2020-21 Big Sky Basketball Preview

LWOS continues its conference preview series, with the Big Sky Basketball Preview up next. This league had a fun regular-season title race down the stretch a season ago. Eastern Washington, Northern Colorado, and Montana all made pushes. However, the finish line found Eastern Washington in first. There is nothing indicating the Eagles cannot repeat in 2020-21. Still, the competition behind them has improved. EWU will be the favorites, but there are a handful of teams on their heels.
2020-21 Big Sky Basketball Preview
11. Sacramento State Hornets
Key Returners: Bryce Fowler, Ethan Esposito, Brandon Davis
Key Losses: Joshua Patton, Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’afa
Key Newcomers: Christian Terrell (UC Santa Barbara), Deshaun Highler (JUCO), Zach Chappell (San Jose State)
Sacramento State enters the season without its top two contributors from 2019-20. However, Fowler and Esposito seem capable of picking up the slack left behind. The Hornets are hoping transfers Terrell and Highler will help plug those holes as well. Sacramento State was more competitive than in years past, and the hope is that trend continues into 2020-21. The key will be how quickly the program can achieve roster cohesion. Until then, last place seems like a safer bet.
10. Idaho Vandals
Key Returners: Scott Blakney, Damen Thacker
Key Losses: Trevon Allen
Key Newcomers: A.J. Youngman (JUCO), DeAndre Robinson (JUCO), Kendall McHugh (JUCO)
Idaho arguably lost the biggest piece of any team in the league heading into this season. Allen was a guy who could score at will, and it will be tough to replace his 21.6 points per game. He was a big reason why the Vandals showed more fight than people are used to in the Big Sky. The key to continuing an upward trend will be for the remaining roster to figure out their roles. The first one is who can be the go-to guy. However, if Idaho can do that, finishing near .500 does not seem out of the question.
9. Idaho State Bengals
Key Returners: Tarik Cool, Malik Porter, Austin Smellie
Key Losses: Chier Maker, Jared Stutzman
Key Newcomers: Daxton Carr (Cal Poly), Robert Ford III (JUCO), Emmit Taylor III (JUCO)
Idaho State has a reworked roster that contains mostly freshmen and transfers. That is naturally going to lead to growing pains until the rotation is set in place. Cool paces the backcourt while Porter does the same for the frontcourt. Smellie also contributes in the post, making that an area of relative strength on the team. There is talent on the table, but it needs to time to come together. The Bengals seem to be a year away from being a bit more competitive.
8. Portland State Vikings
Key Returners: Ian Burke, Kyle Greeley
Key Losses: Holland Woods, Matt Hauser, Sal Nuhu
Key Newcomers: James Scott (Temple), Khalid Thomas (Arizona State), Elijah Hardy (Washington)
No other team suffered more from departures than Portland State in the Big Sky. The Vikings are without their top seven contributors from 2019-20. Thus, an almost brand new roster emerges full of transfers. Normally that means a steep learning curve, but transfers like Scott, Thomas, and Hardy have talent that should allow them to shine as they settle into the team. Due to all the new pieces, a step back is probable for Portland State, but outperforming this projection is a possibility.
7. Southern Utah Thunderbirds
Key Returners: John Knight, Dre Marin, Maizen Fausett
Key Losses: Cameron Oluyitan, Andre Adams
Key Newcomers: Aanen Moody (North Dakota), Yuat Alok (UCF), Tevian Jones (Illinois)
Southern Utah’s leading scorer from last season (Oluyitan) is gone. However, the backcourt is still more than capable with senior leaders in Knight and Marin, who combined for 21.1 points per game in 2019-20. The frontcourt is a little more concerning, as there is not much depth to speak of. Fausett and UCF transfer Alok will have to shoulder a bulk of the load in the paint. The Thunderbirds will go as far as their guards can take them, but a top six finish is not out of the question.
6. Northern Colorado Bears
Key Returners: Bodie Hume, Matt Johnson
Key Losses: Jonah Radebaugh, Kai Edwards
Key Newcomers: Greg Bowie II (UTRGV), Marque English (JUCO), Daylen Kountz (Colorado)
Northern Colorado pushed Eastern Washington to the brink during the regular season. The Bears were a prime candidate for a Big Sky Tournament run before COVID-19 cancelled it. Now, the program will enter 2020-21 without leading scorer and first-teamer Radebaugh. Luckily, Hume can take over that role, though teams will also be able to key in on him with Radebaugh out of the picture. While the backcourt will be fine, the frontcourt is thin and inexperienced. How quickly the post develops will determine the Bears’ fate this season.
5. Weber State Wildcats
Key Returners: Michal Kozak, Kham Davis
Key Losses: Jerrick Harding, Cody John, Tim Fuller
Key Newcomers: Isiah Brown (Grand Canyon), Dontay Bassett (Florida), David Nzekwesi (Denver)
Weber State continues the trend of excellent scoring departing the league. Jerrick Harding leaves the Wildcats as their all-time scoring leader, surpassing program-great Damian Lillard. He was a star for this program, but a new go-to scorer must be found. Grand Canyon transfer Brown seems like a good candidate. Frontcourt depth behind Kozak and Bassett is a concern as well. However, Weber State has always been know for guard play and finds ways to stay relevant in the league title race.
