Fitzpatrick: 'I felt like I was violated' by Patriots


Fitzpatrick: 'I felt like I was violated' by Patriots

By Phil Perry

The bottom of a pile of football players can be a place of unspeakable ugliness, but that didn't keep Ryan Fitzpatrick from discussing his experience against the Patriots on Sunday.

The Bills quarterback took a knee or fell on the ball near the goal line five times late in the fourth quarter as Buffalo ran the clock out before calling on Rian Lindell to kick the game-winning field goal. After one of those short-lived plays, Fitzpatrick found himself in the middle of some angry Patriots.

"It was getting pretty chippy, especially at the end there," Fitzpatrick told Dan Patrick on the Dan Patrick Show. "Obviously no one wants to lose, and they're a group that doesn't lose much."

Then Fitzpatrick accused New England's defense of doing some dirty, dirty things where the cameras couldn't see. Vince Wilfork was called for a personal foul penalty during that series, but Fitzpatrick said he didn't know which individual Patriot was to blame.

"On one of those plays they were trying to act like I fumbled it," Fitzpatrick said. "I was getting pinched and poked and prodded. I don't know. I felt like I was violated a little bit."

Violated and then snubbed. Fitzpatrick said he looked for Brady after the game for the usual postgame congratulationconsolation that goes on between NFL quarterbacks, but Brady was long gone before Fitzpatrick could stop him.

"He ran off," Fitzpatrick said. "It seemed like he didn't want to talk to anybody."

You can follow Phil on Twitter at @PhilAPerry.

Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots


Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots

Marcus Cannon has had his run as a piñata. The Patriots offensive lineman is a frequent target when things go wrong up front and, usually, he’s deserved it.

A bit of anecdotal evidence? 

Sunday, I tweeted that every time I watched Cannon, he was making another good play.

On cue, about 10 tweets came back at me with variations of “Keep watching him!”

I asked Bill Belichick if he agreed with the layman’s assessment that Cannon’s playing well.

“I think Marcus [Cannon] has done a good job for us for quite a while,” Belichick began. “I mean he’s stepped in for Sebastian [Vollmer] and then last year when Nate [Solder] was out [and he substituted] for Nate. He has played a lot of good football for us.

“We extended our agreement with him off of his rookie contract which I think speaks to the fact that we want him on the team and we like what he’s doing and so forth and he’s continued to I’d say show with his performance [that he has] validated the confidence that we have in him.”

Cannon’s ending to 2015 – a poor performance (along with the rest of the line) against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game was followed by a performance against the Cardinals that was marred by late-game holding calls.

But with Sebastian Vollmer injured (and still injured) it was sink or swim with Cannon which had plenty of people rolling their eyes.

But – as I said – every time I see Cannon, he’s either holding off a defensive end in pass protection, steamrolling downfield in the running game or making really athletic second-level or cut blocks in the screen game.

“Like every player, as they gain more experience they do get better,” said Belichick. “I think our offensive line’s certainly improved over the course of the year and playing with more consistency than we did last year. But there’s always room for improvement and the continuity that we’ve had there since (right guard) Shaq [Mason] has gotten in the last few weeks – we had Shaq over on the right side a little bit at the end of the season last year and then this year most all of the year except when Shaq was out for a few weeks there at the end of training camp and the start of the season – but our overall consistency and communication on the offensive line has been better because we’ve had more continuity there so that helps everybody.”

It can’t hurt that the lineman whisperer, Dante Scranecchia, has returned to coach the group. Cannon’s conditioning and physique looks better. He just appears more athletic and explosive. And he’s seemed more relaxed in the limited time the media’s in the locker room.

All off that added up equals nobody really talking about Marcus Cannon.
“Like any lineman, the less you call his name probably the better he’s doing,” said Belichick. “It’s probably a good thing when you guys don’t talk about him. Then that probably means they’re not doing something too noticeably wrong, right?”