Here’s a quick look at this morning’s top stories:
Cardinals GM: Loss “Unacceptable” – Bill Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff got a lot of praise on Monday after having Jimmy Garoppolo prepared well enough to go out and beat the Cardinals in their house to open the 2016 season, but in Arizona, the story was quite different.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports radio 98.7 FM that he was “embarrassed” by Sunday night’s loss, and it’s obvious that losing to a wounded New England team that was missing both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski didn’t sit well.
“You wake up Monday morning with a loss. You’re angry, disappointed, embarrassed, and that’s the way we should all feel,” Keim said via ESPN. “Just didn’t get it done, and a lot of reasons why we didn’t get it done. And that needs to improve. That’s certainly unacceptable.”
Keim blamed the loss on bad execution, especially on third down where the Patriots went out and converted 10-of-16, with Garoppolo completing 8-of-10 with seven first downs, which went to six different receivers. Meanwhile, the Cardinals converted just 6-of-12 on third down and despite not committing any turnovers while also committing fewer penalties, they just didn’t make enough plays when it counted.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians felt the Cardinals blew a terrific opportunity to start 2016 off with a win, although part of that can be attributed to questionable clock management late in the game. However, the opportunity was there as the game ended up coming down to a missed field goal at the end, which cost them.
“We should have won the game,” Arians said. “As poorly as we played, we still should have won.”
For now what happened Sunday night wasn’t the performance Keim was hoping for in front of the home crowd, and he made it clear that they need to turn things around and quickly to make sure they don’t let another opportunity like that slip past them again.
“We got to regroup,” Keim said. “It’s the-sky-is-falling Monday, and that’s the feel that all of us should have and use that as a chip on our shoulder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Color Rush Uniforms To Be Unveiled – The team is set to unveil their Color Rush uniforms Tuesday morning at 9am, which will be the first alternate jerseys for the Patriots since 2003, which saw them wear silver jerseys with blue pants.
A couple of rumors that surfaced Monday revealed that the Patriots may be wearing all-red when they play the Texans on September 22, while the Texans will wear dark blue. The Patriots had previously worn all blue back on October 27, 2002 in a game against the Broncos where they lost at home at Gillette Stadium, 24-16.
If you’re going to be near the stadium Tuesday, the Patriots ProShop is planning on opening early this morning at 9am for the launch of the jerseys.
Color Rush! The ProShop will open early tomorrow @9:00AM for the launch of the first new Patriots jerseys since 2003! #ColorRush
— Patriots ProShop (@PatriotsProShop) September 12, 2016
Ninkovich Extended – The Patriots redid Tom Brady’s contract during the offseason to help minimize the financial impact of his four game suspension, and it appears they may have done the same for defensive end Rob Ninkovich.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the veteran, who was suspended by the league for testing positive for a banned substance, signed a one-year contract extension with the club through 2017 that helps him avoid losing what could have been as much as $475,000 in base salary and bonuses.
Ninkovich’s suspension reportedly stemmed from an ingredient that was in a store-bought product that contained a substance the defensive end was “unaware” was banned.
“Any supplement I’ve ever used was bought at a store. I was unaware something I bought had a substance in it that would give me a positive test because it wasn’t listed [as an ingredient],” Ninkovich told ESPN earlier this month.
“One thing I have learned is that if a supplement is not NSF certified, there are no regulations that ensure that what is on the label is 100 percent accurate. That is a hard lesson for me to learn at this stage in my career, but I take responsibility for it. It’s a mistake I made and it hurts that I won’t be there for my teammates.”
Ninkvoich will rejoin the team the same week as Brady when he returns for Week 5 against the Browns.
Brady on Garoppolo, “it was a great night for him” – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was interviewed on Westwood One on Monday night for his weekly segment and was impressed by Garoppolo in his first NFL start.
“I thought he was great,” said Brady via WEEI. “I thought it was a great night for him and our whole offense. I think the one thing you realize as the quarterback is everyone being in sync and being on the same page and the communication with your teammates is so critical.”
“For us to go in there and get a win like that, it was great for … obviously our offensive football team. The defense played great. Special teams. It’s such a team sport. And Jimmy did everything he was asked to. It was a great way to start the season for our team.”
One of the biggest things Brady pointed out was the fact they got off to a fast start, which is something he said is always one of the things the team focuses on and it obviously helped put the Patriots in control of the game early, which played a part in the victory.
“It was great to see the offense get off to a great start with a great first drive,” said Brady. “A lot of great plays from Jimmy and the skill players. The offensive line did a great job. To get up, 10-0 like that is huge. I think that was a great way to start the game for our team. We always talk about starting fast, and we certainly got off to a fast start last night.”
Belichick Praises CB Coleman – Defensive back Justin Coleman played well on Sunday night and made a couple of key pass break-ups, including one at the end that helped ensure a more difficult field goal attempt for the Cardinals that ultimately sailed wide left.
His performance drew some praise from Bill Belichick on Monday, with the coach saying that the play likely played a part in keeping Cardinals QB Carson Palmer from looking his way again during that drive.
“I thought that Coleman gave us some real quality plays and that one at the end of the half that you mentioned was good,” said Belichick. “The one at the end of the game where they were, it looked like, trying to run the ball to get it into field goal position to get the ball a little bit closer and we had our safeties down to defend the run, and so [Carson] Palmer threw the fade up outside and Coleman made the play on that, which was another big play because it stopped the clock which kind of worked in our favor a little bit in that particular point in time and also no yards gained.”
“It’s a big breakup and I think it really probably discouraged Palmer from thinking about doing that again, so that was a key play for us as well as the one you said at the end of the half where we undercut [Jaron] Brown and was able to get his hands right up in the pocket of the catch and break it up. That was big.”
See the Patriots Celebrate After Sunday Night’s Win – This one is pretty self-explanatory. The Patriots posted video of the scene in the locker room following Sunday night’s win out in Arizona, and it was fun to see this group after kicking off 2016 with a win.
You can see Bill Belichick praise Garoppolo, telling him, “Great Job. That’s a tough place to play.”
Check it out via this link if you haven’t seen it.
Fake Brady Making the Rounds – Finally, in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a guy wearing a mask that looks so realistic it’s scary, resembling the Patriots QB.
He was spotted at the stadium in Arizona Sunday night, and it’s about as spot on as it gets, all the way to the quarterback’s hair.
Take a look:
— azcentral sports (@azcsports) September 12, 2016
— Joseph Merkel (@Joseph_Merkel) September 12, 2016
Here’s a Vine…scary, isn’t it?
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Tags: 2016 Patriots season Arizona Cardinals Bill Belichick Fake Tom Brady Jimmy Garoppolo Justin Coleman New England Patriots Patriots Uniforms Rob Ninkovich Steve Keim Tom Brady