Mallett responds to criticism; compares self to Brady

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Mallett responds to criticism; compares self to Brady

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Patriots ended their second day of drafting by selectingthe most criticized quarterback in the entire class, Ryan Mallett.

Nobodys questioning the skill of the 6-foot-6, 238-poundpocket passer from the University of Arkansas. Its his off-the-field issuesthat presumably had him falling out of the first two rounds, only to be takenin the third round 74th overall by the Patriots.

That cloud hanging over Malletts head had all to do withthe criticisms he faced about alleged drug use. And he responded to questionsabout those criticisms, in a conference call on Friday night, after receiving acall from New England, telling him he was about to become a Patriot.

When I got that call, it was a great feeling, just to knowthat somebody wanted me, said Mallett. Its been a long road to get here.

Mallett described the drug allegations as just peopletalking and something that hes put behind him.

Mislabeled, if thats what you want to call it, fine, saidMallett. I think I was portrayed in a different light, than the people thatknow me and know who I am.

I dont think that stuffs a problem. I think theres beena lot of stuff said thats definitely been false. But Im looking to thefuture, and looking to be a Patriot.

Mallett said he was definitely surprised to get drafted byNew England, but he always thought it would be a great fit, especially afterhis visit to New England last week.

I know Toms a great player, said Mallett. Theopportunity for me to learn from him, and further my knowledge with thatcoaching staff, is something that I was very excited about, when I got thecall. I cant wait to get started.

Mallett said he loved his trip to New England, because heimmediately drew a connection with Bill Belichick.

I love the coaches there, said Mallett. The staff is agreat staff. Obviously they have great players. Im looking forward to havingan opportunity to play for the greatest organization in the NFL right now.

It was like talking to an old coach. Im a coachs son, soIve been around coaches, and coach Belichicks a great guy. He loves hisplayers, and he loves the game. Thats something that, when youre acompetitor, thats what you want.

I felt like I had a great connection with him, and I guesshe did too.

Now, Mallett will have a chance to learn from Tom Brady. Forsure, it will be an adjustment for him to go from starter to backup, he planson preparing himself every week as a starter, because you never know when youllbe called upon.

As a competitor, I want to play, but this gives me anadvantage to prolong my career by playing behind Tom and learning all thelittle dinks and dunks from him, said Mallett.

Heading into the draft, the only name any football analystcompared Mallett to was former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe. But afterFriday nights conference call with New Englands newest quarterback, Mallettbelieves he should have been compared to Brady.

I think its a perfect fit, after watching film with thecoaches while I was there, said Mallett. And me and Tom Brady are kind ofthe same. I mean, were not fleet of foot. Obviously we dont run fast. We pickdefenses apart, and we know whats going to happen before the snap, or we reactpost-snap, and thats why I feel like Im like him a lot.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

FOXBORO -  A verrrrrryyyy long time ago, the Patriots targeted September. There were t-shirts and everything printed back in 2002 as the Patriots came off of their first Super Bowl title.

The names of that season’s first four opponents – Steelers, Jets, Chiefs and Chargers – were all listed on a bullseye.

How’d that work out? Well, they hit the bullseye for most of September, winning the first three. Then they lost four in a row and the notion of “targeting” a segment of the schedule around these parts went the way of the Dodo bird.

Which may be why, as truly remarkable as this September’s been, Bill Belichick isn’t taking any bows after three damn wins.

“We’re just really focused on Buffalo,” Belichick told me Friday morning when I asked about whether winning the first three in the face of some adversity was a point of pride. “I don’t really care about last week. I don’t really care about two weeks ago. I don’t really care about last year. I don’t really care about four years ago. I don’t really care. I think we’re just trying to get ready and compete against Buffalo. That’s our challenge this week.

“The rest of it – it’s in the books. It is what it is,” he said. “So write whatever you want to write about it. It’s good, it’s bad, I mean I don’t really care. It’s done. We’ve got to do a good job of what we have here with Buffalo. We can’t live in the past. And I respect where you’re coming from, I really do. It’s not like I’m trying to be dismissive of it, but I really don’t care. It doesn’t really matter. Nothing that happened last year, last week, last month really has anything to do with this week.”

Things change after Sunday. The best player the franchise has ever had rejoins a team that – in spite of the adversity – flourished without him. Even though the competition wasn’t what one would call “stiff” compared to challenges Brady faced as recently as last January, it’s still remarkable.

Asked about Brady’s looming return, wide receiver Julian Edelman also redirected.

“We got a game before that,” he pointed out. “When he comes back we'll obviously be happy but we got a job ahead of us with the Buffalo Bills.” 

Asked if there’s some pride taken in the beginning, Edelman replied, “It’s just having pride in your job in general. Really just focusing every week and trying to improve. I say it every week on these cameras, if you try to get better and you get better every week, you're gonna do these things. 

“It tells you that you have a mentally tough team that goes out there and works hard and prepares hard and does the extra things,” Edelman added. “I've been around here a little while and that's just the mentality we've always had and continue to have. We have a tough one against the Bills and we'll see how it tests out against these guys.”

 

 

Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

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Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

The inury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
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

OUT
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

QUESTIONABLE
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)