A closer look at Ryan Mallett

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A closer look at Ryan Mallett

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - In the bizarre lockout world of the NFL, there's been a cloak-and-dagger feel to the proceedings.

Who can talk to whom for how long? What can players leave the building with? How long can team-incoming rookie relations last?

With that backdrop, media met with a couple of Patriots this afternoon in the dim, gray, concrete concourses of Gillette Stadium. The first was quarterback Ryan Mallett. His issues are well-documented. His talent as well.

The fact that several quarterbacks were taken ahead of him didn't slip his attention.

"When there are six other guys at your position taken ahead of you, theres going to be(an intention to prove people wrong)," said Mallett.

We got a little bit more on his background on Saturday.

On the offense at ArkansasThe Arkansas offense is pro style. Were under center, were in the shot gun, were making protection calls, were audibling. Were doing all that. Terminology is obviously going to be different from team to team, so thats going to be the biggest obstacle as well as learning the new plays, the new defenses of the NFL.

What was his redshirt season between Michigan and Arkansas like?It was productive and tough. Productive in the way that I could get really into the playbook and learn really everything in and out of it. It was hard knowing that I couldnt go play. I didnt have the chance to play because of the rule. No matter what I did, I couldnt get on the field. So, that was probably the hardest part of that year.

Without training and minicamp, how will he accelerate to the faster pace of the NFL?You practice harder. You train harder. You train faster, as fast as you can every rep whether its running, whether its throwing, whether its a drop back, a lift, you do it as hard as you can every time.

What does he like about being a quarterback?The thing I like about the position is you get to lead a group of guys during the practice, during the game, the final minute of the game, whatever it is. Youre responsible for the 10 other guys on the field and yourself to get things done right. And thats what I really enjoy about the position.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”