Jets expecting to turn it around with Mangold


Jets expecting to turn it around with Mangold

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Vince Wilfork expects the struggling New York Jets offense to be better on Sunday for one reason: Nick Mangold.

The All-Pro center who has been out recently with an ankle injury, is expected back in time for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. But Wilfork wouldn't mind seeing the 6-foot-4, 300-pound center take another week off.

When asked if he wanted to see Mangold play, Wilfork responded, "No. I don't."

Wilfork added, "He's probably one of the best offensive lineman in the game. He's definitely a leader on the team for them. I know they'd love for him to play."

And that may be why Jets head coach Rex Ryan, never one to lack confidence, is pretty sure his team won't have a repeat of last Sunday's 34-17 debacle against Baltimore.

Ryan didn't need to see the video of the loss to the Ravens to realize that not having Mangold in the middle was a significant factor in his team losing for the second week in a row.

"You take out the best center in football -- no offense to (Jets reserve center) Colin Baxter -- but there's only one Nick Mangold in this league," Ryan said. "When he went out, that was a huge loss to us. With Vince (Wilfork) and all those guys, we need Nick."

Added Wilfork: "He gives them a spark. There's absolutely a difference when he's in and not in. I expect for him to be there (on Sunday), get things going and get his team off to a good start."

Mangold was drafted by the Jets with the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, the lone center taken in the first round that year.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Brady not concerned with Bills attempts at bullying this time around


Brady not concerned with Bills attempts at bullying this time around

FOXBORO -- The last time the Patriots and Bills met, things were feisty from the jump.

Patriots rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett was shoved by Bills defensive back Robert Blanton as Brissett jogged by Buffalo's warmups. That prompted Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell to stop and get in Blanton's face. From there, Patriots coaches did what they could to break it up, but there was continued shoving back and forth until the two sides could be separated. 

Days later, Blanton -- as well as corner Nickell Robey-Coleman and safety Aaron Williams -- were fined for unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct. 

Would that have occurred had Tom Brady not been suspended? Probably not. Brady was asked about that incident on Wednesday, and whether it spoke to the "bully" mentality that coach Rex Ryan has worked to foster during his tenure in Buffalo. 
"Yeah, I think it’s more so what we do when the game kicks off as opposed to what happens before the game or during the week," Brady replied. "You get into a bunch of trash talk and you know us, we’ve never got into that stuff because in the end, it’s just a big waste of energy.

"You focus on the things you need to do to help the team win, and that’s to play well and execute and spend your time on what’s going to happen from the point when the game kicks off to when it ends. That’s where our focus is, that’s where it always will be. We’ll go in there, we’ll be focused, we’ll be ready to go, and we’ll go out there and try to play a lot better than the last time we played them."

Brady's comments that the Patriots have "never got into" trash talk is a head-scratcher -- he's jawed back and forth with opponents on plenty of occasions during his career -- but his point stands: That stuff probably isn't helping anyone. 

Once the ball is kicked on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Brady will have to contend with a defense that shut out the shorthanded Patriots at Gillette Stadium for the first time in the building's history. He'll also have one of the more raucous crowds in the league buzzing in his earhole.
"They’re just into it," Brady said of Buffalo fans. "I mean, they’re into it from the first quarter all the way to the last; from pregame warmups to the end of the game. I think it challenges your communication, so we practice – and we played, last week was pretty loud. We’ve played in a lot of loud stadiums and Buffalo is definitely one of the tops.

"I think the thing that is most challenging is when they’re making plays and sacking the quarterback and turnovers like they’ve been getting a lot of this year. That’s what really kind of gets them amped up."


Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers


Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers

FOXBORO -- Though Dion Lewis is expected to practice this week, he was not on the field with teammates Wednesday.

Lewis was eligible to begin practicing last week but remained sidelined. On Wednesday morning, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that the Patriots running back would be on the field this week. Once Lewis does begin practicing, the team will have three weeks to determine whether or not he is activated. 

Newly acquired Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy was present for his first practice in New England about 24 hours after being dealt by the Lions. The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder was working out with Patriots off-the-ball linebackers (Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts) to begin the session. 

The Patriots have parted ways with practice-squad offensive lineman Chase Farris, it appears. His spot on the 10-man practice-squad unit has been taken by defensive lineman Anthony Johnson.