4. Montana State Bobcats
Key Returners: Jubrile Belo, Amin Adamu, Devin Kirby
Key Losses: Harald Frey, Ladan Ricketts
Key Newcomers: Xavier Bishop (Kansas City), Abdul Mohamed (North Texas), Bilal Shabazz (JUCO)
Montana State was more competitive than people thought under alumnus Danny Sprinkle in his first season. Losing the all-around abilities of Harald Frey will hurt. However, Jubrile Belo’s breakout campaign last year means the frontcourt is in good hands between him and Kirby. The backcourt may be a bit shakier, relying on transfers. Still, if the guard play of this team finds a way to push those newcomer jitters, Montana State can find themselves pushing for a Big Sky title.
3. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
Key Returners: Cameron Shelton, Luke Avdalovic
Key Losses: Brooks DeBisschop, Bernie Andre
Key Newcomers: Malcolm Porter (Portland), Jay Green (UNLV)
Northern Arizona enters the season looking extremely strong in the backcourt. Shelton did it all for the Lumberjacks last season averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is joined by Avdalovic, a sharpshooter who shot 41.3 percent from behind the arc in 2019-20. However, all of that is balanced out by the losses in the frontcourt. The guards may have to carry this team at times. Still, the talent is there for NAU to compete and possibly be there at the end of the conference title race.
2. Montana Grizzlies
Key Returners: Derrick Carter-Hollinger, Timmy Falls
Key Losses: Sayeed Pridgett, Kendal Manuel, Jared Samuelson
Key Newcomers: Cameron Satterwhite (Northern Arizona), Naseem Gaskin (Utah), Cameron Parker (Sacred Heart)
Montana is a mainstay near the top of the Big Sky. Pridgett’s graduation means the team will need to find their next star player, but Carter-Hollinger seems like the most likely candidate to take that role next. The Grizzlies are taking a bit of a gamble by using transfers to fill holes. However, Satterwhite has Final Four experience from his Loyola-Chicago days, and Gaskin comes from a power-six league. This team will develop and take lumps during any non-conference games, but should be ready to make a run when league play begins.
1. Eastern Washington Eagles
Key Returners: Jacob Davison, Kim Aiken Jr.
Key Losses: Mason Peatling
Key Newcomers: None
Normally, losing the league’s player of the year would be really concerning. However, while Peatling will be missed, Davison and Aiken are capable in their own right and are a big reason why Eastern Washington can stay at the top. Chopping off one head of a three-headed monster will just put a little more pressure on those two to carry the load. The Eagles retain most everyone from last year’s regular-season title team, making them an easy choice as the preseason favorite. However, that supporting cast may be asked to do just a little bit more to help repeat.
2020-21 Big Sky Basketball Preview Award Projections
Player of the Year: Cameron Shelton, Northern Arizona
Shelton’s numbers were already touched upon in NAU’s blurb. He is a guard that can do a little bit of everything better than almost any other player in the Big Sky. If he finds a way to up all of those averages and have the Lumberjacks fighting for a league title, he can take home this honor.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kim Aiken Jr. (Eastern Washington)
Aiken can do it all on the defensive end of the floor. He averaged 1.7 steals and one block per game in 2019-20 while also grabbing 8.2 defensive rebounds per game. Aiken also finished second in the league in defensive rating and defensive win shares as well. This award should find its way to him for 2020-21.
Newcomer of the Year: Isiah Brown, Weber State
Brown comes to Weber State with Big Ten experience at Northwestern as well as making 18 starts and averaging over 29 minutes per game with Grand Canyon last season. He should be able to average double-figure scoring while making sure there is not a huge drop-off in guard production with Harding’s absence for the Wildcats.
Freshman of the Year: Theo Hughes, Northern Colorado
Hughes is post man that hails from London. With Northern Colorado’s frontcourt situation, Hughes should see sizable minutes, providing him opportunities to make an instant impact. Still, this award could be taken home by many other potential options.
Sixth-Man of the Year: Aanen Moody, Southern Utah
This is entirely dependent on whether the Thunderbirds run with the same starting backcourt as last season. If they do, then Moody makes perfect sense here. He is averaging nine points for his career and is already used to playing this kind of role from his days at North Dakota. He can be the boost Southern Utah needs off the bench.
Coach of the Year: Shane Burcar, Northern Arizona
If Burcar has the Lumberjacks competing for a Big Sky title, he should absolutely win this honor. He coached all of last season under the interim tag, and was able to have NAU finish 10-10 and tied for fifth place in the league. Getting the program to take the next step in his first season without coaching for his life would be even more impressive.
1st-Team Projection: Jacob Davison (Eastern Washington), Cameron Shelton (Northern Arizona), Bodie Hume (Northern Colorado), Cameron Satterwhite (Montana), Jubrile Belo (Montana State)
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Why 2-4 Patriots Still Have Fighting Chance In Competitive AFC East Race

