By: With Steve Grogan & R.R. Marshall
November 12, 2008

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MB: Good Morning Mr. Grogan. Right out of the gate I think the biggest thing I'm happy with to come away from Sunday's game, is that the talk is less about Tom Brady, and more about Matt Cassel. This kid is becoming a very good quarterback, don't you agree?

SG: I'd have to say your right. The kid is really getting better every week and it's been fun to watch him mature and he's turning out to be a good NFL quarterback.

MB: Do you think Steve it's the way Belichick is bringing him along, giving him a little more each week? It seems like he's not afraid to go deep, not afraid to stretch his legs, he had a couple of good runs Sunday, and a touchdown run. Do you think that's part of Belichick's plan?

SG: I think that's probably Belichick's plan and I think it's a good plan for a young quarterback that more NFL coaches should implement. They haven't pushed him too hard early on, they let him get comfortable. When all is said and done you have to have the talent to do the things they're asking you do, and he apparently does because he's just been really impressive.

MB: I'm excited that he tries to make things happen, it makes it fun to watch. It's a place we're not used to being in the sense that it's kind of unsure, but it makes it more exciting when we win like we did Sunday.

SG: Yes and he's making some plays with his legs, running the ball and that's fun to see and you can tell the guys are starting to believe in him too. The guys playing with him know he can get the job done, and it made them a better team.

MB: Sundays win 20-10 against the Bills comes with a cost. Adalius Thomas Thomas breaks his arm, thats going to hurt.

SG: That will hurt. He was actually playing pretty the last four or five weeks, and we were kind of starting to see what everyone thought he was supposed to bring here from Baltimore when he came here. Unfortunately things like this happen, and you have to wonder about this team. They keep losing starters and key players on both sides of the ball, but they keep plugging people in and winning. It seems to be another trait that Bill Belichick has where he has players on the bench that he knows can play and when it's their time to step up and play they do it.

MB: I'm not only surprised at the play of Matt Cassel, but I'm also surprised at the exceptional play of the secondary of the Patriots. They're decimated with injuries but guys are stepping up big time.

SG: Yes, and they move them around and play them in different positions. Meriweather went from safety to corner, and they seem to be able to find people who understand what it takes to play football and to win football games. They've got a roster full of those guys, so when someone key goes down, they've got a younger player sitting in the wings ready to get it done for them.

MB: Was I the only one going 'who is this Ben Coates-Jarvus-Ellis-Green-Hobbs guy??' [laughing]

SG: I call him the hyphenated back

MB: He wasn't drafted, and look at him. He had 105 yards Sunday. He had some great runs, got his first NFL touchdown, and you have to feel good for the kid. Where did he come from?

SG: I agree, you have to feel good for the kid. He played in Mississippi and this is another trait Scott Paoli has, the personnel guy for the Patriots, as well as Belichick. They recognize football talent. Sometimes guys get in a system and they don't use his talent correctly or he doesn't fit into their system at that college and so he doesn't have a very good college career but they see football talent in a player and they bring him in to groom him and this is another example of that. He's a good runningback. I'll tell you he's not that big but he's powerful and got some speed, he's been very impressive.

MB: How come none of that knowledge rubbed off on Romeo Crennell? I felt bad because they should have won that game [against Denver]!

SG: Yeah they're snakebitten right now. Quinn played a good game the other night and they just couldn't get it done at the end.

MB: What do we have in store for us this week [against the Jets]? It's a short week for the Pats, have the Jets changed anything dramatically since earlier in the season?

SG: I think the Jets haven't changed but they are feeling more confident with Brett Favre pulling the trigger for them and what the Patriots need to do this week is play some defense. The Jets were putting the ball in the endzone fairly easily Sunday. This will be a challenge, again they'll want to play ball control and keep the ball away from Brett Favre as much as possible. I'd still like to see them get the ball in the endzone more instead of kicking field goals. Gostowski was 2 for 3 on Sunday, you have to start scoring touchdowns when you get down in the red zone. If they don't do that against the Jets it could be a problem.

MB: Maybe that will come with what we were talking about earlier, letting Matt Cassel stretch it out a little bit.

SG: Take some chances..

MB: Exactly because maybe the defense we face won't be expecting it because he's been conservative for the most part. What about Randy Moss, there's a guy who hasn't said much about not getting all the action and I think that's great. Then of course Sunday I saw three plays in a row to Randy Moss. He got fined $20,000 for calling into question the officiating last week. My question is, is that something Belichick even addresses or is it more he pays the fine and it's never really mentioned?

SG: I think thats something Belichick would sit down with Randy moss about. They don't need that going on right now and Randy Moss doesn't need that. I know he's maybe getting a little frustrated that he's not the focus to the offense like he was last year, but he's still a key part to what they're trying to do. Bill Belichick's got to keep his head in the game so I would think that he would have sat down and talked to him.

MB: It was a good game the defense controlled, I thought, the second half and I was excited by what I saw from them.

SG: I thought the defense is playing really well right now.

MB: What is Grogan's Grade for this week?

SG: I'm going with an A-. You look at the stats and they just dominated this game. I'm giving the offense a B+ because I thought they did a good job controlling the football and didn't turn the ball over, but they still had too many field goals and need to get in the end zone. I thought the long drive in the 4th qaurter was terrific to put the game away. As for the defense I give them an A, they shut down the Bills nicely and didn't give them anything to get going. It was a great effort. Special teams get an A-. They were playing great until that long return they allowed late in the game. You can't let that happen in a close game.

GROGAN'S GRADE FOR WEEK 9

OFFENSE: B+
DEFENSE: A
SPECIAL TEAMS: A-

Be Sure to Listen To Grogan's Grade Friday Morning on WHEB 100.3 & ROCK 101.1 in New Hampshire, and check out the full report here at PatsFans.com later on that Evening!


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