By Tom E. Curran
INDIANAPOLIS - Will the Patriots have to deal with Cam Newton twice a season? If the Buffalo Bills take him with the third overall pick, they'll have to. But on Thursday morning, Bills head coach Chan Gailey indicated this morning at the NFL Combine the transition from the foolishness Auburn ran to feature Newton's talents may make it hard for him to transition to the pro style. Asked if he was concerned at all that Newton was just a one-year starter at Auburn, Gailey said, "I don't think developing the 'one-year guy' is as big as developing the guy that's not been in a typical type of offense, a pro-style of offense. When you're trying to change a guy's thought process into a certain mode, that's a little harder to me than it is to take a one-year guy. A one-year guy who's been in a 'pro' type of offense, to me he's going to understand and be further along than the guy who spent one year in a non-traditional offense."The recent track record of first-round quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradfordand Josh Freeman has been very good. The reason?"Probably the combination of doing a better job of finding out all the information in scouting and maybe the situations they have been in have really helped them," said Gailey. "Flacco and Sanchez both had great defenses that made them not have to go and win the game . . . The recent success makes everybody say, 'Lets not be so hard on that statistic from the last 15 years of quarterbacks fizzling out, let's look a little at the last four or five."Gailey said the Bills will happily entertain trade offers ("We don't turn our phone off at night") and that Ryan Fitzpatrickplayed well enough to quelldesperation about the quarterback position."I've said all along I am extremely confident in Ryan Fitzpatrick," Gailey stated. "He played well enough to prove to a lot of people - me and our staff included - that he can play well. We can win a bunch of football games with a guy like that. I've been to the playoffs a couple times with guys who havent performed as well as Ryan has."Did he regret not making him the starter out of camp?"Yeah! Shoot yeah. IfI knew then whatI know now, I wouldn't have done that. But you do what you have to do with the information you have."
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday.
The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return.
"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."
Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.
Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.
"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."
Michael Strahan saw the Patriots lose a Super Bowl first-hand, but he doesn’t think they’ll lose Super Bowl LI. That’s because he doesn’t think they’ll be participants.
Appearing on The Tonight Show, the former Giants defensive end and current Person Who is Frequently on Television said that he expects the Steelers to upset the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship.
“I think in the AFC, I think Pittsburgh might pull the upset this year,” Strahan said.
When Jimmy Fallon objected, Strahan said Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ pass rush would be enough to beat the Pats if New England plays the way it did in the divisional round.
“If you watched the Houston Texans, they had a shot; they just turned the ball over,” he said. “And the Houston Texans offense is in no way, shape or form near what Pittsburgh has. They don’t have the quarterback that [Pittsburgh has]. Defensively, Houston had the really good defense, but Pittsburgh [puts] the good pressure on the quarterback. And from my Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady does not like pressure. I’m just saying I feel like if there’s anybody who’s going to pull an upset, it will be them.”
As for any rooting interest, Strahan said that he hopes the Falcons win the Super Bowl, citing Matt Ryan being overdue for a title and Julio Jones having a Brady-like quality of putting team goals before his own legacy.