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Jerod Mayo and friends explain ‘The Patriot Way’ and what it means now

01.16.13 at 4:05 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The “Patriot Way’ means different things to different people, even inside the Patriots locker room.

So while, Ravens wide receiver was boldly predicting this year’s AFC championship ‘we’ll make it different, we’re gonna win,” Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo we’re humbly talking about what it’s like to be a part of a team where the individual doesn’t matter.

“I think Coach [Bill Belichick] always talks about doing your job,” Brady said. “You do your job so that everyone around you can do their job. When people trust each other, then you can play with anticipation and confidence and ultimately go out there and play aggressively. There’€™s no really no secret to it. It’€™s just coach puts a lot of pressure on us in practice every day to perform at a high level. When we don’€™t, we certainly hear about it. When you show up to work every day, you better have your game face on because you’€™ll end up on the low light film the next morning. I think the guys bring that attitude every day and over the course of a long season, it results in enough wins to get us into the playoffs, give us a chance.”

Brady pointed to past Patriots greats who helped teach him the ‘Patriot Way’.

“I think I was one of those guys that had to learn that too,” he added. “Tedy Bruschi took me aside and Willie McGinest took me aside and Lawyer Milloy took me aside. I think that’€™s part of the responsibility as a veteran player that you learn from these experiences and you try to convey the message to some of the younger players so they don’€™t have to learn the hard way. A lot of times you have to learn the hard way in life.

Wilfork echoed Brady’s old-school teachings from great Patriots of the recent past.

“I learned a long time ago with Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinnest, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, I learned from some of the best that played around here,” Wilfork said. “The first thing that comes to your mind is that you can’€™t be selfish playing here. It is not about you. It is about the team and if you buy into that you will be very successful, and that is the one thing that I think this organization has had for a long time. Guys that come in here that aren’€™t selfish and they put the team first because it is a team sport. It definitely is a team sport. You need everybody working on the same page. If you have one or two that are not you can be in big trouble. That is the Patriot Way. We put team first and we win as a team and we lose as a team. I have won a lot of games in my career being here and I wouldn’€™t change it for nothing.”

The other irony Wednesday was comment from Jerod Mayo, on a day when it snowed in the morning making the rush hour commute difficult. He reminded everyone of Adalius Thomas without dropping his name. It was three years ago when Thomas, Randy Moss, Derrick Burgess and Gary Guyton were sent home for being late to an 8 a.m. meeting on the morning of a snow storm.

“The ‘Patriot Way’ to me, starts at the top with the Kraft family,” Mayo said. “Not only being a good football player, but being a good person and falling in line. If you want to be a good football team, you’€™ll never be stuck in rush hour traffic. You are the first one here and the last one to leave. I think guys really buy into that, guys that come from other teams, I think they follow the lead of the bulk of this team and it has worked well here.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at WEEI 93.7FM will broadcast the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Read More: Adalius Thomas, Baltimore Ravens, Derrick Burgess, Gary Guyton

Anquan Boldin: This year will be different because ‘we’re gonna win’

01.16.13 at 3:18 pm ET
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Guarantees this time of year are not that uncommon, dating back to Joe Namath‘s famous prediction that the New York Jets would shock the football world and beat the heavily-favored Colts in Super Bowl III.

But whenever a Patriots’ opponent takes a similar stance it’s sure to find its way into the team’s locker room.

Earlier this week, it was Brendon Ayanbedejo ripping the Patriots’ no-huddle offense and lobbing insults referring to “Spygate” and the 18-1 season of 2007. He later apologized.

But that was a back-up linebacker who rarely sees the field. On Wednesday, starting wide receiver Anquan Boldin was reminded that this is a rematch of last year’s AFC championship in the very same venue that produced New England’s 23-20 win and ended the Ravens’ season in heartbreak.

On Wednesday, at the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills, Maryland, Boldin was asked why this year would be any different.

“[Because] we’ll make it different,” he replied.


“We’re gonna win,” he said without missing a beat.

