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Tuesday’s New England Patriots Links 9/16


Tom Brady and the offense still have work to do. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots Report Card: Defense sets the tone – Ron Borges: Borges gives his grades from Sunday’s game, which he felt was just an average performance by Tom Brady.

Patriots Notebook: Reputation takes a hit – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on the fact that Brady held onto the ball just long enough to make a few key plays Sunday, that lead to a few tough hits that he absorbed.

Patriots-Vikings: 5 takeaways from the game – Jeff Howe: Howe gives his five thoughts from Sunday, which also saw Brady be “oddly disconnected” after the contest.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Expect slow progress from Patriots offense – Christopher Gasper: Gasper has an article on the offense, which he writes still has problems to fix.

Cameron Fleming’s versatility draws praise – Anthony Gulizia: Gulizia files his notebook this morning, which leads off with a bit on offensive lineman Cameron Fleming and his performance during Sunday’s game.

Patriots offense is dysfunctional right now – Ben Volin: Volin files his “On Football” column this morning and takes a closer look at what’s wrong with New England’s offense.

ESPN BOSTON:

Getting to know the Oakland Raiders – Mike Reiss: Reiss gives a quick rundown on the Raiders, who the Patriots will face this Sunday.

Penalties, missed chances irk Brady – Lee Schechter: Schecter has an article with notes from Brady’s appearance on WEEK, and the quarterback explained some of the issues on offense.

Pats’ 1st-quarter review: Jones on edge - Mike Reiss: Reiss goes back through the first quarter and points out some key points in the first quarter, including the results in the change in Chandler Jones’ role in the game plan.

Patriots’ 2nd-quarter review: Blocked FG – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the second quarter, and writes that Jones’ effort on the blocked field goal was ‘an exemplary individual effort’.

Patriots’ 3rd-quarter review: Brady’s glove – Mike Reiss: Reiss writes that in the third quarter Brady appeared to switch to a new glove on his left non-throwing hand for the start of the quarter.

Patriots’ 4th-quarter review: Stork time – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the performance of Bryan Stork, who entered the game in the final quarter of play on Sunday.

Usage of dime helps Ebner break through – Mike Reiss: Reiss highlights Nate Ebner in this entry, who is seeing more time so far this year on defense.

The Film Don’t Lie: Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss takes a look at what the Patriots must fix in this entry.

So far, Brady only has eyes for Edelman – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an article on the fact that Brady needs to distribute the football to players other than Edelman.

NESN:

Vikings, Norv Turner Kept It Simple For Patriots In New England‚Äôs Win – Doug Kyed: Kyed looks at Sunday’s game and writes that Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s game plan was pretty straightforward.

WEEI:

‘Rock’ Steady: Julian Edelman Focused on Imporoving Every Week – Christopher Price: Price has an article on Edelman, who knows there are more than enough rocks to go around.

PATRIOTS.COM:

Ask PFW: Does Brady not trust his receivers? – Erik Scalavino: Scalavino has his mailbag for this week that looks at a variety of topics, including why Brady wasn’t able to spread the ball around Sunday.

Nitpicks & Nitwits: Errors keeping Patriots from elite status – John Rooke: Rooke has a good read this morning on what he feels are some of the problems the Patriots need to fix.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Patriots had their way with Vikings on both sides of the ball – Kevin McNamara: McNamara has an article on Sunday’s game, which was a nice change following a week where they were pushed around by the Dolphins.

CSNNE:

McCourty: Whenever you get a pick, you look for Wilfork - Devin McCourty appeared on CSNNE’s “Quick Slants” and pointed out that when he picks off a pass he looks for Vince Wilfork as the “lead blocker”.

BLEACHER REPORT:

Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola Failing to Live Up to Expectations with Patriots – James Christensen: Our friend from NEPatriotsDraft.com has a good read this morning on the fact that neither receiver, thus far, has been productive in the offense in 2014.

WORCESTER TELEGRAM:

Tom Brady shines on touchdown toss – Rich Garven: Garven files his notes, which leads off talking about the 9-yard strike to Julian Edelman at the end of the first half.

Patriots are showing improvement – Rich Garven: Garven writes that the Patriots managed to overcome a sluggish start and followed it up with playing much better in week two.

Monday’s New England Patriots Links 9/15


Brady and the offense bounced back during Sunday’s win in Minnesota. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON GLOBE:

Patriots defense was good, but bigger tests await - Ben Volin: Volin writes that despite the Patriots dominance on the defensive side of the ball yesterday, bigger tests still await this team.

Patriots rebound with resounding victory over Vikings – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young files her game story, which saw things get so bad for former Patriots QB Matt Cassel that Vikings fans began chanting for his back-up late in the game.

