Haynesworth could help if Jets run


Haynesworth could help if Jets run

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Inside the New England Patriots locker room, there was an Albert Haynesworth sighting on Friday.

On the practice field, there he was for the second day in a row.

If you've followed the injury-riddled, conditioning-challenged Haynesworth even in passing, stringing together a couple of consecutive practices is a bigger deal for him than others.

Now whether he plays on Sunday when the Patriots host the New York Jets, remains to be seen.

If he does, his return could not come at a better time for a Patriots defense that's dead-last in the NFL with teams ripping them for 477.5 yards per game.

Potentially having Haynesworth return also bolsters the Patriots against a Jets running game that for years has been one of the team's greatest strengths.

In addition to being one of the NFL's top defenses under Rex Ryan, New York has also found success with a punishing rushing attack that has finished no worse than fourth in the league under his leadership.

The Jets (2-2) have thrown the ball considerably more this season than past years under Ryan, which to some degree helps explain why they are near the bottom (30th out of 32 teams) in rushing the ball this year.

New York has thrown the ball 147 times this season which ranks 11th in the NFL. Last season, they ranked 18th in pass attempts. The year before that?

Dead last.

Even if the numbers suggest that New York is airing the ball out more, the Patriots expect to see the Jets -- losers of two in a row -- go back to their ground-and-pound rushing attack ways on Sunday.

If they do, that makes the potential return of Haynesworth even more invaluable.

Prior to Friday's practice, he wasn't sure if he would be able to play against the Jets.

"I hope so," he said. "But I'm definitely feeling better. We'll see."

In addition to providing a much-needed inside presence defensively, Haynesworth will also be looked upon as someone who can also help the Patriots with their leaky pass defense.

"I hope all our players that play, play well," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "We'll see where we're at with Albert. He can definitely help us. He's a versatile guy - he can play the run, he can rush the passer, he's a physical guy, he's a good athlete. We just have to see how all that plays out and what he's able to do."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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