Author Archives: Ian Logue

Ian Logue

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

Tom Brady Full Interview With Jim Gray – “Anytime Someone Leaves The Game, it’s Serious.”

Ian Logue
September 19, 2017 at 5:30 am ET

As he does every week, Tom Brady spoke with Jim Gray on Monday night in his weekly radio appearance on Westwood One, and here’s the full transcript of the interview.

Tom, it’s early in the season, it was week two, you don’t want to say it was a ‘Must-win’, but was it?

Well, we’re not quite at that point in the year yet, but it felt pretty damn good to win. It had been a while since February for our team to really experience that feeling of winning.  To go on the road in a place that we struggled with in 2009, it felt great to get a win. I mean, they’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback, a Super Bowl winning coach, it was a big challenge for our team and we met the challenge in all three phases.

So last week you had a lead in the fourth quarter and you relinquished that in the opening season loss to the Chiefs and everybody kind of piled on and said, “The 16-0 season and [going] undefeated, that the Patriots are going to have trouble this year.”  Now, we jump back to the other side, you win by 16 points in a fairly dominant performance yesterday, but I’m wondering how you have been taking it.  Huge numbers for you yesterday, but are the numbers a little skewed to have made you look better and it’s not as good as we think this week, just like it wasn’t as bad as we thought last week?

I think what we’ve learned is, the NFL is a week to week league.  It’s about match-ups and it’s about execution.  I mean, there’s not much carryover from the previous week to the following week and what we’ve learned is, a good week of preparation, good execution, great effort, enthusiasm, usually results in wins and I thought our coaches did a great job of getting us ready to go. I thought our players really responded and now we’ve got to turn it around again and go against Houston, a team we played in the playoffs last year and we have them on Sunday in Foxboro and we’ve got to put the same level of commitment and energy, enthusiasm and execution into this week, as we did last week in order to get, hopefully, a similar result.

Yet, you probably left a lot of points on the board again yesterday, at least from my eyes you did.  Is that your assessment?  That this game could have been in the 50s?

Yeah, I think we felt coming out of the game that we definitely left points out there. We left plays, things that were, maybe atypical of what we’ve done in the past.   I mean, I think part of it is improving and we’re learning as we’re going and so much of the early part of the season is about making improvements.  We really don’t know what kind of team we’re going to be, that’s why you play the season.  It’s a long marathon of a season and we’re trying to figure out who we are so that we can be the best version of ourselves later in the year.  But it’s great to learn when you win as opposed to, you know, when you lose.

And what version of this team are you right now?

Well, I think we’re trying to make improvements, probably like a lot of other teams.  I mean, we’re 1-1 – I wish we’d be 2-0, we certainly don’t deserve to be 2-0 –  but it was a hard fought win yesterday and now we’ve got to, like i said, put the equal amount, if not more, energy into this week.  We’re playing a team that’s very capable, certainly on defense. They gave us everything we could handle last year and they’re going to be raring to go.  They’ve got [Jadeveon] Clowney, [Whitney] Mercilus, [J.J.] Watt, some really great defensive players and they’ve been playing good all season.  So we’re going to need to put a great effort in and we’ve got a lot of guys banged up.  Hopefully we can gain confidence in our plan over the course of the week and then go out and do a great job of executing it.


“Hopefully he can be out there, but we’ll see.” – Tom Brady on Gronkowski’s groin injury.

Let’s talk a little bit about some of the people who are banged up.  You’ve been used to answering this question for years and you’ll get used to answering it this week.  How’s Gronk?

[Laughs] Yeah.  He’s hard working.  I know he’s in there getting treatment. He came out with about three minutes left in the third quarter.  But we’ll see what happens this week.  I’m not sure what his status is in terms of practice and so forth … I know how hard he works and how much he puts into it.  Hopefully he can be out there, but we’ll see.

Do you think this is serious?

I mean, anytime someone leaves the game, it’s serious.  I mean, you’ve got a lot of tough guys out there.  Guys don’t want to miss [time].  If you’re not out there, obviously it’s for a reason.  They’re taking a lot of precautions with injuries this year.  I know the Texans have some guys out, but it’s early in the year there’s a lot of football to play and whether Gronk’s out there or not, we’ve got to be able to execute and we’ve got to have confidence in what we’re doing.  There might be situations where … Danny [Amendola] was out this last week and we found a way to kind of carry on.   Obviously injuries at the receiver position have hurt us a little bit, but we’re gaining confidence every week.

