Brady knows playoff wins are hard to come by

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Brady knows playoff wins are hard to come by

FOXBORO -- Much has changed among Patriots personnel since the team's last title. 
Quarterback Tom Brady, however, persists. 
As one of just three players (Vince Wilfork and Deion Branch being the other two) who were on New England's 2004 Super Bowl Champion roster, Brady has a unique perspective on the postseason. He knows the tragedy, the triumph, and every shade of feeling in between. 
One thing he's grateful for? Going through the gamut with head coach Bill Belichick. 
"He is very consistent," Brady said. "I think there is one thing you can always expect about coach Belichick: he is going to give you everything hes got. Whether its this week, or you come to our passing camp in May, he coaches just as hard. 
"And I think that is why we have been able to make improvements over the course of the year. Because it is not like, Ok guys, this week is not that important. It is always like, Look, this week is important because it is only going to build on next week."
Belichick has similarly commended Brady for being steadfast. Clearly, it counts for a lot: Brady is not just the only quarterback among the four still playing who's won a Super Bowl, he's the only one who's even been to a Super Bowl.
Doing the time, earning trust, has earned him a bit of breathing room on the field. 
"I think over the years Ive gained flexibility within what my coaches allow me to do. I see certain looks and I know to get to a particular play that may be better." 
"Sometimes it doesnt always turn out that way," he grinned ruefully. "Those are the ones you go to the sideline and coach yells at you for changing the play. But when everything goes right, I think it is real positive for our team. That is part of the experienced part that really pays off; youve been in enough situations to understand what may work and what may not work."
His experience has become more varied in recent seasons. 

Brady's earliest years might have tricked him into thinking winning is easy; hoisting three Lombardi Trophies by age 27 might do that to a guy. But he has learned in the years since -- via six playoff losses that include two Super Bowl heartbreaks -- that easy has nothing to do with it.  "Believe me, I have thought about that a lot myself," he admitted. "It's hard to win the Super Bowl, no question. We have made it there, since Ive been here, five times. It is hard to get to this point; it is hard to get to the AFC Championship game. You need a lot of things to go your way over the course of the year. 
"I think we are fortunate to be in this game and have this opportunity. There are a lot of things that need to happen positively over the course of a long season to have this chance and I am glad we have it."

Hanigan rehabs at Pawtucket this weekend, Swihart out of boot

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Hanigan rehabs at Pawtucket this weekend, Swihart out of boot

BOSTON - Ryan Hanigan (neck), who was with the team today, will play nine innings for Pawtucket Saturday and Sunday and will be evaluated after that. It's possible he could be activated for the start of the Texas series Monday.

* Blake Swihart (ankle) is walking around without a boot.

"He's improving,'' reported John Farrell. "He got on the treadmill here today and the last couple of days, [he's done] more walking. He's more free. I can't say that he's beginning to job or any kind of running progression; I think that's still too early. But the fact that he's able to tolerate more ground-based activity is encouraging. There's still no timetable for him to initiate any baseball acvtivities, other than throwing -- which he's doing right now."

* Joe Kelly (groin) threw a 20-pitch bullpen Thursday and is scheduled to throw another on Saturday.

"There's steps being made,'' said Farrell. "There's probably going to be a need for at least two additional bullpens before we get him back in a ballgame.''

OFFSEASON

Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

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Turner on Instagram: Leaving Celtics ‘one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made’

On Instagram, Evan Turner thanks the Boston fans after he leaves the Celtics for a four-year, $70 million free agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

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Friday’s Red Sox-Angels lineups: Ramirez out, Holt back

Hanley Ramirez is out of the Red Sox starting lineup as they open a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park tonight against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

Ramirez is day-to-day after he hurt his right side on a swing and miss on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays and left that game in the eighth inning.

Travis Wright moves to first place in place of Ramirez and Marco Hernandez will play third. Brock Holt returns from the disabled list and will play left field.

Steven Wright (8-5, 2.18 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss in Texas in his last start. Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.64) starts for the Angels. 

The lineups: 

ANGELS
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 3B
Daniel Nava LF
C.J. Cron 1B
Johnny Giovotella 2B
Carlos Perez C
Andrelton Simmons SS

Jhoulys Chacin RHP 

RED SOX
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt LF
Travis Shaw 1B
Christian Vazquez C
Marco Hernandez 3B

Steven Wright RHP