Salas believes familiarity with offense will help


Salas believes familiarity with offense will help

FOXBORO -- New Patriots receiver Greg Salas has a lot to catch up on and not a lot of time to do it.
A Saturday, post-cutdown addition to the team via trade, Salas has just one week before New England takes on the Titans in regular season action. The 24-year old was buried in the playbook during Monday's locker room availability.
"Just refreshing myself with the material and just concentrating on everything about Tennessee," he told the crowd of reporters.
Salas looked a little nervous. He certainly ain't in St. Louis anymore.
"It's a big difference," he said. "I'm just happy to be here."
Why him? Why not Jabar Gaffney, Donte' Stallworth, or (as of now) Deion Branch?
On Sunday, Bill Belichick gave a nod to the young receiver's versatility. And having a solid recommendation from former Rams head coach, current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can't hurt -- though Belichick said there was more to it than that.
"Josh had some firsthand experience with the player, no question," Belichick said. "But we scouted him coming out of Hawaii and followed him last year. We had a good feel for him before Josh was here just based on our scouting department and working him out and getting ready for the draft and all that."
The sample size of production in St. Louis was small, after all. Salas played just six games his rookie year because of a broken leg. He was productive for the Rams, recording 27 catches for 264 yards (22 catches in the last four games) in that span.
There are no limitations on that leg now.
So it helps the new playbook shares some similarities with the old one. The familiarity helps. As for where he'll be utilized in the offense, Salas believes he can play both outside and in the slot, as alluded to by Belichick.
"I know the expectations here are to win every game," Salas said, "and that's what I'm here to do."

Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots


Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots

FOXBORO -- Seems as though the Bills don't quite have their stories straight. 

On the one hand, you have Bills players, who say that they won't hesitate to retaliate if a Patriots player gets near one of their pregame warmup drills, as Jacoby Brissett did in Week 4. 

On the other hand, you have the Bills coach, who sounded less eager for there to be any kind of scrap before this weekend's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

"No, I mean with us, just go out and warm up," Ryan said in a conference call Wednesday. "That’s what you do, but any of the extracurricular things, you know, there’s absolutely zero focus on that, and shouldn’t be any focus on that. It’s just about playing games.

"I mean if people want to show how tough they are, put the boxing gloves on and get in the ring or something. That might be more impressive -- I don’t want Gronk by the way.

"But I definitely don’t want to see that happen, and our focus is 100 percent on the game and doing the very best we possibly can."

It's an interesting comment from a coach who has made it very clear that he wanted to build a "bully" in Buffalo. His team shut out the Patriots after trying to intimidate New England's rookie quarterback before the game. Did his team not benefit somehow from what occurred before kickoff that day?

He doesn't think so.

"It had nothing to do with our team . . . Absolutely nothing," he said. "You know, those things happen every now and then but it was no big deal. It did absolutely nothing for us."

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but . . . can I have your jersey?

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but . . . can I have your jersey?

Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster. 

Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh. 

The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."


Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request. 

"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."

Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment. 

"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."