|12.23.09 at 12:58 pm ET|
FOXBORO – It’s not something you expect to hear from Tom Brady entering Week 16.
But he admitted on Wednesday morning – two days before Christmas – that the Patriots are still searching for an offensive identity.
“I think that’s probably something we’re still working at,” Brady acknowledged. “We’re still trying to find the right combinations of things. We’re a pretty balanced team, I think. We try to run it. We try to throw it. Last week, we ran it more than we threw it. Other weeks we’ve thrown it.
“I think we’re trying to figure out these teams and trying to find what their weak spots are and attack those. We’ve had a lot of guys in and out, too. A guy like Fred [Taylor] or Sammy [Morris] has been out.”
|12.22.09 at 2:12 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of the conference call this afternoon between Bill Belichick and the media:
BB: OK, well we’re pretty well into Jacksonville here. I think the thing that stands out about this team is how big and physical they are really in every area. They are physical on offense, physical on defense, physical in the kicking game. [They’re] strong, they’re tough. They can run the ball. They can stand up to the running game. They cover well. Of course, they can throw it and defend it, too. They’re a physical team. They are big. They are tough and they bring that style of play pretty much every week in every phase of the game. When you look at the players they have, right down the roster, for the most part, they’re bigger and probably faster than most of the other players in the league at their respected positions. They do a good job of mixing up their attack, both offensively and defensively. They do a good job of keeping you off balance, but at the same time do the things they do well and make you stop their best players, which they have quite a few of. It’s a team that we played a couple years ago, but there’re an awful lot of new faces on that team now from last time we saw them at the end of the ’07 season.
Q: Obviously, Fred Taylor was there for a long time. What kind of scouting report can you get from him?
BB: Well, I think their scheme — what they do offensively — it isn’t overly complex. They kind of do what they do, they do it pretty well and they make you stop it. You watch them play last week against Indianapolis and a lot of times I don’t think there’s a big mystery as to what they’re trying to do, it’s just a question of if you can do anything about it. You’ve got to be able to cover big receivers and a couple big, fast tight ends. You’ve got to be able to play against a physical offensive line, a physical back and a big quarterback who’s mobile, athletic and has a great arm. I don’t think it’s a big scheme game, a real big chess match – they’re trying to do this while you’re trying to do that and all that. I think it’s more can you stop the things they do? And they do them pretty well.
Read the rest of this entry »
|12.22.09 at 2:49 am ET|
The Colts are well on their way to finishing the regular season undefeated and accomplishing a remarkable feat. Peyton Manning and his Colts move into the No. 1 spot for the first time all year in this week’s WEEI NFL Power Rankings. Indianapolis is at 23 straight regular season wins and counting as it continues to roll straight into the playoffs with a first-round bye.
One new team enters the top 10: America’s Team. The Cowboys found a way to beat the Saints, something that 13 prior opponents were unable to do. The win, most importantly, came in December. If the Cowboys win out, they will secure a playoff spot.
Going into Week 16, there are eight AFC teams that still are mathematically in the wild card race. Baltimore, Denver, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Miami, New York (despite what Rex Ryan says), Tennessee and Houston all are still alive. The best two teams right now, according to the rankings, are the Ravens (No. 11) and the Titans (No. 12). If the season ended today, the Ravens and Broncos would be the two teams that would make the playoffs. The final two weeks are guaranteed to be an eventful and exciting finish to the 2009 NFL regular season.
2. (1) 13-1 OK, now the Saints can focus on winning the Super Bowl rather than going undefeated. The loss to the Cowboys could benefit them in the long run; the Saints still are the elite team in the NFC.
3. (4) 11-3 Nine straight wins for the Chargers have left many wondering if they are ever going to lose another game. Great win for the Chargers against a very strong and talented Bengals team.
4. (5) 10-4 The Eagles — winners of five straight — are the Chargers of the NFC. Philadelphia’s explosive offense will give any defense in the league trouble in the playoffs.
5. (3) 11-3 Two very telling losses in the last three games for the Vikings. The offensive line has to be better if the Vikes want to win playoff games. Brett Favre was sacked four times and hit 10 times in the loss to the Panthers.
|12.21.09 at 6:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t put too much stock in a report from the New England Sports Network Monday afternoon that he had “apologized” for the way he handled the incident involving the four players who were sent home early for showing up late to a recent morning meeting at Gillette Stadium.
