|10.05.10 at 2:38 pm ET|
Patriots safety Patrick Chung joined the Dale & Holley show Tuesday morning after his memorable performance in Monday night’s victory over the Dolphins. Chung discussed the mental transition from his first year to this season, the need to be relaxed, and how the team believes in itself after he blocked a field goal and punt and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Below are some highlights. For the full interview go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Was that the game of your life?
Yeah, game of my life. It feels good, you know, and God bless.
On the biggest transition from rookie year to second year:
The mental aspect. The game is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. You’ve got to know what you’re doing, you’ve got to know what everyone else is doing, when you know that you can play comfortable and play fast. It’s all a race about who can mature the fastest.
On what the Patriots saw on film for the Dolphins kicking game:
Really we just saw how they picked up guys, how they do different twists. Its always a game plan for a different team, and Scottie [O'Brien] drew it up just like it’s supposed to happen, and it happened just how he drew it up. The chance is right there, you’ve got to take advantage.
Was there any doubt in your mind that you would get a block?
We knew that we’d have the opportunity. I’m not going to say that we knew that it was going to get blocked. It all takes execution and it takes all 11 people doing exactly what they have to do for it to work. And it was a pretty good chance that it would work if we all did what we were supposed to do.
|10.05.10 at 1:27 pm ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork stopped by for a visit with the Dale & Holley show Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Wilfork did not take questions from the media following Monday night’s win over the Dolphins, showing his disgust with the reporters’ apparent lack of faith in his team. He explained his feelings on Dale & Holley.
“From what we’ve done and where we’ve been; this is seven years for me here,” Wilfork said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen everybody like that go against us. I’m not living in the past. That’s reality. That’s real. I’m the last one to pay attention to the media and what the media says and all that, but you know what? At some point, [the game predictions] will come by my desk, or it will come by with me, somebody will put it up around the facility.
“At first I saw it, but I really didn’t pay it no attention. I was like, ‘OK, some stats they’re putting up.’ When I actually walked by and saw it, and I saw everybody — like I said, our own people going against us, it was like ‘Hmm, that’s pretty interesting.’ So, you know what? I could sit here and be pissed off all day and all morning, but I’m not going to do that. it’s OK.”
Wilfork explained further his anger toward the media. “We knew what we have in this locker room,” he said. “And I say it all the time. Everybody’s outside looking in. We’re inside looking in. You know what? [We've got a] 53-man roster, practice squad [is] a couple — however many that is. We knew what this team is. We knew exactly what we have on this team. And we showed it.
“It’s kind of hard to come to work in your own back yard and have your beat writers for your own team that they see you every day, and every last one of them go against you. They have a job to do, I understand that. At the same token, you wonder why [players] act that way they act sometimes with them, because of stuff like that. So, you know what, last night. like I told them, ‘You guys have all the answers. We’re going to keep doing what we do.’
“This team that we have here, I’m very, very happy with this team. We responded this game. It meant a lot. Not just because a division win. It was set up for us to either fail of move forward. And I think everybody knew how to approach this game.”
|10.05.10 at 1:18 pm ET|
The Dolphins fired special teams coordinator John Bonamego on Tuesday, just 12 hours after the team’s breakdowns helped the Patriots post a 41-14 victory. Patriots safety Patrick Chung blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, then Chung blocked a field goal attempt that Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for another score. Brandon Tate also returned the second-half kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins led the game 7-6 at halftime.
“It’s a hard decision to make,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “I know how hard this guy works. Nobody works harder than him at what he does. Special teams is a hard area because there’s a lot of hands involved in that area.”
The team announced that assistant special teams coach Darren Rizzo will take over the unit. Bonamego had been the Dolphins’ special teams coach since 2008.
|10.05.10 at 10:11 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning, just hours after the team’s impressive, 41-14 victory over the Dolphins in Miami.
“This was a big game,” said Brady, who stayed behind in Florida after the game. “We put a lot into this game. We put a lot of preparation into it. … There’s a lot of questions and doubts about our team. As a team, we really showed what we’re made of.”
