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Bill Belichick Q&A, 8/15

08.15.10 at 12:03 pm ET
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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: It’s another big week for us here. We’ve got two practices the next couple days to try to continue on with our installation and work on situational football, correct mistakes from New Orleans, and have a little bit of preparation for Atlanta. [We’re] looking forward to Tuesday down there with them and playing on the road against a team that’s, again, a little different than ourselves, so it’s good exposure for us to another system and other types of players and schemes. I think there is a lot that we can get done here. We need to get off to a good start the next couple days and as I said, get things accomplished at this end and hopefully have another good day down there with Atlanta like we did last week with New Orleans. I think it will be a good opportunity for us on a lot of levels and we’re looking forward to that trip.

Q: Is there anything you can take from this experience with New Orleans that will help you get the most you can out of this week with Atlanta?
BB: No, not really. I think just the big thing for us is to work on what we’re working on, but now it’s against a team that we’re going to play so the practice is really a preparation for the game. Really, it’s just playing another game or getting more snaps. We can set up some situations on third down, in the red area or things like that [or] in kicking situations that we did with New Orleans that may or may not come up in the game. We had situations that came up in the game but not in practice and vice versa, so it kind of doubles the experience and the education of not only the players, but also of the coaches or, as I said, getting back into the mode of calling plays and thinking about situational football and using timeouts and all of those things. Not all of them were done necessarily in the practice or even in the game, but as we go through the film we talk about those and how we can react quicker, what we would do. Maybe we did one thing, but we also had another option. Maybe the next time we do the other options. So it’s good experience for all of us, not just the players but also the coaches, the signal callers, the play callers, to mentally go through those situations when you don’t know what the other team is going to do. You don’t know their defenses. You don’t know the calls. You don’t know their strategy. When you’ve done that two-minute drill against yourself 10 times, you can get into a little bit of a rhythm with it. This is more realistic, so it’s good.

Q: How do you feel Randy Moss has performed so far in camp? It looks to us like he’s off to a great start.
BB: I would agree with that.
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Training Camp Report from Sunday morning walkthrough

08.15.10 at 11:39 am ET
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FOXBORO — Just got back from the Sunday morning walkthrough here at Gillette Stadium, and there were a couple of interesting notes worth passing along from a session that went roughly 90 minutes:

•After being reinstated over the weekend, outside linebacker/defensive end Derrick Burgess was back at practice for the first time all camp. Other notables who were on the field for the low-intensity walkthrough included cornerback Leigh Bodden, inside linebacker Gary Guyton and defensive lineman Ron Brace. Brace worked out some at left defensive end, the spot traditionally held by Ty Warren, and might be a step closer to returning to the field.

•Quarterback Tom Brady had the ring finger and middle finger of his throwing hand taped together, although it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a big deal going forward, at least according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “I don’t think it’s life-threatening,” Belichick joked at his morning press conference when asked about Brady.

•Not spotted were offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, wide receiver Torry Holt and defensive back Ross Ventrone. Ventrone appeared to suffer an injury in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Saints, while both Kaczur and Holt have missed the last several practices.

•Look for some roster moves to be announced shortly. Wide receiver Buddy Farnham, who was released last week, was back on the field. In addition, there was a new unidentified player who was working with the offensive linemen.

•The Patriots have another practice scheduled for 2:30 this afternoon that is open to the public.

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Belichick: Brady’s finger injury ‘not life threatening’

08.15.10 at 10:05 am ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t sound too worried about the state of Tom Brady’s throwing hand.

Speaking at his Sunday morning press conference, Belichick was asked about a report Brady suffered an injury to a finger on his throwing hand in the preseason opener against New Orleans. The coach smiled and replied, “I don’t think it’s life-threatening.”

The Boston Herald reported over the weekend that Brady was spotted Saturday with two fingers taped together in an attempt to immobilize one injured finger on his right hand. The injury apparently occurred in the first half of Thursday’s 27-24 preseason win over the Saints, a game where the quarterback ended up going 5-for-8 for 67 yards.

Brady has suffered injuries to his throwing hand before — last year, he broke the ring finger on his throwing hand late in the season.

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Upon Further Review: Patriots vs. Saints

08.14.10 at 1:18 am ET
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Pat Chung had a sharp hit on New Orleans' running back Reggie Bush in the preseason opener. (AP)

This is a weekly blog entry we’re calling “Upon Further Review,” one last look at the tape from the previous week’s game and meant to include some things we may have missed the first time around. Basically, it’s one last chance to empty out the notebook before the focus shifts to the week ahead.

Brandon Tate. The receiver didn’t get the start, but saw plenty of time running with the first offense throughout the first half, ending up with one catch for 20 yards, a tiptoe job along the sideline where the North Carolina product showed good composure coming down with the ball. The catch came on a third and 14 and allowed New England to keep a scoring drive alive, the Patriots’ most impressive offensive sequence of the evening.

In the end, Tate played 29 snaps. While he wasn’t exceptional, given everything he’s been through over the last year, it was probably exactly the sort of performance the Patriots’ coaching staff was looking for from Tate, who also had one kick return for 12 yards. At this point in the preseason, he’s probably a safe bet to be penciled in as a backup to Torry Holt. He could also figure into the mix as a kick returner, but is probably now second on the depth chart there to Devin McCourty.

