By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Kony Ealy won’t admit that he might have a little something extra to show Bill Belichick on Sunday. But the former Patriots, now-Jets defensive end does believe he can take some “tips” he learned from Tom Brady and use it against the quarterback.
Belichick has enough to worry about up front with the Jets, where the likes of Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson still loom. But Ealy has had some success as mostly a situational pass rusher in five games with the Jets, who signed him just one day after he was cut by the Patriots before the season. Speaking to the New York Post’s Steve Serby, Ealy spoke at length about the time he spent learning from Brady about quarterbacks and their tendencies.
“When you got a guy like that that’s been in the league for a long time and been highly successful in his career, you obviously want to pick his brain about things that quarterbacks don’t like,” said Ealy. “I picked his brain a lot, just asked him certain things that would obviously help me from the opposite side of the ball as far as just being able to be faster in the game and approach to the game.”
Ealy didn’t say anything too brash or inflammatory, but he did seem confident in the methods he used to pull information from Brady that it will help him make an impact for the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“I may ask [Brady] a question that may not relate to him,” Ealy said of his time with the Patriots. “It can relate to a guy like Cam Newton. Just mindset-type questions. Playing mind games as far as when you’re on the field. Basically things that quarterbacks don’t like, they like … just little knicky-knack stuff just to pick his brain.”
Ealy sounds awfully presumptuous about how much he really benefitted from his time in New England, where he played himself off the team amid speculation that he simply couldn’t grasp the Patriots’ system or wasn’t motivated enough to learn it. Then again, his play with the Jets suggests that there’s something Belichick missed or potential that the team failed to unlock.
It won’t be a good look if Ealy gets to Brady for a sack (or even a batted pass) on Sunday, and it could very well happen if the Patriots don’t improve their pass protection. It especially wouldn’t reflect well on Belichick, who basically refused to directly answer direct questions about the defensive end on Wednesday. But even if Ealy does play well, it’s unlikely that his stopover in Foxboro will have had much to do with it.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, CBS, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.