|Bill Belichick on helping Tom Brady: ‘We’re on to Cincinnati’||10.01.14 at 10:42 am ET|
FOXBORO — The tough questions are starting to come at Bill Belichick.
Thirty-six hours after watching his team get dominated by the Chiefs, 41-14, Monday night in Kansas City, and in wake of speculation that Tom Brady is not happy with the roster or the weapons he’s been given, Belichick was asked about the roster and how it has impacted his starting quarterback.
The three-minute exchange was as follows:
How difficult is the adversity of Monday night?
BB: We’re on to Cincinnati.
You mentioned Tom’s age in the draft…?
BB: We’re on to Cincinnati.
Do you think having a 37-year-old … ?
BB: We’re on to Cincinnati. It’s nothing about the past. It’s nothing about the future. Right now, we’re getting ready for Cincinnati.
Do you think you’ve done enough to help Tom Brady?
BB: We’re getting ready for Cincinnati. That’s what we’re doing.
As you get ready for Cincinnati, does Tom Brady have the talent and protection around him to get ready for Cincinnati?
BB: We’re going to game plan and do the best we can and be ready to go Sunday night, the same as we always do. Nothing’s changed.
How much closer are we to an O-line that’s going to be comfortable with the positions that they’re in?
BB: We’re going to put the best players out there this weekend that we can, and we’ll see how that plays out.
|NFL says Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized after TD||09.30.14 at 10:50 am ET|
The NFL says it was wrong to penalize Husain Abdullah after his slid into a Muslim prayer following his pick-six of Tom Brady Monday night.
In the fourth quarter, Abdullah picked off Brady, raced 39 yards for the touchdown and then slid into sajdah, a common Muslim prayer. Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was making good on a promise that if he ever scored a touchdown, he would “prostrate before God” in the end zone.
The officials assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for the slide, which is not permitted as part of any celebration.
Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states: Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.
But on Tuesday morning, NFL spokesman Michael Signora clarified the interpretation of the rule.
“However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play,” Signora told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Abdullah was very understanding after the game and apparently not upset.
“For me, I just got a little too excited,” Abdullah told reporters. “I think it was for the slide.”
Abdullah said that Chiefs coach Andy Reid told him the penalty was not for the prayer but his slide.
“He said, ‘You can’t slide,’ ” Abdullah said.
Abdullah played for the Vikings from 2008-11, then took a year off to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The 29-year-old veteran safety took to Twitter on Tuesday morning with a Muslim prayer of thankfulness.
“Subhana Rabbial-’Ala” (Glory be to my Lord The Most High) http://t.co/RdKz3UfEjk
‘ Husain Abdullah (@HAbdullah39) September 30, 2014
|Bill Belichick promises, ‘We’re going to do better’||at 1:14 am ET|
Bill Belichick spoke for 10 minutes after Monday night’s debacle in Kansas City, but he didn’t need many words to sum up what he felt after his team was beaten in every possible manner, 41-14, by the Chiefs.
The team stands at 2-2, but it feels much worse. The Patriots traded away Logan Mankins and their offensive line has responded with a disastrous start. The middle of the line was somewhat improved Monday night, but Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder were beaten badly on back-to-back drives in the third quarter as the Chiefs edge rushers blew right by them.
It appears they haven’t recovered since the trade of their captain on the offensive line.
“We can sit here and have a lot of hypothetical questions,” Belichick said. “We are where we are and we’re going to do better.”
But perhaps most troubling Monday night was the defense. They allowed 303 yards in the first half, the worst defensive half of football in the Belichick era in Foxboro.
“We need to perform better,” Belichick said. “It wasn’t good enough.
“I’ve said many times, every year, we’ve got to go out and prove ourselves every year, all of us. So we all have to do that.”
It may have seemed laughable at the start of the season, but after a 41-14 pummeling at the hands of the Chiefs on Monday night in Kansas City, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was actually asked if he was going to “evaluate” the quarterback position this week before taking on the Bengals on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
The question didn’t even elicit a verbal response, just a smirk and a brief laugh.
What was no joke was Brady’s continued struggles to start 2014. He was just 14-of-23 for 159 yards, a TD pass to Brandon LaFell and two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. His QB rating was 59.9. Brady has completed 58.8 percent of his passes with a rating of 82.9, 13 points below his career average.
Belichick was asked afterward if he’s concerned about Brady’s performance after four games.
“I think we all need to perform better as a team,” Belichick answered.
