Still struggling with the flu so I apologize for the delay this morning. However, here are this morning’s Patriots headlines.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has a blog entry this morning on quarterback Tom Brady, who told reporters in Miami yesterday via conference call that he’d like to think he’s only at the halfway mark of his career.
Rapoport has another article on Brady, looking at everyone’s involvement in the passing game as Brady did a much better job spreading the ball around last week in their win over the Bills. He also has another post with some interesting numbers looking at some numbers which reflect their improvement in efficiency in the passing game.
ESPNBoston.com has an article (with no byline) this morning looking at the Patriots road woes, and wonders where to place the blame.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article this morning talking about how different players “flip the switch” mentally when game time begins.
Mike Cole of NESN.com wonders if the Patriots should make a move to try and acquire Marshawn Lynch out of Buffalo. I’d like to think the possibility of Buffalo being foolish enough to trade him within the division is probably unlikely, but then again stranger things have happened.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com looks at the Patriots use of the shotgun despite the absence of Kevin Faulk last Sunday.
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe has an article this morning on Patriots cornerback Darius Butler, who only saw action in a handful of plays last weekend after Kyle Arrington got the nod over him. Butler says he’s “moving on” and is focused on trying to get better – which will hopefully translate back into more playing time.
“It’s a production business,’’ he said yesterday. “If you don’t produce on game day is when it counts. If it’s not getting done on game day, you’re not going to be out there.’’
“I guess my play wasn’t up to par and I wasn’t on the field, and that’s obviously where I want to be so I need to do whatever it takes,’’ Butler said.
The Globe also has another article with Tom Brady’s thoughts about Monday Night’s game down in Miami, with Brady telling reporters yesterday he expects this week’s AFC East divisional match-up to be a tough one.
“Certainly in the early part of my career, we got beat quite a bit down there. There was a long streak for a long time that we hadn’t won down there. Then we hit Troy [Brown] on the deep post, then we won a few.
“But I think what it means is that there’s not a lot of margin for error down there. So as an offense, I think we have to understand that they have a very good defense and they play well at home.”
Albert Breer of the Globe looks at how the franchise changed after Bill Parcells came in and turned things around, making Miami a tough team that has been competitive in recent years.
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle writes that the Patriots have something to prove down in Miami, with Patrick Chung telling the newspaper that they’ll need to be “ready for anything”.
“We’ve just got to be ready for anything,” said Chung, who is tied for the team lead in tackles with Jerod Mayo at 29. “Obviously they can make the throws. We’ve got to be ready for anything, passing, running, special teams. We have to stay a brotherhood and keep working together … you have to do your job, play fast, play violent.”
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has an article this morning on Terrence Wheatley, who is rehabbing from a foot injury and looking forward to getting back out onto the field when the time finally comes.
“I guess you could say (I’m champing at the bit to get back), but in a way, I’m not because you don’t want to rush back from an injury. You don’t want to set yourself back, you don’t want to turn something small into something big,” said Wheatley, who is waiting the go-ahead from the training staff. “But it does give me a chance to look at a lot of film. It does give me a chance to work on some of the things I haven’t been able to work on that other guys can’t work on when you’re playing.”
Guregian also looks at Belichick’s decision to bench Butler, and wonders if it’s the right move.
Mike Reiss writes that Monday night’s game in Miami will show the fans this team’s true colors, as Tom Brady echoed that same sentiment yesterday.
“These Monday night games tell you an awful lot about what kind of team you have, with the buildup to the game, and we’re playing a very good team on the road, a division opponent,” quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday. “It’s a real big game for us in the course of the season. We’re really going to find out what kind of team we are.”
Ian Rapoport has an article on BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who with Fred Taylor continuing to battle a foot injury may end up seeing his workload increase. Belichick told reporters yesterday that he’s been pleased with what he’s seen so far with Green-Ellis.
“Benny is tough,” coach Bill Belichick said. “He seems to always kind of be moving forward on contact and get that extra yard or two. You don’t see him get knocked back very often.”
Ron Borges looks at the concussion issue in the NFL, and writes that it’s “rife with hypocrisy”.
Christopher Price has a good article on Randy Moss, and writes that his production goes way beyond the numbers, with his presence on the field alone often times being enough to disrupt a defense.
And finally The Foxboro reporter has an article on Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal, who visited Ahern Middle School on Tuesday thanks to a program that challenges students to set both individual and collective summer reading goals as part of the Patriots’ program called “Read Between the Lines.” Reading the article it sounds like it was a great program and a great experience for the kids, with Neal giving the top reader a pretty good reward.
That’s it for this morning. We’ll have more later on.