New England Patriots Links 12/24/09 - All The Patriots Want For Christmas Is A Win On Sunday

Fred Taylor back at practice yesterday, tries to rip the ball out of Laurence Maroney's hands.

Bill Belichick discusses how different this Jaguars team is than the one the Patriots played in the playoffs in '07.

They're a lot different than they were last year. They have 16 or 18 rookies, however many it is. There're a lot of them. They have a lot of new faces. Defensively, they've done a little bit with their front with Tucker being down there, adding in a little bit of a 3-4 element to their team, as well as what they usually do. Offensively, I think a lot of those younger players we've played against have improved. I mean Jones-Drew, not that he wasn't good then, but he's really good now. Marcedes Lewis, one of the best tight ends in the league, [he is a] very good receiver, real athletic guy, much improved as a blocker, So with [Ernest] Wilford in there at tight end, too, it's like they have four receivers on the field, which is real unusual.  Of course the other receiver is [Mike] Sims-Walker.  They've got a lot of good young players that developed and either we haven't seen or they've gotten a lot better in the last few years.

The quarterback is experienced. He doesn't make many mistakes throwing the ball. He's got a good arm. [He's] accurate and takes care of the ball. He's got a couple more years under his belt, too. He's probably the best runner that we've seen. I'd say he's probably the best runner that we've seen this year because he can run, but he can also break tackles, cut back, avoid people and he can run over them, too. He's a tough guy to get down in the pocket and a lot of people bounce off them, or they get him and he just shrugs them off and steps up and throws. He's like a sixth receiver for them. On third down, you really have to account for him. In a lot of critical situations they've run quarterback draws for big plays, too. So they have a lot of confidence in him running the ball when they call design plays for him.

Tom Brady responds to whether Rashean Mathis is still a weapon for Jacksonville.

Yeah, he sure does. He's a great playmaker. He made a play against the Jets this year that was incredible. A guy ran a flag route on him and [Mark] Sanchez rolled to the left. He was open by about five yards and Sanchez laid it up and he caught up and looked over his shoulder. I said, 'Damn, a lot of receivers don't make that play.' He's a good player, catches the ball really well, and has good ball skills. He's very rangy, has long arms, pretty good quickness for a guy that's taller, which you don't find very often. Real good speed and explosiveness once he gets going. He's a weapon for them. He makes a lot of plays for them. He's been out this year for a little bit - I think with a groin injury - but he still has three interceptions, so you've always got to know where he's at. He'll jump some routes and take his chances, but he's a damn good player.

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