FOXBORO, Mass. — Some notes and nuggets from Wednesday’s New England Patriots media availability, including chats with two representatives from the Patriots’ next opponent, the New York Jets:
— During a conference call with New England reporters, Jets coach Todd Bowles offered his take on one former Patriot, defensive end Kony Ealy, and one ex-Jet, linebacker David Harris.
On Ealy, who has looked solid for the Jets after lasting just a few months in New England:
“He’s been a good addition for us. He’s given us some pressure off the edge. He’s been playing smart football, he’s been blending in. He’s been in two places (before New York) and has kind of found a home here, and we like everything he’s brought to us.”
On Harris, who starred for the Jets for a decade but has played just seven snaps in his first five games with the Patriots:
“David is one of the hardest workers, and he’s one of the steadiest workers that I’ve seen. Every day for the two years that I had him, he prepared every day. He took notes every day like he was a rookie. He never cut any corners. He was a class act off the field. He was a class act on the field. Never took any plays off. If you needed him for scout team or special teams, he was there. And he was a hard-nosed player, and he played very smart. It’s tough to find those kind of guys these days.”
On whether he’s surprised Harris hasn’t found a larger role with the Patriots:
“Well, they have a lot of good football players. It’s not surprising because they’ve got so many good football players. But they play them how they see fit. I can’t do anything about that.”
Bowles’ praise of Harris echoed that of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who earlier this week said the veteran linebacker has “done everything we’ve asked him to do.”
“He’s been a great teammate,” Belichick added. “I couldn’t have asked for him to have any better attitude or any more cooperation than we’ve had from him. It’s been great.”
Ealy, whom the Patriots released in August after trading for him in March, has played in four of the Jets’ five games this season, recording seven tackles, two QB hits, a team-high five pass deflections and one interception.
— Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was traded to the Jets last month after spending the previous five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
Kearse’s Seahawks tenure included two Super Bowl appearances, one of which was an epic loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, during which he made one of the most improbable catches in NFL history.
Of course, Malcolm Butler’s interception moments later prevented that from being a totally happy memory for Kearse.
“I guess the only time I would kind of reflect back on that game is if somebody asked me about it,” the veteran wideout said in a conference call. “As far as the catch, it was just my competitive nature. Just the ability to be opportunistic and make the most of each opportunity that I had. On that play (quarterback Russell Wilson) gave me the opportunity, and I just did whatever I could to come down with the ball, and I was able to.”
Kearse has been the Jets’ most productive receiver this season, catching 22 passes on 29 targets for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports Images