fun?

“Yeah, I’m just focused on getting ready for the Bills,” Belichick said in his best monotone. “I’m really in tuned to all that. I’m sure it’s important to you guys but it’s not really anything I spend much time with.”

In other words, don’t expect Belichick to break into a Rex Ryan parody anytime soon. Apparently, calling Belichick the best coach in NFL history wasn’t enough to get the Patriots coach to bite.

Belichick was also asked about his coaching philosophy and whether he stresses winning games or not losing them.

“Both. You can’t win ’em until you get the keys to losing them. But you can’t dig a hole and win games, either. You’ve got to attack. It’s both,” Belichick said.

Belichick won both games against Ryan last year, 40-32, in Orchard Park and 20-13 at Gillette.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Ryan Allen’s performance against the Texans wasn’t just appreciated locally, but nationally as well.

Ryan Allen

Ryan Allen

FOXBORO — Ryan Allen’s performance against the Texans wasn’t just appreciated locally, but nationally as well.

The Patriots punter was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 3. Allen punted seven times for 333 yards (47.6 average) and placed six of his punts inside the opponent 20-yard line in the Patriots’ 27-0 win over the Texans.

After the game, Allen didn’t want to take any of the credit.

“Well the defense played lights out, Jacoby and the offense, LeGarrette [Blount] ran great. It’s a collective effort. It was a great team win,” Allen said.

It is the second time in Allen’s career that he has received an AFC Player of the Week Honor. He also won the award following his performance in a 2014 Week 14 win at the Chargers.

Additionally, it’s the second AFC Player of the Week honor for the Patriots in 2016. Stephen Gostkowski was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the win at Arizona on Sept. 11.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Pete Morelli will work this Sunday's Patriots-Bills game. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Pete Morelli will work this Sunday’s Patriots-Bills game. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Pete Morelli will work as the referee for Sunday’s Bills-Patriots game.

Morelli has worked as a referee since 2003. This will be his first New England game of the 2016 season. He refereed two Patriots games last year, both of them in Foxboro — a 36-7 New England win over the Dolphins in October, and a shocking 35-28 loss to the Eagles in December.

Here’s a look at who has worked as the referee for each Patriots’ regular-season game this year and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 11 at Arizona: Tony Corrente — 8 penalties, 69 yards (Cardinals — 6 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 18 vs. Miami: Craig Wrolstad — 7 penalties, 65 yards (Dolphins — 5 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 22 vs. Houston: Walt Coleman — 3 penalties, 15 yards (Texans — 6 penalties, 43 yards)

For more on Morelli’s career as an official, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. And for more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Eric Mangini feels bad about the way he handled “Spygate.”

Eric Mangini was a New England assistant before he became head coach of the Jets. ()Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Eric Mangini was a New England assistant before he became head coach of the Jets. ()Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Eric Mangini feels bad about the way he handled “Spygate.”

The former Patriots assistant coach reported his old team for videotaping opponents’ at the start of the 2007 season, a scandal that led to New England losing a draft pick and taking a massive fine in the process. But Mangini, who left the Patriots for the head coaching job with the Jets the year before, said it wasn’t supposed to happen that way.

“Spygate is a big regret,” Mangini told the New York Post. “It wasn’t supposed to go down the way it went down.

“There was no great value in what they were doing,” Mangini added. “It wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it to me personally. It wasn’t worth it to the relationship.”

The NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000. They also lost their first-round pick in the 2008 draft.

Mangini said wanted the Patriots stopped, but he never thought it would get reported to the league. The decision also damaged his relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“I cared about him,” Mangini said of Belichick, his former mentor. “I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t want to hurt the Patriots. They were a huge part of my life, too, and the Kraft family. The Kraft’s were always great to me. It wasn’t like I was thinking I really want to get these guys. My thought was I don’t want to put my team at a competitive disadvantage, no matter how small.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price