When asked by WEEI’s Glenn Ordway about the report — which cited “locker-room sources” — Belichick would did not confirm or deny the incident. Instead, he simply sounded bemused by the whole thing.
“Do we have a source there, or is it just some random thing?” he asked. “If we could get somebody who wants to talk about it, we can talk about it.
“Yeah, I think on those kind of reports, Glenn, you need to check the sources on that,” he added. “If it’s just some random unaffiliated source that’s attributed to nobody, then … I don’t think that’s something I really want to get into.”
Four players — Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Derrick Burgess and Gary Guyton — were sent home by Belichick for showing up late to an 8 a.m. meeting on Dec. 9.
|12.21.09 at 6:20 pm ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke with “The Big Show” Monday afternoon on a number of topics. (The complete audio will be posted here.) Here are some of the highlights from that Q&A:
On Buffalo’s first possession – did you make adjustments after that, or were the plans in place to shift to that different defensive front…
We used that, the five-linebackers and six defensive backs mainly on third down. That was the plan coming in. We actually used it on the first drive. On that third and goal, third and goal and five or six, whatever it was. Last play. That was more of a third down game-plan, but Buffalo did a good job running the ball, and we made some adjustments. Once our guys saw it, they played some of the blocks a little bit better. The backs are good — Jackson got outside a few times and broke a tackle, so we tried to tackle him a little bit better after that drive. Sometimes you need to see those guys —not that we haven’t seen them before, but you know, see them in person. You recognize how quick they are and it helps in tackling them later on.
Read the rest of this entry »
|12.21.09 at 3:15 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media today at Gillette Stadium:
BB: One thing, after being out all last week, it seemed kind of mild there yesterday in Buffalo compared to what we had here. Maybe that was a good thing, but as I said, it was good to get a road win. It was good to win in the division on the road and I thought there were some good positive things in the game. We didn’t have the kind of consistency we’d like to have in any area and we’ve just got to keep working harder to have more good plays and eliminate some of the ones that weren’t quite up to the standard that we’d like to have. We’re ready to move on to Jacksonville and start getting ready for them, but I’m sure you guys have some things on Buffalo, so we’ll clean those up first.
Q: You mentioned consistency, is there anything you can put your finger on? Was it stuff they were doing?
BB: Oh, well, I think there was a number of close plays. We missed a couple third-down conversions. We didn’t run the ball as well in the second half, after we had that long drive in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, we didn’t run the ball as well. We missed a couple tackles on defense that gave up some yardage, as well as in the kicking game on our coverage teams, kickoff coverage play at the end of the half. Just plays that — had they been a little bit better — would have put us in a better position than what we were in. It wouldn’t have taken a whole lot. There were a couple throws down the field that we just missed on. Knock a couple balls out there on the punt returns, couldn’t get them.
Read the rest of this entry »
|12.21.09 at 3:02 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Just got out of the Patriots locker room, and linebacker Tully Banta-Cain was one of the few players available during media availability. Here’s a portion of what he talked about with reporters.
On making defensive adjustments Sunday against the Bills…
I mean, I think in the beginning, I think we were stumbling a little bit with getting them off the field, but I think as the game went on, we were able to neutralize what they were doing and come out with a good performance.
You guys talked about simplifying the defensive game plan last week against Carolina. Was that the case on Sunday?
I think that some of the play calls were a little bit more limited for our thinking process, but I think overall, we’re going to have to go through those games where we’re going to have to make adjustments, and I think yesterday was a chance for us to cut loose and play a little more football.
Do you see an improved level of communication on this defense?
I think we’re starting to grow as a defense. Guys are starting to get to know each other better. Obviously, communication comes with that, so we’re starting to really understand where each other fit in the defense and communicate as players. We’re definitely gellin at this point.
On the defensive front — with no down linemen — the Patriots flashed against the Bills…
We mix up things weekly, and that was just an example of something we practiced during the week and were able to execute it during the game. You know, it did confuse their offense and gave us some opportunities to get some mismatches.
- Coping With Loss: the Rob Gronkowski Edition
- New England Patriots Links 12/11/13 - Can Mental Toughness Overcome...
- No Lead, No Problem
- Patriots vs. Browns: By the Numbers
- Offensive Fallout: Touch Percentage
- Patriots vs. Ravens Flexed Out of Primetime for Week 16
- New England Patriots Links 12/10/13 - 'Next Man Up' Philosophy Faces...