Defensively, nobody could keep up with Chandler Jones – Michael Whitmer: Whitmer has a column on the game Chandler Jones had yesterday, which also saw him return a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

Patriots’ special teams flourish against Vikings РMichael Whitmer: Whitmer files his notebook this morning, which leads off with how well New England played on special teams yesterday.

For NFL, week was as bad as it gets – Dan Shaughnessy: Shaughnessy has a column on how bad the last week was for the league, which saw two of its biggest stars damage its’ image.

Tailgaters go the extra mile(s) to see Patriots РJess Myers: Myers has a column on a some fans who came a long way to watch their team yesterday.

Patriots’ defense impressive, but offense still work in progress - Ben Volin and Dan Shaughnessy discuss yesterday’s game, which saw the offense still struggle a bit at times.

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots pick apart Vikings for 1st win – Jeff Howe: Howe writes that the team apparently dumped last week’s playbooks as they sunk the Vikings during Sunday’s win.

Borges: Returning to edge, Chandler Jones bullies Vikings – Ron Borges: Borges has a column this morning on Chandler Jones, who had plenty of success Sunday against the Vikings.

Patriots Beat: ‚ÄėD‚Äô ensures things take turn – Karen Guregian: Guregian has a column on the defense, and writes that this group has a knack for creating turnovers.

Patriots Notebook: Easy does it with Rob Gronkowski – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact Gronkowski played fewer snaps than he did during week one.

Staking their ground – Karen Guregian: Guregian looks at the ground game for New England Sunday, which saw them more committed to running the football.

PORTLAND PRESS HERALD:

Patriots’ defense shows Vikings no mercy – Dave Campbell: Campbell has a column on the fact the Patriots took full advantage of Adrian Peterson’s absence on Sunday.

Best & Worst of Patriots-Vikings game – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian looks at some of the performances from Sunday, including the fact Stephen Gostkowski made all of his field goal attempts.

ESPN BOSTON:

Patriots’ offensive snaps: Amendola dips – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the snap totals from yesterday, which saw Amendola on the field for just 19 plays.

WR Jennings disappears on Revis Island – Mike Reiss: Reiss notes that Darrelle Revis won the match-up on Greg Jennings, who finished with just one catch on Sunday.

Patriots restore order at line of scrimmage – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the play up front, which saw New England play much better this week.

Penalties pile up for Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a note on the penalties from Sunday’s game, which saw New England accept 15 of them for 163 yards.

Tom Brady far from satisfied with offense – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an entry on the fact Tom Brady didn’t seem pleased after Sunday’s win.

Belichick on 200th win: ‘It means a lot’ – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an entry on Belichick’s reaction to winning his 200th game.

WEEI:

‘Minitron’ Delivers Big in Minnesota – Christopher Price: Price has a column on Julian Edelman, whose continued success continues to allow the Patriots to put the Wes Welker controversy behind them.

Bill Belichick on making history with 200th win: ‚ÄėI‚Äôve coached a lot of good football players‚Äô – Mike Petraglia: Petraglia has comments from Belichick after his 200th career win, in which the coach credits his players.

Bill Belichick on Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and the NFL crisis: ‚ÄėThe whole situation is really unfortunate‚Äô – Mike Petraglia: Petraglia notes a comment by Belichick after the game on the situation with Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice, which saw the two stars damage the league’s image this week.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Patriots rebound with 30-7 thumping of Vikings – Mark Daniels: Daniels files his game story, noting that unlike week one, there was no second-half comeback by the opposition Sunday.

Jim Donaldson: Chandler Jones had extra motivation on his mad dash to end zone – Jim Donaldson: Donaldson has a column on Jones, who kept saying¬†“don’t get caught” to himself on the way to the end zone yesterday when he returned the blocked field goal for a touchdown.

Revis Island makes a comeback in Minnesota – Mark Daniels: Daniels looks at the performance by Darrelle Revis Sunday, which saw him shut down Greg Jennings.

Patriots’ offensive line shows improvement – Mark Daniels: Daniels has a column on New England’s offensive line, which played much better Sunday in Minnesota.

CSNNE:

Shutdown corner – ¬†Tom Curran: Curran looks at Revis’ performance Sunday, which played a key role in the success the defense had after coming away with four interceptions.

LOWELL SUN:

Hey, Patriots fans, maybe sky isn’t falling after all – David Pavear: Pavear has a column after yesterday’s win and feels that maybe the team isn’t inept after all.

BLEACHER REPORT:

New England Patriots Prove They’re Still Alive Among AFC’s Elite – Erik Frenz: Boston.com’s Frenz writes that Patriots fans can breathe easy, as they’re still among the top teams in the AFC.

Patriots WR Amendola a Non-Factor Through Two Games


Amendola is off to a slow start in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

During week one of the regular season in 2013, Patriots fans were thought to have gotten a glimpse of what the future might hold for newcomer Danny Amendola after a huge performance to open the regular season.