There likely won’t be any apology coming from Boldin.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at WEEI 93.7FM will broadcast the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Read More: AFC Championship, Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens, guarantees

Danny Woodhead at practice but Alfonzo Dennard missing at Patriots return to the field

01.16.13 at 1:41 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski and Alfonzo Dennard were the only Patriots missing from Wednesday’s practice in the rain inside Gillette Stadium Wednesday afternoon.

Danny Woodhead was in attendance, sporting a white splint on his left hand to protect the thumb injured on the first offensive snap of Wednesday’s game against the Texans. Woodhead was spotted catching balls while working on footwork drills early in practice and was not favoring the thumb.

Bill Belichick indicated on Monday that Woodhead could have returned to the game if needed but did not return as the Patriots built a 38-13 lead and coasted to a 41-28 win. Belichick said Woodhead needed medical clearance to return to practice this week, and judging by his participation on Wednesday, he received it.

Dennard, who suffered knee and hamstring injuries late in the season, was on the field for the last play of the game but was not seen during the 10-minute media portion of practice.

Chandler Jones was also in attendance after injuring his ankle in the first half against the Texans, as was Michael Hoomanawanui, who was seen leaving the locker room Sunday limping with a large ice pack on his left knee.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at WEEI 93.7FM will broadcast the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Read More: AFC Championship, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, nfl

Ravens roundup: Defense could face major rebuilding in offseason

01.16.13 at 1:39 pm ET
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The retiring Ray Lewis has grabbed the headlines, but the Ravens couldn’t have made it this far without the contributions of the rest of their defense. However, this postseason could be the last time linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe and cornerback Cary Williams suit up for Baltimore, as all three are unrestricted free agents this offseason. Depending on how contract negotiations go with quarterback Joe Flacco, whose rookie contract expires after this season, it could be hard for the Ravens to retain even one of that trio.

Kruger had a career-high nine sacks in the regular season and has 2½ more in the playoffs. His skill set could land him an offer in the $35 million to $40 million range that the Ravens likely can’t match.

“Paul’s setting himself up for the future,” Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard said. “I think he has a good shot at breaking the bank because this league, this team, we want pass rushers. We want guys who can rush the quarterback and Paul is a heck of a guy to do that.”

Ellerbe had 89 tackles and 4½ sacks this season, setting himself up to step into Lewis’ place as the latter retires.

Williams rejected a three-year, $15 million contract extension offer from the Ravens before the season, and he looks ready to test the free agent market after 75 tackles, four interceptions and 17 pass deflections.


In the wake of two dominant performances against the Broncos and Colts, Flacco has established himself — at least in the mind of his agent, Joe Linta — as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks.

“I’ve been the one putting him on a pedestal saying Joe’s a top-five, elite quarterback, and he’s proving it,” Linta told The Baltimore Sun. “He’s in the rarified air of having already won seven playoff games in his short career. He’s really demonstrating that he’s one of the top guys out there.”

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Read More: Cary Williams, Dannell Ellerbe, joe flacco, Paul Kruger

Tom Brady: ‘There are no excuses at this point’

01.16.13 at 12:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady won’t have Rob Gronkowski to lean on for the rest of the playoffs.

But he sent a clear message Wednesday in his press conference at Gillette Stadium as he and the Patriots get ready to take on the Ravens in the AFC championship.

“We learned a little bit about ourselves,” Brady said. “You prepare as if everyone’€™s going to be there, and then things happen in the game and you have to be able to adjust,” Brady said. “There was quite a bit of adjusting the other night, same thing could happen this weekend. Whoever’€™s on the field has to perform at a high level, this is the biggest game of our year, so there’€™s really no excuses at this point, there’€™s nothing beyond this week that’€™s guaranteed, so we’€™ve got to go out there and earn it.”

Brady also spoke about what kind of battle he expects. The Patriots and Ravens have played down to the last play in three of their last five meetings, including a game-winning field goal by Justin Tucker on the last play on Sept. 23 in Baltimore.

