FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick always tries to keep his players on their toes. Whether that was the case on Wednesday -- when he worked out kickers Neil Rackers, Billy Cundiff, and Graham Gano, as well as punters Chas Henry and Ryan Donahue -- remains to be seen.
Prior to Thursday's practice, the Patriots coach was asked about the workouts, and was then asked if he was happy with his Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko. Belichick said he was, but he also admitted that there are improvements to be made.
"I think, again, there are things that they need to work on, too," said Belichick. "We talk to them about that every week, absolutely."
On the season, Gostkowski has hit 17 of 20 field goals, including one at the end of regulation against the Jets to send it into overtime, and another in overtime to eventually win the game. He's hit two field goals of 50-plus yards.
Mesko has punted 30 times this season, with an average of 42 yards per punt.
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up for a dominant playoff performance, and the Atlanta Falcons ignored all those ghosts from the last half-century.
Next up: Super Bowl 51.
Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in another MVP-worthy showing, while Jones shook off a toe injury to haul in nine catches for 180 yards and two scores, leading the Falcons to a 44-21 blowout of the storied Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship Sunday.
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You’ll never guess who the seventh-best quarterback* at Gillette Stadium was Sunday.
Via video posted on his Snapchat, 2014 Browns first-rounder Johnny Manziel, currently out of the league, attended the AFC Championship wearing a Tom Brady jersey.
Manziel was released by the Browns last March after two seasons and just eight starts. Had he played this season, he would have been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
*He might have been eighth-best. Julian Edelman played quarterback in college. People forget that.