FOXBORO -- I've been complaining about Bill Belichick telling the media that day is night, up is down and the Colts were a talented team. So I am not going to whine that he shot it straight on Rex Grossman Wednesday afternoon. Asked about the Redskins quarterback that Belichick's Patriots will face this weekend, Belichick gave a clinic in "damning with faint praise.""Rex first of all, has a lot of confidence," said Belichick. "And I think his team has confidence in him. So that's a good starting point. That's the feeling you want from your offense when you go out on the field, 'We're gonna be able to move the ball and be successful,' and I think he brings that."The ball will move when Grossman's throwing, no doubt about that. This season, the now 31-year-old has thrown 10 touchdowns and 15 picks in nine starts. His decision-making, said Belichick (in so many words), is risk-embracing. "In his aggressiveness there's probably some throws that he'd like to have back but I think that's part of what makes him good is that he is aggressive," Belichick explained. "Just because you have good coverage on a player, that doesn't mean he won't try to stick it in there. Sometimes he makes plays and sometimes (the ball) doesn't get into that spot. But he's definitely not afraid to be aggressive and I think defensively you've got to respect that."Or at least be conscious of it. Because, as a defensive back, Grossman may throw it to you on any given play. For two weeks in September, Grossman was the quarterbacking flavor of the week. He threw fortwo touchdowns and 305 yards in a season-opening win over the Giants. He threw two more scores and had two picks ina 22-21 win over Arizona. Then the bottom dropped out. Over the next four games,Grossman threwtwo touchdowns and nine picks. After the three losses in four games, Grossman was benched in favor of John Beck. That didn't work either. When Grossman got his job back in November, he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes. But last week, Grossman reverted even more, going 19 for 46 with a pick against the Jets. I thought Rex probably did not play as good as he has played over the last few games, Redskins coach Mike Shanhan told the Washington media on Monday. I think as he looks at the film, hell be somewhat disappointed in his play.Shanahan must be tearing his stubbornly well-parted hair out. For his offense to work successfully, it needs a back that threatens the edges and can be a one-cut runner in the stretch play they run. And he needs a quarterback who is mobile but also able to throw on the move with accuracy. Back to Belichick's dim praise. "He can be accurate," the coach said of Grossman. "He's got some mobility in the pocket. He's a tough kid. He'll stand in there and get hit and throw the ball. He's made some real good throws down the field on play-action. He's hit a lot of big plays."For both teams.
The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)
WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.