In that game Amendola, who at the time was coming off of a groin injury during the preseason, finished with a¬†10 catch, 104 yard performance that helped the Patriots beat the Bills 23-21 to start the season. ¬†It was a gutsy performance for Amendola, who re-aggravated the injury during the game and it seemed to plague him for the remainder of the campaign. However, there seemed to be enough of a reason to believe that when he eventually got healthy he could be a valuable weapon in New England’s offense.


Danny Amendola hasn’t been productive so far in 2014.
(USA TODAY Images)

Fastforward to 2014, where the veteran made it through training camp and took part in 71% of the snaps last week in Miami. ¬†However, so far he’s been a non-factor in New England’s offense, which has struggled through two contests and his ineffectiveness has certainly contributed. ¬†He finished with just 3 catches for 16 yards in week one and on Sunday in Minnesota finished without a reception on one target.

As the team continues trying to find an identity on the offensive side of the football, it will likely need to include a way to make Amendola more of a factor than he has been.  He was brought in here to be a bigger part of the offense following the departure of Wes Welker, and his athleticism and quickness appeared to be two terrific attributes that could help this offense become more dangerous.

He’s currently in the second season of a five-year deal that could be worth up to $31 million, including incentives. Most fans heard about his past injury problems but knew how explosive of a player he was when he was healthy.

Heading into this season it seemed that things were lining up for him to shake off what happened last year. Just last month he talked about the fact that with a full year under his belt, he was more comfortable in the offense.

‚ÄúI feel comfortable,‚ÄĚ Amendola told the Boston Globe. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs different. A year under your belt in a new system, in a new place, in a new organization, it‚Äôs kind of like when a rookie comes in for the first time and tries to learn the offense. It might be difficult at times, but that second year that learning curve is much less. I feel very comfortable right now. I‚Äôm just trying to come out here and work.‚ÄĚ

So far, that comfort level hasn’t translated production-wise onto the field. ¬†Now that he’s healthy, the Patriots will certainly need more than Amendola’s been able to give them through the opening two games of 2014. ¬†Tom Brady finished with just 149 yards passing with Julian Edelman (6 receptions, 81-yards) and Rob Gronknowski (4 receptions, 32 yards) as the team’s leading receivers.

On Sunday against the Vikings, Amendola had one reception that was good for 26-yards, but it was called back on an offensive pass interference penalty on Aaron Dobson after he ran into his man and was called for running a pick play on his defender.  The play happened back with 12:04 left in the second quarter.  Amendola never touched the ball again.

Despite the victory, a visibly solemn Tom Brady took to the podium after the game, looking fairly upset as he spoke to reporters.

‚ÄúI‚Äôm happy we won. I just wish we‚Äôd go out there and play like we‚Äôre capable of,” said Brady. ¬†“It‚Äôs just the way it is. ¬†Just glad we won, it‚Äôs a great team win, a lot of guys contributed, a lot of great plays were made, hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.‚ÄĚ

He knows they’re better than this offensively, and Amendola has to quietly be thinking he’s also better than he’s played thus far. Whether that translates onto the field next Sunday against the Raiders, and in the weeks to come, will certainly be something to keep an eye on.

Tom Brady’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript 9/14


“It’s good to win.” – Tom Brady after Sunday’s win over Minnesota. (USA TODAY Images)

On if it’s exactly where he wants it yet offensively:

“I think we all have a lot of work to do. ¬†So, it’s good to win. ¬†We’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

On if it’s nice to not get hit like he did last week:

“Yeah. ¬†I think we had pretty good control out there, thought we did a good job in the run game. ¬†Took advantage of some opportunities, but hopefully we can do a lot better.”

On the performance of the defense and special teams:

“Yeah, they made a lot of great plays… a lot of great plays, big time plays, that was what we needed and hopefully they keep doing it. ¬†So we’ve got to start producing when we get it and take advantage of some of the things that…you know, getting the ball in¬†short field and¬†stuff, get in the end zone.”

On the play of Julian Edelman:

“Yeah, you know, he’s doing a great job for us. ¬†So he’s a great player, made some great punt returns. ¬†He’s a great player for our team. ¬†So hopefully we can keep making improvements and he’s a big part of that and hopefully we kind of look¬†better.”

On the fact he seems very down and if there’s one thing he can say they need to do better:

“I’m happy we won. ¬†I just wish we’d go out there and play like we’re capable of. It’s just the way it is. ¬†Just glad we won, it’s a great team win, a lot of guys contributed, a lot of great plays were made, hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.”

On if he thinks a lot needs fixing:

“I think we’re going to try to make improvements. ¬†We’ll get back to work and see what we can do better. ¬†Certainly, same way after last week, try to make some improvements and hopefully we can go out there and do a better job.”

