New England Patriots EDGE Kony Ealy was at the center of a trade rumor this morning because he struggled to adjust to the Patriots during the spring. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke with 98.5 The Sports Hub prior to week three’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions to talk about Ealy’s development.
“The last three weeks, he's definitely on the upswing,” Belichick said about Ealy. “He's made solid progress for us.”
While that wasn’t a direct address of the trade rumors, it certainly stops the hype train in its tracks. Ealy is likely the #2 pass rusher on the Patriots depth chart, behind Trey Flowers, and will have a larger role moving forward.
Belichick’s clarification by saying “the last three weeks” likely implies that the trade rumors stem from conversations prior to the start of the preseason, when Rob Ninkovich, Derek Rivers, and Deatrich Wise were all expected to participate.
The Patriots head coach also had strong praise for RB Mike Gillislee, noting “this is Mike's best week of practice, so we'll see how it goes tonight.”
Gillislee should be the starting running back for the night as Rex Burkhead is unavailable. Gillislee should split time with James White, with Dion Lewis coming off the bench.