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Patriots taking lessons from win over Miami and moving forward

09.13.11 at 9:23 pm ET
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Less than 24 hours after their season-opening win over the Dolphins in Miami, the Patriots braintrust stated unequivocally Tuesday afternoon that they have already moved on, shifting their focus from the Dolphins to this week’€™s opponent, the San Diego Chargers.

The Patriots arrived back at Gillette at 5 a.m. on Tuesday and sent the players home for the day. Subsequently, they hadn’€™t yet had a chance to look at the game film. But that’€™s not stopping them, as they’€™re already on a short week to prepare for Philip Rivers and the Chargers, who will come into Gillette on Sunday afternoon.

‘€œIt’€™s a quick turnaround — we’€™re on to San Diego,’€ said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ‘€œI haven’€™t had a chance to look at Miami, we’€™re just trying to get started on San Diego, so we’€™ll get to [the Miami film] tomorrow — later tonight or tomorrow morning, we’€™ll see how it goes.

‘€œOf course it’€™s good go down there, playing on the road with all the conditions we had to deal with, and come away with the win. It’€™s great to be 1-0, but we have to put that behind us and turn our attention to the Chargers.’€

That’€™s not to say there wasn’€™t some talk about the win over the Dolphins. Even though the Patriots’€™ passing game set numerous records — including 517 passing yards from Tom Brady on the way to a 38-24 win over Miami — there was more than enough to give the coaching staff plenty of material this week. He pointed to a couple of stalled offensive drives, as well an inability to ‘€œclose out’€ the game down the stretch because they failed to pick up a couple of first downs.

‘€œThere are a lot of areas [to improve on],’€ Belichick said. ‘€œThere are always things on every play, even good plays, that a lot of times aren’€™t done quite properly and had the defense or the offense been in different play or done things a little bit differently, then we would have had a problem.

‘€œYou keep correcting those and try to get as many things right as possible. But I would include every position on that. Again, the coaching staff, all of us ‘€“ we all did plenty of things in that game that we need to better.’€

Patriots’€™ offensive coordinator Bill O’€™Brien echoed Belichick’€™s statement.

‘€œThere are always areas to improve on, whether it’€™s turnovers, the six penalties, the two-minute [offense] at end of half, the red-area execution,’€ O’€™Brien said. ‘€œSo, there’€™s a lot of things to improve on in a game and that’€™s what we’€™ll work hard at doing, in addition to first and second downs, and getting better at our game plan for San Diego.’€

Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had a limited role in his Patriots’€™ debut on Monday (O’€™Brien said the veteran played ‘€œabout 20 snaps’€ against the Dolphins), but the offensive coordinator intimated that New England fans shouldn’€™t read too much into the fact that Ochocinco, who caught one ball on the night, wasn’€™t utilized that much in comparison to the other receivers. Instead, O’€™Brien said Ochocinco, like every player, continues to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

‘€œEvery week it will change, and one of the things that’€™s great about the guys here is that they all understand that ‘€“ that each guy has his role,’€ O’€™Brien said. ‘€œMaybe his role is going to be a little bit bigger in a certain game than it is in another game, and that will be the same for the [running] backs, receivers and tight ends.

‘€œIn regards to Chad, I think he’€™s worked hard to improve every week, and he has. He played about 20 plays last night and it will be week-to-week just like it is with every position.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien, Chad Ochocinco, Philip Rivers
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