On his thoughts on Stevan Ridley:

“Yeah, some great running, great blocking up front. ¬†He always runs really hard. ¬†We were really close on some runs to breaking him¬†some longer ones, but that was really important for us to be able to run the ball like that. ¬†We’re going to need that all season.”

On the fact he has 149 wins, number two all time and how it feels for him:

“Um…I’m glad we won. ¬†You know what…I don’t think about those things too much. ¬†But I’m glad we won and hopefully we can do better next week.”

“Thanks guys.”


Belichick notched his 200th career victory Sunday in Minnesota. (USA TODAY Images)

OPENING STATEMENT:

“Well that was a real good team win for us today. ¬†Really proud of the team. ¬†We got great contributions from all three areas, thought our special teams did a real good job, Steve [Gostkowski] kicking the ball, made a couple of big returns, obviously the blocked kick by Chandler [Jones]. ¬†Offensively we had a more balanced attack than we had last week, which is what we needed. ¬†Had a lot of runs, play-actions, converted some big third downs, converted some red area opportunities. ¬†Defensively we had a lot of turnovers, plus the blocked kick. ¬†So that’s a good formula. ¬†Obviously still a lot of things we need to work on, we’re a long way from being where we need to be, but we certainly made progress this week. ¬†Hopefully we can go back and have another good week of practice and grind it out and continue to improve, which we need to do. ¬†It’s good to come up here and see the team play as well as they did, play hard for each other, play well as a team, good complimentary football from all three units and that’s what we need to do. ¬†”

On the blocked field goal by Chandler Jones:

“That was the hugest ten point play…it was a huge play. ¬†We work on it every week and it¬†was great to¬†see it happen the way it did, see that hard work in practice¬†payoff and become reality in the game. ¬†That’s what it’s all about.”

On how win number 200 feels:

“It felt good. ¬†Every win feels good. ¬†It felt good, it felt real good. ¬†I’m proud of the way our team played today. ¬†We had a lot of good players…I thought our captains did a real good job this week coming off of last week’s disappointing game in Miami. ¬†We got great leadership from our veteran players and our captains. ¬†The team played hard today.”

On the adjustments they made on defense following the Vikings’ first offensive series, they were able to get turnovers, etc:

“I mean, the turnovers were huge. ¬†Most of those plays were on balls down the field. ¬†They got us early in the game on misdirection plays, the crossing route for [Vikings tight end Kyle] Rudolph and then the crossing route¬†back to the tight end off of the play-action, then the cross boot for the touchdown. ¬†So we need to do a little better job on staying at home and defending our areas and not over-pursuing. ¬†We kind of got caught on that on the first drive. ¬†They had a good group of plays and they definitely were able to execute them well. ¬†That was a good drive.”

On the offensive line bouncing back:

“I thought that Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive staff did a great job with the game plan. ¬†We had some good opportunities to run the ball and that set up some play-action passes. ¬†We weren’t in a lot of long-yardage situations. ¬†There were some with penalties, but we didnt’ have a lot of negative plays where we just got blown up in the backfield or anything like that. ¬†So I thought that the staff did a great job. ¬†Our offensive line, our tight ends, James Develin was part of that, they blocked well. ¬†Stevan [Ridley] ran hard, the backs all ran well. ¬†So it was good to see that. ¬†That certainly helped us in the passing game, set up some passing opportunities and also kept us out of long-yardage [situations].”

On the fact history is important to him and the fact he’s the 6th coach to reach the 200 win mark during the regular season and what it means to him personally:

“It means a lot. ¬†What it really means is I’ve coached a lot of good football¬†players. ¬†Those are the guys that win the game. ¬†Players win games in this league and I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to coach a lot of great players and so that’s really about them winning the games. ¬†But it’s certainly an honor to¬†have my name thrown around in there with some of those guys, I’d say really all of whom, other than Curly [Lambeau], that I looked up to as a kid and admired and maybe borderline worshiped as NFL coaches. ¬†I certainly never got into coaching expecting that to ever happen, so it’s very gratifying to reach that milestone. ¬†But what it really says is that I’ve had a lot of good players. ¬†That’s really what it says.”

On the fact the tackling seemed better this week and if it was a point of emphasis:

“Absolutely. ¬†Blocking and tackling were the two biggest points of emphasis this week. ¬†I think we did improve. ¬†We can still do better, but taking care of the ball, turning the ball over, blocking and tackling, those are the fundamentals that we need to do well in. ¬† Obviously we had too many penalties, which again negated some good plays and gave them extra opportunities. ¬†So we’ve got to do a better job on the penalty front. ¬†But I thought the fundamentals of blocking, tackling, turnovers, ball security, ball protection, and running with the ball. ¬†I thought our backs ran well, our receivers ran well, Julian [Edelman] on the returns, so we made some plays with the ball in our hands.”

