Patriots coordinators to use bye week to self-evaluate


Patriots coordinators to use bye week to self-evaluate

Now that the Patriots are onto their bye week, it comes time for some self-scouting, prior to their Week 10 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Whether it's building on the things that New England is doing well, or fixing some of the team's biggest issues, the Patriots coaching staff will be hard at work to point those things out before they game plan for their next opponent.

"I think there's a lot of different ways you could certainly go, in a bye week. One of the things that anybody will try to do -- and we certainly try to do the best we can at it -- is to identify areas that you need to make some progress in or make some improvements in, or at least make your players aware of some things that we need to try to be better at," said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh MacDaniels in a conference call on Tuesday.

So while self-scouting is already in place, the Patriots coaching staff will be sure to not pile on, when the players return to the facilities on Thursday. There's just not enough time to go over everything.

"You can't hit everything in a bye week, it's too short, in terms of the time that you have with the players," said McDaniels. "But we can find a few things that we feel like can make a difference for us in some area of our game. And that's definitely something that you try to get done.

"I think if you try to tackle 100 things, you probably don't get anything accomplished. So we're in the process now of trying to look back over the first half of the season, and maybe, even more specifically, the last so many games here, and try to focus on some things that we think could make us better, heading into the last eight games."

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia joined Tuesday's conference call after McDaniels, and he agreed with giving his team a "smaller scope" of the biggest issues at hand, following their self-scouting.

"Obviously that's a big part of this week for us, certainly, is to take a look at everything that we're doing, and obviously try to see some areas where we can improve, and hopefully find some areas where we're doing some things that are also okay and good, and things that we can build off of," said Patricia. "So, we'll certainly take a look at that as well."

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Alarm-puller: ‘I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan’

Intentionally or otherwise, the guy who allegedly pulled the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel Sunday morning may have also provided the average Bud Light-loving Bostonian a new motto. 

“I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan,” Dennis Harrison told police after he was arrested, according to the Boston Globe.  

Citing the State Police report, the Globe wrote Monday that Harrison was talked into pulling the alarm while at a party in Revere, with a friend driving the 25-year-old to the Boston Hilton Logan Airport hotel Sunday morning. 

Harrison reportedly walked up to the second floor and pulled the fire alarm before returning to the car, but his friend and the keys were gone. He was then picked up by police while walking away from the hotel. 

According to the Globe, Harrison pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and setting off a false fire alarm Monday and was released on personal recognizance.

Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'


Belichick missed Bennett dancing with cheerleaders: 'We'll have to get a replay'

Martellus Bennett wanted to party. The nine-year veteran had just stamped his first trip to the Super Bowl, and he was going to celebrate by doing things that would be quintessential "Football Marty." 

He grabbed some pom-poms and danced with Patriots cheerleaders.

He planned to Facetime his brother Michael, Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the Seahawks, and talk trash. "Now I’m going to the Super Bowl, mother[expletive]. Meet me in Houston."

He talked about how he'd do some baking. "Making myself a cake, and I am going to write, 'You're awesome' on the cake, and sit there, and I'll probably eat the whole thing and regret it tomorrow because I have to make sure I make weight."

It wasn't a typical reaction to making it to the final game of the season, not for a locker room half-full with players who have been there before. But it was genuine. And even Patriots coach Bill Belichick, often thought of as the no-fun police captain headquartered at Gillette Stadium, those kinds of emotions were worth appreciating.

"Yeah, I missed all of the dancing with the cheerleaders. Sorry. We’ll have to get a replay on that," Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "But you know, I’d say just in general . . . obviously it was a great win for our team and our organization last night, but it’s great to see the players who have worked so hard take so much satisfaction in their relationship with their teammates and the goal that they accomplished last night.

"Another step in a season where the team has already won 16 games but it was another significant step. When you see them reacting and congratulating each other and celebrating like that, you know you have a closeness on the team that is special. I mentioned that last night and it’s true. These guys, they work hard.

"They put up with a lot from me and they put up with a lot of significant demands and requirements here, but it’s done with the intent to try and produce a good product and a good team. They buy into it. They perform well in critical situations like last night. I take a lot of satisfaction in seeing them achieve that because they’ve worked so hard for it and I think they deserve it, but you’ve got to go out and prove it."

In order to emphasize the point that the Patriots had proved it, that they were more than a group of hard-workers, Belichick referenced a book by Jerry Izenberg that tracked the Giants for a week in 1989 -- when Belichick was defensive coordinator -- titled "No Medals for Trying." 

"This time of year everybody tries hard," Belichick said. "Everybody has a good team that is still playing. You’re only rewarded for achievement. Last night we were fortunate enough to earn that. It’s a great feeling to see everybody have that kind of interaction with each other and feel so good about their teammates and the guys they’ve worked so hard with."