So who are you going to throw the ball to?  Hogan left, he was gimpy.  Danny Amendola [is] in the concussion protocol, Phillip Dorsett had some sort of a minor leg injury, Gronkowski with the groin, that just leaves Brandin Cooks and you already have Edelman gone for the year and Malcolm Mitchell on the injured reserve.  So, do you know the people you’re going to throw the ball to this week?

Well, it’s only Monday.  We’ve still got some healing to do and I think we’ll just have to see how the week goes.  I mean, guys are going to try and practice and coach Belichick, he always wants guys to practice in order to gain confidence in their ability to go out there and play.  The game was just yesterday. We’re going to try and work hard at our recovery, work hard at the rehab that we have to do.   I mean, everyone comes out of these games with some bumps and bruises and so much of being a professional football player is putting just as much effort into the week of preparation and rehab on little bumps and bruises and getting ready to play both mentally and physically in order for us to go out there and do our job at a high level.


” We’ve never used injuries as an excuse and we’re not going to start doing that now.” – Brady on all the injuries.

Tom, everybody has to survive the injuries but doesn’t it seem like there’s an awful lot already for the Patriots and we’re only going into the third week?

Yeah, I mean, we’ve dealt with our fair share at this point.  I wish there weren’t, it’s just the nature of this sport.  It’s a contact sport.  Guys go in, they come out, you get banged up, you miss time, but we’ve got a full roster of players and we’ve got to have confidence in whoever’s out there doing the job that we ask them to do.  We try not to make any excuses for reasons why we may win or not win.  We’ve never used injuries as an excuse and we’re not going to start doing that now.

Tom, you talked about the attitude of your team last week and it wasn’t there.  Has that changed throughout the course of this week and did you have to get on the guys pretty much throughout the course of the week, as well as coach Belichick and some of the other leadership?

Yeah, there was a lot of urgency put into the last week.  We were sitting at 0-1 and no one wants to start the season 0-2.  We were playing a Saints team that had lost on Monday night, and we wanted to go out there and we wanted to play a lot better than we played in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs game.  There was urgency form the time we got on the plane down to New Orleans.  We felt like we needed to get off to a fast start.  We put 21 points on the board in the first quarter and I thought we were really well balanced in both the run and the pass game and that’s what we’re going to need again this week.  This defense that we’re facing in Houston has been the number one ranked defense in the league last year and they’ve been ranked in the top five as long as I can remember. We’re going to have a big challenge ahead of us.  This is a team that rushes the quarterback really well, they cover well, they do a really good job with their scheme.  There’s nothing easy. This team makes you earn  it and we’re going to have to go out there and earn it on Sunday in Foxboro.

Tom, in fact as you’ve stated in the past on this program, do you believe that Houston has given the blueprint, in many ways, of how to defend the Patriots?

Well, I think they present challenges because obviously, like I said, their scheme, but they have some extremely talented players.  I mean, if you rush the quarterback, if you play great solid dependable coverage – whether it’s man or zone – I mean, these guys are really instinctive. And I think what makes good defense is when they can really attack.  They can attack opposing offenses from a lot of different angles.  From right up the middle, on the perimeter, they force the ball out quick, their corners jump routes, their safeties are aggressive.  They do a good job, they’re really well coached, they do a good job in their preparation studying the other teams.  It’s a tough game.  You don’t get to be ranked first in the league because you’re an average defense, [it’s] because you’re the best defense.  And they were the best defense in the league last year, that was without J.J. Watt, who’s one of the best defensive players in the league.  So we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to need every bit of time to prepare.  They played last Thursday, I’m sure they’ve been working hard studying us and we’re going to need to catch up to them and get ready to go.

Over the weekend, you stated on CBS that you’d like to see Colin Kaepernick get another chance and you believe that he is a player that deserves to be in the National Football League.  Why do you think he doesn’t have a job?

I don’t know, Jim, I mean, I’m not a personnel person.  But, just watching Colin over the years and seeing him lead his team, he’s a great quarterback.  We played him last year in San Francisco and he played really well and I certainly hope he gets another shot.

