Adam Butler was hard to miss in last week's win over the Cardinals, 46 snaps was a season-high for him and he was productive, picking up his first sack of the season to go with three QB hits, two tackles-for-loss and a pass defense.
"I'm really trying to put last week to rest, just try to do my best to do it again," said Butler on Thursday afternoon, already fully locked on the Los Angeles Chargers.
With injuries hitting the defensive line, Butler, Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise stepped up and were instrumental in shutting down the Cardinals last week. Butler was especially disruptive, blowing up multiple plays before they even had a chance to get started.
"Adam did a good job for us with the penetration where he was able to get some pressure on the quarterback but also he created some space so we could have other guys work off of him and create some pressure, as well," said Bill Belichick after the game. "It was a productive game for him. He really helped us."
Next up is rookie Justin Herbert and a balanced attack that has big potential at all positions. Butler's quickness and relentless rush should play a key factor in the gameplan.
"We've gotta respect his ability to throw and we can't underestimate his ability to run," said Butler, stressing that corralling Herbert would be critical. "You know when you're rushing it's always your job to contain the quarterback that's the goal every week."
How can Butler have a repeat performance?
"It's about attitude and focus," said the to-be free agent. "I just gotta go in this week with the right attitude, the right focus and concentrate on doing my job. I know how to do it, I've been doing it for a good bit now, not as long as some of the veteran players, but I know what I'm doing."
Pats pick up a linebacker
The Patriots claimed linebacker Jack Cichy off of waivers Thursday, he had been released by the Buccaneers on Wednesday.
Cichy has a long injury history, dating back to college at Wisconsin, where, in his final two years, he ended up serving in a coaching role after injuries ended his seasons. Since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 draft, Cichy's injuries have followed him to the NFL, tearing his ACL in 2018, ending up on IR with an elbow injury in 2019 and this season spending a stint on IR with a hamstring issue.
Now he gets a fresh start in New England after passing through all COVID-19 protocols. Cichy was an athletic prospect with leadership and good speed, who fits a special teams profile for the Patriots if he's able to kick the injury bug.
Webex Quotes of Note
Cam Newton on the Patriots playing their best football after Thanksgiving:
"I'm just trying to get better each and every day. I appreciate that historic kind of thinking. But each and every day is a way for us to play great football, it doesn't matter what holiday, it doesn't matter whatever comes after. We're just trying to put together a good brand of football that we know, if we do those things, it's going to lead to more wins here in the future."
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn on Adrian Phillips:
"Adrian is a really good football player. We miss him dearly. It didn't surprise me at all that he would go somewhere and start and help a football team out. His intangibles are just as good as his leadership and talent. He's a young man with a lot of versatility. You can use them a lot of different ways and put him in a lot of different positions and he's going to figure it out. So, I see him doing exactly that right now."
Damien Harris on when he first thought he might be able to make it to the NFL:
"Honestly, and I say this modestly, but my first carry in high school when I was a freshman was like a 60-yard touchdown or something like that. I was like, 'okay, maybe I got a shot at this.' Going into it, it was obviously always a dream but that first time I touched the ball in high school and I took it for like 60 and a touchdown in a scrimmage, I was like 'okay, maybe I got a chance' and that's when I really started to focus on making this a goal more so than a dream."