“I think I’m still trying to get used to everything. This is my first real actual preseason game, so I’m still trying to get used to everything and just get more comfortable with it,” said Tate. “[But] it was good for us to get out on the field and execute like the coach is telling us. Go out there and execute on every play.”

Pat Chung. This is a guy who had himself a good night against the Saints. The safety had a really good shot at New Orleans’ running back Reggie Bush early, and also stopped Saints wide receiver Lance Moore just short of a first down. Aggression, energy and attitude were all plainly evident in Chung’s game, who is now the leader in the clubhouse to be the guy who is playing next to Brandon Meriweather when the regular season opens on Sept. 12 against the Bengals.

“Communication is key. It’s the first game, so we have a lot of communicating to go. We just have to keep working now. Keep working together being on the same page,” Chung said. “We’re together. We’re family. Once you get with family, you know what you are doing real fast.”
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Read More: Brandon Tate, Brian Hoyer, Heath Evans, pat chung

Bill Belichick Q&A, 8/13

08.13.10 at 11:34 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of this afternoon’s conference call between head coach Bill Belichick and the media.

BB: We spent this morning as a staff going through the film and we played a lot of players, we have a lot to look at, both our player evaluations also looking at our scheme things and some Xs and Os and how we handled and adjusted to some of the challenges that the Saints gave us, which were numerous. And then went over the corrections with the players this afternoon in the film room. On balance I think that we played aggressively, that we made some plays in each phase of the game. We also..there were things that we need to improve on certainly. We finished out the game, the guys that were out there were able to make a goal line stand defensively, get the ball in to field goal range offensively and make the winning kick on special teams and defensively on their two-minute drive on the first play coming back. I thought that they showed a good level of competitiveness to finish it out. So now we try to take that performance and our level of play from last night and get ready to build on it this week and as a team move to higher ground and the opportunities on Sunday and Monday and then the practices and game with the Falcons later in the week. That’s kind of where we’re headed. We’ll have time here as a staff to regroup and see how things are going. We’ve been running around so much just trying to keep going one day at a time and I think now we can take a day tomorrow and try to regroup and see where we’re at and try to have a good plan for the players when they come as to how to do the best we can to improve the team this week [inaudible] and also in Atlanta. That’s kind of where we’re at there. We placed Ty on injured reserve today, tough break for Ty but we have to move on. He’s missed quite a bit of time the last couple of years so we’ve had to deal with that anyway. Unfortunately that’s part of the game. We’ll just move ahead. Good to have Derrick [Burgess] here and ready to go. We’ll take stock of what our health is and take the players that are healthy down to Atlanta and work with them.
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Report: Agent says Pats have lost Mankins

08.13.10 at 9:12 pm ET
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The agent for left guard Logan Mankins said Friday that the team has “totally lost [Mankins] mentally,” and added the Patriots “don’t care. … I would expect them to do everything nasty that they can.”

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Frank Bauer continued to lob grenades in the Patriots direction, the latest verbal fusillade in a battle between the Mankins’ camp and the franchise over the state of his contract.

“For this young man to work like he has and play for the club for five years, and be promised he’d be taken care of, and to throw the offer they did across the table?” Bauer asked. “It was never, ever a five-year deal. They wanted six years, they wanted seven. They have to do what they have to do, and we’ll do what we have to do.”

Mankins has skipped spring practices and the first two weeks of training camp to express his displeasure.

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Light on Big Show: O-line going ’100 mph’ without Mankins

08.13.10 at 6:27 pm ET
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Matt Light (AP)

Matt Light (AP)

Patriots offensive Matt Light called in to The Big Show Friday afternoon following the team’s 27-24 win over the Saints in the team’s first preseason game of the season. Despite the win, Light said that coach Bill Belichick made sure to keep the team grounded.

“You get into the first preseason game, and things were going pretty good,” he said. “First series didn’t go as well as it should have been. We missed an opportunity with good field position. The second drive was 12, 14 plays whatever it was, and we went down and scored. But there were a lot of things I think that we can build on and we did pretty well, but there’s still a bit of room.”

Also, as the unofficial leader of the offensive line, Light commented on not having guard Logan Mankins in camp due to a contract dispute.

“Does it hurt not having Logan in there? Yeah, I can’t lie to you,” said Light. “I’ve played next to the guy for a long time and wish he was there with us right now, but we’ve got what we’ve got and we’re going to go 100 miles per hour with it. I think the expectations for everyone in that offensive line room is that they can step up and play.

What follows are some highlights of that interview. To hear it in its entirety, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

I’m sure Bill Belichick was exuberant about the team’s performance last night.

Well, you might find this hard to believe, but there were a number of things we need to improve on. We went in today, and you can never be too excited, especially with the first preseason game. I think we have a lot of guys who put a lot of work in in the offseason and really have done as much as you could do to prepare yourself for the season. Then, you go into training camp and get those first couple dings. Then, you get into that first preseason game, and things went pretty good. First series didn’t go as well as it should have been. We missed an opportunity with good field position. The second drive was 12, 14 plays whatever it was, and we went down and scored. But there were a lot of things I think that we can build on and we did pretty well, but there’s still a bit of room. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Ty Warren,
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