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Devin McCourty this week said “you’d be crazy” to call the New England Patriots the team to beat in the AFC East. And given their 2-4 record, it’s hard to argue with that.

But the Patriots aren’t dead and buried, either.

With the 5-2 Buffalo Bills looking eminently beatable of late and the 3-3 Miami Dolphins now under the direction of a rookie quarterback, this division is far from settled.

“I’ve been here and we’ve had successful seasons where we’ve lost more than four or five games,” Patriots center David Andrews said Wednesday. “So you can’t let the first six weeks determine your season. You’ve got to keep playing.”

That’s not to say Bill Belichick’s club isn’t in a precarious position. It most definitely is. Quarterback Cam Newton called Sunday’s showdown with Bills “a must-win” for the Patriots, as a loss would drop them to 2-5 and give Buffalo a potentially insurmountable division lead.

Since 1990, 146 teams have lost five of their first seven games. Just seven (4.8 percent) made the playoffs, and none advanced beyond the divisional round.

Win, though, and the Patriots would be just 1 1/2 games back with plenty of season left to play.

Ahead of that pivotal Week 8 matchup, here’s a look at the cases for and against the AFC East’s three contenders (sorry, New York Jets):

BUFFALO BILLS (5-2, first in AFC East)REASONS FOR OPTIMISM: Third-year quarterback Josh Allen looked like a legitimate MVP candidate through the first four weeks, ranking in the top three in touchdown passes (12), passing yards (1,326), yards per attempt (8.96) and passer rating (122.7) while completing 71 percent of his passes and throwing just one interception. The Bills blitzed to a 4-0 start, scoring 27-plus points in each game.

Top offseason acquisition Stefon Diggs has exceeded expectations thus far, ranking in the top five in the NFL in catches (48) and receiving yards (603), and the former Minnesota Vikings star’s presence has created favorable matchups for the rest of Buffalo’s receiving corps. Through seven games, Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley, rookie Gabriel Davis and tight end Dawson Knox all are averaging more than 12 yards per reception.

The Bills steadily have built a talented roster under general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott, who made moves to improve team that finished 10-6 and made the playoffs a year ago.

REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: Allen has looked much more like the erratic Allen of old in recent weeks, struggling in back-to-back losses to the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs and failing to lead a touchdown drive in Sunday’s uninspiring 18-10 win over the winless Jets.