And on a totally different subject, tomorrow, “The TB12 Method” – your book comes out – “How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance”. Have you handed this to your teammates because some of these guys could sure use some of these techniques with a lot of these injuries?

[Laughs] Yeah, I talk with those guys quite a bit and that was a big reason why I wanted to ultimately write this down and put it in a form of a book along with other things.  It’s really the way that I live my life.  I’m happy to be able to share that with other people, to put it together into, kind of, one comprehensive package.  People ask me all the time, “What’s the thing you do, Tom? How do you keep playing football in your 40s?”  And I really spell it out in the book and I believe that the things that I do in terms of my lifestyle choices, can help a lot of people.  Not only athletes, but everybody.  You and I have talked about it for so long over the years.  People want to feel good and they want to do the right things and hopefully this book can help them and set them on a path toward feeling their very best, no matter what age they are.

And Tom, you have a lot of men and women who are, you know, active, not everyone being a total couch potato, but for the average guy who doesn’t have the dedication and the discipline that somebody like you has, what can they get out of this book?

Well, that’s right, discipline is very important.  I mean, I think in all of our lives, whether it’s our job, whether it’s our lifestyle, health choices, It’s hard to be productive at anything if you don’t have some level of discipline.  Whether that’s things that you may eat or drink, how you work out, how you train, how you recover.  I think some thought needs to be put into those things.  Some of them are no-brainers, you should just do [them] because it’s the right thing to do – it doesn’t take much effort.  But in general, I spell it out pretty easily in the book.  There’s a lot of actionable steps that people can take in order to feel, you know, better than they did the previous day.  For me as a player, I always want to feel better over the course of the season.  I’m programming my body to play football, to take the hits, and if I can keep with my routine over the course of the whole season, I always feel better as the season goes along because I’m feeling more and more committed to the sport, more and more committed to my routine, and I feel more prepared as we get into the later months of the season.

His book is now available to order via this link at Amazon.com.

How Important is Rob Gronkowski? Third Down Numbers Don’t Lie

Ian Logue
at 5:00 am ET

Rob Gronkowski’s groin injury will likely be one of the biggest topics of discussion for this week, but if he’s not on the field this Sunday against the Texans, Tom Brady and the offense may find themselves back in the situation they were in during week one.

Stuck in neutral.

Week one’s loss to Kansas City saw New England’s third down numbers as a big problem, with Brady completing just 5-of-11 throwing the football.

However, on Sunday against the Saints, it was a completely different story.  Brady completed 6-of-7 for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns

But the biggest thing that sticks out is the fact that Brady is perfect when targeting Rob Gronkowski on third down this season, completing 5-of-5 passes for 109 yards and five first downs, including a touchdown.

Gronkowski was targeted 14 times in 2016 on third down with 9 catches prior to his injury last season, with all of those receptions good for a first down, including one touchdown.  So of the last 14 passes Brady has completed to Gronkowski on third down, every one of them has moved the chains or lead to two Gronk spikes.

That’s an astounding number.

Newcomer Brandin Cooks has yet to get on the same page with Brady when it counts thus far, with Brady 0-of-3 targeting Cooks on third down.

From there, it’s James White (2/3 13yds – 1 First Down), Chris Hogan (2/3 19yds – 1 First Down [a TD]) and Danny Amendola (2/3 27yds – 1 First Down) who have moved the chains.  Jacob Hollister was targeted once on third down Sunday, which fell incomplete.

As a result, Gronkowski’s potential absence, especially given their current situation with all the receiver injuries, leave the Patriots in a tough spot heading into this week.  According to reports on Monday, the veteran’s injury isn’t believed to be serious.  But if he’s not available, how they’ll be able to overcome his absence will unfortunately be a something to watch for this week.

To no one’s surprise, Bill Belichick had little to say about Gronkowski’s status during his conference call on Monday,

“I don’t have any updates,” said Belichick.  “We’ll put the injury report out on Wednesday like we always do and follow the procedures that are outlined by the league.”

Early Down Improvement Key In New England’s Win

Ian Logue
September 18, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

One of the things the Patriots likely spent some time looking at leading up to their game against the Saints on Sunday may have centered around their early down issues they suffered against Kansas City, which put them in some tough situations in last week’s loss.

