Ryan: We're going to pressure Brady

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Ryan: We're going to pressure Brady

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Rex Ryan has watched film of all the Patriots' games this year, and he thinks most teams are playing the Patriots all wrong.

Ryan said it frustrates him to see teams not puttingpressure on Tom Brady, since -- he believes -- not doing so means you're not necessarily"competing" against Brady and the Patriots' offense. His plan involves plenty of pressure and disguised coverages, something he believes is necessary to stop New England's offense.

"Brady's a guy that, if you just run standard coverages, he'll kill you," said Ryan.

"We're going to pressure him, we're going to mix our coverages, change our coverages, change our blitzes, sometimes go all-out blitz, sometimes simulated pressure, sometimes three-man rush, sometimes four-man rush, multiple coverages," he said. "And that's how you play Brady. You can't just let him sit back and know what you're in."

He knows that by putting pressure on Brady, defenses are going to get burned at times. But it's just the risk you take against one of the league's best.

"There's two quarterbacks in this league, that, when you look at a schedule, if you're a defensive coordinator, you're like, 'Oh gosh, we've got to play him?' Brady and Peyton Manning, those are the two guys," said Ryan. "There's a lot of good quarterbacks in the league, but for my money, those are the two best guys.

"It's not that we're scared of him, or something like that. We just look at it as an opportunity to match yourself up against the best, and that's where I put Tom Brady."

Ryan called his 9-2 Jets team a "resilient group" that's "finding ways to win games." It's something that his Jets team wasn't doing as much of last season. As much as this year's improvement has to do with their own organization as a whole, Ryan praised Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Thursday, saying that he's one of the only coaches that he still learns from each week.

"There are very few coaches that I steal from, but Bill Belichick's one of them," said Ryan. "He's so creative, what he does coverage-wise, how he looks at things, puts traps out there. the guy's an amazing coach. Like I said, the best coach in football. It's not even close. That's a guy that I will study. Each week, I'll just pop their tape on to see what he's doing."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

Rob Gronkowski's contract looked like one of the NFL's best bargains not too long ago. Now, after agreeing to a contract restructure, he could be paid as the top tight end in the league if he stays healthy.

Granted, it's a gargantuan "if."

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Gronkowski's restructured deal will bump his salary for this upcoming season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million should he hit certain statistical thresholds or be named an All-Pro.

Per Schefter, Gronkowski earns $10.75 million if he plays 90 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done once before in his career), or makes 80 catches (which he's done twice), or gains 1,200 yards receiving (once), or is named an All-Pro (three times). 

Those seem like lofty goals for the 28-year-old who's entering his eighth year as a pro. But history shows that if he stays on the field for a full season or thereabouts -- 15 games to be specific -- he'll get to where he wants to be. 

If you take out his rookie year, before he had established himself as a go-to option in the Patriots offense, Gronkowski has played in three seasons during which he's reached at least 15 games. In each of those three seasons, he's been named an All-Pro. In 2011, he hit all three statistical markers. In 2014, he hit one. In 2015, he hit none. 

The lesson? When Gronkowski stays relatively healthy throughout a given season, even if he doesn't reach the astronomical statistical heights he reached in his second year, there's a very good chance he's considered the best tight end in the NFL. 

And if that's the case again in 2017, he'll be paid like the best tight end in the NFL.

To hit the second tier of his restructured deal -- which would pay him $8.75 million, per Schefter -- Gronkowski needs to play 80 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done twice), or make 70 catches (three times), or gain 1,000 receiving yards (three times), or catch 12 touchdowns (twice). 

To hit the third tier of his new deal and get $6.75 million, Gronkowski needs to play 70 percent of the snaps (which he's done four times), or make 60 catches (three times), or gain 800 receiving yards (three times), or score 10 touchdowns (five times). 

According to Spotrac, Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks is currently scheduled to be the tight end position's top earner next season at $10 million. Odds are that if Gronkowski avoids disaster and stays on the field, he'll eclipse that.

But the odds of him staying on the field are what they are: He's played in 15 games in four of seven pro seasons. 

The restructured deal seems to be the ultimate incentive for Gronkowski to get healthy and stay that way following last year's season-ending back surgery. If he can, the Patriots will reap the benefits of having the game's most dynamic offensive weapon on the field, and the player will be paid a far cry from what he was scheduled to make when the week began.