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Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer: ‘You can’t play with panic’

11.01.12 at 11:18 am ET

FOXBORO — Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer acknowledged Thursday that there were some ‘€œsome technique things’€ that the New England corners can improve on, but added that the group is ‘€œworking on the individual things that they can do to get better.’€

‘€œThere are some technique things that we can improve on,’€ Boyer said before practice on Thursday. ‘€œA lot of times, it’€™s different with different guys — maybe one guy is struggling with something and another guy is struggling with something else. Maybe there are some things that we can do structurally to help that. Those are all things that we take into consideration every week going into the game. Those guys are working on the individual things that they can do to get better.

‘€œAgain, being younger, a lot of the experience those guys get, it helps them. They understand things a little bit better, they see the game a little bit better, they understand the film study a little bit better. Those things will help them improve as we move forward.’€

The New England secondary has come under fire this season ‘€“ the Patriots are in the bottom five in almost major category in pass defense, including a league-low 42 pass plays of 20 yards or more. Boyer, in his first season as cornerbacks coach on Head Coach Bill Belichick‘€™s staff after three seasons as defensive backs coach, said Thursday that one of the things that’€™s constantly preached to the defensive backs is that they have to ‘€œplay with patience. You can’€™t play with panic.’€

‘€œThe most important play is the next play,’€ Boyer said. ‘€œWhether the play that happens is good, bad or indifferent, you need to move on and play the next play — which is again, the key process of our whole learning process here. It’€™s just trying to get better with each play, each day. That’€™s why the bye week is so great. It gives us an opportunity to improve on techniques today and try to get better today and moving forward next week.’€

Here are a few other highlights of Boyer’€™s Q&A with the media on Thursday:

On what he’€™s telling Alfonzo Dennard to help him keep improving:

‘€œWith Alfonzo, there is a long way to go, there are a lot of things to improve on. He doesn’€™t have a lot of experience in the NFL. Things that we’€™re doing here are different than what he did at Nebraska so each week he is growing a little bit, he’€™s getting to see more things. With him, it’€™s a lot of little things, working on alignments, working on techniques. He’€™s making the most of some opportunities, he’€™s doing some good things for us but we have a long way to go. There are a lot of things that we can improve on, too.’€

On if he thinks the youth in the secondary has created camaraderie among the players:

‘€œI think in the back end we have a very close-knit group. I think those guys have a good chemistry together, they work very hard, they’€™re here all the time, they watch film together, they’€™re working to improve. There are some good things that we’€™ve done and there are some things that we need to improve on. I think those guys are all headed in the right direction. I think the key thing for them is that all of them have stayed the course, they understand what we’€™re trying to do ‘€“ we’€™re trying to improve each day, we’€™re trying to get better on some things. When we have some bumps in the road, they know, ‘€˜OK, we have to try to fix this, we have to make this better.’€™ Sometimes it’€™s a matter of, the other team, they have good players, they’€™ll make plays too. Sometimes we’€™re technique-sound there, other times it’€™s, ‘€˜OK, if I just do this little thing here, maybe the result will be a little bit better.’€™’€

On if it’€™s a point of emphasis to tell the players to tune out the noise and focus on getting better week to week:

‘€œThe thing we talk about is to stay the course, try to improve. I know this is very redundant but that’€™s how we approach it and that’€™s how I approach it. We need to get better. Things that we’€™ve done well, let’€™s keep doing well and just stay the course and try to get better today. In the end, all that really matters is that we’€™re improving each week and we’€™re playing our best ball down the stretch.’€

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