In that game, one glaring issue that stood out was the fact Tom Brady struggled mightily on first down last week, completing just 5-of-14 (36%) passing on first down, which played a part in the fact they converted just 5-of-15 (33%) on third down.  New England found themselves in 3rd-and-6 or more on 10 of those attempts, which was obviously a problem as Brady completed just 5-of-11 on the afternoon with 3 passing first downs.

But on Sunday against the Saints, it was a completely different story.  Brady completed 15-of-17 (88%) for 198 yards and a touchdown, along with completing 6-of-7 (86%) on third down for 107 yards with five passing first downs including two touchdowns.  They converted 6-of-12 (50%) third downs on the afternoon, including 5-of-7 in the first half as they built a 30-13 lead that the Saints couldn’t overcome.

Brady obviously had a historic afternoon after completing 30-of-39 (77%) for 447 yards and three touchdowns, but what was even more impressive was how he played in the final two quarters.  The 40-year old was razor sharp in the second half, missing just three passes as he closed out the game completing 11-of-14 (79%) for 145 yards.

That’s what they needed and the fact it was done with all the injuries was even more impressive.

It was a much more productive afternoon for a team that moved the ball with better consistency this week, piling up 555 of total net offense compared to just 371 last week against the Chiefs.

Brady said that coming off of their loss to Kansas City, the goal was just to try and get it right this week.  They took plenty of time to pick apart the details of what went wrong in Week 1 and did their best to make the corrections.  Thankfully, it worked out.

“We try to put a lot into it every week. You don’t win every game, obviously. You try to compete as hard as you can. I would say there is definitely a level of critiquing that you do when you do lose that you don’t really do when you win and our coaches were all over us this week.”

“They want us to get it right and to get it right now. All of these games are important, going on the road it’s hard to win in this league. I thought it was a great team effort in all three phases.”

They’ll now return home to prepare to face the Texans next Sunday at GIllette Stadium.

Another Ugly Injury Riddled Game For the Patriots

Ian Logue
September 17, 2017 at 10:20 pm ET

New England’s bad luck continued on Sunday after several key players got banged up during their win over New Orleans.

Rob Gronkowski (Groin), Eric Rowe (Groin), Rex Burkhead (Ribs) and Phillip Dorsett (Knee) were injured Sunday, with Chris Hogan joining that group after he looked hobbled and was spotted on the sideline icing his knee.

Hogan’s injury seemingly happened late in the first half and he was spotted by cameras with a trainer asking him as he was coming off the field, “You O.K.?”

“Yeah, I think so,” said Hogan, motioning to his leg.

Gronkowski’s injury came after a big play where he picked up 21-yards on a 2nd-and-7 late in the third quarter that helped set up a 24-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.  He was tackled hard after making the reception with more than one defender on his back, and took himself out of the game after the play.

He was seen going into the medical tent, and later came back out and was on the exercise bike but didn’t see action after that.  He was a little coy after the game, smiling and telling reporters he would talk that later but said, “I’m fine.”

The Patriots also lost a player on the defensive side of the ball, with Rowe joining Gronkowski as he reportedly also suffered a groin injury.

Meanwhile, Burkhead seemingly suffered his injury at some point in the first half after he didn’t see action in the second half.

As for Dorsett, he was knocked out after a productive performance, with the newcomer catching 3 passes for 68 yards, including a 38-yard grab that set up New England’s final field goal of the day.

Bill Belichick had little to say about the injuries after the game, with the coach simply saying that they’ll have to just try and work with whoever they have available.

“We’ll do the best with what we have, the best we can,” said Belichick.

It certainly creates a challenging situation as the team gets ready to take on the Texans next Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Brady Makes NFL, Career History In Win

Ian Logue
at 9:58 pm ET

Tom Brady might be 40 years old, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping him from outplaying even the younger version of himself.

Brady went out on Sunday and set NFL and personal best records during New England’s win over the Saints, including throwing three touchdowns in the first quarter, which were the most he’s ever thrown in the opening quarter during his entire career.

He finished the afternoon passing for 447 yards, the third most of his career and it was also the 10th time in his NFL tenure he eclipsed the 400-yard passing mark. He missed just nine passes on the day, completing 30-of-39 and finished with a quarterback rating of 139.6. He also hit his final seven passes.

