Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

November 29, 2018 at 2:10 am.

–Head coach Bill Belichick on facing Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who has 93 catches for almost 1,200 yards this season. Thielen can play both in the slot and outside. “Pretty much everything. He does everything well. He’s got good size. He can get to a lot of balls with his length. He has very good hands. He’s quick for a taller player and so his length and the radius that he can catch the ball in is good and he has the hands to extend and catch it, but for a taller guy he’s quick and he’s able to create separation.

“So, he’s a tough matchup for a smaller corner in terms of size and he’s a tough matchup for a bigger corner in terms of the quickness that he has. He’s also a good runner after the catch so he can take a shorter pass and turn it into a sizeable gain with his size and running ability after the catch. He plays inside, he plays outside. They move him around. All of their receivers move around. He’s a little different than (Stefon) Diggs but they complement each other well.”

–Running back James White on the importance of the play-action passing game to the Patriots offense: “You have to sell the run in order for the receivers to be as wide open as they can get. The offensive line has to sell it, quarterbacks, running backs. You have to make it look exactly like the run if you want it to be successful. It takes hard work.”

–Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on how the Patriots have used Cordarrelle Patterson better than the Vikings, who drafted Patterson in the first round in 2013. The Vikings traded up with the Patriots to select Patterson. “Quite honestly, they’re using him way better than we did. Cordarrelle’s a great athlete, a very, very strong runner. I think they use him in a number of different ways. I mean, it’s good to see for him. I wish we would have used him a little bit better.”

BY THE NUMBERS: 3.5 – Number of sacks by Trey Flowers this season. The Patriots are watching Flowers closely as they must decide in the offseason whether to give him a big contract. Flowers is a free agent at the end of the year. Flowers is stronger when he is lined up against the guard than the tackle. Flowers has improved against the run and is good technique pass rusher with his hand placement. Flowers does not have great athleticism and lacks creativity as a pass rusher. The Patriots must decide whether he should be paid like Von Miller or Khalil Mack.