Mayo: Outside noise has no effect on Patriots

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Mayo: Outside noise has no effect on Patriots

You can't pick up a newspaper, surf the Internet, turn on the television, or listen to the radio without hearing it.

"The Patriots are in trouble!" "They can't play defense!" "They're flawed!" etc., etc.

Just how bad is it? CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran started his weekly 'Quick Slants' segment with Jerod Mayo by declaring that the Patriots were "making their run at Andrew Luck and the first overall pick."

Curran was joking, of course, but the point is that people around New England are panicking after the last two games.

Guess who doesn't care?

"I don't pay attention to you, man," Mayo told Curran after the Luck jab. "I don't pay attention to anybody out there except the people in that locker room and my coaches."

That's good, because "out there" isn't the happiest place right now. Gone are the days, at least right now, where Patriots fans go into a game confident they'll cruise to a win. But Mayo says that the only confidence they need is that of the people within the confines of their locker room.

"We have confidence in our teammates, we have confidence in our coaches," Mayo said. "Coach Bill Belichick has won a lot of games, so we have confidence in him especially."

That said, Mayo knows the defense has to get better. Last week was an improvement from the Pittsburgh game, but it was that last Giants drive that will stand out in everyone's minds.

"We're trying to get better each and every week," Mayo said. "We still have a young team but at this point in the season, we're halfway through the season, we have to get better. Hopefully we can continue to build on that success from last week and hopefully finish the game."

That doesn't mean pressing and trying to do too much, though.

"At the end of the day . . . you have to do your job," Mayo said. "Anytime you go out there and try to freelance and things like that you give up more plays than you make. So Coach Belichick has always preached to do your job."

As for the naysayers and doubters, Mayo and the rest of the Patriots aren't listening. You're either with them, or without them.

"It doesn't matter who has confidence in us as long as the guys in that locker room have confidence in each other," Mayo said. That's the mindset we have and if you don't pick us we don't care."

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

FOXBORO -  A verrrrrryyyy long time ago, the Patriots targeted September. There were t-shirts and everything printed back in 2002 as the Patriots came off of their first Super Bowl title.

The names of that season’s first four opponents – Steelers, Jets, Chiefs and Chargers – were all listed on a bullseye.

How’d that work out? Well, they hit the bullseye for most of September, winning the first three. Then they lost four in a row and the notion of “targeting” a segment of the schedule around these parts went the way of the Dodo bird.

Which may be why, as truly remarkable as this September’s been, Bill Belichick isn’t taking any bows after three damn wins.

“We’re just really focused on Buffalo,” Belichick told me Friday morning when I asked about whether winning the first three in the face of some adversity was a point of pride. “I don’t really care about last week. I don’t really care about two weeks ago. I don’t really care about last year. I don’t really care about four years ago. I don’t really care. I think we’re just trying to get ready and compete against Buffalo. That’s our challenge this week.

“The rest of it – it’s in the books. It is what it is,” he said. “So write whatever you want to write about it. It’s good, it’s bad, I mean I don’t really care. It’s done. We’ve got to do a good job of what we have here with Buffalo. We can’t live in the past. And I respect where you’re coming from, I really do. It’s not like I’m trying to be dismissive of it, but I really don’t care. It doesn’t really matter. Nothing that happened last year, last week, last month really has anything to do with this week.”

Things change after Sunday. The best player the franchise has ever had rejoins a team that – in spite of the adversity – flourished without him. Even though the competition wasn’t what one would call “stiff” compared to challenges Brady faced as recently as last January, it’s still remarkable.

Asked about Brady’s looming return, wide receiver Julian Edelman also redirected.

“We got a game before that,” he pointed out. “When he comes back we'll obviously be happy but we got a job ahead of us with the Buffalo Bills.” 

Asked if there’s some pride taken in the beginning, Edelman replied, “It’s just having pride in your job in general. Really just focusing every week and trying to improve. I say it every week on these cameras, if you try to get better and you get better every week, you're gonna do these things. 

“It tells you that you have a mentally tough team that goes out there and works hard and prepares hard and does the extra things,” Edelman added. “I've been around here a little while and that's just the mentality we've always had and continue to have. We have a tough one against the Bills and we'll see how it tests out against these guys.”

 

 

Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

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Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

The inury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

OUT
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

QUESTIONABLE
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)