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Brett Favre: I’m a quick healer

10.27.10 at 2:56 pm ET
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Vikings quarterback Brett Favre isn’€™t sure if he’€™ll be able to go Sunday against the Patriots, but he says that based on his track record, he feels pretty good about his chances.

Speaking with reporters at his weekly press conference in Minnesota, Favre expressed some optimism that, even after suffering two fractures in his left foot last week against the Packers, he’€™ll be ready to go Sunday against the Patriots.

‘€œI’€™m willing to give it a try,’€ Favre, 41, said Wednesday while standing at a podium with a walking boot in his injured foot.

‘€œI’€™ve always had a knack for healing, I think, quicker than maybe most people,’€ said Favre, who has started 291 consecutive regular-season games. ‘€œAnd mentally … I know that I’€™ve been able to play with different types of injuries that most people probably wouldn’€™t have attempted.’€

Favre was held out of practice on Wednesday by coach Brad Childress, who told reporters he would need to see Favre in action before the quarterback woul dbe cleared to play.

‘€œI’€™m going to need to see some movement skills that indicate he can (move freely),’€ Childress told reporters. ‘€œYou have to be able to move and slide and reset yourself in the pocket, that type of thing.’€

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Brady: Vikings ‘could very easily be 6-0′

10.27.10 at 2:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What did Tom Brady think of the Celtics season-opening win last night at TD Garden over LeBron James and the Miami Heat? What will it be like to see Randy Moss back at Gillette Stadium in a different uniform? And why is Cal Ripken like Brett Favre?

Those questions and more directed at the Patriots quarterback on Wednesday. Thanks to the hard work of Patriots P.R., here were his answers:

Q: We are surprised you weren’€™t at the Celtics game yesterday.

TB: It was a good game. I saw it. I watched most of it. We have a busy week here, so I figured I’€™d get my rest.

Q: What is it going to be like to see Randy Moss this week?

TB: Randy is a great player. I’€™m glad I don’€™t have to defend him. I’€™m sure he’€™ll want to come out and have a great game against us. It’€™s a very talented team that we’€™re playing. They have guys at each position that are all exceptional players ‘€“ offense, defense, special teams. It’€™s a very talented team ‘€“ very similar to last week in San Diego in that they certainly have a ton of talent and could very easily be 6-0 as well. It’€™s going to be a challenging week for all of us, especially defensively, defending all the things they have to defend over there.

Q: How much is Coach Belichick emphasizing the importance of details considering how close the games have been lately?

TB: Quite a bit. We don’€™t get away with much. I said that the other day. He holds us to a pretty high standard and I think by the film session we watched yesterday, in regards to our game against San Diego, you wouldn’€™t have thought we had won that game by his coaching. He’€™s trying to make sure we know exactly what the truth is. We have to play a lot better than we played last week on offense. We’€™re going to have to go out and have a great week of practice. This defense presents some different challenges than the defense we faced, but that doesn’€™t stop us from what we need to do execution wise. As a group, we’€™ve got to go out and do a better job.

Q: When watching film with Coach Belichick, is he ranting and raving or is he more matter of fact?

TB: A little of both, a little of both. He’€™s always pretty tough, so it’€™s nothing that we wouldn’€™t expect from him and nothing that we haven’€™t seen from him in the past. But, if we’€™re not playing at our best, we’€™re going to hear about it. We’€™ve certainly got to play our best this week. This is as good a defense as probably there is with the way they rush the passer, the athleticism they have at linebacker, some real playmakers in the secondary. We’€™ve got to execute really well.

Q: How much of the inability to move the ball in San Diego was self-inflicted and how much can be attributed to their defense?

TB: Well it’€™s probably a little of both. There are certainly some things they did that were very challenging for us. At the same time, I’€™d like to think we can make some of those plays, too. Some days, you have a bad day at the office. I think that’€™s the way you put it. We did in the first half and we played better in the second half. Hopefully that carries over into this week of practice because we can’€™t have a bad half of football against this team. We have to play 60 good minutes of football.

Q: How impressive is Brett Favre’€™s consecutive games played streak?

