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Bill Belichick knows Dak Prescott, Cowboys to be huge test

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Bill Belichick knows Dak Prescott, Cowboys to be huge test

The Patriots aren’t in full-prep mode for Dallas just yet, but Bill Belichick knows he’s going to have his hands full trying to shut down Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense on Sunday.

The Cowboys, who are 4-1, have the NFL’s top offense, averaging 34 points per game.

During his appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, Belichick was asked if Prescott is the toughest quarterback the Patriots have had to prepare for thus far.

Belichick dodged that, saying he has to prepare for “an entire team” as opposed to one player. But in the course of answering, he also gave a nod to Tom Brady as being the best any team has to defend.

“There are a lot of things that Dallas does well,” Belichick said. “Just like there are a lot of things that Tampa does well, just like there are a lot of things that Houston does well, so you have to totally prepare for each team and defend those players that they have out there and schemes that they run.

“But I don’t think we’ll see anybody better than Tom Brady,” Belichick said. “But Dak does some things that Tom doesn’t do. Tom does some things that Dak doesn’t do. The skill players are different, the lines are different, so it’s really about defending the team, not just one person, although you have to be aware of defending individual players’ skills.”

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Patriots excited by Mac Jones’ potential in Year 2: ‘He’s the ultimate professional’

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Patriots excited by Mac Jones’ potential in Year 2: ‘He’s the ultimate professional’

By most statistical accounts, Mac Jones’ rookie season was a roaring success.

By his teammates’ remarks this week, next year should be even better.

From training camp through the playoffs, Jones won the Patriots over with his steady approach and performance. He was remarkably accurate as a passer. Among all NFL quarterbacks, Jones finished in the top 10 for completion percentage and completion percentage over expected (CPOE), a Next Gen stat that evaluates every throw by difficulty, accounting for the receiver’s field location and proximity to the nearest defender using GPS tracking data.

Mastering ball placement and the Patriots’ playbook were two major reasons Jones inspired confidence initially, but it’s what he did after that’s elevated expectations.

“I’m very excited, honestly,” said Pats leading receiver Jakobi Meyers. “All year I felt like I saw effort and consistency. Those were my big two for him. He really was the same guy every day and he put in the same work every day. He never slacked up. He always came in ready to work.

“I think if all the guys get that mindset and we all get together this offseason and just work … I feel like we’ll have a really good offensive unit — especially skill unit — going forward.”

Up front, Jones earned the respect of his offensive linemen by taking several vicious hits early in the year. But he never missed a snap due to injury, eventually completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 picks during the regular season.

“I have just a ton of respect for Mac Jones,” said left guard Ted Karras said. “I think he’s obviously a great leader and it was just a pleasure. He’s the ultimate professional, and he works very hard to improve himself and bring guys along. It was very fun to be in the fray with him. ”

Later in the team’s Wild Card loss at Buffalo, one of Jones’ favorite targets, tight end Hunter Henry, took him aside for a private talk on the sideline. The Patriots were completing one of their worst playoff losses in franchise history, but Henry saw the night as a potential springboard for success. If Jones — as he did over two touchdown drives in the second half — can keep pushing himself next season, the offense will grow with him.

“Just reassuring him this is a big moment and it’s something we’re going to learn from and grow from and continue to get better,” Henry told reporters this week. “That’s the biggest thing: improvement.”

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197,244 COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted in Massachusetts

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197,244 COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted in Massachusetts

Don’t skip that vaccine appointment, updated data on wasted doses shows.

As of this week, 197,244 COVID-19 vax doses have been reported as wasted to the Massachusetts Immunization Information System, health officials report.

Of the 7.57 million total doses shipped to date so far during the pandemic, it represents a vaccine wastage percentage of 2.6%.

“In general, there are a number of reasons why vaccination sites may have to mark doses as wasted, from a cracked vial or an error diluting the vaccine to a freezer malfunction, to name a few,” health officials added.

Thursday’s vaccine report states 5.16 million people in Massachusetts have been fully vaccinated. A further breakdown shows a total of 13.3 million vaccines have been used, and 2.5 million booster shots given.

When is comes to booster shots, Hampshire out west leads the way percentage-wise with 58% of the population boosted up. Cape Cod is close behind, after lagging early in the vax race, at 55% boosted. Suffolk County stands at 45%, state health officials report.

In total, 86% of the Bay State population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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Elon Musk Reacts to Tesla Competitor’s Sunday NYT Ad Smearing Full Self-Driving

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Elon Musk Reacts to Tesla Competitor’s Sunday NYT Ad Smearing Full Self-Driving
The Dawn Project’s full-page advertisement in Sunday’s New York Times. @andyjayhawk/Twitter

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system is (again) stirring up a storm of controversy on the internet. The EV maker on Monday released the newest (version 10.9) updates of its FSD Beta to a select group of Tesla owners. The day before, a software safety advocacy organization called “The Dawn Project” placed a full-page advertisement in Sunday’s New York Times, calling Tesla FSD “the worst software ever sold by a Fortune 500 company” and urging the public to not be “crash test dummies for thousands of Tesla cars” with FSD.

The ad was paid for by The Dawn Project’s founder Dan O’Dowd, who is also the CEO of Green Hills Software, a company that provides operating systems to automakers, as well as the aerospace industry.

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After reviewing “many hours” of YouTube videos of drivers testing FSD, O’Dowd arrived at the conclusions that the system commits a “critical driving error,” as defined by the California DMV Driving Performance Evaluation, every eight minutes and that, if the system was used in every passenger vehicle in the U.S., “millions would die every day.”

To prove his point, O’Dowd is offering a $10,000 reward “to the first person who can name another commercial product from a Fortune 500 company that has a critical malfunction every 8 minutes.”

Under O’Dowd’s share of his NYT ad on Twitter, a Tesla investor named Dave Lee suggested in a comment that Green Hills had taken money from Tesla competitors, to which Elon Musk responded, “Green Hills software is a pile of trash.”

According to Green Hills website, the company most recently worked with BMW on its iX electric sports utility vehicle.

O’Dowd argued that nobody knows a product’s flaws better than its competitors. “They tear them apart, they figure out what they do right, they figure out what they do wrong,” he told Fox Business Monday. “They know better, and they’ll tell you. The salesman is never going to tell you those things.”

Tesla has been testing Full Self-Driving Beta for over a year with a small group of Tesla owners who have high “safety scores.” A less advanced driver assistance system called Autopilot is available on all Tesla vehicles.

O’Dowd said the original version of Autopilot was built using Green Hills Software but he later backed away from the project because he didn’t believe it was going to work. Tesla hasn’t confirmed this information.

The latest FSD Beta allows a Tesla vehicle to drive itself to a destination entered in its navigation system. But the driver is required to stay alert and be ready to take control at any time.

FSD is the most expensive driver assistance system in the EV market right now. And it’s getting even pricier with each new iteration. Last week, Tesla announced that the price was scheduled to jump from $10,000 to $12,000 on January 17 with the 10.9 release and that additional increases can be expected as the technology improves.

Musk has recently claimed that there hasn’t been any accident or injury caused by FSD since its launch. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of investigating whether FSD was involved in a Model Y crash that occurred in Brea, California, on November 3.

Elon Musk Reacts to Tesla Competitor’s Sunday NYT Ad Smearing Full Self-Driving

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