There was no practice on Monday for the Patriots, fresh off an impressive win over the Jets, but there was a conference call with coach Bill Belichick and an open locker room period on what is usually a low-key day for the football team.
Unfortunately, the quiet day turned sour near the end as the team announced James Develin would be placed on Injured Reserve.
Here's a recap of everything that happened!
Belichick Presser Points
The Patriots defense was once again the headline after their third-straight impressive game to start the season that saw them allow just 105 yards of total offense and no third-down conversions. Led by a potent group of linebackers, an experienced secondary and a dynamic front that has a deep rotation, the Patriots defense is off to one of their best starts in team history, having yet to allow a touchdown and only giving up one field goal so far.
The team knew they had to shut down LeVeon Bell, the only remaining potent weapon on the Jets, and the team responded, allowing him just 35 yards on 18 carries.
“Run defense is team defense so you need everybody doing their job against the good backs, especially somebody like Bell or Drake last week,” said Belichick on his Monday morning conference call. “They only need one hole to get through, they don’t need three or four, so everybody’s got to do a good job.”
What does doing a good job mean against the run? Belichick simplified it.
“It really comes down to defeating blockers and then doing a good job of tackling,” said the coach.
Tackling has always been a key trait for any Patriots defense of the last two decades, even when they were in a rebuilding phase. Now, with as much talent and depth as he’s ever had, Belichick credited the players and their execution for the team’s fast start.
“Anything we do that is good is because we have good players and they play well and they execute the defense on the field. That’s really what defensive football is about, teamwork, total team execution and good players. We’re fortunate we have good players and they’ve played well.”
Maybe the biggest concern for the Patriots after their win over the Jets was the health of Julian Edelman, who left in the second quarter with a chest injury, later reported to be his ribs. Edelman was clearly in discomfort after taking a hard tackle. Initial reports were that x-rays were negative but there were further tests today and the prognosis still seems fairly positive.
The team announced that fullback James Develin had been placed on Injured Reserve with a neck injury. It's a big blow to the offense, especially with how lackluster the ground game has been in the first three games. Develin has been a key piece of the rushing attack and now the Patriots will be forced to adjust.
Matthew Slater spoke glowingly about Develin.
"Never had a better teammate in 12 years of football," Slater told reporters in the locker room. "He’s the best teammate I’ve ever been round, bar none. He’s a tremendous human being. He’s always been about putting this team first. He’s always been about sacrificing for the greater good. You talk about everything that this organization hopes to stand for, nobody embodies it better than James."
Locker Room Sound Bites
Matthew Slater on what Julian Edelman brings to the team:
"He brings a lot of toughness to our football team. I could go on for hours about that guy. He means a great deal to us. The mentality that he brings, the work ethic, the fighting spirit, the never-say-die mentality. Guys like that don't grow on trees. We're really fortunate to have him on our team. He's a tone setter for our team, we're fortunate he's a Patriot."