TB: It’€™s phenomenal. I mean it’€™s unbelievable. I know how I feel after every game on Monday morning and trying to get up for a week of practice. You take a lot of pride being out there. And I’€™ve said before that a quarterback can’€™t go out there and block or tackle or really display any toughness other than showing up every week. What he’€™s done over the course of his career is remarkable. It’€™s not like he hasn’€™t gotten hit. You watch him play and he plays a style of football where he does get hit. He is as tough a player that there’€™s ever been. He shows up every week and he plays at an extremely high level every week and he’€™s phenomenal. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: minnesota vikings, New England Patriots, nfl, Randy Moss

Belichick: ‘Need to play better than we’ve played’

10.27.10 at 2:42 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What’s up with the Patriots’ offense of late? What does Bill Belichick think of the return of Randy Moss and does either side have an advantage in the first meeting since the Oct. 6 trade that sent him to Minnesota? What does Belichick think of the sign-stealing allegations from Brad Childress? How much fun is Belichick having being a “hands-on” coach with the defense this season? Those questions and more were posed Wednesday. Who is Belichick preparing to see at quarterback for Minnesota, the injured Brett Favre or back-up Tavares Jackson?

Here, thanks to the always stellar work of Patriots P.R., were his answers:

BB: The last couple days here watching the Vikings on film ‘€“ they are definitely an impressive football team. They are very good in all three phases of the game. They’€™ve got a lot of talent and make a lot of big plays. [They'€™re] real physical on special teams. [Percy] Harvin is a tremendous returner. [They have] a lot of weapons on offense and a good offensive line and skill players. They’€™re fast on defense, explosive. They’€™re tough to block. They’€™ve lost a couple close games. They were right there on every last position, right there every time. So I have a lot of respect for them, a lot of respect this team. We’€™re going to have our hands full on Sunday. We’€™re going to need to play better than we’€™ve played. [We'€™ll] probably need our best game yet. Hopefully we can have a good week of preparation and be ready to go Sunday.

Q: Can you really get something out of seeing Randy Moss in practice the last few years that will actually help you contain him against Minnesota?

BB: I mean, he’€™s still the same player. We’€™ve worked against him and obviously have a good knowledge of him, but he knows a lot more’€¦We know one guy. He knows all of us, so I don’€™t know if there is a big advantage there. Practicing against somebody ‘€“ I don’€™t think there’€™s any better preparation than that, than actually going up against them.

Q: Brett Favre comes into the game with his consecutive win streak on the line. Tom Brady said you guys prepare for everybody, whether it’€™s Favre or Tarvaris Jackson. So which one do you prepare for this week?

BB: Yeah, both of them ‘€“ everybody that is potentially an active player, just like last week with [Seyi] Ajirotutu being [activated] on Saturday and then he played in the game against San Diego. We’€™ve got to be ready for all those guys, whether they are the guy listed first on the depth chart or not; if they’€™re on the 45-man roster, or even if they’€™re on the practice squad, they can easily be elevated up to the roster and play against you. So you better know who they are. Sergio Brown ‘€“ there’€™s another guy that wasn’€™t even on the roster on Friday and played in the game on Sunday and had an effect on the game. We’€™ve got to be ready for every player.

Q: Sergio Brown seemed like a guy who had a good camp and could have had an immediate effect this season. What did you see since camp that led you to make that move?

BB: He kept working harder. He kept working harder and got better. We talked to him at the end of training camp about things that he needed to work on and improve on ‘€“ things on special teams and things on defense ‘€“ and he’s done that. We recognize our practice players of the week ‘€“ guys that had the best week of practice ‘€“ and he’€™s shown up there, too. He’s continued to work hard and improve and we had a need at the position, based on the injury to [Jarrad] Page. He had an opportunity to play and he took advantage of it and did some good things. It wasn’€™t perfect; there are a lot of things that he can do better and learn from, but he definitely helped us. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, Brett Favre, New England Patriots

Pats practice: Chung, Wilfork missing

10.27.10 at 1:38 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patrick Chung and Vince Wilfork were among the five Patriots players not spotted at practice on Wednesday as the team practiced indoors at the Dana Farber Field House outside Gillette Stadium. The team did not workout in full pads but rather in sweats and shells for the second straight Wednesday.

Chung suffered a knee injury in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Chargers while Wilfork did not sustain any noticeable injury from the game and could be getting just a day off from practice.

Also absent were Matthew Slater, Fred Taylor and safety Jarrad Page as the team began on-field preparations for the Minnesota Vikings in Foxboro.

Read More: New England Patriots, nfl, Patrick Chung, Vince Wilfork

Childress wants to leave sign-stealing ‘in the past’

10.27.10 at 12:27 pm ET
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[Click here to listen to what Brad Childress had to say Wednesday about Patriots sign-stealing.]

[Click here to listen to Bill Belichick's response Wednesday.]

Vikings coach Brad Childress stood by his comments of earlier in the week when he suggested Bill Belichick and the Patriots are “some of the all-time great signal stealers” in the NFL. But he added, during a conference call to Patriots reporters on Wednesday, that every coach does it and they should be credited for being a great organization.

