Sanchez says all the right things about Patriots secondary

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Sanchez says all the right things about Patriots secondary

FOXBORO -- Mark Sanchez was late for his conference call.
He claims he was busy studying some tape and "trying to figure out how to win" on Sunday.
If we see him on the cover of next month's GQ, we'll know he lied to us. If he doesn't throw like crazy on the Patriots secondary Sunday, we'll know he really lied to us.
Of course, Sanchez said all the right things when asked about the Patriots and their shoddy pass defense, but there's no doubting his hopes of jump starting that 49.7 completion percentage of his.
"I think they're a great group of players," Sanchez said of New England's secondary. "I know they're always capable of having big games and I know they're going to be in the right position, so it's my job to be smart with the football. And it's always a challenge no matter what the numbers say against these guys. I have a lot of respect for their team."
Always going to be in the right position... good one, Mark!
But all kidding aside, sure, it'll be a challenge nobody says it won't be. And New England's defense won't just stand around and watch Sanchez air it out. But how can Sanchez explain why team's have been so successful going deep? He can't or wouldn't really.
"Different plays happen at different times for different reasons," he said.
Ah, of course! Why didn't we think of that? But he continued.
"I think some of them have been really good throws, some have been pretty good schemes that have gotten guys open. So that type of stuff happens to any secondary, but I think these guys are a tough group and they always play well."
Sanchez has played well against New England in years past, but he hasn't taken the leap that many thought he would take to the "elite" level of quarterbacks. In fact, some think he's peaked as a QB. One thing he has taken is a lot of flack from the New York media and fans, but has done what he can to block it out.
"You are what your record says. Statistics, that's the way that you're judged. So there's a ton of teams at 3-3 and we're trying to just keep playing hard and do well. But as far as my personal play we just have to get more wins. I think there are a few throws that I want back and stuff but that's natural. We're working through some personnel issues here getting guys healthy so that's helped this last week. But I'm just trying to find ways to get wins and not really worry about outside opinion."

Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

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Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

The Patriots have announced a series of initiatives to celebrate the 2001 Super Bowl championship team on the 15th aniversary of their title-winning season.

Throughout the course of the 2016 season, the Patriots will feature special content online and on Patriots All-Access that will lead up to Dec. 4, when Gillette Stadium will host a reunion of the 2001 team during halftime of the Patriots-Rams regular-season matchup. 

The Patriots have already featured images of moments from the 2001 campaign on tickets for their eight regular-season home games. They'll also have a special exhibit dedicated to the 2001 team at The Hall at Patriot Place beginning in the fall. In addition, issues of Patriots Football Weekly this year will include posters of shots from the 2001 season. 

"The Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams was the first championship for our team and will always hold a very special place in our hearts," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "The victory made everyone that ever wore a Patriots uniform or rooted for the Patriots on the bleachers at Foxboro Stadium feel proud to be a fan. I know I am looking forward to reliving some of those great memories throughout the 2016 season."

The Patriots said that video vignettes of the 2001 season will launch this week on Twitter and Facebook as well as on Patriots.com.

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Jerod Mayo looks at the looming quarterback situation for the Patriots and can’t help thinking back to his rookie season.

The former Patriots linebacker who graduated (ahem) to co-hosting “Quick Slants” with me on Monday nights, was asked how drastic the impact of Brady’s four-game suspension will be.

“I still remember 2008, my rookie year, in the first game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tom tears his ACL,” said Mayo. “Matt Cassel, at the same point, had zero starts just like Jimmy Garoppolo and we won 11 games. I know we missed the playoffs, but we still won 11 games and that’s something.”

Asked what the message Bill Belichick gave the team in the wake of Brady’s injury and what Mayo anticipates the message being now, Mayo answered, “Honestly, it’s so cliché but it’s that ‘next man up’ mentality and the depth of the team that Bill Belichick builds, you just can’t top it.”

Later in the show, Mayo indicated he wouldn’t be surprised if the team did add a little more quarterback depth in camp. In 2015, the team brought on both Ryan Lindley and Matt Flynn as a cushion behind Brady and Garoppolo.