Belichick expects Texans to blitz often

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Belichick expects Texans to blitz often

FOXBORO -- It's Saturday. But for the Patriots, today is Friday. And just two days before Monday night's showdown against the Houston Texans, Bill Belichick did his best to try and break down the Texans' defense, and what their scheme will be at Gillette Stadium.

"Yeah, a lot of man coverage, a lot of pressure," said Belichick before Saturday's practice. "Its mostly all man coverage, really. In the end, even the zones are matched so, yes, theyre very disruptive up front. A little bit of secondary pressure, but not a lot. Its more linebacker pressure and man coverage. Thats what they do."

And that pressure comes often, according to the Patriots' coach, when asked if the Texans like to blitz a lot.

"Oh yeah, they do," said Belichick. "They bring five a lot and they bring six some, but they bring five quite a bit. J.J. Watt isnt always in the same place. He flips sides in their base defense depending on the formation. Then in their sub defense, they usually line him up to the offensive right. They run a lot of games with him so even though hes lined up in one spot when the ball is snapped, he can be rushing out here or out there, its not always straight ahead.

"They do a good job of running games with a four-man line," he added. "They also mix in games with their fifth rusher so your left guard, your left tackle, your center, really anybody can end up on anybody because of the multiple games that they run in passing situations. You can say, OK, were going to help him here, but after the ball is snapped, he might not even be there. There is plenty of that. And Antonio Smith is active in there and Connor Barwin and Whitney Mercilus now or Brooks Reed. Those guys are all pretty fast too. Its easy for them to run games and switch rush lane responsibilities because theyre fast enough that they can get there. Its not just taking a slow guy and looping him around. Those guys are fast enough to loop around and still get the quarterback. Its hard to say, This guy is going to double him, because hes not just a sitting duck."

Bruins cancel practice to 'regroup' after bad loss to Islanders

Bruins cancel practice to 'regroup' after bad loss to Islanders

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins were supposed to hit the ice for the eighth day in a row on Tuesday following their empty 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon, but those plans were scrubbed.

The reeling Black and Gold instead cancelled practice, with only Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes and Zane McIntyre taking the ice at Warrior Ice Arena and the rest of the B’s hitting the giant reset button after an embarrassing loss.

“I think it’s one of those [things] where you’ve got to regroup and recharge the batteries, and feel better,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Maybe a little bit of fatigue was part of it [Monday vs. the Isles] and you use a day like today to look forward, look at videos and be better the next day. It happens today and we have another game tomorrow [against Detroit].”

While it is true that the Bruins and Winnipeg Jets have played more games than anybody else in the NHL in this wacky season with a condensed schedule, the B’s leaders weren’t having it as an excuse with both the Maple Leafs and Senators holding an incredible six games in hand on Boston. Blown opportunities against bad opponents are exactly the recipe for missing the playoffs, as they have in each of the past two seasons, and the Bruins are tracking to do that again.

“All of the teams are in the same situation. It’s about managing and finding ways to be at your best every night and in every game. Yes, maybe [the condensed schedule] is part of it, but you can’t just put the blame on that. We’re professionals and we need to show up every game.”

The Bruins didn’t show up against the Islanders on Monday afternoon and basically pulled their second no-show vs. the Isles on home ice this season. There’s no excuse for that given the B’s current situation battling for the postseason. 

Maybe a day off the ice will improve that situation and maybe it’s simply rewarding a team that didn’t earn it on Monday afternoon, but the B’s have to hope it’s much more of the former than the latter. 

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that stunts like Antonio Brown’s Sunday night video are the kind that get good players shipped out of town.

“He's a great player, respected largely in the locker room but incidents such as this don't help him in that regard,” said Tomlin told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette and others at a Tuesday press conference in Pittsburgh. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team. Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.” 

Tomlin, who referred to the Patriots as “a--holes” after the Steelers beat Kansas City in a Divisional Playoff game, apologized for his profanity and the other off-color comments made in the 17-minute broadcast.

“Like to say the language on the video is regrettable, by me and by others,” Tomlin stated.” That's why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and interactions between us. As a parent, as a member of the community I take that very seriously. I issue an apology in that regard.”

Tomlin added that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect on the game, on the Patriots, on the Steelers. Game is too big.”

Returning to Brown – who has yet to address why he thought this was a great idea – Tomlin said, “It was foolish of him to do that, selfish and inconsiderate. It was violation of our policy, league policy. He has to grow from this. He works extremely hard, he's extremely talented and those things get minimized with incidents like this."