Brady added another milestone after he joined Warren Moon as the only quarterback age 40-or-older in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and three touchdowns in a game, according to Elias Sports.

More importantly, he moved ahead of Peyton Manning after Mike Reiss of ESPN pointed out that Brady set the NFL record for most games with 3 touchdowns and 0 INTs at 52, putting himself in the record books ahead of the retired quarterback.

The veteran quarterback kicked things off early, marching down the field on New England’s first drive and they punched it in thanks to a perfect throw from Brady to Rex Burkhead, with the running back taking it in from 19-yards out to put them up 6-0 after Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/909465853527080960

But one of the biggest plays of the day came on the next drive, with Brady facing pressure on a 3rd-and-6 from their own 47-yard line. Brady saw Gronkowski wide open and the veteran tight end did the rest, completing the 53-yard pass play by battling his way into the end zone.

Chris Hogan scored on the next drive, after Phillip Dorsett’s 23 yard reception helped get New England down into scoring territory. From there, Hogan caught a 13-yard strike from Brady for their third score, and just like that, the rout was on after the Patriots went up 20-3 and never looked back.

The best part for Brady was the fact he was able to have such a big day in front of an incredible amount of Patriots fans who made the trip to New Orleans in support of their team. He acknowledged them after the game, and admitted it made for a fun afternoon.

“That was good,” said Brady. “Hopefully they are all on Bourbon Street. It is a good road game to come to. I heard them. There was a lot kind of spread out on that first level. It was great to see that support. We’ve had that a different places and it was fun. It’s always great coming on the road and it starts with all the crowd noise and the momentum and then at the end they are cheering for our team. It was a great way to end the game.”

Thursday Night Definitely Well Below Brady’s Standards

Ian Logue
September 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm ET

Given how high Tom Brady’s standards are, this will likely be one of those games that will bother him for quite a while.

Brady went out on Thursday night and went right at the Chiefs, going no-huddle after each big play and moving the offense with quick precision as they marched 73 yards on 9 plays and got on the board 7-0.   But from there, things fell apart and you could essentially feel like things might begin to take a turn for the worst after Brady and the offense failed to capitalize on a play that could have completely changed the game.

That play came on the ensuing possession by the Chiefs when Kareem Hunt fumbled the football on Kansas City’s first play from scrimmage, putting Brady and the offense back in business at the Chiefs’ 32 yard line.

But that drive would go on to set the tone for an irritating night after the Patriots seemingly punched it in thanks to what appeared to be a tremendous throw (which it was) to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone for an apparent touchdown (which it wasn’t).  Two plays later the Chiefs denied a first down rush to Mike Gillislee on 4th down and just like that, you had the feeling like it might be one of those games where that play came back to haunt them.

Ultimately, it did as the Chiefs took over and drove it the other way, with Alex Smith engineering a 12 play, 90 yard drive that ended in a 7-yard touchdown that  knotted the score at 7-7.

That was just the first of two key 4th down stops, with the second one coming in a key moment in the fourth quarter on another 4th-and-1 trailing 28-27 at the Chiefs’ 40yd line.  That seemingly took the wind out of the Patriots’ sails, and Kansas City would then go on a 14-0 run to put the game away.

Brady said after the game that failing to convert on those two drives just came down to execution and effort.

“I think it’s just better execution,” said Brady.  “I mean, situational football’s always important to us and short yardage and a lot of things that we need to do a better job of. So, it was just a very poor effort. We’re going to have to do a lot better.”

That was just the type of night that it was.  Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith dominated the game and had a career night after missing just 7 of the 35 passes he attempted for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns.   He hit guys in stride and stymied a Patriots’ defense that, in their first full game together, seemed to struggle with communication and losing Dont’a Hightower certainly didn’t help their situation.

Meanwhile Brady finished 16-of-36 for 267 yards and no touchdowns.  His completion percentage of 44% was well below his standards, with Brady having finished that low just once in 2016, which was in the playoff game against the Texans when he finished 18-of-38 (47.4%).