On the success on special teams punting the football:

“I thought our special teams really responded. ¬†I mean, this was a huge challenge [Marcus] Sherels and [Cordarrelle] Patterson, they’re the return tandem in the league last year. ¬†Those two guys are great, [Blair] Walsh is a good kicker, I mean they’ve got real good special teams units. ¬†Joe Marciano’s an excellent coach, he’s done a good job, and Mike Priefer, whoever you want to call it, but either way, we knew¬†it was a big challenge to come in here with their units, their specialists, the production that they’ve had in the past and the schemes that they have. ¬†But our guys really met the challenge. ¬†[Matthew] Slater and certainly our specialists, Julian [Edelman], Danny [Aiken], Ryan [Allen], Steve [Gostkowski], you know, those guys, they played well and anytime your specialists play well, then there’s a good chance your special teams are going to play well. ¬†So those guys did a good job. ¬†We got a lot of…downed some punts inside the 20, gave us an opportunity for good field position. ¬†They really, they looked good.”

On how he felt Deontae Skinner played with Jamie Collins being deactivated:

“We’ll see. ¬†There’s probably some things that were O.K.. ¬†There’s probably some other things that we need to sharpen up on. ¬†But we felt like we had to make that move just for the game with Jamie not being able to go, so Deontae has had a couple good weeks on the practice squad and in practice. ¬†It’s an opportunity for him. ¬†I think he was mentally ready to take advantage of it, so I’m sure he’ll get better as he continues to play. ¬†I mean the guy hasn’t played a lot of football for us this year.

On the fact Chandler Jones had a big day and won all his match-ups:

“Chandler’s, I mean he’s played well for us. ¬†He’s a good player. ¬†Again, anytime you can get that kind of a lead like we did and we saw the reverse of that last week when it was a one-dimensional game and those guys can just do their thing, tee off on the quarterback and all that, that’s a defensive lineman’s dream. ¬†We were able to capitalize on it and get some pressure on the quarterback, but our ability to make plays to get ahead to create that situation really had a lot to do with it too. ¬†But he did a good job, we got a good pass rush from all those guys, Rob [Ninkovich], Chandler, [Dont'a] Hightower, [Dominique] Easley, Vince [Wilfork], we had a bunch of guys hitting the quarterback.”

On as someone who loves the league, what he can do to make things better [given some of the recent off the field events related to the NFL]:

“I think we need to do what we always do, and that’s take care of our job and do our job and¬†try to do it well. ¬†That’s what we’ll focus on and continue to focus on. ¬† We really can’t control anything outside of what we do. ¬†We’ve just got to do the best that we can, leave all those other things to the process and so forth. ¬†I mean, it’s certainly unfortunate. ¬†I have a lot of personal respect for Adrian [Peterson] and Ray [Rice], and the whole situation is really unfortunate with the events of what happened. ¬†But we all know what that is, so it’s an unfortunate situation.”

Brady: Patriots Have to ‘Dig Deep’ After Sunday’s Loss to Dolphins


Tom Brady and the Patriots struggled in Miami on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

On Sunday the Patriots had their fair share of issues down in Miami after the Dolphins handed them a brutal 33-20 road loss to drop them to 0-1 on the season. As a result, heading into week two they’ll have plenty of things on film that should haunt them enough for the outcome to hopefully be different by the time they take the field again out in Minnesota.

Obviously at the forefront of their problems were their issues up front on their offensive line, which saw Tom Brady under massive pressure in the second half of Sunday’s game. ¬†Miami was able to get good penetration, clogging the lanes when the Patriots tried to run, and they had no issue getting in Brady’s face despite rushing just four over the course of the final two quarters.

The frustrating was New England tried to adjust and just couldn’t do anything about it. ¬†Give credit to the Dolphins’ players and especially the coaching staff, who¬†made adjustments at the half that the Patriots clearly couldn’t adapt to.


Frustration was evident for Brady on Sunday down in Miami.
(USA TODAY Images)

During the first half of Sunday’s game Brady completed 66% of his passes and the Patriots had success moving the football and scoring points, converting 15 first downs and taking a 20-10 lead into the locker room. ¬†However in the second half they were all over Brady and held him to just a 37% completion rate over the final two quarters, including 6-of-20 performance in the fourth quarter. ¬†They also converted just five first downs.

That’s not exactly a formula for a victory, and Brady admitted after the game their inability to sustain a drive was frustrating.

“They‚Äôve got a good front, good players in the secondary, they make you earn it,” said Brady on the Dolphins’ defense. ¬†“We just couldn‚Äôt sustain anything. ¬†Too many drives where we sputtered. ¬†Certainly in the second half, the third quarter ‚Ķ you can‚Äôt play football that way.”

