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What are the Patriots Saying about the Bolts?
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Notable comments from the New England Patriots in the lead up to the Week 8 match vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
On Joey Bosa…
“Bosa plays really hard. Every play he’s all out. He makes plays from the back side, chase; outstanding pass rusher. He’s got good strength but he’s got good quickness and he knows how to use both of them. If you are over-aggressive on him he’s quick enough to get by you. If you sit back, then he is explosive enough to power the blockers into the quarterback or into the backfield. He’s a very disruptive player. He’s got a lot of length so he gets to a lot of plays, tackles, tipped balls, can reach out and get the quarterback. He’s a hard guy to throw around or over. He’s really just good at everything but he’s got a great motor so you’ve got to deal with him every play. You can’t run away from him; that’s not the answer because he'll chase down plays.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
“There’s not much that doesn’t impress me (about Bosa). The guy plays with tremendous effort. He gets off on the snap. He can play with speed or power. He’s a very good run player, a disruptive guy who can knock back the line of scrimmage, set a good edge, create negative plays in the running game. He’s involved when they run their stunts and games. He can do a good job of disrupting the pocket with those types of plays, also. He’s incredibly competitive and you’re going to have to play every play until the whistle blows with him. For a young player, it’s not all just one thing. Sometimes it takes guys a little time to develop a repertoire of rush moves in our league that enable them to have success and I would say this guy is really – for a guy that hasn’t played multiple, multiple seasons in the NFL – he’s got a lot of different things to him as a pass rusher that you’ve got to get ready for. A really, really good player both in the running game and in the passing game. Tough, physical, explosive, capable of creating game-changing plays on every snap, so we're going to have to do a great job of getting familiar with him as well as the rest of their guys on defense.” – OC Josh McDaniels
On Philip Rivers…
“Yeah, he's a great player. (I‘ve) always admired Philip and he's a great passer of the ball. I think he does a great job of finding the receivers, the tight ends, he spreads it around. He's got a lot of confidence back there. He's really not fazed by much. He has kind of seen everything. I love watching their offense play. I think they do a good job involving everybody and Philip is always standing in there making the throws. That's really what you look for and he does a great job of that. He's a great player.” – QB Tom Brady
“I have the utmost respect for him and all that he's done throughout his career. Every single time that we've had to play him it's been an absolute battle. So this guy has done an unbelievable job to learn. He's obviously very smart, puts himself in great situations throughout the game, controls a lot from the game standpoint and really just a phenomenal guy. Look, I still remember him coming out here and his knee was all banged up, it was the AFC Championship Game and that guy played as tough as anyone I've ever seen. I have the most respect for him, absolutely.” – DC Matt Patricia
“Tremendous (respect for him). Yeah, Phil is a tremendous player, a great competitor, a really smart player. I had him at the Pro Bowl and got to know him a little bit out there. He’s got a real thirst for knowledge. Not that there’s a lot of scheme at the Pro Bowl. I mean, I’m not saying that. It’s one coverage, but the conversations lead beyond that and how to attack different schemes and so forth. He’s a real football guy like Tom (Brady), like Peyton Manning, guys like that. They're just deep into it. He has a ton of experience. He does a great job of making adjustments on the line of scrimmage whether it’s changing protections or if he sees a certain coverage he can get into a play that will attack that coverage. He’s had a number of checks like that. Again, I don’t know what the original play was that was called but I see the play that they get into and how it’s designed to attack the defensive coverage that he’s identified and he’s identified it correctly and then it ends up being a big play. Being able to disguise our coverages and not just tell him what we're in, I mean that’s really suicide because he'll just chew that up. We're going to have to do a good job of not declaring exactly what we're in so that he doesn’t get to the perfect play every time. I have a lot of respect for him, too. He’s a big, strong guy, too. A lot of people can be hanging on him or draped all over him and he’s still strong enough to stand in there and throw the ball and throw it accurately. He’s very good with the deep ball. He kind of drives the deep ball but he drives it very accurately so he gets it into some tight spots. Again, he has some big receivers so those guys in a way are always open because of their size. Even if there’s a guy near them they are usually bigger than the guy who’s covering them. He can put it into a spot where they can go up and get it. He does a great job.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
“Philip Rivers is a smart quarterback, so he’s trying to run things that beat whatever coverage you’re in. So, different times, if we’re in man, I’m sure he’ll test that out with their different bunch routes and stacks, and they do that a lot just in their offense. You know, you turn on the film, they have a ton of condensed formations and they go vertical out of it, they run crossers out of it, so they do a bunch of different things. The couple times I’ve played them in my career, they’ve done that. But, we’ve messed up on bunches earlier in the season, and in football, when that happens, you’ll see that all year. How much you see it usually depends on how well you defend it. I think we’re fully aware every week that some team is going to test it somehow. It doesn’t show up as much or it’s not as noticeable if we play it right, so hopefully we continue to do that” – S Devin McCourty
On Chris McCain…
