|10.18.10 at 12:52 pm ET|
Patriots running back Danny Woodhead visited with Dale & Holley at Gillette Stadium as pat of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Jets castoff said he wasn’t sure what to expect when he was signed by New England before Week 2, but he didn’t think it would be only to help the Patriots learn more about New York’s offense.
“I was thinking it was a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m going to go in and work hard just like I’ve worked every single day of my professional career.”
Asked how he was able to pick up the offense so quickly, he said: “Coming to work and working. It does come down to working. I’ve been able to pick things up, and I’m very thankful for that. But it does come down to working. I mean, it is my job. I take it very seriously. Whether it’s a week or three weeks to get to learn a playbook, I feel like that’s something I need to do. I need to know that playbook, because if I do get an opportunity that first week, I need to be ready in case my number is called.”
Woodhead said despite the Jets-Patriots rivalry, the transition was easy. “Yeah, the Patriots were a rival when I was with the New York Jets, but you can quickly change hats when you get picked up by the other team,” he said. “The thing I’ve really enjoyed seeing about this team is the commitment to winning. Everyone wants to win so badly, and I think it shows in the effort, in the preparation and everything that comes with it, week in and week out.”
|10.18.10 at 12:31 pm ET|
Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather joined the Dale & Holley show Monday morning, one day after a 23-20 overtime win over the Ravens. To hear the interview, check the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Meriweather was penalized 15 yards after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap in the second quarter Sunday, and the hit has generated much discussion. After some initial hesitation to discuss the matter, Meriweather opened up about the play.
“I just attacked,” Meriweather said. “I wasn’t trying to hit head-to-head contact or injure anybody or play dirty in any kind of way. It just happened.”
Added Meriweather: “I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. I was playing aggressive and something happened. I’m trying not to look at it and make it a big deal, like everybody else is doing. … It’s football. You’ve got a lot of good players, where you think one thing, and another thing can happen in a split-second. So, you’ve always got to make a split-second decision, and my split-second decision was to be aggressive and not wait for it.”
Meriweather said he hasn’t watched a replay of the hit. “Everybody keeps telling me about it, so I kind of don’t want to see it, to be honest.”
As for critical comments from former Patriot Rodney Harrison on CBS, Meriweather brushed them off. “Hot Rod has his opinion on a lot of things,” he said. “I think if was playing he wouldn’t have said anything like that. I don’t think he would said that, period — if he was playing still.”
|10.18.10 at 11:16 am ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. To hear the interview, check the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Wilfork said Sunday’s win over the Ravens was as physical at it looked.
“It was a very physical game,” he said. “I think that’s probably one of the most physical games I’ve ever been in. We knew what Baltimore was going to come in and do. We knew our game plan. We knew they weren’t going to back down, and we weren’t going to back down. It was from whistle to whistle.”
Added Wilfork: “They wanted to be physical. They wanted to run the ball. And you know what? We answered the call. We knew that they wanted to do that. And don’t forget, we’re built the same way. We’ve been around here for a long time, too. We’re built to stop the run. We’re big and we’re physical. That’s one thing we said: We have to play up to our potential. And I think yesterday we did.”
Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather was hit with a 15-yard penalty and faces a fine from the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap after an incomplete pass in the second quarter. “Brandon wasn’t happy with himself,” Wilfork said. “That’s something that he’s going to have to deal with. … From a guy that’s been fined [for rough play], the last thing I want to do to him is go harp on it. Because he’ll hear it from every point — from the media, from friends, from family, from the Patriots. He’ll hear it from everywhere. The last thing I want to do is be that voice also. I’m the voice for him, ‘Hey, look, that’s bygone. What going to happen is going to happen. But don’t allow it to happen anymore.”
However, Wilfork said Meriweather’s hit may have served to inspire the Patriots. “I just think at that time, it was like, ‘Wow, somebody’s out here trying to be play some football and trying to be physical.’ Yes, it’s a penalty. But at the same time, something happened in that play. After that, I think after that everybody was, like, in tuned. We were in tuned. That was one thing I saw happened after that play.
