The Patriots have spent the last couple of days adjusting to life after Randy Moss, and trying to get Deion Branch acclimated as he tries to get comfortable with the offense. With a lot continuing to go on in Foxboro, here are today’s headlines.
As they continue working on their new offensive scheme “post Moss”, Shalise Manza Young writes that head coach John Harbaugh acknowledged Wednesday his team will have a tough time knowing what to expect on Sunday.
“That’s tough for us,’’ Harbaugh via a conference call with the Boston media Sunday. “We’re going to come out there, and we’re going to have to defend it for the first time, and everybody else will have a look at where it’s at. But for us, since we don’t get to watch practice, we’re really not going to know what it is until we play them.’’
Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN breaks down the Patriots numbers on offense, and has an article on how they’re evolving this new “Moss-less” attack.
Rapoport writes that Brandon Tate is ready to do whatever head coach Bill Belichick asks of him, with the receiver looking forward to the opportunity to contribute.
“I’m ready,” said Tate, the former third-round pick from the University of North Carolina who has 11 catches for 135 yards. “I’ve been ready for any opportunity. Whenever the coaches call my number, I’m going to execute.”
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has a column this morning about yesterday’s visit to the stadium which included the media’s first meeting with “Brady Gaga” (as Shaughnessy calls him) since Moss’ departure.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Brady was forced to pay up on a bet with Brian Hoyer over Michigan’s loss to Michigan State, and sported a MSU T-shirt while the media was there Wednesday.
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an article on what the Patriots will do offensively now that Deion Branch is here, and Brady says he’s ready to “dink and dunk” the football if that’s what it takes to win football games.
“If it’s dink-and-dunk and score touchdowns, I’m fine with dinking-and-dunking,” Brady said. “I don’t care whatever it takes to get the ball in the end zone. If we hand it off every play, I’m fine with that. We’ve got to be able to score points, and scoring points comes down to executing well no matter what you call.
“You throw it to the guy that’s open,” he said. “I think that’s always what I’ve tried to do. I think a guy like Wes (Welker) gets open a lot so he gets the ball a lot. I don’t think it’s a concerted effort to make sure everyone’s got a catch coming out of the game.”
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports that Belichick met with reporters yesterday and had high praise for rookie Devin McCourty, telling the media that it was the pre-draft meeting with him that really sold him on the former Rutgers standout.
“The guy started telling me what the nose (tackle) is supposed to do on a particular stunt when he’s playing corner, and stuff like that,” Belichick said of McCourty’s pre-draft film session. “Usually you don’t get that.”
Guregian also has an article on Brady’s relationship with Branch, and how the two have already reconnected well now that he’s returned.
Ron Borges of the Herald writes that defense still win championships, and acquiring Deion Branch isn’t going to fix what he feels is wrong with this football team.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com points out that despite the loss of Kevin Faulk, Tom Brady and the offense still continue to use the shotgun formation, using it in 25 of their 58 snaps.
Reiss also writes that Sunday’s game against the Ravens will be a good barometer to figure out what kind of football team the Patriots are as they head into the final 12 games of the season.
Chris Mortenson of ESPN reported Wednesday night that Patriots guard Logan Mankins will report by November 16th, and plans on participating in the final seven games of the season. Mankins really doesn’t have much of a choice, as if he continued to hold out the entire season he wouldn’t be able to accrue a year of service without doing so in order to move on to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
And finally, the Boston Globe reports that the charges filed against Brett Lockett last month following an arrest will be dropped, and will be removed from his record. Lockett was arrested back on Sept. 25 outside a nightclub in Providence and charged with failure to move and disorderly conduct.
That’s it for this morning. There are a couple of pieces that will be released later this morning, one of which is a great article from our own Russ Goldman who gets some insight from one of the Baltimore media members on this weekend’s game. So be sure and check the front page throughout the day for more here at PatsFans.com