Buffalo’s defense also has regressed sharply despite returning most of the key pieces from its 2019 group that ranked second in points allowed and seventh in DVOA, a Football Outsiders stat that measures a unit’s overall efficiency. So far this season, they’re 15th in scoring defense and 21st in DVOA.

The Bills have allowed fewer than 20 points in just two of their first seven games, and both of those were against the Jets. They surrendered 43 points to a Titans team that hadn’t practiced in two weeks and let up 245 rushing yards against the Chiefs.

As good as Allen has looked at times, relying on him to win shootouts each week isn’t a sustainable strategy. The Bills also face the toughest remaining schedule of these three division title hopefuls, with games against the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Patriots (twice) still to come.

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MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-3, second in AFC East)REASONS FOR OPTIMISM: The Dolphins’ three wins (over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 49ers and Jets) all have been blowouts, and their three losses have been competitive. They lost by 10 at Gillette Stadium in Week 1, by three against Buffalo in Week 2 and by eight against Seattle on Week 4.

Brian Flores’ club doesn’t have the look of a Super Bowl contender at this point, but the former Patriots assistant quickly has made the Dolphins relevant again. If quarterback Tua Tagovailoa lives up to his pre-injury hype down the stretch, this team should at least be in the mix for a wild-card spot in the NFL’s expanded playoff structure.

Save for a tricky back-to-back against the Los Angeles Rams and Cardinals and late-season dates with the Chiefs and Bills, Miami’s remaining schedule is relatively soft.

REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: Flores’ decision to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick with Tagovailoa was a major gamble.

Yes, the former Alabama standout’s ceiling is much, much higher than Fitzpatrick’s. But he’s also a rookie who’s coming off a major hip injury.

The inevitable regression likely was coming for the 37-year-old Fitzpatrick — who did not play well in Miami’s season-opening loss to New England and has a long track record of streakiness — but he had thrown six touchdown passes and posted a 124.9 passer rating over his final two games as the starter. Was this really the best time to make a change?

Flores clearly liked what he saw from Tagovailoa in practice. He’s extremely talented. But for all his promise, expecting him to enjoy a hiccup-free transition to the NFL game would be unrealistic.

Early growing pains for Tua could tank Miami’s playoff chances and lead to some consternation within the Dolphins’ locker room.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-4, third in AFC East)REASONS FOR OPTIMISM: They’re the Patriots. They’ve won each of the last 11 AFC East titles and 16 of the last 17. They still have Bill Belichick. And Josh McDaniels.

They’ve also been one of the NFL’s best rushing teams this season (fourth in yards per game, sixth in yards per carry) despite myriad injuries along the offensive line. The defense has taken a big step back following its offseason exodus, but linebacker Josh Uche and defensive tackle Beau Allen could be internal solutions to two of that groups biggest problems. Rookie safety Kyle Dugger also has been a solid addition.

Yeah, the Patriots looked bad against the Denver Broncos and awful against the San Francisco 49ers, but they probably would’ve beaten the Chiefs had it not been for a few boneheaded Brian Hoyer mistakes, and they came within 1 yard of knocking off the Seahawks a few weeks earlier. They’re nearly emptied their reserve/COVID-19 list.

New England likely will be without Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry this Sunday in Buffalo, but neither has been productive since the Seattle game, and the expected nasty weather conditions should lend more to a ground-based attack, anyway.

If Newton, who missed two weeks of valuable practice time after his positive COVID test, can find a way to recapture the form he showed in Weeks 1 and 2, New England can rebound from its worst start since 2001.

REASONS FOR PESSIMISM: Beyond their poor record, the Patriots have looked resoundingly uncompetitive offensively during their three-game losing streak. They scored 10, 12 and 6 points in those losses while turning the ball over 11 times. They’ve topped 21 points just twice in six games, and those came against defenses ranked 28th (Seahawks) and 31st (Las Vegas Raiders) in DVOA.

Newton has played progressively worse in each of his last three starts, and his collection of receivers and tight ends might be the worst in the NFL. This week, he’ll probably be throwing to Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Ryan Izzo, Dalton Keene/Devin Asiasi and one or more practice squad call-ups.