Defensively they also had their issues.  Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno carried 24 times for 134 yards along with a touchdown and his presence gives Miami another threat that the Patriots are going to have to figure out a way to deal with.  As the game wore on, especially in the second half, Moreno got stronger.  The veteran racked up 91-yards in the final two quarters, tiring out an already gassed New England defense that spent eighteen of the final thirty minutes of the game on the field.

Dolphins defensive tackle Branden Albert told ESPN after the game that Moreno’s intensity is infectious, and it helped lift everyone around him.

‚ÄúWhen somebody’s got that type of energy and got that type of intensity, that puts it on everybody else to keep pushing,‚ÄĚ said Albert. ‚ÄúThat pushes us even more.‚ÄĚ

Meanwhile the more they struggled, the more the frustration became visible on the Patriots’ sideline and the more the Dolphins dialed up the intensity. ¬†Tom Brady came off the field on more than one occasion and sat down on the bench with his head hanging down, a bad sign for a team that was in need of matching the energy the Dolphins were playing with.

For now it’s back to the drawing board as they get set to head out on the road to battle the Vikings in Minnesota. ¬†This is a game they’ll need to put behind them and hopefully put up a better effort in the weeks to come. ¬†Brady admitted that they did just about everything wrong in this game, and they’ll have to try and execute better next week.

“I think all of us have to go out there and play a lot better than we played today,” said Brady. ¬†“I mean, you can‚Äôt play the way the way we played and think that we‚Äôll win a game this season. ¬†There‚Äôs nothing positive to really take from the things we were doing. ¬†I think it‚Äôs a good example of if you do the things that we did today, you‚Äôll get beat. ‚ÄĚ

“We‚Äôre going to get back to work. ¬†Nobody‚Äôs going to feel sorry for us. ¬†The guys in the room have to dig deep and see if we can go out and get a win next week.”

Tom Brady’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript


Sunday was a frustrating afternoon for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s what Tom Brady had to say following Sunday’s loss to Miami:

On if the Dolphins were better than he thought they would be:

“They have a good team. ¬†They always play pretty well down here, especially against us and we just … We had a decent first half, I think we left some opportunities out there in the first half and in the second half just, obviously didn’t do anything in the third quarter and that lead to a one-dimensional team in the fourth quarter and we didn’t make enough plays there. ¬†So give them a lot of credit. ¬†They dealt with a lot of injuries and they’re pretty mentally tough, and we’ve got to learn from it. ¬†We’re going to get back to work. ¬†Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. ¬†The guys in the room have to dig deep and see if we can go out and get a win next week.”

On if he feels he was let down a bit in terms of the protection:

“I mean, those guys are working their tail off. ¬†That’s a good front. ¬†We’ve got to do better in all areas and I’ve got to do a better job. ¬†That’s kind of where our focus is for this week.”

On if it was good to have Gronkowski back in the line-up to throw to:

“Yeah. ¬†Yeah… I mean he’s a good player for us. ¬† So I think all of us have to go out there and play a lot better than we played today. ¬†I mean, you can’t play the way the way we played and think that we’ll win a game this season. ¬†There’s nothing positive to really take from the things we were doing. ¬†I think it’s a good example of if you do the things that we did today, you’ll¬†get beat. ¬†We played a good football team at home. ¬†Like I said, we had a decent first half, but, you’ve got to put 60-minutes together if you’re going beat them.”

On if he thought conditioning was a factor:

“We’ve been practicing in this all summer so I don’t think that played a part of it. ¬†I think¬†our execution was just terrible.”

On the fact the guys up front didn’t seem to be gelling:

“Truthfully, I don’t think we were gelling anywhere today. ¬†There wasn’t much positive from the quarterback position, the receiver position, the tight end position, the anybody position, none of us can play like that and expect to win. ¬†All of us have to go out and do a much better job than we did today, take the coaching, understand what we need to do better and then go and execute¬†next week.”

On the fact it’s been a while since they’ve lost the first game and how important it is for he and the other veterans to keep the mindset right with the younger players:

“Well, it’s a long football season and you’ve got to make improvements throughout the course of the season. ¬†Whether you win or lose, you’re not going to be playing really perfect football, especially in September, but you’ve got to try to win these games, they’re important games to win. ¬†They all count the same. ¬†A win or a loss counts the same in September as it does in December. ¬†We just didn’t play a good football game. ¬†We got off to a decent start, made some turnovers, and then let them back in the game in the third¬†quarter and then we just couldn’t do anything in the fourth quarter. ¬†So we’ll try and figure out the things that we did wrong, and build on the good things, get rid of the bad things, and hopefully that will put us in a better place next week.”

On what the change was in the second half:

“I think our execution was just terrible. ¬†We just couldn’t do anything offensively. ¬†We couldn’t sustain drives. ¬†We couldn’t get a first down. ¬†We couldn’t run it, we couldn’t throw it,¬†it was just a bad day.”

