|Moving on…||11.10.08 at 6:28 pm ET|
No team has had more success replacing star players in midstream and not missing a beat than your New England Patriots.
No one. Even with the losses of Tom Brady, Rodney Harrison and Laurence Maroney for the year and running backs Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan for the last month, the Pats are 6-3 and with two more wins could all but wrap up the AFC East title – at least in the minds of most.
Pierre Woods, who filled in on Sunday, will be asked to step up and play in Thomas’ place for the time being.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” Woods said. ” That’s all it was. That’s why they put me out there: to do your job, and that’s what I did. You’re supposed to do your job. That’s what you’re here for. That’s what you get paid for. You go in there, know what you’re doing and it’s just like preseason when I was out there playing when Mike [Vrabel] was out, AD [Thomas] was out. You just try to pick up where you left off.”
But the natural question arose Monday… Is there a tipping point, even for the Patriots?
With everyone talking about LB Adalius Thomas like he is taking his team-leading five sacks with him, along with a reported broken arm to the season-ending injured reserve list, those remaining in the locker room went about the task of looking ahead to the New York Jets on Thursday night.
“We can’t do anything about it,” Jarvis Green said. “It’s a tough loss. Losing Adalius, he was a key to this defense, but we have to move on and get ready for the Jets. It’s happens. It’s part of the game. You lose a great guy. Look at Cassel, the way he’s performing. He’s getting better each week after losing Tom Brady. It’s the same thing on defense, you lose a guy, you’ve got to put another guy in place and he’s got to perform and get ready.”
Then there’s Ellis Hobbs’ take. He was asked if he is amazed the way the Patriots keep on keeping on. “I was never amazed,” Hobbs said. “We prepare ourselves, each of us, in a way that if one man goes down, the next one better be ready.”
Linebacker Mike Vrabel has been around long enough and has seen enough starters go out with injury. But even he acknowledges this is a tough one to swallow.
“He (Adalius) is a guy, like a lot of guys, that can play a lot of different positions and play them well,” Vrabel said. “It would be though. He is leader and veteran guy that plays well. We just have to find guys to step up.
“We talk about this all the time,” he continued. “It is just our focus with three days has to be on the [New York] Jets. We are going to have 11 guys out there. It is unfortunate that [Adalius Thomas] is not going to be there this week but we have three days to concentrate on the Jets.”
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