“Like I said, I didn’t wish anything on anyone on anything like that there. The last thing I want to see is guys get hurt — and the penalty, a 15-yarder for Meriweather. But it was like after that play, it was like, ‘OK, let’s play some football.’ We started rolling from that. … Whatever it was, it worked. I hope it wasn’t the 15-yard penalty that got us riled up or got us going. But whatever it did, we were ready to play.”
Wilfork said the Patriots did what they had to to make sure the Randy Moss situation would not be a distraction to the team in the days leading up to the Ravens game. “That’s one thing we didn’t want to happen,” he said. “Guys understood that. … Whatever’s being said outside of here, let it stay outside of here. When we come to work, let’s work.”
|10.18.10 at 9:57 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday to talk about Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Ravens.
Highlights of the interview included Brady responding to comments from Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and talking about receiver Deion Branch‘s contributions to the win.
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Did you think at all during your few days of preparation that you had with Deion that it would go this well, this quickly, almost as if he had never left the team?
“Well, I think he’s incredibly smart and works hard. As I’ve said over the course of the week, I’ve thrown thousands and thousands of footballs to him. Watching him on film over the last few years, he obviously still has all of his physical ability, the same as when he left, and he really showed it yesterday. He came up big in a big game for us. It was pretty exciting for him to be as involved as he was. I don’t think he thought he would be as involved as he was in the offense. But we found ways to get him the ball.”
In your mind, is there such a thing as stretching the field side to side, which is what you can do with this group of receivers, as opposed to end zone to end zone?
Well, I think we’re stretching vertically, too. It’s just that they choose to take away the deep ones and we throw it underneath. It ‘s certainly not that we don’t have guys going deep. And there’s not much of a difference between catching a 45-yard pass or a 48-yard pass. If they’re playing low on us, you’ve got to throw it behind them. I think our guys can stretch the field, and I thought that the thing that we did yesterday was we found some different guys at critical times, and the guys came up with the plays.
|10.18.10 at 9:20 am ET|
* – Until Sunday, Baltimore had won the last 53 straight times that its turnover margin has been +2 or better, dating back to 1998. It was the longest current streak in the league. Here are the new longest streaks:
44 – Indianapolis (since 1998)
34 – Tennessee (since 2002)
31 – New England (since 2002)
* – New England allowed no rushes of 10 or more yards yesterday despite 34 rushing attempts by the Ravens. It was just the third time since 1992 that the Patriots’ opponent has rushed 30 or more times without gaining 10 yards on any of them. All three came at Foxboro:
October 17, 2010 vs. Baltimore (34 rushes; Won 23-20 OT)
January 1, 2006 vs. Miami (40 rushes; Lost 28-26)
December 22, 2002 vs. NY Jets (31 rushes; Lost 30-17)
* – On their 34 rushing plays, Baltimore managed just 2.91 yards per carry. New England opponents had averaged more than that in each of the last 21 games in which they ran 30 or more times. The last time that they didn’t was Week 2 of the 2005 season against Carolina.
It was the second time this season that the Ravens have rushed 30+ times and averaged fewer than 3.00 yards per carry (Sept. 13 at the Jets).
* – Baltimore managed only four rushing first downs, the fourth time in six games this season that they’ve had four or fewer. Prior to this season, they had four or fewer such first downs just twice in 27 games. The Patriots allowed fewer than five rushing first downs for the first time this year. They did it six times in 2009.
* – Yesterday marked the 11th time in the last 13 regular-season games that the Patriots have outrushed their opponent as New England rolled up 127 rushing yards to 99 for Baltimore. Dating back to last 2006, the Pats have now won 19 straight home games when they’ve outrushed their opponent.
* – Baltimore came into Sunday leading the league with 55 percent touchbacks on kickoffs, and the Ravens went 3-for-5 (60 percent). The Patriots had not been forced to take a touchback on a kickoff all season until yesterday.
