|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.
|Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I just do what I’m told. I’m not overanalyzing anything’ regarding removal from Monday’s game||at 8:38 am ET|
Making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan, Tom Brady attempted to explain the team’s poor play in Monday’s embarrassing loss to the Chiefs and why the already-struggling offense appears to be getting worse. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady acknowledged he did not have a good game, but he downplayed the importance of one disastrous night for him and the team.
“I think you’ve got to have enough mental toughness to endure through all the situations,” Brady said. “This game, it tests your will, it tests your mental toughness, it tests your discipline and your work ethic. I think those are the things that are going to be tested by us the rest of the year. I don’t think it’s just going to be easy to just roll out helmets out there and expect to go out there and win games. We’ve got a lot of tough opponents, the competition’s tough.
“It was a tough loss the other night, but whether you lose by one point or you lose by 30, they’re all going to count the same in the end. We’ve got to figure out the things that we need to do better, which is quite a few things in order to be a lot more competitive than we were. It was a disappointing loss, but at the same time we’ve got to be able to move on. We’ve got a short week and we’ve got a great opponent. We don’t want one bad week to turn into two bad weeks. That’s where we’ve got to show, like I said, our mental toughness and our ability to move forward, learn from our mistakes and hopefully not repeat them.”
Brady was removed from the game in the fourth quarter, with the result no longer in doubt, and backup Jimmy Garoppolo entered and threw a touchdown pass. Bill Belichick laughed off a question in his postgame news conference about a quarterback controversy.
“I just do what I’m told. I’m not overanalyzing anything. We were getting our butts kicked,” Brady said. “It was a situation where we didn’t have a good game. That’s what coach wanted to do, so that’s what we did.”
Routs of the Patriots in the Belichick-Brady era are rare, and past teams have been able to avoid allowing bad games to lead to bad seasons. However, the 2014 team has underwhelmed since the start of the season, leading to questions about whether these Patriots can turn things around.
“There’s no magic play, there’s no magic scheme. It’s us as players playing a lot better than we’re playing,” Brady said. “This hasn’t been an isolated incident. I don’t think offensively we’ve played well all year. I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time. We’ve got to figure out the reasons why we’re not playing as well as we’re capable and try to improve them.”
|Tedy Bruschi on D&H: ‘Right now, [Tom Brady] isn’t one of the elite quarterbacks’||09.30.14 at 4:14 pm ET|
In the aftermath of the Patriots’ 41-14 demolition at the hands of the Chiefs on Monday Night Football, former Patriots linebacker (and current ESPN analyst) Tedy Bruschi pulled no punches in examining the state of his former team. He suggested that the Patriots were out-coached when they were on defense (praising Chiefs coach Andy Reid for using misdirection plays to open up the field, particularly the weak side of the line for the running game) and simply beaten up when their offense was on the field.
“You’re comparing the world championship teams, of course there’s a major talent deficit,” Bruschi, in his weekly interview on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, said. “They’re not playing at a world championship level.”
He noted that Chandler Jones can be coached to improve his technique and do a better job of holding his ground on the weak side of the line for runs, while adding that he felt that Vince Wilfork had performed adequately at the point of attack, with the issue being the large holes emerging next to him on the line. Bruschi said that he felt the defense would have to be the defining presence of the team given some of the offensive shortcomings on display that show little possibility of immediate resolution.
No one was beyond blame for the offensive woes. Asked if Tom Brady remained an elite quarterback, Bruschi was candid.
“Right now, he’s not one of the elite quarterbacks, just based on performance. I can’t say that,” said Bruschi. “Based on numbers, wins and losses, accuracy, throws down the field — no. He’s not. He’s not playing like it.”
|Rodney Harrison on MFB: ‘[Tom] Brady just looks like he’s scared to death back there’||at 12:37 pm ET|
NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots’ embarrassing 41-14 loss to the Chiefs on Monday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Harrison said he was “shocked” at the performance by his former team, as the Patriots were dominated for one of the rare times in the Bill Belichick era in Foxboro
“I’m trying to be mellow, but it really hurt me,” Harrison said. “I’m not used to seeing a team go out that was so unprepared, a team that was flat-out embarrassed. You expect your best players to step up and be able to make plays, and you put on that tape and you just see quarterbacks not afraid to go at [Darrelle] Revis, Vince Wilfork, he missed a tackle that could have stopped that touchdown, [Jerod] Mayo gets burned on a touchdown, [Tom] Brady just looks like he’s scared to death back there.
“It’s so many issues. If it was just one issue, then you could probably fix it. But it’s so many issues, that’s the concern that I have.”
Added Harrison: “This was a case of the Patriots going into a situation and you’d think the players just showed up and said, ‘OK, I’m part of the Patriots, we’re going to win this game.’ But if you look at the Oakland film, Oakland should have beat the Patriots. So this is a team that everyone says, ‘Hey, don’t worry, they’ll be fine.’ No, you have to worry, because they have a lot of looming issues.
“You look at the offensive line, they looked like basically Kansas City was going up against a high school offensive line. They have no deep threat. Where’s the deep threat? Then you pay Danny Amendola all this money and he’s just virtually nonexistent. So if I’m Bill, I’m definitely concerned. You look on the defensive side of the ball, you can’t even get a pass rush. So it’s a lot of issues there.”
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.
|Patriots offensive line continues to make changes, struggling to find right combination||at 12:29 am ET|
The Patriots made a few changes to the struggling offensive line prior to Monday’s game against the Chiefs by starting two rookies — Bryan Stork at center and Cameron Fleming at right guard (his first time ever playing the position), as well as moving Dan Connolly to left guard.
In addition, the team deactivated Jordan Devey, who had started the first three games of the season. Even with the changes, it did not stick as the team continued to rotate players in and out almost every series throughout the game trying to find a combination that works.
Here is our breakdown of the line (left tackle to right tackle) for each of their 11 drives:
- Drive 1: Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Bryan Stork, Cameron Fleming, Sebastian Vollmer (Punt)
- Drive 2: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Punt)
- Drive 3: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Punt)
- Drive 4: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Marcus Cannon (Punt)
- Drive 5: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Punt)
- Drive 6: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Fumble)
- Drive 7: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Interception)
- Drive 8: Cannon, Connolly, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Touchdown)
- Drive 9: Solder, Connolly, Stork, Ryan Wendell, Vollmer (Interception)
- Drive 10: Solder: Wendell, Stork, Fleming, Cannon (Touchdown)
- Drive 11: Cannon, Wendell, Stork, Fleming, Vollmer (Punt)
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.”
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