Brady and coach Bill Belichick were visibly excited toward the end of the game, showing more emotion than fans are used to seeing. Brady said part of the display had to do with the team finally getting a victory on the road.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a big win on the road,” he said. “And that doesn’t matter if it’s last year or last night. You love winning on the road. And that’s something that we didn’t do this year. When you finally get that win, there’s a lot of emotion that’s built up for a long time.”
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Could you script a better way for this football team to go into the bye week?
Well, it was a big win for us. We’re 2-1, on the road at Miami, which is always a tough place for us to play. We lost one game on the road already and we hadn’t really played 60 minutes of football, and there’s a lot of questions and doubts about our team. And I think the team really showed what were made of.
To get a win down here in the style that we did, where the special teams was tremendous, defense was tremendous, offensively we did what we needed to do. It was a great win for us. Everybody was really excited after the game. Hopefully, we can really build on it. I think going in to this week, now the bye week, we’re going to evaluate what we’ve done the last four weeks and figure out what’s working, and the things that aren’t working, we’re going to move on from that. We’ve got a big game against Baltimore here in two weeks and we’re going to need to play our best.
|10.05.10 at 8:55 am ET|
* – Miami allowed a kickoff return touchdown at home for just the 7th time in their history. 4 of those have come on Monday night. For New England, it was their 16th such TD on the road and their first ever on Monday night (home or away).
* – The Patriots put up 35 second half points, a number surpassed only twice in the NFL since at least 2005. New England’s previous high since 2005 was 31, during their week 12 game in 2008 at Miami, a 48-28 win.
The Pats had averaged just 6 second half points in road games since the start of last season.
* – New England scored 21 points in the 3rd quarter for just the 2nd time since 1976. The other came in a win at Cleveland in 2004. It was the 3rd time ever that Miami has allowed 21+ third quarter points, the other coming in 1993 and 1994 against Buffalo… all in Miami.
* – The Patriots picked off 4 passes last night. It was just the 3rd time in the last 12 years that they’ve intercepted 4+ passes on the road. None of the 3 were Sunday games (2 on Monday; 1 on Saturday).
* – All 7 Patriots kickoffs reached the end zone last night. Coming into the game, only 7 of 16 (43%) had gotten there.
* – The Dolphins averaged 4.8 rushing yards carry last night. After allowing 5.6 yards/carry last week, it’s the first time that NE has allowed 4.8+ yards in back-to-back games since weeks 2 & 3 of the 2008 season. It was the highest average by Miami in their last 9 games.
* – New England picked up 9 rushing first downs and 9 passing first downs. It’s the first time that they haven’t had 10+ of one or the other since week 3 of the 2008 season (32 games).
* – A couple of nice Tom Brady passing stats: Brady completed 19 of 24 passes last night (79.2%), the highest percentage in a road game by a Patriots team since 11/18/07 at Buffalo (80.5%; 33-41). Also, Brady threw no interceptions last night, snapping a streak of 7 consecutive road games with at least one (a total of 11 over those games).
* – New England has now won 7 of their last 8 Monday night games, with 6 of those coming on the road (since 2005).
* – The Dolphins sacked Tom Brady 3 times last night, the most since exactly one year ago, when Baltimore got him 3 times. Unless you include the playoffs. Baltimore got him 3 times in January, too.
|10.05.10 at 5:26 am ET|
Thanks to the Patriots PR staff, here are some postgame notes from Monday’s Patriots-Dolphins contest:
S PATRICK CHUNG RECORDS FIRST NFL BLOCKED PUNT AND BLOCKED FIELD GOAL
S Patrick Chung blocked a second half punt and field goal. He blocked a second half punt to give the Patriots a first down at the Miami 15-yard line to set up a 12-yard touchdown run by RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It is the first blocked punt by a Patriots player since Kelley Washington vs. NY Jets on Dec. 16, 2007. Chung blocked a 53-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that was recovered by CB Kyle Arrington and returned for a touchdown. It is the first blocked field goal for the Patriots since Richard Seymour had a block vs. Chicago on Nov. 26, 2006. Chung was a two-time special teams player of the year during his college career at Oregon. He blocked two punts in 2007 while at Oregon.