When Jimmy Garoppolo came on to replace Brady with 10 minutes left in a 41-7 game, he led the Patriots on a touchdown drive on his first NFL drive. The drive was capped off when Garoppolo found Rob Gronkowski at the 5 and the tight end fought his way into the end zone.
Garoppolo’s second drive ended when he was sacked inside his own 20.
Certainly, Tom Brady knows what’s coming.
After he and his teammates were annihilated, 41-14, in Kansas City, Brady knows there will be countless critics of the Patriots, who fell to 2-2.
“There’s a lot of negativity,” Brady said. “Everyone is going to tell us how terrible we are. That’s just the NFL.”
Brady was just 14-of-23 for 159 yards. He threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, and had a wretched 59.9 rating.
“We’re trying to find what we’re good at so we can find consistency,” Brady said. “Ultimately it comes down to dependability and consistency for me.
“If you play poorly, you’re not going to win many games on the road. Confidence, I’m not worried. There’s no one that’s going to dig us out of this hole. We have to look each other in the eye.”
“We’ll have to play our best to beat [Cincinnati],” Brady said. “We’ll find out what we’re made of. We have our work cut out. We have a great football team coming in this weekend that’s undefeated.
“Probably good that it’s a short week.”
|Nate Solder: ‘I don’t think confidence has been a problem’ with offensive line||09.26.14 at 6:56 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s been a brutal week of criticism for everyone along the Patriots’ offensive line.
Even Tom Brady dropped very subtle hints this week that he needs more time to “make better decisions” and expressed concern that sometimes teams “flatten out” in their improvement and never get above a certain level.
But all of that has done nothing to shake the confidence of one those who has heard the most criticism since the Patriots escapted 16-9 Sunday against the Raiders. Nate Solder figures to once again be the starting left tackle, assigned to slowing down Tamba Hali or Justin Houston. Solder says neither he nor any of his offensive line teammates are in a confidence of crisis.
“I don’t think confidence has been a problem,” Solder insisted Friday after practice. “We’ve been building steadily the whole year and we’re going to continue to do that.
“We’re working hard to fix everything. At this point, it’s just a building process. Things hopefully improve but you never know until game day so we work hard every day to make it better.”
As for slowing Hali or Houston, Solder knows what he’s up against.
“Exceptional players, play really hard and make a lot of plays. Huge challenge for us,” Solder said.
Even with the struggles of the offensive line against the Dolphins and Raiders, Solder and Sebastian Vollmer appear to be fairly secure at the left and right tackle spots, respectively. It’s the interior line where the Patriots might decide to shake things up, especially with veteran center Ryan Wendell not appearing on the injury report.
After struggling through the first three games of the season, the Patriots offensive line is looking forward to showing that it can perform at a higher level when it takes the field Monday night in Kansas City.
If the Patriots decide to shake up the offensive line, such as starting rookie Bryan Stork at center, moving Dan Connolly to right guard or even swapping out left guard Marcus Cannon, they’ll be doing do in one of the most hostile environments in football – Arrowhead Stadium. But Solder, who played in the Big 12 at Colorado, says he’s not overly concerned.
“I imagine the crowd will get into it at some point but our main opponent is the Chiefs so that’s what we’re really focused on.”
FOXBORO — Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was again the only Patriots player missing from practice on Friday, as the team released its second formal participation report of the week, leading up to their game Monday night in Kansas City. Siliga injured his foot in the first half Sunday against the Raiders and did not return. The formal availability list doesn’t come out until Saturday, 48 hours before the game, but it would appear highly unlikely Siliga is available. The team signed defensive lineman Ben Bass to the practice squad on Friday for added roster depth.
There were no changes to the Patriots practice participation report Friday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) and linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) remain on the list were officially limited once again.
The news of the day came on the Kansas City side, where running back Joe McKnight, who had six catches for 64 yards in the win over Miami, missed practice Friday and was ruled out for Monday night. McKnight saw action in Miami after Jamaal Charles missed the game with a high-ankle sprain. Charles practice again on a limited basis but would appear ready to return to action against the Patriots.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated Thursday that he believes the running back will be ready to play Monday night against the Patriots.
“Yeah, I think so,” Reid said Thursday when asked if Charles would practice this week and play on Monday. “He’s going to practice. We’ll see how he does.”
Additionally for the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry is nursing an ankle injury and did not practice for a second straight day.
Here’s the complete report:
Did not participate
DT Sealver Siliga (ankle)
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