“It’€™s not like you beat this team 50-0,” Brady said. “It’€™s always a tight game, there’€™s tight coverage, there’€™s tight throws, there’€™s tough reads, because schematically they do quite a few things.

“It’€™s never easy, there won’€™t be an easy throw this weekend. They really challenge you, that’€™s why they’€™re in this game, they’€™re not going to just hand you the ball, hand you points, hand you easy scores. They’€™re great in the red area, they’€™re great on third down, they really make you earn it, so that has to be our mindset, that’€™s what we’€™ll really need to be able to do.”

There’s been only one blowout in the last five games, the 33-14 Ravens win in the AFC wild-card round in Jan. 2010. The two teams have met in the playoffs three of the last four seasons.

Brady knows the Ravens defense will be particularly fired up with the Ray Lewis farewell in full stride.

“He doesn’€™t give up hardly any plays, makes a ton of tackles, great in the pass game, great in the run game,” Brady said. “He blitzes well, like he did a few years ago. He’€™s really a playmaker for them, so they give him the opportunity to make those plays, and you see when he makes a play their whole sideline gets really amped up.

“You always have to know where 52’€™s at. He’€™s always right in the middle of the defense, but whether he’€™s blitzing or covering or he’€™s free in the middle of the field, you always have to take him into account.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at WEEI 93.7FM will broadcast the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Read More: AFC Championship, Gronk, New England Patriots, nfl

Texans CB Johnathan Joseph: ‘We were a better team’ than Patriots

01.16.13 at 8:51 am ET
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The Texans were sent home by the Patriots on Sunday, a month after being routed by New England in the regular season, but Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph isn’t convinced the results tell the true story.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t advance,” Joseph said Monday, as quoted by CSNHouston. “I still can’t put that over because I think we were a better team. I think we just didn’t make the plays at the right time.”

Joseph, headed to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, was part of a secondary that allowed 640 yards and seven touchdowns in the two games at Foxboro in which Houston was outscored 83-42. But stats aside, Joseph insists the Texans were right there with the Pats.

“Just four or five plays,” he said. “You take a few of those plays that they made and go the other way, it’s a different ballgame.”

Read More: Johnathan Joseph,

Bill Belichick: Ray Lewis ‘has done a good job for them since he’s been back’

01.15.13 at 2:20 pm ET
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Ray Lewis may have lost a step or two over the years, but Bill Belichick said remains the centerpiece of the Ravens defense. On a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, the Patriots coach praised Lewis, who is in the midst of his final season in the NFL, and said that even though he was on the shelf for a stretch this season because of injury, “he certainly adds a lot” to the Baltimore scheme.

“Ray is an instinctive player, always has been,” Belichick said. “Very good in the running game, play-actions and screen passes and things like that; does a good job with the underneath combination patterns. He certainly controls the defense in terms of checks and adjustments, that kind of thing. He certainly adds a lot. I’€™m sure that they’€™re glad that he’€™s back in there for a variety of reasons: his plays, leadership, being able to quarterback the defense and certainly the front. He’€™s done a good job for them since he’€™s been back in there.”

In his Q&A with the media, Belichick also briefly addressed the Chandler Jones situation: The rookie defensive end appeared to be hobbled shortly before the end of the first half in the divisional playoff win over the Texans and he did not return to the game.

“We do the same thing with every player — any players that are in for treatment [Monday] and [Tuesday] — well everybody was in [Tuesday] and the guys that came in for treatment today, we’€™ll take a look at them [Tuesday], take a look at them [Wednesday, make a decision as to whether or not we think they can practice,” Belichick said. “If we do, then we’€™ll put them out there and let them go through the early part of practice, the warm-up stages, some individual work and see how that progresses and make the decision as to whether or not to put them in the group for team drills that come later on in practice.

“We do the same thing with every player in that category. If they’€™re not ready, then they don’€™t practice or they practice on a limited basis. If they’€™re able to continue and do the things that all the other players doing, mainstream program players are doing, then they do that.”

Following are a few other highlights of his conference call.
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Read More: 2013 playoffs, Bill Belichick, Ray Lewis,
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