Revis on Welker: Energizer bunny

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Revis on Welker: Energizer bunny

FOXBORO -- Darrelle Revis called the Patriots' passing game their "bread and butter" during a conference call on Wednesday, prior to his rematch with New England on Sunday.

Like the first matchup of the season -- a 30-21 Patriots win on Oct. 9 -- Revis will most likely be covering the Pats' top wideout in Wes Welker once again.

Revis had high praise for Welker on Wednesday, calling him New England's "energizer bunny."

"Last game, the matchup was great between Wes," said Revis. "Sometimes I was throwing him on the ground, and sometimes he was catching some balls on me.

"I call him the energizer bunny. Because he never stops. It doesn't matter what you do to him. He just keeps on coming and coming . . . If I'm on him, I'm on him. If I'm not, then it doesn't matter. We have confidence in everybody."

Welker finished the first game against the Jets with five receptions for 124 yards. Those receptions helped hand the Jets their third straight loss of the season, and set them back with a 2-3 record, which led to plenty of in-house tension.

But since that loss in New England, Revis and the Jets have won three straight games, and are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East, with a 5-3 record.

Needless to say, there's no longer any in-house tension in New York.

"It's been swept under the rug now," said Revis. "Some guys were pointing people out, and we just had a team meeting, and got everything out there, and moved forward as a team.

"This is another week for us to just go another step in our goals of what we want to accomplish," added Revis. "This is a very big game."

Since the Jets' loss to the Patriots in Week 5, Revis has also stepped up his game, recording three interceptions in their last three games.

On Wednesday's conference call, Revis agreed with his coach Rex Ryan's statement, that he was the best cornerback in the league.

"Yeah, I believe so," said Revis when asked if he agreed with Ryan. "I'm not saying that out of cockiness or anything. I'm a humble guy, but I work hard. And this has been my dream, to be the best.

"This is where my life is at right now, and my situation, and I'm just trying to do it the best way I can."

Quick Slants The Column: On booing Goodell and overvaluing Jimmy G

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Quick Slants The Column: On booing Goodell and overvaluing Jimmy G

Big night, Philadelphia. How you gonna treat the man NFL owners pay $35 million to be their meat shield? The first round of the draft is one of the few Roger Goodell appearances the league can’t manage. Released from the protection of John Mara’s coat pocket, Goodell has to hear a voice vote from fans every time he approaches the mic. He can grin, bang nipples and backslap all he wants with the first-rounders and sling that “Welcome to the family!” line of BS. He can hit the stage with the ghosts of Reggie White, Buddy Ryan and Chuck Bednarik. Philly’s too smart to get caught watching the paint dry. 

Got into a brief and spirited debate on the topic of Jimmy Garoppolo this morning on our “Boston Sports Tonight” email chain. I opined that perhaps Garoppolo is a bit overrated. Overvalued may have been a better adjective. Here’s why. With a fleet of teams dying for a quarterback they can build around, the Patriots squelched all Jimmy G suitors by declaring him untouchable. We may ultimately find out it was all a ruse and the team winds up getting a boatload of picks in exchange for him but from everything I’ve been told since September that’s not happening. Garoppolo will stay a Patriot and the team will figure out later how to proceed with him once his contract is up in March.

If Garoppolo isn’t franchised and doesn’t sign an extension to back up Tom Brady until Brady either retires (not on the horizon) or is traded (gasp), then why did the team pass on the haul it could have had? The theory most often posited is that Garoppolo is Brady insurance. If Brady gets hurt in 2017 and Jacoby Brissett is the next-man-up, the team is cooked. But that reality has existed throughout Brady’s tenure whether he had Rohan Davey, Matt Gutierrez, Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett behind him. It didn’t faze them then. Garoppolo is better than all of them. Potentially. And that’s probably why the Patriots don’t want to make a decision on him before they have to. They look at all these forever .500 teams trying to find a quarterback answer and think, “There, but for the grace of God and the presence of Brady, go I.” Garoppolo isn’t going to be better than Brady. But he fits the suit better than anyone they’ve ever had and they like the fact they found him, developed him and were right about him. Clearly they believe he is a greater asset as a backup with a soon-to-expire contract and a complicated future than the collection of young players they’d be able to draft with whatever picks they got back in a deal. This, of course, runs counter to the way the team has traditionally done business. Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio have found innovative ways to acquire, stockpile and flip picks. The fact the team’s already got its 2017 draft haul of Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy, Dwayne Allen and Mike Gillislee thanks to pick-flipping. Garoppolo could yield the next batch of picks the Patriots could use in the “rent-to-own” model they’ve shrewdly adopted. But Garoppolo is the extreme outlier. And the Brady-Garoppolo-what’ll-they-do dance is fascinating because it highlights the confluence of everything – draft, free agency, cap management, trades, potential vs. proven, old vs. young, icon vs. phenom – at the most important position in sports on the greatest franchise of this era. 

Which brings me to this: we’ll have former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in studio tonight at 9pm on Boston Sports Tonight helping us through the first round of the draft. Looking forward to his insight on why Garoppolo is persona-non-tradeable. Put the over-under on “Tommys” at about 47.

Patriots seven-round mock draft: Shakeup in the secondary

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Patriots seven-round mock draft: Shakeup in the secondary

In order to shake things up a bit in our third and final mock draft of the pre-draft season -- you can find our first two here and here -- we went ahead and made a trade for the Patriots.

In a move silimar to the one they pulled off involving Chandler Jones last year, in this mock draft the Patriots dealt Malcolm Butler to the Saints in order to pick up some draft capital. But instead of receiving the No. 32 pick overall in return, Bill Belichick pulled in a haul of picks that provided nearly equal value: No. 42 overall (second round), No. 103 (third round) and No. 196 overall (sixth round). 

That deal bumped the total number of Patriots selections from six to nine, and by picking up a second-rounder they gave themselves an opportunity at a top-end talent.

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