New England also lacks top-end talent in the defensive front seven, and there’s no guarantee Uche (who’s never played an NFL snap) and Allen (who was buried at the bottom of Tampa Bay’s depth chart last season) will fix things.

Efficiency-wise, the Patriots’ defense has plummeted from first in DVOA in 2019 to 25th this season. They’ve been highly susceptible against the run, and their secondary, arguably the greatest strength of their roster, has allowed the fourth-most yards per pass attempt in the NFL.

Lose Sunday, and New England likely would need to win seven or eight of their final nine games to even have a shot at a wild-card berth. With games against the Baltimore Ravens, Cardinals, Rams and a rematch with the Bills still to come, that’d be tough to pull off.

More:
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Check Out Highlights From Bruins’ Virtual Halloween Visit With Children

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The Bruins didn’t let COVID-19 impact their ability to share special experiences with children at Boston hospitals.

The B’s carried on their annual tradition of dressing up and visiting kids Thursday. And although the event had to be held virtually, no one missed a beat.

Patrice Bergeron absolutely nailed an Elmo impression, while other members of the team dressed up as other “Sesame Street” characters.

It was pretty awesome, check out some highlights below:

Sesame Street takes over Causeway Street.#NHLBruins | #HockeyHalloween pic.twitter.com/mKMzPRqc4I— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 29, 2020

Hopefully next year the B’s will be back to visiting everyone in person.

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Fantasy Football Fallout: Stat Leaders From Falcons Win Over Panthers

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There was likely a number of fantasy football owners confident heading into “Thursday Night Football” between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.

The Falcons, of course, had allowed the second-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns in the league. Big night for Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and receivers D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, right? Not so fast.

The Falcons defense stepped it up Thursday, helping Atlanta pull out a 25-17 Week 8 victory. And on the other side of the ball, it wasn’t all that great of a day for any of Atlanta’s offensive contributors save for receiver Julio Jones.

Here’s how your fantasy football matchup may have been impacted, with stat leaders for each team.

Atlanta FalconsQB Matt Ryan: 21-for-30, 281 yards, one INT passing; six carries, 27 yards, one TD rushingRB Todd Gurley: 18 carries, 46 yards, one TD rushingWR Julio Jones: seven rec., 137 yardsWR Calvin Ridley: three rec., 42 yards (left early)TE Hayden Hurst: five rec., 54 yards

Carolina PanthersQB Teddy Bridgewater: 15-for-23, 176 yards, one TD, one INT passing; five carries, 30 yards rushingRB Mike Davis: 13 carries, 66 yards rushing; one rec., 11 yards receiving WR Curtis Samuel: three carries, 23 yards, one TD rushing; four rec., 31 yards, one TD receivingWR Robby Anderson: five rec., 48 yardsWR D.J. Moore: two rec., 55 yards

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How Do Patriots’ Weapons Compare To Bills? Michael Lombardi Breaks It down

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The New England Patriots’ have a big one on their hands Sunday.

After losing each of their last three games, the Patriots enter Sunday’s clash with the Buffalo Bills sporting a 2-5 record and looking to bounce back.

Buffalo currently sits atop the AFC East standings at 5-2, but have dropped two of its last three.

NFL insider Michael Lombardi joined “NESN After Hours” to break down the matchup, and also dissect the two squad’s respective rosters.

To hear what he had to say, check out the video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

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Sam Kennedy, Don Sweeney Release Statements Following Travis Roy’s Death

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The city of Boston lost a legend Thursday.

Travis Roy, a former Boston University hockey player who was paralyzed on his collegiate shift, died in Vermont with his family by his side.

Roy was an inspiration and brought attention and awareness to spinal cord injuries. He also was an honorary member of the Boston Bruins.

B’s president Cam Neely released a statement regarding Roy’s death, and Boston Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy and Bruins general manager each released one.

A statement from Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy regarding the passing of Travis Roy: pic.twitter.com/NFZC5acHV0— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 30, 2020

“I want to wish my sincere condolences to Travis Roy’s Family, the Travis Roy Foundation, the BU community and all of those who were fortunate to pass through the shadow of Travis Roy,” Sweeney said in a statement provided by the Bruins. “Travis Roy lived a courageous, dedicated and truly inspirational life. We will all miss his presence in this world but make no mistake about the fact that Travis gave far more than he ever received from anyone or anything in this world!

