Jets Week Wednesday Wraparoo

Jets Week Wednesday Wraparoo

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - When one adult calls another adult an a--hole , you figure said adults will work it out on their own. At least that's the way I've seen it operate. I mean, if every time we heard someone describe another person asan "a--hole" we ran and told the alleged a--hole that someone thinks he's an a--hole and waited for a response, we wouldn't get much work done. And I'm pretty sure I'd have a steady, round-the-clock stream of informers at my door.No, if someone wants the a--hole to know he's an a--hole, he cuts out the middle man and tells him to his face. If he doesn't feel the need to do that, either it's a passing emotion, it's unwise toshare that opinion or the person is a jelly-spined weasel. Either way, not our problem.
But sometimes, we in the media need to suspend our real world tendencies and channel our inner-fourth grader (ok, more than sometimes). If someone gets called an a--hole, we must let the world know who is doing the insulting and then let the insultee know that he's been so described. And then we wait for his reaction and tell everyone what that was. Wednesday, with the AFC Divisional Playoff Game between the Jets and Patriots less than 100 hours away, that's what we spent our day doing. Collecting varied reactions to the fact that the Jets Antonio Cromartie called Tom Brady an a--hole because Tom Brady points at the opposition's sidelines after the Patriots score touchdowns. (I myself haven't seen this often . .. I have seen purposeful spikes and gestures to the crowds but not the sideline pointing . . . still it wouldn't shock me). When apprised of Cromartie's review (and the "Bleep him" that accompanied it) Brady could have asked the basis. Like, if pointing at the opposing sideline makes a guy an a--hole, what does fathering nine children by eight women in six states by the age of 26 make Cromartie? Brady also could have wondered why a guy who Bible thumps in his twitter feed reconciles dropping F-bombs. But why bother?We all got our shortcomings. Brady instead took the high road - he has a house up there, apparently - and said Cromartie's a good player, blah, blah, blah. The funnier thing was, later in Brady's press conference mobapalooza, it was mentioned to the quarterback that Deion Branch called Brady a "dork" on Tuesday. The exchange, after Brady praised Branch, went like this. Q: He called you a dork.

TB: Deion did? Did he really?

Q: Yeah, in the study room, watching film. He said you were kind of a dork.

TB: Maybe, yeah. I could see that, you know? Im flattered.

So as you can see, we're having big fun and ferreting out the info that matters this week.

A few other items from Wednesday with football ties.

INJURY FRONT
Jets right guard and old buddy Damien Woody was placed on IR with an Achilles injury. He's been down for a while so New York is accustomed to working without him. Patriots right guard Dan Connolly and running back Danny Woodhead both spent some time talking with media. Both were recently concussed. Their being allowed to converse is an indication both are fine now. Two Jets were held out of practice on Wednesday, guard Brandon Moore and wideout Brad Smith. Santonio Holmes (quad), Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle) were limited. For the Patriots, Myron Pryor's back kept him out of practice. Tully Banta-Cain (groin), Deion Branch (knee), Jermaine Cunningham (calf), Aaron Hernandez (hip), Eric Moore (hamstring) and Sebastian Vollmer (shin) were all limited.BRADY BALANCE Every quarterback loves to throw it, but they like it even more when they throw it with success. And you don't get more successful than Tom Brady's been this season. He says the running game is the "most important" reason why.

"I think its very important that we continue to stay balanced," Brady pointed out. "Ive been preaching that all year. You become a good offense by running the ball, by play-action pass, by screening, by drawing, by trapping, by running all different kinds of route combinations empty formation all these different things that you come up with as an offense, hopefully they create some indecision with what the defense is trying to do. The running game is the most important thing to all of that."

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

Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

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Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Defiant, and determined to be a conduit for U.S. change, Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees significant progress in America - specifically when it comes to race relations.

He knows he could be cut by San Francisco for this stand. Criticized, ostracized, and he'll go it all alone if need be.

The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and he's ready for that, too, saying he's not overly concerned about his safety, but "if something happens that's only proving my point."

"I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," Kaepernick said Sunday at his locker. "To me this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

Two days after he refused to stand for the "The Star Spangled Banner" before the 49ers' preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick insists whatever the consequences, he will know "I did what's right." He said he hasn't heard from the NFL or anyone else about his actions - and it won't matter if he does.

"No one's tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it. This isn't for look. This isn't for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don't have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances."

Letting his hair go au natural and sprinting between drills as usual, Kaepernick took the field Sunday with the 49ers as his stance drew chatter across NFL camps.

He explained his viewpoints to teammates in the morning, some agreeing with his message but not necessarily his method. Some said they know he has offended his countrymen, others didn't even know what he had done.

"Every guy on this team is entitled to their opinion. We're all grown men," linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.

