No Huddle: Belichick on Hernandez, Winslow, Ravens 'D'

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No Huddle: Belichick on Hernandez, Winslow, Ravens 'D'

Bill Belichick spent the majority of his Tuesday conference call talking about game prep for the Ravens, but also hit on some Patriots or football-related topics.

Here are some leftovers from his Q&A with reporters:

Are the defensive wrinkles you see from coordinator Dean Pees based on stuff he did when coaching in New Englandbetween 2004-2009?

BB: "I dont think were seeing anything revolutionary; things that are a little different from some of the things they did last year or things theyre doing more of this year wrinkles in their dime package and things like that. Its not anything that weve never seen before, like I said, some of the percentages of it or the emphasis on it, those things change from year to year. Even if the coordinator didnt change, some of those things would change anyway."

What have you seen from the guys who have been tabbed to fill injured linebacker Terrell Suggs role?

BB: "They all are a little bit different. Albert McClellan is in there too. Theyre all a little bit different but theyre talented players and theyre still very good defensively. They play well as a unit and the players that have stepped in for him, which is a combination of all those guys, they all do a good job."

It sounds like you guys are going to be adding Kellen Winslow. What does he add to the mix?

BB: "Im not going to talk about any players that arent on the current active roster."

How have expectations, whether its from you or the coaching fraternity, changed with regard to kickers when it comes to making field goals through the years? It seems like the improvement level has gone up drastically since youve entered the game. How does that play into your expectation as a coach?

BB: "I think, just fundamentally, anytime you send your field goal unit out onto the field, theres only one reason why youre sending them out there. As a coach, if youre not confident in that unit then you shouldnt be putting them out there on the field. The only reason they go out there is to score points. Why else would they be out there?"

When you were coaching in the '70s and early 80's, was it 'OK, were sending them out there but our fingers are crossed?'

BB: "No, I can honestly say I never felt like that, no. I coached special teams for a number of years early in my career and Ive been a head coach for quite a few years and I can honestly say . . . I think one time when I was with the Giants, we tried a 73-yard field goal with one second left at the end of the half or something like that. Other than that kick, I cant think of a time that Ive ever sent that unit out onto the field that I wasnt confident that we would score."

Any update on Aaron Hernandez, who suffered a low-ankle sprain in last Sunday's game against the Cardinals?

BB: "We will have one Wednesday, tomorrow after practice."

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.