On if he’s surprised they didn’t take more advantage of Miami’s defense after their linebackers went out with injuries:

“I know, but like I said, they had some guys that came in that did a good job. ¬†#53 [Jelani Jenkins] … [Jason] Trusnik did a good job. ¬†They’ve got¬†some good players, especially depth at that position. ¬†They’ve got¬†a good front, good players in the secondary, they make you earn it. ¬† We just couldn’t sustain anything. ¬†Too many drives¬†where we sputtered. ¬†Certainly in the second half, the third quarter … you can’t play football that way.”

On the fact Gronkowsi looked behind and if he had any sense that Gronkowski was behind in his reactions to what they were trying to do:

“Like I said, I think everybody … the guys in the blue jerseys, I don’t think any of us played very well. ¬†I don’t think that was Gronk or anybody in particular. ¬†I mean, this is a team sport. ¬†We all rely on each other. ¬†I think we play with anticipation, we communicate well and we try and go out there play for each other and you play to win. ¬†I think today we just didn’t do the things that we need to do to win. ¬†You can’t turn the ball over like we turned it over, you can’t give them short fields and have opportunities in the pass game and the run game and make more yards than we did. ¬†We just didn’t do anything with it.”

On if he was affected by the rush himself:

“That’s a good question. ¬†I just don’t think you want to stand back there and hold the ball when you know they’re bearing down, so you just try to pick guys out and make the throws. ¬†But there’s times where you probably look at the film and you have more time than you think and that’s part of playing football. ¬†There’s things that I have to do a lot better job, using my instincts to help our team move the ball and score points.”

On if he can talk about his calf:

“It’s good. ¬†Thanks for asking.”

On the fact they took away Julian Edelman in the second half:

“They took away everybody in the second half. ¬†Truthfully, I mean we didn’t really make any yards in the second half. ¬†There wasn’t one guy that we, anybody we threw the ball to, we didn’t do anything. We didn’t run it, we didn’t throw it, I think that was, not just to Julian, that was to every player. ¬†We couldn’t produce any yards.”

For Brady, Mankins Trade An Ugly Reminder of Business in the NFL


To Tom Brady, the Mankins trade was another ugly reminder of the business side of the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)

Most players in the NFL tend to shy away from talking about the fact that the business of the NFL bothers them when it comes to transactions that sometimes directly affect them.

Players come and go, and in the NFL it’s a difficult situation because unlike most leagues most deals aren’t guaranteed and changes can happen anytime. ¬†As the dynamics shift from year-to-year, sometimes players who don’t seem like a possibility to see their tenure come to an end are the ones who find themselves in the cross-hairs of a difficult business decision.


“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on.” – Patriots QB Tom Brady (USA TODAY Images)

That was obviously the case last week when Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins was shipped off to Tampa Bay in exchange for tight end Tim Wright, who adds another weapon to compliment Rob Gronkowski in New England’s offense. ¬†Given Gronkowski’s recent injury history, the Patriots needed some additional insurance behind him and the move to add Wright looks, at least for now anyway, like one that may potentially pay dividends over the course of the coming season.

On the offensive line, the Patriots were deep and Mankins’ high price tag and cap number ($10.5 million) heading into 2014 ¬†put them in a position where they needed to make a difficult move to strengthen one area, while removing a player who was well-liked among his peers.

One player who was a fan of Mankins was quarterback Tom Brady, who finally spoke about the loss of the veteran guard¬†during an appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” this week. ¬†Brady said Mankins was a “a good friend” and that he represented exactly what the team stands for.

“I haven’t really spoken to anybody about it, so I have my own personal feelings that are very personal to me,”¬†said Brady via ESPN Boston. ¬†“I love Logan. Logan was a great friend of mine. Nobody stood for Patriots football more than him.”

Having had a week to digest what transpired, Brady said that he’s “moved on”, which as a leader is something that he feels the guys around him expect.

“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on,” said Brady. ¬†“I have to move on, because that’s what this team expects me to do.”

There have plenty of guys who have come and gone, which certainly isn’t new given how much the dynamic has changed over the years. ¬†Considering he’s been in the league for 15-years, one would think that the veteran signal-caller would be used to it by now. ¬†However, Brady said that despite the business aspect of things he still cares about the guys around him and times like this are still difficult.

“Absolutely not,” said Brady when asked about it. “I’m a very person-to-person type of person, a very emotional person. I don’t think those things have ever gotten easier for me. I don’t think they ever will. But you have to come to grips with it also, and learn to deal with things in a mature way.

“We, as players, it’s the business side of things. We’re out there to play, we’re not out there to run businesses. We’re there to enjoy the camaraderie with our teammates, enjoy the playing experience with our teammates, and play for one another. And you deal with whatever comes up and then you move forward.”

That’s what Brady will have to do Sunday¬†down in Miami when he takes the field for the first time without Mankins to kick off the regular season.

