EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey - Rex Ryan didn't look himself in the early hours of Monday morning. He looked . . . humbled. With red-rimmed eyes and a long face, the man annually plagued by premature coronation was left to explain his team's chances of winning the AFC East. "It looks doubtful right now," he admitted. "What am I gonna say? Maybe I should guarantee the fact that we're out of it. Last time I did that we made the playoffs, so, yeah, we got no chance."Before the game began, NBC's cameras showed LaDainian Tomlinson in the middle of the Jets' scrum saying, "The division is ours, it's ours tonight. Let's go get it."Now the division is a long way from their reach. The Patriots have a one-game lead in the standings and the head-to-head tiebreaker. The combined record of the Patriots' next seven opponents is 21-42. During the week, Ryan asked Jets fans to be loud and make things miserable for the Patriots. His team made things so miserable for those fans they were leaving in droves midway through the fourth. "We've been down this road before but . . . you know," Ryan said, his voice trailing off. Starting again, he said, "I apologize to our fans. I thought our fans were ready to go, just like I thought we were. It's disappointing."Inanely phrased questions that would draw a glower from Bill Belichick were answered by Ryan even in all his glumness. Asked if he was surprised by how badly his team played, Ryan said, "I thought we'd play a lot better. You make those mistakes, you fumble a punt. You have poor time management-- a timeout that was a critical error. You make that many mistakes against that team, there's no chance."As for the X's and O's, Ryan was left to shrug. He blew sunshine about the Patriots defense, saying, "That defense is a lot better than people give 'em credit for. They're 32nd in the league (in yards allowed) and all that but when you get up a lot of scores on people you're gonna give up yards."(Aside:They are 32nd in the league because they can't defend; thenumber of blowouts the Patriots have been involved in is minimal. Never mind the fact they're completely rebuilt from training camp.) Asked ifhe was surprised New England played well with so many spare parts inserted,Ryan offered,"You got Tom Brady back there. I don't care who else you got. You see the difference a great quarterback makes in this league. You just gotta look down the road at Indy (where the Peyton Manning-less Colts are winless). This guy's an amazing player."The comment about the "great quarterback" may have been a swipe at Mark Sanchez or maybe not. Ryan does go on and sometimes his foot finds his mouth. If Ryan was making the point Sanchez is inferior to Brady by a lot, at least he didn't discriminate when leveling that charge against the Jets. "We think we're as good as the Patriots," said Ryan."Butclearly we're not."
Kei Kamara talks with Dalen Cuff about joining the club in New England and assuming a leadership role
Three NFL owners have expressed “extreme disappointment” in Robert Kraft and the Patriots filing an amicus brief on behalf of Tom Brady in the quarterback’s appeal of the Second Circuit Court’s reinstatement of his Deflategate suspension, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.
The Patriots filed the brief on Wednesday.
The owners see the move as a publicity stunt done to appease Brady and the Patriots fans, Cole said, and they don’t believe Kraft did it any seriousness because the issue speaks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish players and undermines the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players.
If Kraft thought it mattered, he wouldn't have done it, Cole said one owner told him.
FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.
With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.
Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.
The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.
Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.
With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.
Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”
Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”
When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.
“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”
Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."