What killed Brady was he had unusually bad success on first down, finishing just 5-of-14 (36%) for 125 yards along with two sacks.  First down has usually been an area of success for Brady, with the veteran finishing 2016 completing 108-of-160 (68%), but that just wasn’t the case against Kansas City.

The biggest problem with that is it contributed to the team facing 3rd-and-7 or longer on 7 of their 15 attempts and overall they finished 5-of-15 (33%), which played a significant role in the loss.   Brady, himself, was 5-of-11 on third down (45%) with just three passing first downs.  Both Amendola (1) and Rob Gronkowski (2) accounted for them.

That’s not the type of excellence we normally see from Brady, who said overall they just need to play with more urgency because things obviously just weren’t good enough Thursday night.

“I just think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better,” said Brady. “That is a winning attitude and a championship attitude that you need to bring every day. We had it handed to us on our own field.”

“It’s a terrible feeling, and the only people that can do something about it are in that locker room. We’ve got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight because we didn’t dig very deep tonight.”

Hopefully they’ll dig a little deeper when they face the Saints one week from Sunday.

Patriots Suffer Two Key Injuries During Loss to Chiefs

Ian Logue
at 2:07 am ET

With Julian Edelman out of the line-up Thursday night, Tom Brady needed someone else to help get his team going, and he got what he hoped for until an injury took him away.

Danny Amendola was the player who stepped up in a big way, with he and Brady connecting on six of Brady’s seven attempts for 100 yards, including four catches of 15+ yards.  Three of those receptions went for over 20, and five of his six receptions each produced a first down.

But Amendola was lost late in the game after suffering a “head injury”, with reports saying he was in the concussion protocol.  That was big, because Amendola appeared to be a large part of the game plan and the offense came to a screeching halt after his departure.

Also lost Thursday night was Dont’a Hightower, who suffered what at the time appeared to be a scary knee injury after getting his knee caught underneath a defender and having it badly twisted.  He was later spotted on the stationary bike, which was encouraging and at least gave some hope that the injury isn’t significant.


Hightower’s injury looked significant at the time.

But he didn’t return and New England’s already shaky defense completely fell apart, with Kansas City erasing New England’s 27-21 lead and scoring 21 unanswered 4th-Quarter points en-route to the 42-27 loss by the defending Super Bowl champs.

Needless to say losing the remaining two key pieces on both sides of the football were significant and certainly didn’t help.  They’ll be two giant question marks heading into next week’s game in New Orleans, which will likely be another big test as the team tries to bounce back next Sunday, 9/17  at 1:00pm.

Five Takeaways From “Do Your Job 2”

Ian Logue
September 4, 2017 at 11:53 am ET

For fans in New England, Sunday night was a rare treat as NFL Films allowed an incredible opportunity to get a look behind the curtain at the greatest comeback in Super Bowl History.

The hour-long special, “Do Your Job 2”, which aired nationally on NBC, was even better than expected.  It provided plenty of insight into how the team overcame that seemingly-impossible 25-point deficit against Atlanta, showing just how much planning and preparation had gone into the game.  When you look at all the situations, all the film breakdown, there were a variety of factors that were all accounted for and many of those ultimately played a critical role in their historic comeback.

What was even more fitting was the fact the entire country was subjected to it.  Instead of running on NFL Network, it ran on every local NBC affiliate, hopefully providing some insight to opposing fans of exactly why this team has managed the incredible run they’ve been on.

Considering the season started with Tom Brady sidelined thanks to DeflateGate, how it ended was definitely poetic.  And for fans who followed last year’s entire run, it was a terrific look into why they continue to be the bar opposing teams are still trying to reach, and yet another reminder of just how lucky we are to be a part of what will someday likely go down as the greatest era in franchise history.

That being said, here are a few thoughts on the special (spoiler alert – don’t proceed if you haven’t seen it yet).

1) Ernie Adams Remains a Secret Weapon – Sunday night featured a couple of spotlights on Ernie Adams, who remains one of the most important components of Belichick’s coaching staff.  The thing that was interesting about Adams is just how involved he is in the game planning and in-game adjustments, as well as his pregame evaluations.  One of the moments that stood out included Adams spending some time down at field level watching Atlanta go through warm ups, with Adams noticing some tendencies that the club used during the game.  Another included the fact that Adams seems to always be thinking ahead, with most suggestions from Adams up in the booth being accepted without question by Belichick.  It’s a big reminder of how important he is and how much trust their are between them, even though you almost never hear his name.