Tuesday’s New England Patriots Media Links 9/2


Garoppolo is still having a tough time grasping the fact that he’s now Tom Brady’s back-up. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON HERALD:

Rob Gronkowksi stirs up offense – Karen Guregian: Guregian has an article on Gronkowski, who is looking forward to being back on the field.

Patriots Notebook: Garoppolo embraces role behind Brady – Karen Guregian: Guregian files her notebook this morning, which leads off with Garoppolo adjusting to being the go to guy if Brady goes down.

Sealver Siliga cuts to the chase – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian has a good article on Siliga, who talked about what it was like the Saturday before roster cuts.

ESPN BOSTON:

Brady: Mankins was Patriots football – Mike Reiss: Reiss has comments from Brady following his appearance on WEEI where he talked about his reaction to Mankins being traded.

Brady leftovers: On Gronkowski, Wright - Lee Schechter: Schlechter has more from Brady’s interview on Dennis &¬†Callahan.

Garoppolo on No. 2: ‘Hasn’t really sunk in’ – Mike Reiss: Reiss has an article on back-up Jimmy Garropolo, who said the fact he’s Brady’s back-up hasn’t quite ‘sunk in’ yet.

Under Armour inks Gisele Bundchen – Darren Rovell: Rovell has an article on the fact Brady’s wife now joins him as a endorser of the brand.

WEEI:

5 things you have to know about Dolphins – Christopher Price: Price takes a look at the Dolphins and feels they’ll likely look to push the pace offensively.

Tim Wright on Rob Gronkowski: ‘I definitely think we can work off each other’ – Mike Petraglia: Pegraglia has a nice read on Wright, who feels being out there with Gronkowski should allow him to work off each other and that he’s going to learn ‘a lot of things’ from the tight end,

CSNNE:

Brady contemplates his future with the Patriots - Phil Perry: Perry has an article with some comments about Brady’s future with the team, with the quarterback saying he hopes he can remain a Patriot for a long time.

METROWEST DAILY NEWS:

Patriots Notebook: Bequette, Boyce return, signed to practice squad – Glen Farley: Farley has a note on some additional practice squad additions.

ENTERPRISE NEWS:

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK: There’s a touch of the Pats in Wright’s past – Glen Farley: Farley files his notebook this morning, which leads off with a bit on the fact Wright’s first reception came in a loss to the Patriots last season.

Monday’s New England Patriots Links 9/1


Ryan Mallett’s era as the back-up quarterback here in New England came to an end on Sunday after he was dealt to the Texans. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s media Links:

BOSTON HERALD:

Ryan’s hope in Houston РJeff Howe: Howe has an article on Ryan Mallett and feels that while it came one day later than expected, his era in New England is over.

Patriots Notebook: Quarles beefs up defensive front – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the addition of Kelcy Quarles.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Patriots‚Äô skimpy return for Ryan Mallett shows how teams view QB - Ben Volin: Volin has his “On Football” article this morning and gives his thoughts on the value – or lack thereof – New England received for Mallett.

Technology tracks players’ speed on football field – Callum Borchers: Borchers looks at a new technology where players will be wearing quarter-sized sensors that will track their speed, distance, and other information during the course of a play.

BOSTON.COM:

Takeaways from Ryan Mallett’s Trade – Zuri Berry: Berry has his thoughts on the Mallett deal,¬†and feels Garoppolo obviously beat Mallett out and earned the top back-up role.

If Given the Chance, Discarded Patriots QB Ryan Mallett Will Thrive With Texans – Adam Kaufman: Kaufman gives his thoughts on Mallett, who he believes will do well in Houston.

ESPN BOSTON:

Film review on Patriots DL Kelcy Quarles – Mike Reiss: Reiss went back through and looked at film of newly acquired defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles.

QB Bethel-Thompson to practice squad - Mike Reiss: Reiss notes a report of the addition of quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad, who was one of 12 players in for a tryout on Saturday.

Patriots claim DT Gaston, release LB White – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at a couple of transactions, including the fact New England claimed Bruce Gaston from the Cardinals while releasing LB Chris White.

Analysis: Digesting the Ryan Mallett trade – Mike Reiss: Reiss gives his thoughts on the Mallett deal, and feels the pick they gave up was commensurate with what the market called for given his previous performances.

WEEI:

Game over: Ryan Mallett trade closes interesting chapter for Patriots - Christopher Price: Price writes on the end of an era after the Mallett trade.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Browner will stick to schedule as his 4-game suspension begins – Mark Daniels: Daniels has an article on Brandon Browner, who doesn’t plan on altering his preparation approach despite his suspension.

SEACOAST ONLINE: 

Matt Light to attend KTP’s Septemberfest – Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light is set to appear at the Kittery trading post on Wednesday.