“We do have some familiarity with him before. He rotates in there with their two defensive ends that are exceptional players. He’s created negative plays. He’s gotten to the quarterback. He’s put significant pressure on the passer. He’s just a young player. He’s long. He’s got good get-off and good speed, plays hard and he fits in very well with their group, so he’s obviously developed and grown and improved in his short career.” – OC Josh McDaniels
On Hunter Henry…
“He looks like a very solid tight end. He runs great routes, which is key. It’s really good. He’s really specific in his route detail, which gets him open a lot. He’s a great young player.” – TE Rob Gronkowski
“Hunter’s got really good receiving skills. He’s really like a receiver. He’s a very fluid athlete. He’s got good speed and quickness. Good route running techniques. He’s a hard guy to cover, and he does a real good job with the ball after the catch. He’s got a lot of extra yards on his own breaking tackles. Cutting back and getting extra yards with his vision and run skills in space. He’s a competitive blocker. Does a good job of using his blocking angles and finishing blocks. He’s athletic. He plays on his feet. But in the passing game, he’s hard to cover and he’s good after the catch. He can make the tough, contested catches.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
“(They) are exceptional players at their positions; probably two of the best players on the same team that we're going to play all year.” – OC Josh McDaniels
“Bosa and Ingram get to the quarterback and they do it a variety of different ways. Some of it's blitz, but a lot of it is just beating matchups and those guys are very good one-on-one and it's a big challenge for our offensive line. We've faced a lot of good pass rushers and it seems like we say every week, ‘Man, this team's got a good rush, they're coming after us,’ and this is another team that really has it. It's just what we're dealing with every week. So hopefully we can use some of the experience we've had these first seven games and really put it to work versus this group, which is really good. They really get after you. I'm not going to be able to stand back there and hold it forever. It's just a real good rush.” – QB Tom Brady
On Special Teams…
“They're very good in the kicking game. Obviously, (Nick) Novak has helped them quite a bit. They do a good job in coverage and obviously have a very explosive return game with (Travis) Benjamin. Their vice players, the guys that hold up the gunners on the punt team, are probably as good as we'll face all year so that gives Benjamin a lot of opportunities to get started. He’s very difficult as we remember from Cleveland. A very tough guy to tackle, great vision, speed, good quickness, just the same skills you see on offense when he has the ball there on catch-and-run plays and his vertical speed, so he’s a tough guy to handle.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
On Antonio Gates…
“Very productive. I mean, I said yesterday to a couple people, between him and Rivers, you’ve got two future Hall of Famers on the field. Trying to stop them, obviously, has been tough throughout their whole career together. So, he still shows up in all their crucial situations – on third down, in the red area, making plays for them, making first downs, scoring touchdowns. So, no matter what, people always have an awareness for him. You turn on the Kansas City film, there was a couple times they jammed him, then they covered him with somebody else, then there was a free guy waiting for him, so he still draws a lot of attention.” – S Devin McCourty
“Gates has got a very deceptive style of route running. He’s big and he’s athletic and he’s got great hands, so he makes a lot of outstanding catches. But, he has a very deceptive and very patient style of route running, so he’s kind of subtle and then explosive at coming out of the break or to get the ball at the right time. So, he’s got that ability. So that really probably gives him a connection with any quarterback, especially one like (Philip) Rivers who’s thrown to him for so long. Probably if you weren’t working with him all the time, you might not have quite as much appreciation for what he does to get open.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
“I’ve always been a big fan of Gates. It’s always cool to be able to play against him. To see what he does, I’ve always watched film on him. I’ve always loved the way he runs his routes. I’ve always been a big fan of him.” – TE Rob Gronkowski
On Russell Okung…
“He's playing really well right now. This is a guy that we've obviously seen a couple times in a couple of different places. (He's) really playing using his length very well. He's got good agility. He's doing a good job of finishing his run blocks, does a good job in his pass sets and latching on and not letting guys get around him or by him. I think he's really playing at a high level right now. He'll be a big challenge for us.” – DC Matt Patricia
On Dan Feeney…
“He was a good player at Indiana, had started at guard and then moved to tackle I'd say probably more due to some need that they had there. He played well at both spots. He’s been rotating through with (Kenny) Wiggins a little bit so it isn’t like he hasn’t been playing. I think he’s in there in every game. I’m pretty sure he’s been in there in every game. It seems like it anyway. He’s gotten playing time in there so he’s been in a little bit of a rotation so it looks like they were kind of three-for-two but he does a good job for them. He’s an athletic guy. He’s strong. He’s done a good job for them in the kicking game in the wedge on kickoff return. You can see him move in space and hit people out in the open field there. He’s a good prospect. I think he’s played well in the opportunities he’s had.” – Head Coach Bill Belichick
On Chargers’ Wide Receivers…
“Obviously, Keenan Allen (is) an excellent, excellent wide receiver. He's got great hands, he's a big guy, he can get open, he's a great route runner (and) does all of the things that you want from that standpoint. Then you mix with (Travis) Benjamin and (Tyrell) Williams, guys that have been able to push the ball vertically or just get explosive plays. I mean obviously you can see the speed of Benjamin there the other day (with) how fast he is. They can take those, what might look like small plays or small gains or short completion or whatever the case may be, a reverse and then turn it into just a huge play with their ability to get into space and make people miss and in some cases just run away from people. So it's a huge challenge.” – DC Matt Patricia Read