CHUNG SCORES HIS FIRST NFL TOUCHDOWN ON A 51-YARD TOUCHDOWN
Chung picked off a Chad Henne pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. It marked his first interception returned for a touchdown and the second touchdown off an interception for the Patriots in 2010. Gary Guyton returned an interception 59 yards for a score in the season-opener vs. Cincinnati (9/12).
Read the rest of this entry »
|10.05.10 at 12:40 am ET|
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — On a night where they needed them the most, the Patriots special teams unit came through with one of the most impressive performances in franchise history.
Pat Chung blocked a punt and field goal attempt, Brandon Tate delivered a 103-yard kick return for a touchdown, Stephen Gostkowski had five touchbacks and a pair of field goals, and Zoltan Mesko had three punts averaging 41 yards a boot, including a 60-yarder. Their work helped silence the 69,090 on hand at Landshark Stadium and spark the Patriots to a 41-14 win over the Dolphins Monday night in Miami.
Asked about the special teams performance after the game, coach Bill Belichick gave a deadpan response before breaking into a big smile.
“They were all right,” Belichick said with a straight face before breaking into a smile. “It was a great effort. Those guys really work hard. They work hard every week in practice, with [special teams coach] Scott O’Brien. They go through a lot of little things. They really do a good job of preparing, and I was really happy with the success they had tonight. The plays they made helped out team. Those kids worked hard. They deserve it.”
While Gostkowski connected on a pair of first half field goals (23 and 30 yards) and added a touchback for good measure, the lightning struck at the start of the second half when Tate delivered a 103-yard kick return to open the third quarter and give New England a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. It was the second kick return for a touchdown for Tate (he had a 97-yarder to open the second half of the season opener against the Bengals), and his third, if you include one he ripped off in the preseason against the Rams.
Tate has scored two touchdowns on kick returns in four games this year, the most by a Patriot since Kevin Faulk had two in 2002.
“Coming out at halftime, we was getting the ball and coach said, ‘We need a big play.’ I told coach, ‘I got you,’ ” Tate said. “I give all credit to my other teammates out their for doing their assignments. If it wasn’t for them, it wouldn’t be possible. It was a big play for us. We just kept going from there.
“I give credit to everybody else out there who freed me up.”
On the next sequence, Miami went three-and-out and was forced to punt. Chung busted through the line and had little trouble knocking down the ball, allowing New England to pick up the ball on its own 15-yard line. (At first glance, it appeared that Miami’s Bobby Carpenter missed a blocking assignment.) The Patriots cashed in two plays later, giving the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis for a 12-yard touchdown run that made it 20-7.
The teams traded scores relatively quickly to make it 27-14 at the end of the third quarter. Chung struck again at the start of the fourth when he knocked down a 53-yard field goal attempt by Miami’s Dan Carpenter, beating Miami’s Joe Berger. Kyle Arrington scooped up the ball and scooted 35 yards for the touchdown, making the score 34-14 with almost a full quarter left to play and sending most of Landshark Stadium heading for the exits.
In his career, Chung said he had never had a game like this.
“No, but it feels great,” said Chung, who punctuated his evening with a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second half. “I just have to give thanks to the man upstairs. He really blessed me.
“We executed,” added Chung. “It opened up just like coach drew up on the board. When you execute like that, you have to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Chung, who calls special teams “a legalized, 40-yard fistfight,” said the two blocks went down just like the Patriots planned.
“It was something that coach saw. We practice … all those blocks and people doing their job allowing me to make the play, I give it to all them. If they’re not doing their job, nothing happens. We executed, [just like] coach drew it up, and it happened just like it did.”
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