2) Nick Caserio May Be the Most Versatile GM In Football – It’s not very often you see an NFL general manager in the coaching box during a game or taking snaps in practice, but Caserio’s involvement all the way around is certainly a little larger than expected.  Belichick talked about how unique Caserio’s role is and the fact he’s such a big part of practice as well as up in the booth on game day is clearly a big reason why he has such an amazing understanding of how the team operates.  When you’re that immersed, it certainly makes it easier to understand the personnel needs and that obviously explains why he’s seemed so dialed in given some of the /moves he’s made in recent years.

3) The Foresight of Belichick is Incredible – Everyone obviously knows what a terrific coach Belichick is, but hearing about the foresight he had when it came to preparing additional two-point plays is pretty remarkable.  Clearly losing previous postseason games hasn’t sat well with Belichick, with one of the things pointed out in the special being how the veteran coach went into the match-up expecting it to be a high-scoring affair between the two clubs.  That being said, another thing he reflected on was how the team had lost the year before on a 2-point play in Denver that cost them the game.  As a result, the team had actually prepared two additional two-point plays, which played a key part as the Patriots ended up using three of them, with two of them being used to tie the game, and the final being used on James White’s game-winning touchdown.

4) Hard Work and Conditioning Was the Difference – Most professional athletes aren’t fans of working too hard, which is one of the things that tends to separate out the players who thrive here in New England compared to those who tend to find themselves being released.  Seeing the players running hills in December was yet another reminder of the work that goes into each week of practice, with conditioning in the second half being something Belichick talked about when it came to overcoming their deficit to Atlanta in that final quarter.  The coaching staff spotted the fact the Falcons were gassed, with the pass rushers wearing down as the Patriots eventually wore them down during their comeback.  Some players might feel that it’s an overrated requirement and it might seem cliche, but for the players who have gone through it, it was obviously a key part of New England ultimately completing the comeback.

5) The Amount of Scouting that Goes into a game is Remarkable – Preparation is a word that is preached throughout the year and the coaching staff definitely sets the bar about as high as you can get.  Listening to Josh McDaniels discuss all of the things they look at when breaking down film and the tendencies they target was certainly one of the more interesting parts of the special.  When you look at the meeting room, one thing that stood out was the fact that NFL Films blurred out all of the writing that covered the walls, which obviously included all of the plays and scouting reports that went into the game plan.  When you have coaches who are that thorough, it obviously gives the players plenty of confidence that they’ll be put in the right situations.  It also explains why many players who leave don’t go on to the same success because not every NFL staff works this way.  What happens in New England is definitely unique, and Sunday night gave some terrific insight into all the hard work that goes into it.

When you mix in hard work and preparation, it’s certainly a solid formula for success.  Other fans might believe there’s another reason why this team hasn’t finished with a losing season in nearly 17 years, but Sunday night hopefully helped them understand why this club remains a perennial contender.

And for fans in New England, it was an opportunity to enjoy 60 minutes to relive one of the most remarkable games in the Belichick/Tom Brady era.  His assistants joked about the two continuing to dominate for another 20-years.  For now, fans can just hope they’ve simply got a few more left in them.

If you did miss it, “Do Your Job Part 2: Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots” will be re-airing on NFL Network Wednesday, September 6th at 8pm est.

Belichick: For Young Players, Making The Team is Like “A Castle in the Sand”

Ian Logue
September 3, 2017 at 3:13 pm ET

Players who have been through the Patriots’ program and have moved on to other teams have repeatedly talked about how difficult it is to play for this program and the high expectations that come with it.  That’s part of what comes with playing for a winning program, and it’s obviously not an easy place to play given the amount of work they’re required to put in.

Those who make it through an entire training camp likely sit with incredible anticipation wondering if opportunity will knock and they’ll get a chance to continue, or if they’ll instead end up trying to catch on somewhere else.

For those who receive the incredible news that they’re on the team, it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort that they’ve put in to give them the opportunity to play for Bill Belichick’s football team.

The only problem is, they’re just getting started.