* – New England converted just 29 percent of its third downs, its lowest percentage of the season and second lowest since the start of last year.
* – The Patriots allowed four first downs via penalty yesterday, their most in 43 games (Week 9, 2007). It was the third time THIS SEASON that the Ravens have been given four or more first downs via the laundry.
|10.18.10 at 9:06 am ET|
Boomer Esiason of CBS Sports joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning for his weekly chat about the Patriots and other happenings in the NFL. To hear the interview, check the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Esiason said the Patriots’ victory over the Ravens went a long way toward validating the team’s trade of Randy Moss.
“It seems like there’s harmony again in Patriot land,” Esiason said. “It’s kind of a weird thing. Bill Belichick, it seems in the short term, did the right thing.”
Added Esiason: “There is something to be said about harmony in the locker room, about everybody doing their job and doing it with a smile on their face, and nobody bitching and complaining behind the scenes. Regardless of what coach Belichick says, regardless of what Tom Brady says, the 800-pound gorilla is now removed from the locker room, and that was Randy Moss, always bitching and complaining about getting the ball.
“Maybe he didn’t do it publicly, but just the mere presence and the sulking and the half-assed play from time to time speaks volumes for where his head was at. Quite frankly, I saw yesterday there was never any of that. … What you saw was the team that won the game, and that was like quintessential Patriots from the early 2000s.”
Deion Branch did his part Sunday to prove that he can contribute as much as Moss to the Patriots’ success, just in less-flashy ways. Said Esiason: “It might not be spectacular, right? It might not be 75-yard touchdown passes, one-hand touchdown catches in the middle of the field against the Jets and all things like that. But there is substance to every football team and substance to every football play.”
Looking around the league, Esiason said he expects the Chargers to rebound from their 2-4 start and play like a “wounded animal” Sunday against the Patriots. “They are the Jekyll and Hyde team in the NFL, there’s no question,” Esiason said. “I still think they’re going to win the [AFC] West. They might win it with a 9-7 record.” Esiason also said he ranks the Patriots third in the AFC now, behind the Steelers and Jets, and ahead of the Ravens.
Ben Roethlisberger did an interview that aired Sunday on CBS, and Esiason questioned the quarterback’s lack of remorse on the day he returned from his four-game suspension. Esiason said he also was surprised at how the Steelers organization presented Roethlisberger as “returning Julius Caesar.” Said Esiason: “To introduce him to 70,000 people cheering for him and to come out holding his finger No. 1 up in the air and all that stuff, I just thought was completely the wrong message to be sending. … I just thought that the whole image of it was the wrong thing.”
|10.18.10 at 8:27 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday to talk about Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Ravens. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Following the game, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs warned that Brady “just better hope he doesn’t see us again.”
Responded Brady: “He had his chance. Maybe if he gets another chance he can try to back those words up. But he had a chance yesterday. You know, we’ve played guys a lot, and they’ve beat us one time in all the times that I’ve played them. They talk a lot for beating us once in nine years.”
As for Suggs claiming that when Brady got in his face he was bragging about his supermodel wife, Brady said, “I think he made that up.”
The Patriots visit San Diego next Sunday, but Brady said no one should expect an easy win just because of the team’s success in the previous two games. “Regardless of what we did this past week, it’s going to mean nothing when we play San Diego,” he said. “But I will say this: We were struggling on the road for quite a while, and we beat Miami on the road in a big Monday night game and played really well in all phases. Then, we lost to a team in the playoffs last year 33-14 and really got our butts kicked, and with a very good defense that, OK, we played them and we’re down 10 in the fourth quarter and we come back and win.
“That just tells me we can win on the road. We can win when we haven’t played our best and we’re down in the fourth quarter and guys are stepping up to make big plays and big kicks and big punts — those types of situations that are situational football, things that we need to execute to win those games. I think we gain confidence from that. I don’t think it’s going to matter next week what we did. But I’ll tell you, if we’re down 10 in the fourth quarter next week, I don’t think there’s going to be a guy on our sideline that doubts that we can win the game.”
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