Belichick: We have a lot of respect for Henne

966223.png

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?

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 

PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 17

On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.