As Belichick said during his press conference on Sunday, as nice as it is for the players who have carved out a spot on the roster, that journey will only continue as long as they continue to grow and improve.  If they don’t, they’ll find out that the joy and elation they felt when they made the team will disappear just as quickly.

“Well, the reality of it is this is the National Football League and there are plenty of guys that are going to be on rosters today, tomorrow and Week 1 that won’t be on them in Week 3 or Week 4,” explained Belichick.  “That’s the National Football League. You keep your job by earning your job on a day-to-day basis.”

“I think that’s one of the things sometimes that players, younger players especially who don’t have a lot of experience in the league, can make a poor judgment on. They work hard in training camp. They make the roster, make the practice squad, or earn playing time or whatever it is, and then feel like they don’t have to do as much or that they’ve kind of arrived at a certain point, and a few weeks later other players pass them by and their situation changes. That’s not uncommon at all.”

One of the things Belichick pointed out is that the NFL season is a long road and it’s generally when you really find out who is able to sustain a consistent work ethic, and who eventually falls off.


Belichick’s high expectations are the reason why they’re a perennial winner.

“I think that’s hard to sustain a high level of performance in this league, so you start at the end of July and sustain it all the way through preseason games and training camp practices and all of that, but the season hasn’t started yet,” said Belichick. “Mental toughness, consistency, resiliency, dependability, being able to do it day after day after day at high level – the competition level is moving up now, not down. The players that aren’t NFL players are off rosters and the guys who are on them are theoretically better than the ones who are off them. The competitive level is higher weekly in practice. It’s higher in games. Some players will rise with that, that competiveness. Competition will push them up. Some of them, it doesn’t work that way. If that’s the case, then they’re going to be replaced.  If they don’t know that and they make that mistake, they’re going to find out the hard way.”

Belichick also went on to say that one of the things he reminds his players is that as nice as it is that they’ve made the roster, it could all change very quickly if they let up.

“Yeah, as much as you want to say “Nice job. You made the team,” they’re not a permanent fixture on the team,” said Belichick. “They’re here until as long as they’re doing their job and they’re dependable, and reliable, and consistent and improving. Once that curve starts to head the other way, I would say it probably isn’t going to last too long. If they can’t figure that out then they’re probably going to suffer the consequences.”

“Look, that’s the NFL. That’s the way it is here and really that’s the way it is on every team I’ve been on. I imagine it that way on every team in the league. I know what you’re saying – it’s a good moment, but it’s a castle in the sand. It could be gone very, very quickly.”

“I hope none of our players, young players, guys who this is the first time they’ve been on this team, take that attitude. I think that would be a big mistake on their part. Hopefully, they won’t do that.”

Their season begins on Thursday, and we’ll find out in the coming months who of the names who are currently on the roster are still there once the dust settles.

Patriots Lose Austin Carr, Bring Karras and Others Back to Practice Squad

Ian Logue
at 2:08 pm ET

It’s been a busy day so far on Sunday, with some former Patriots ending up with other teams, while others managed to slip through waivers and end up back in New England.

As it stands as of 2:10pm on Sunday afternoon, according to reports, LB Trevor Bates, OL Ted Karras, RB D.J. Foster, WR Cody Hollister, DE Geneo Grissom, S David Jones, DB Damarius Travis,, OL James Ferentz have been brought back to New England’s practice squad, leaving two more spots to go to round out this year’s group.

Other players who were reportedly scooped up by other teams include WR Austin Carr (New Orleans), CB Kenny Moore II (Indianapolis), OT Conor McDermott (Buffalo) and TE James O’Shaughnessy.  Moore II was initially thought to have made it through, but instead ended up being claimed by the Colts.

McDermott’s loss is a little frustrating as he was a 6th round pick in the 2017 draft and seemed like he’d be a part of the club’s future on the offensive line.  Instead, the Bills claimed him, but the team at least caught a break with Karras slipping through and they were able to bring him back into the mix.

Fans who were likely disappointed to see Carr get picked up may get to see him in action again.  The Patriots face the Saints on the road in Week 2, which could see him on the field against his now former teammates.

Other players who were reportedly brought back include D.J. Killings, Josh Augusta, Devin Lucien and Woodrow Hamilton.  Those players are expected to revert to injured reserve, although as Miguel Benzan points out, the club could reach injury settlements with those players.