“We lost a great person today but his legacy and impact is a part of history. His story and inspirational life needs to be forever cherished.”

Roy was 45 years old.

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Cam Newton Honestly Assesses Play So Far With Patriots, Looks Ahead

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Cam Newton is the first person to acknowledge his play of late.

After a red-hot start to the 2020 season, Newton has regressed over the last past two weeks following his bout with COVID-19.

The New England Patriots quarterback addressed the media in a blatantly honest way Thursday about his play and what needs to be done moving forward.

To hear what he had to say, check out the “Always Checking” video above from “NESN After Hours,” presented by People’s United Bank.

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Teddy Bridgewater Injury: Panthers QB Exits After Brutal Hit Warrants Ejection

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Teddy Bridgewater is going to be a bit sore in the morning.

The Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback exited the game in the third quarter of the team’s “Thursday Night Football” contest against the Atlanta Falcons.

Bridgewater’s injury came after a brutal hit from Falcons pass-rusher Charles Harris. Harris was ejected for the hit on Bridgewater, who was going to the ground with his back turned to Harris, and was seen having trainers rub his neck on the FOX broadcast.

You can watch the video here.

P.J. Walker replaced Bridgewater for the remainder of the drive, which concluded with a field goal to cut Carolina’s deficit to 19-17. Bridgewater was seen throwing passes on the sideline shortly after, but did not return for the following drive.

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Key For Cam Newton, Patriots’ Offense Might Be To Find A Middle Ground

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When Cam Newton joined New England as a free agent this summer, many wondered how the QB would mesh with the Patriots’ offense.

It turns out those questions weren’t entirely unfounded, and quarterback coach Jedd Fisch and Newton himself have both acknowledged there’s been an adjustment period early this season as the Patriots have started with a 2-4 record.

“I think the fact when you have learning curves like I’m having now, or this team so to speak, you can kind of really go in-depth and see what the issue is,” Newton said. “But yet, I think the thing for me, this offense is so advanced and so schematically driven by a specific reaction of how the defense, or what the defense is doing, and I just have to be accessible to understanding the play-caller’s purpose and being able to execute at hand — whether we went over it or not.

“(Patriots offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) does a great job with game-planning. These last two games, it’s been one after another, that I’ve been more thinking more than playing and reacting, what I pride myself on doing. He’s been great throughout this process. Jedd as well as Coach Bill (Belichick). But I do understand that type of football play is unacceptable. By no means. I’m all about putting the team in the best situation to win and that’s what I have to do moving forward.”

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The question is whether Newton, who has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 969 yards with two touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games, can be himself by “playing and reacting” within the rigid confines of a Patriots’ offense that is not easy to adapt to with a full offseason with OTAs, minicamp, training camp and preseason. Just ask the entire 2019 Miami Dolphins who eventually fired offensive coordinator — and former Patriots wide receivers coach — Chad O’Shea because the system was simply too complex for anyone to learn.

Fisch talked a little bit about that same dilemma earlier this week.

“I think what Cam has always been able to do is make the plays off schedule as much or more than some of the plays on schedule,” Fisch said Tuesday. “What we’re trying to do is have that balancing act and help him find that balancing act. And us as coaches also continue to build off his skillset and the rhythm and timing of the passing game is always going to be a little bit different when you’re playing with a guy like a Cam who has had such experience extending football plays and making plays that are off schedule.”

Newton’s timing has appeared off with some receivers this season. He’s thrown interceptions and incompletions when it seems he expected a pass-catcher to cut one way when they actually went the other direction.

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Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence Releases Statement Confirming Positive COVID-19 Test

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Trevor Lawrence himself has confirmed the reports of a positive COVID-19 test.

The Clemson Tigers quarterback released a statement shortly after news surfaced of a positive result.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19, and my symptoms have been relatively mild while I’m following the protocol from Clemson and the ACC,” Lawrence said. “The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love.”

Read the full statement below:

pic.twitter.com/bj9A33te65— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) October 30, 2020

Clemson is set to take on the Boston College Eagles on Saturday.

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