Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mallett acts as both Manning and Brady in practice


New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett planned on spending the week as a pretend Peyton Manning. Wednesday, he took on an additional role.

Mallett is playing the part of Manning for the Patriots' scout team as New England's defense prepares to take on the future Hall-of-Famer and his Denver Broncos Sunday in the AFC Championship game.

Mallett, however, also had to temporarily fill in for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, another surefire Hall-of-Famer, with the first-team offense, as Brady missed the mid-week practice to illness.

"It was a lot of fun," Mallett said Wednesday, via ESPN Boston. "I like getting to play in our offense."

Yelling "Omaha" a bunch of times in his best Manning voice was undoubtedly a good time, as well. That, and pointing at various defenders and calling out fake (or real) audibles to his faux Broncos receivers.

"Peyton does a lot of different stuff, and we try to do our best to emulate that and help our defense get a good look," Mallett said.

Brady's illness isn't expected to put his gametime availability in jeopardy, not that coach Bill Belichick would elaborate, anyway.

"We'll talk about that when [injury report] comes out," Belichick said, via "We're" not going through it player by player. I'm not doing that. I know we'd love that, but I'm not doing that."

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