In Year Two, where does Brissett fit into Patriots QB equation?

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In Year Two, where does Brissett fit into Patriots QB equation?

FOXBORO - Tom Brady is about to turn 40 and still playing at an elite level. Jimmy Garoppolo is the most talked about backup quarterback in football as he enters the final year of his rookie deal. So, where does that leave Jacoby Brissett? The physically impressive second-year pro is intent on inserting himself into the quarterback equation.

“I’m trying to close the gap every day,” he told me after Tuesday’s practice. “I just gotta go out there and do the best I can, do my job. Whatever else happens happens.”

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What’s happening is three players, all at different levels, pushing one another both on the field and in the meeting rooms. You might think that would be hard to do, what with the Greatest of All Time, Brady, as the lead dog. Not so fast, says Brissett.

“You go out there and compete against him,” he said. “Every day, he doesn’t allow us, Tom doesn’t allow us not to compete against him. I think that’s the standard we hold in our room. Jimmy, Josh [McDaniels], [assistant QBs coach] Jerry [Schuplinski], I think we do a great job making sure everybody knows when the time comes, you got to take the approach that nothing else changes.”

Brissett probably had his best day of this young training camp Tuesday and maybe delivered the best ball of the session with a dart deep down the left sideline to undrafted rookie free agent Austin Carr. That drew some oooooohs and ahhhhhs from a relatively small crowd in Foxboro and also got Brissett some love from a handful of players who, like him, are trying to work their way up the depth chart.

“Definitely kind of hard the first year [to take leadership],” said Brissett. “You don’t really know everything that’s going on. Year two, there’s no excuse to not knowing what’s going on.”

His coach, Bill Belichick, has noticed. In an interview with SiriusXM, Belichick spoke of Brissett’s growth.

"It will be interesting to see how it goes this year because his role is a little bit different,” he said. “He has a lot more experience and he’s certainly grown as a quarterback, but it will be interesting to see how that all manifests itself this year. I think he’s had a good training camp so far and it looks like he’s come back ready to compete and he’s definitely made some progress here in the last week or so. We will just see how that continues to go.”

Part of what makes it interesting in Belichick’s view is that Brissett has no clear-cut role to start the season, which is unlike last year. Health was also an issue, obviously, with Brissett ending up on injured reserve with a thumb injury for a period before being brought back late in the season.

“Jacoby is kind of in a unique situation," Belichick said. "When he started the year last year, we knew he was going to be the second quarterback with Jimmy, while Tom [Brady] was out. This year, that’s really not the way it is as we stand right now. Jacoby made a lot of progress through training camp and through the first month of the season, as you mentioned until he had the thumb injury. It took the wind out of the sails and then by the time he came back, even though he was participating, he had missed so much time. And at that point, Tom was back and Jimmy was in the No. 2 spot, so it really didn’t provide a lot of opportunity for Jacoby, certainly not the way the opportunity was there at the beginning of the year.”

Brissett didn’t necessarily agree with his coach on that point.

“I wouldn’t say so because you still get to sit back and watch and get to learn from those mental reps,” he said, adding, “but it definitely helps to be back out there.”
 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.