“I said what I said,” Childress explained. “That’s in the past. We all try to get any tips we can get or glean standing on the sidelines. I’m sure it’s done throughout the league and we do it as well just let those [comments] stand. I have a great deal of respect for coach Belichick and the way he’s formulated that program in the last 10 years and I’ve told him so. He has a mentally tough team that are great competitors that I hope one of my teams play one of these days.”

Childress said he didn’t believe that Belichick had any unusual advantage in their last meeting in 2006 when the Patriots blasted the Vikings, 31-7, at the Metrodome.

“I don’t have any knowledge of that at all,” Childress said. “I didn’t mean any offense to any of those people, just the way I viewed it.”

Belichick’s response with the Patriots’ media on Wednesday?

“Yeah, I”m not really too worried about 2006,” Belichick said. “I’m worried about this Sunday against Minnesota. I’m not worried next Sunday, last Sunday, ’06, ’02, ’89. Really, it’s just this Sunday. Really, I’m just trying to coach this team and get ready for the Vikings. You have to talk to the other coaches. I don’t know.

“We’ve talked about some other games before but really, my focus is the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon. That’s what I’m here for.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, minnesota vikings, New England Patriots

Brian Baldinger: Patriots are being re-made to try to beat the Jets

10.27.10 at 12:40 am ET
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NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has heard a lot of reasons as to why the Patriots dealt Randy Moss to the Vikings, but he believes the most important reason is that it allows them to become a team that is more capable of beating the Jets.

Baldinger, who breaks down game film for the NFL Network show ‘€œPlaybook,’€ says that the teams that have had the most success against the Jets’€™ defense have employed a passing attack that relies on short and intermediate routes and an ability to get the ball out to receivers quickly.

‘€œThey are building this team specifically to beat the Jets,’€ Baldinger said of the Patriots. ‘€œYou are not going to beat the Jets by taking seven-step drops and looking for Randy Moss 50 yards down the field. You beat the Jets by getting the ball to the quicker guys who can beat coverage. Between [Julian] Edelman, [Wes] Welker, [Deion] Branch and [Danny] Woodhead, that’€™s what they are doing. All of these changes are designed to beat the Jets.’€

Baldinger, who also works as a game analyst for Fox Sports, says the Patriots’€™ offense has moved from ‘€œbeing this big play team to a small-ball team,’€ and adds that they are now playing to Tom Brady‘€™s strength, which is his accuracy. In addition, he likes the changes they’€™ve made on the defensive side of the ball.

‘€œThey’€™ve completely rebuilt their defense,’€ he said. ‘€œThey’€™ve got this infusion of youth ‘€” Jermaine Cunningham and all those other young guys running around back there making plays. They’€™re all out there on the field right now. They’€™ve been able to rebuild that defense and get younger and win games.’€

‘€œI’€™ve questioned Bill Belichick‘€™s style of defense, whether you can play basic coverage in this league and still win games, but they have done it well, especially in their last two games,’€ Baldinger added. ‘€œTo beat the Ravens the way they did and then fly 3,000 miles across the country and beat the Chargers, those are two good football teams. Those are good wins. I don’€™t care what their records are.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, brian baldinger, Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch

Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C

10.26.10 at 2:57 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning for his weekly interview, and he talked about Sunday’€™s win over the Chargers, the upcoming game against Randy Moss and the Vikings, and his views on the Celtics‘€™ chances on the day of their season-opener.

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

I know you’€™re not a fan of “either/or” questions, but I’€™m going to lay two on you right at the beginning. Did the Patriots win that game in San Diego, or did the Chargers lose that game in San Diego?

Well, you know, I learned a lesson pretty early playing in the NFL. I was sitting on the sideline with Drew [Bledsoe] one day, and he said, “Tom, a lot of these games are lost by the other team. If you don’€™t make mistakes, then teams have a hard time winning it.”

And we made our fair share of mistakes out there, don’€™t get me wrong. They probably weren’€™t as evident as maybe a turnover would be, or what our coach described as bad football. But, we didn’€™t have really any critical errors in the game, and I think that was probably the difference.

We certainly didn’€™t play our best game on offense, with all the opportunities that we had on a short field and with turnovers, we didn’€™t convert them into touchdowns like I wish we would have. But our defense really played phenomenal and, you know, some of that is the other team not executing as well and some of that is our defense executing very well. So, it’€™s hard to say. I mean, if we don’€™t turn it over, and I think there were probably still too many penalties, but each game ends up being a little bit different and we just came out on top of this one.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, Brett Favre, Tom Brady
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