With the Patriots set to take on the Jets on Monday Night Football, the players were off on Wednesday. It was a chance to reset the roster, including the additions of wide receiver Isaiah Ford and defensive lineman Isaiah Mack.
"We felt like both players could add depth at two positions that we feel like we could use the depth at," said Bill Belichick in the only media availability of the day. "So, one claim, one trade. We'll see. We won't really be able to do anything with these players for another week, so we'll see what happens then."
Thursday's practice will be an interesting one, with multiple Patriots banged up in the loss to Buffalo, including Lawrence Guy and Ja'Whaun Bentley. Carl Davis has practiced once since being signed three weeks ago. The defensive front can't afford to lose anyone else.
Though Mack won't play against the Jets he'll be a needed reinforcement next week. He sacked Brian Hoyer in the 2019 preseason, giving the Patriots an early up-close look at him in joint practice sessions as well.
At 6'1" and 299 pounds, Mack isn't quite in the same mold of the Patriots current defensive linemen, but he's athletic and plays with a good motor. Like some of the Pats offensive linemen, he makes up for his lack of size with good feet and technique.
How much did last summer give the Patriots an early bead on Mack?
"Some, but he's also had playing time, so we've been able to see him play competitively in games," said Belichick. "I think that probably had a little, but all the information is relevant. It's really a question of depth and where do you get it.
"He's a player that has some experience, he's young and has some things that we'd like to work with. So, we'll see how it goes once we're able to get him, which won't be until next week."
Now, the Patriots turn the page to the Jets, another division game on the road. The team showed signs of life against the Bills, something Josh McDaniels will continue to cultivate with his offense. They've been close in three of the losses, now it's just about coming through in those critical situations.
"We practice those situations every week," said Belichick. "So, you can never predict exactly what the situation is going to be, but you practice those, the concept of those. So, in all areas of game, we just have to continue to work on those. Like I said, each one's different and the team you play is different, so you have to make it specific to your opponent. But, we've just got to perform better there. Some of it's schematic; some of it's really fundamentals, as well. So, execution, game planning – I mean, all the above. We all have to do a better job."
Pats add veteran receiver to practice squad
The Patriots are adding veteran receiver Donte Moncrief to their practice squad. Moncrief has 77 career games played, with 204 catches and 21 touchdowns. He split last season between Carolina and Pittsburgh, getting four catches, all with the Steelers. Moncrief's best year came with the Colts in 2015 when he had 63 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns.
With Isaiah Ford unavailable this week, it's possible Moncrief could find himself promoted to the active roster against the Jets if he's able to get through protocols in time.
Like Ford, Moncrief has good size and should help bolster a position that has been hit by injury with a veteran presence.
The team also added four-year veteran Ryan Glasgow, another candidate to immediately contribute. Over two days, the team has added two receivers and two defensive linemen.
|Stat||Patriots (2-5)||Jets (0-8)|
|Offensive Points||17.7 (30th)||11.0 (32nd)|
|Offensive Third Down||40.3% (23rd)||28.3% (32nd)|
|Offensive Red Zone||52.2% (28th)||25.0% (32nd)|
|Offensive Rushing DVOA||5th||29th|
|Offensive Passing DVOA||30th||32nd|
|Defensive Points||23.9 (12th)||29.8 (28th)|
|Defensive Third Down||38.9% (11th)||41.5% (16th)|
|Defensive Red Zone||60.8% (15th)||51.6% (4th)|
|Defensive Rushing DVOA||19th||10th|
|Defensive Passing DVOA||30th||31st|
|Special Teams DVOA||8th||28th|
|Turnover Ratio||-2 (t-22nd)||+1 (t-12th)|