Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin, who covers the Patriots and the entire NFL, spoke with Adam Kaufman about the Pats ahead of their trip to Jacksonville for an AFC Championship rematch with the Jaguars.
One story that's been getting a lot of attention this week is the trash talk coming from Jags corner Jalen Ramsey.
So far, the Pats aren't taking the bait. But Volin said he thinks the Patriots will mostly ignore him in Sunday's game.
"Jalen Ramsey is a very brash young cornerback, but he's also very talented," Volin said. "Patriots in the AFC Championship game wanted nothing to do with him--they barely threw his way. They attacked the other cornerback A.J. Bouye a lot more, and they went after their linebackers as well. With Julian Edelman out and obviously all the changes the Patriots have had in the offseason--no more [Danny] Amendola, Brandin Cooks--I don't think Brady's going to be testing Ramsey much on Sunday, either."
But with Rex Burkhead in concussion protocol and Jeremy Hill out for the season with a torn ACL, others will have to step up for New England. Should we expect a big game from James White, or might Sony Michel get some looks?
"I would think that Sony Michel would have to suit up," Volin said. "If he's healthy, he's gotta be in there. James White, as great of a running back he is, he's not really a between the tackles type runner, not great at yards after contact, so he's not a guy who I think can take Rex Burkhead's role. They're gonna need Sony Michel to do that. It'll be his first NFL game, we'll see how much of the offense he knows. He really didn't play at all in the preseason, so it's going to be an interesting dynamic to see how Michel, if he plays, how he gets worked back into this offense. But I think they need him, just because Burkhead's dealing with his concussion and they're a little thin at running back right now."
Kaufman and Volin also talked about Chris Hogan's poor performance and the Pats D's strong showing in last week's win, the challenges of the Jags' disruptive defense, whether or not we can expect new Pats receivers Corey Coleman and Bennie Fowler to play, and why Volin thinks this game doesn't look good for Tom Brady and company.
LISTEN to the full interview here: