Brady versus Ryan: Part II

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Brady versus Ryan: Part II

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- In a seven-day span Tom Brady will throw against two Ryan defenses; he dodges Rex to dance with Rob. And for as good as the Jets 'D' can be, the Cowboys aren't far behind.

Dallas, statistically, is toughest against the rush, allowing just 61.8 yards per game. The team's total defense is ranked fourth (291.8 yards per game), surrendering 230.0 passing yards on average.

Brady is up on these numbers. Of course.

"He's a great coach," Brady said about Rob. "He gets those guys playing hard. I think they're very talented. They've got a bunch of good skill type players over there . . . They really get pressure on the quarterback from everybody. They get pressure on the three-man rush, they get pressure on the four-man rush, when they blitz they get pressure. . . . So, we've got to make sure we really stand up to them."

Ryan had Brady's number last year in Cleveland. The Browns' 34-14 win over the Patriots sticks out sorely because it was the second of New England's only two losses in 2010. And because Cleveland's defense held the Patriots to its lowest point total of the season. (Rex's Jets beat them 28-14 on September 19.) Brady went 19-for-34 in front of a giddy dog pound that November day.

Despite the different personnel in Dallas, he knows what Rob Ryan can do.

"Everything's very well coordinated," the quarterback said. "They've got a bunch of different things that they do . . . it's certainly not easy to prepare for. They've got a bunch of different blitz looks, a bunch of different defensive packages. It's kind of a gameplay defense and you're never really sure what you're going to get until you get out there, so you've got to prepare for everything."

But then there are those guys you just have to brace yourself for. Like DeMarcus Ware.

Ware is the linebacker Texas Pop Warner quarterbacks hear ghost stories about. He doesn't currently lead the NFL in sacks (he's tied for fourth), but, firstly, the Cowboys are coming off a bye and secondly, the minute you think he's off his game he'll have you on the ground.

Brady was sacked three times when last these team's met -- a 48-27 New England win in October of 2007. One of the takedowns belongs to Ware.

"He can get after the quarterback as good as anybody we play," Brady said. "He's powerful, he's fast off the edge, he's got a bunch of different moves. It's not like you just set on the speed rush and he'll speed rush you and then he'll power you right into the quarterback.

"The first play of the 2011 season he sacked Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez . . . If he gets going early he's going to be a problem all day, so we've got to make sure we really account for him on every play."

There are new worries, too. Rob Ryan inherited a sneaky winner in Sean Lee, a 6-2, 245 pound linebacker, when he took over the Dallas defense. After a year of digesting an NFL system, Lee has been a bear on the Cowboys line this season. In his first career start, that 27-24 loss to the Jets, his 15 tackles lead the team. Lee also picked off a Sanchez pass and ran it back 37-yards, which set up a Dallas touchdown. He even threw in a fumble recovery to round things out.

Lee's pace through the subsequent weeks wasn't slowed: 36 stops, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries. And more homework for Tom Brady.

"He's not big in stature, almost Zach Thomas-like," Brady said, comparing Lee to the former Dolphins linebacker who made the Pro Bowl eight times, "but really dissects the passing game, reads the quarterback really well. That return he had for a touchdown against the Jets was a phenomenal play: read the quarterback, kind of figured out the route, anticipated the throw, made a great catch and a great run. He's very good.

"He's obviously very smart, you can see that from just watching him play," Brady added. "He communicates a lot. When the play is called into the defense you can see he's one of the guy's that's always trying to get everything communicated to the rest of the guys, which tells you how the coaches feel about him. And that defense, I would say, is not very easy. There's a lot that they do, so to put that on a second-year player, that tells you what they think of him."

The esteem of Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is more than enough of an endorsement to caution Brady. As the backlog shows, that's how it should be.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Terrell Suggs keeps doing his best to pump air into his one-sided “feud” with Tom Brady.

Ever since Brady begged for a flag on Suggs after a benign hit back in 2009, Suggs has made it his mission to speak truth to the perceived power of Brady.

“Everyone just seems to worship the guy so much,” he once said. “Not me, though.”

So, Suggs has called basically derided Brady as a crybaby and occasionally called into question the validity of the Patriots championships.

It’s clearly all for show. When Deflategate was at its height in June of 2015, Suggs said of Brady, “The guy is a winner. He’s won with whatever kind of personnel that he’s had. So I don’t think [Deflategate] really tarnished it … Everybody needs something to write about and needs something to talk about. It’s always something. I’m leaving that alone.”

This week, Suggs smirkingly refused to use Brady’s name when discussing the Patriots leading up to Monday night’s game.

Asked about Brady earning his 201st win as an NFL starter, Suggs said, "He's pretty good. Like I said, wins are wins and numbers are numbers. Numbers don't lie. He's pretty good."

Suggs went on, avoiding Brady’s name. It’s something he’s done in the past for whatever reason. But he’s also been complimentary of the Patriots and Brady as well, saying that, when it’s done, there will be three quarterbacks in the conversation for best-ever: Montana, Unitas and Brady. 

The only time Brady’s verbally stepped out against Suggs and the Ravens is in response to their barbs. In 2010, Brady stated that the Ravens, “Talk a lot for beating us once in nine years.”

Brady also chastised Ravens coach John Harbaugh – now there’s a guy who whines! – after the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff Game when the Patriots snookered the Ravens with intricate formations. That’s about it for return fire.

 

One-sided feud: Brady praises Suggs for playmaking, instincts

One-sided feud: Brady praises Suggs for playmaking, instincts

FOXBORO -- Terrell Suggs kept up what has been a years-long campaign to mock Tom Brady's public perception by refusing to say Brady's name this week. 

Outside of a quick, "Talk a lot for beating us once in nine years" comment back in 2010, Brady has typically let the feud be one-sided. That continued on this week when Brady said the Ravens edge defender looked as good as ever during a Westwood One radio interview.

He continued his praise of Suggs during a press conference Thursday.

"I think every year, he's had pretty major injuries, and he comes back and looks like he didn't miss a beat," Brady said. "It's his 14th year, he's been a great player for as long as he's been in the league. I think he does a lot of things really well.

"He's got all the rush moves, he actually drops into coverage, he bats down balls, he butchers the tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage. He's really a playmaker for their team. It's not just sacking the quarterback, probably like most defensive ends. He makes plays in a lot of ways. I've seen him intercept slip screens, jumping up and picking [Ben] Roethlisberger off going the other way. 

"I think he has great instincts. He definitely plays with his instincts. If he feels like the ball's going to go inside, he rips inside and tries to take it away even though that's not his assignment. I think 99 percent of the time, the ball goes inside. I think he just has great instincts for what he's doing.

"You can't ever really count on the same thing from him. I think you just try to play him straight up and see what he's going to do because I think he makes a lot of really good decisions out there and he makes a lot of plays."

Brady didn't say Suggs' name during the course of his answer, but he left no doubt that there's a level of respect there for his game. 

I think all these games are kind of the same. I just look at the opp and look at what they do. The only thing that matters is what we do this week of practice and in the game. I think you just try to put everything aside and, whether it was that or whether it was playoff game a couple years ago, whether it was the rs game a couple years ago or C games, none of those really nmatter. It's really going to be about what this team does this week and like I said, coach will try to put a lot of urgerncy on that. We understand that. We know we're facing a team that's 7-5, their at the top of their division. They have a lot of conf in what they do and wso do we. It's going to be a good, tough matchup.