Belichick: We have a lot of respect for Henne

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Belichick: We have a lot of respect for Henne

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick gave current Jaguars, former Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne a heaping plate of respect Wednesday morning.  "Henne does a good job of reading coverages and getting the ball to the weak point of the coverage," Belichick said. "He uses Jordan Shipley and Marcedes Lewis in the inside part of the field. He uses his backs and check downs well. He certainly can get the ball to the perimeter with Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. He does a good job of spreading the ball around or taking where the defense is light, he does a good job of attacking there. 
"Hes also a pretty decent athlete. He can move around back there. There have been times where hes under pressure, hes able to escape and run or use his quickness in the pocket to then set up and throw the ball downfield and make a completion or make a good play."
Here's the thing: Belichick has to say these things. But Henne wasn't even Jacksonville's first choice. 
On November 21, Jaguars starter Blaine Gabbert was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a forearm injury. The second-year quarterback had struggled as a rookie with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This season he was barely better, bringing his completion percentage up from last year's 50.8 to 58.3 after 10 games. 
Still, teams don't usually give up first-round picks after less than two seasons. When Henne got the job it was because the Jaguars had no one else to give it to.  
Here's what the statistics say in the days before the Patriots travel to Jacksonville. 
Henne ranks dead last among the NFL's 35 quarterbacks in completion percentage (51.9). His touchdown-to-interception ratio is 85. The Jaguars rank 31st in first downs (226) and third down conversion percentage (28.6). New England has more than double the points scored this season than Jacksonville (506 to 219).  
"I dont think he gets locked in on one thing. With Henne, you really have to defend everything," Belichick continued. "You have to defend all the receivers, you have to defend the short balls, you have to defend the play-action, the deep balls, a little bit of scrambling. I think he does a pretty good job at everything. Thats really the hardest thing for a defense, when you have to defend everything as opposed to just nailing it down to, This is what he likes to do and its this small thing that theyre pretty good at, but its just that one thing." 
"Hes certainly done it well against us. Hes had some of his best games against us, so we have a lot of respect for Henne."
The Henne-led Dolphins were 1-4 against the Patriots. Of his career numbers, the quarterback has thrown for the most yardage against New England with 1,346. He also has the most touchdowns against Belichick's defenses with six, but has six interceptions to match. 
Who says Belichick isn't a nice guy?

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:

QUOTES

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.

“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.

“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . .  It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.

“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.

* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.

* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.

* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.

* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.

 

STARS

1) Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.

2) David Price

Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.