"I agree with what he did, but not in the way he did it," wideout Torrey Smith said. "That's not for me. He has that right. Soldiers have died for his right to do exactly what he did. ... I know he's taken a lot of heat for it. He understands that when you do something like that it does offend a lot of people."

Both Bowman and Smith are African American.

Kaepernick criticized presidential candidates Donald Trump ("openly racist") and Hillary Clinton;" called out police brutality against minorities; and pushed for accountability of public officials.

"You can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist," Kaepernick said. "That's insane. Someone that's holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us."

In college at Nevada, Kaepernick said, police were called one day "because we were the only black people in that neighborhood." Officers entered without knocking and drew guns on him and his teammates and roommates as they were moving their belongings, he said.

He said his stand is not against men and women in the military fighting and losing their lives for Americans' rights and freedoms.

Kaepernick, whose hair had been in cornrows during training camp, sat on the bench during Friday's national anthem at Levi's Stadium. Giants wideout Victor Cruz and Bills coach Rex Ryan said standing for the anthem shows respect.

"There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality," said Kaepernick, whose adoptive parents are Caucasian. "There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards."

On Sunday, he stopped briefly on a side field to talk with Dr. Harry Edwards and they shared a quick embrace before the quarterback grabbed his helmet and took the field. Edwards is a sociologist and African-American activist who helped plan the "Olympic Project for Human Rights" before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where U.S. sprinters and medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads through the anthem on the medal podium in their black power protest.

After swirling trade talks all offseason following Kaepernick's three surgeries and sub-par 2015 season, he has done everything so far but play good football - and he doesn't plan for this to be a distraction.

Coach Chip Kelly did not speak to the media Sunday. He said Saturday he still hasn't decided on his starting quarterback in a competition between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, who took over the job from Kaepernick last November and has vowed to be the No. 1 again.

Kaepernick hasn't stood for the anthem in any of the team's three preseason games "and I don't see it as going about it the wrong way."

"That's his right as a citizen," Kelly said. "We recognize his right as an individual to choose to participate or not participate in the national anthem."

Now, Kaepernick is prepared for whatever comes next.

"I think there's a lot of consequences that come along with this. There's a lot of people that don't want to have this conversation," he said. "They're scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not to be treated the same way. Those are things I'm prepared to handle. ...

"At this point, I've been blessed to be able to get this far and have the privilege of being able to be in the NFL, making the kind of money I make and enjoy luxuries like that. I can't look in the mirror and see people dying on the street that should have the same opportunities that I've had."

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

FOXBORO – Talked to Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. His session with the media was as efficient and frills-free as his Friday night performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Brissett, the third-rounder From NC State, keeps improving. From 7-for-13 for 63 yards in the first game of the preseason to 9-for-13 for 87 yards Week 2 to a 9-for-9, 85-yard, one touchdown performance against Carolina.

He’s completed all manner of passes – inside, outside, checkdowns, tight windows – and looked preternaturally comfortable doing so.

Maybe I have a little recency bias working, but I don’t recall a drafted quarterback looking as poised and in command in his rookie preseason as Brissett has so far. Jimmy Garoppolo may have had more impressive game-by-game numbers, but Brissett oozes composure that that I don’t think Garoppolo matched.

Encircled by a media horde Sunday, Brissett was pleasant and perfunctory when asked about his performance.

“Definitely it was progress,” he said, adding that he’s, "still learning. I’m sure I’ll be learning until I leave here."

 Even though he was 9-for-9, Brissett said that watching film he could see “things you messed up on and could have done better.”

Asked for an example, Brissett talk about speed. At the line of scrimmage, going through progressions and delivering the ball, Brissett said all of it can improve.

The interesting question the Patriots face now is whether they are prepared to allow Brissett to be the lone backup to the still relatively green Garoppolo. Or does the team need an experienced backup to call on if Jimmy melts down?

Thursday night could be a telling evening for that. With Garoppolo unlikely to play a ton so the team can make sure he’s good to go for the opener, it comes down to who benefits more from reps against the Giants, Tom Brady or Brissett?

It shouldn’t be close. Brissett needs the reps.

Meanwhile, we made mention of Brissett’s relationship with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells after he was drafted and I figured revisiting that on Sunday wouldn’t hurt.

Brissett said he’s circled up with Parcells “here and there” but smiled knowingly and said, “He’s not the head coach here so you kinda need to listen to what your coach here is saying.”

Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

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Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

After being cut from the Detriot Lions last week, Stevan Ridely has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

The running back played for the Patriots for four seasons (2011-2014), averaging 4.3 yards per carry while scoring 22 touchdowns in 52 games. He only played in six game in his final year with New England as a result of a torn ACL and MCL.

Ridley played for the AFC-East rival New York Jets in 2015 with a limited role in the nine games he played.