No Huddle: Brady, Welker, and more postgame sound

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No Huddle: Brady, Welker, and more postgame sound

FOXBORO -- There's plenty of post-game sound to digest following New England's 20-18 loss to the Cardinals.
Here are the highlights.
Rob Gronkowski on Stephen Gostkowski taking the blame (the kicker missed the game-winning 42-yard field goal) and if Gronk considers it a team loss:
"Definitely it's a team loss. Stephen does a great job. He kicked four great field goals to keep us in the game. The loss is not on him. The loss could be on me. I got that penalty at the end, holding the guy. You can't have things like that happen. It's definitely not on Stephen. He's a great kicker and a great guy."
Gronkowski was actually whistled for two penalties on New England's final drive. The first was a holding call that wiped out a 30-yard go-ahead touchdown run by Danny Woodhead. Gronk was livid, believing he was victim of just being bigger than the guy he grabbed. The second penalty -- a false start -- came two plays later.
Tom Brady on whether or not he feels this was a game where he needs to say something to Gostkowski after:
"No, I mean, you miss kicks, you throw interceptions, you fumble the ball, you miss tackles. Over the course of a long season those things happen. There's no one play that lost the game; we did a lot of things that allowed us to lose this game. We had a lot of opportunity out there to make more plays than we did. Hopefully it never comes down to a 42-yard field goal at the end. Hopefully we do a better job on offense so it's not that kind of game at the end.
Current Cardinals, former Patriots safety James Sanders on the Gillette Stadium crowd booing the home team... frequently:
"It didn't surprise me. I let the guys know that the Patriots have great fans, but sometimes they can be impatient. I knew if it was a tight game, there would be some boos. We took it to them early and got on top of them and the fans turned on them. That helped us out a lot today."
New England's offensive impotence rankled the fans from the start. Whether it was the team's decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-2, or the election to have Danny Woodhead run it on third-and-32, Patriots fans didn't like the play calling and were noisy about it.
Sanders on how much losing Aaron Hernandez hurt the Patriots:
"They are a very potent offense, especially with him in the line-up. When he went down it took away a lot of things they are able to do. It's unfortunate for them, but, it helped us out as a unit. I just pray that he's healthy."
Hernandez suffered an ankle injury when teammate Julian Edelman, whom Hernandez was blocking for, landed on his ankle after being tackled. Was the fuss over his absence unwarranted? Not really. Only three players played every single snap in Week 1: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Hernandez.
But reactions as to whether or not the team will thrive without the valuable tight end (literally -- he signed a five-year, 37.5 million extension a few weeks ago) varied depending on who was asked....
Brandon Lloyd on how much the game changed without Hernandez:
"I think we just pretty much adapted. I didn't think twice about the adjustments that we made and just figured that we'd step up and move on."
Lloyd ended up leading all receivers with eight catches on 13 targets for 60 yards.
Wes Welker on if he was surprised to not be as involved in the offense as in years past:
"You know, you want to be out there, I think as a competitor and everything else, especially on Sundays. It's what we play for and what we for for, and you want to be out there. At the same time, Coach felt like whatever was best for the team, and I'm for that and I totally understand that, and I'm just there to help out however I can.
Fascinating. Paranoia over the "Welker Phase-Out" was amped up when the receiver was replaced in the starting lineup by Edelman. He didn't really get a hand in things until Hernandez got hurt. Welker has somehow always managed to play the good soldier role and he did Sunday night, but not without expressing desire to be on the field instead of the bench.
Welker on if there's an injury reason behind his playing time being cut:
"No. No, I feel great."
Kyle Arrington on if he feels the team was focused Sunday:
"Credit the Cardinals; they deserved to win this game. It started in the week in practice. Everybody will probably tell you that everybody knew what they were doing and we still couldn't even get it done in some instances on the practice field -- blown calls, lack of communication or whatever the case is, and it showed up today in the game. We had our chances, but like I said, give all the credit to Arizona.
Hard to argue with Arrington. Welker and Logan Mankins also mentioned the Bad Week of Practice, saying guys weren't on top of their assignments and doing their jobs. In that regard, the miscues on game day were unfortunately not surprising.
Matthew Slater on whether or not the team can pick themselves up after a difficult loss:
"We have 14 games left; now is not the time to panic. Now is not the time to get down on ourselves because if we do it's going to be a long season for us. So we just need to take it one day at a time and continue to try and perfect our craft as we come in here and watch the film tomorrow, and learn from it, and come out on the practice field, and put together good days of practice. And hopefully it will transfer to the game field."
Slater is always good for perspective. That's why the guy is a captain. 12 of the 20 teams to have played two games (as of 8:00 PM Sunday) have split 1-1 like the Patriots, including the Ravens, Packers, and Giants.

Cyrus Jones: I was scared of Tom Brady growing up as a Ravens fan

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Cyrus Jones: I was scared of Tom Brady growing up as a Ravens fan

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has struck fear into the hearts of many a cornerback during his 15 years as a starter. Apparently that includes corners who haven't even entered the league yet. 

Cyrus Jones, a corner out of Alabama and New England's second-round pick in this year's draft, grew up in Baltimore as a staunch Ravens supporter. When his team squared off against the Patriots over the years, he said that Brady never allowed him to feel confident. 

"I grew up a Ravens fan so anytime we played the Patriots, I definitely was scared of Tom Brady," Jones said after being introduced to reporters by Patriots ownership. "But obviously, you know, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks to step foot into this league, and I'm just honored to be a part of his team.

"He's a winner, and everybody likes winning. I consider myself a winner so I'm looking forward to working with him and trying to get to another Super Bowl and winning."

Jones now joins a cornerback group that will compete against Brady regularly in practice that includes Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Justin Coleman, Darryl Roberts and EJ Biggers.

Jones ready to follow in Revis, Law's footsteps with No. 24

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Jones ready to follow in Revis, Law's footsteps with No. 24

FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, the No. 24 is held in high esteem when it comes to the cornerback position. Ty Law, a team Hall of Famer, wore those digits for 10 years. Darrelle Revis played just one season in New England, but he helped the team to its fourth Super Bowl title with No. 24 on his back. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft announced on Friday that second-round draft pick Cyrus Jones, a corner from Alabama, would be the latest to sport the number. 

"Cyrus will be wearing a special number to our family, No. 24," Kraft said. "There's a lot of good karma that goes with that number."

Jones was just two years old when Ty Law began his rookie season in 1995, but he said he understood Law's historical significance to the franchise despite their age difference.

"I knew who Ty Law was before I came here," Jones said, "and watched him as a young kid still trying to learn the game. Definitely remember him making a lot of plays on TV."

Of course there have been others who have worn No. 24 since Law and before Jones, including Kyle Arrington, Bradley Fletcher, and most recently Rashaan Melvin. But what Revis did for the Patriots in 2014 is still fresh in Jones' mind, having beaten Jones' hometown team, the Baltimore Ravens, in the Divisional Round of the playoffs before helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX.

"It's definitely a lot of history, guys like Ty Law, Darrelle Revis," Jones said. "Great defensive backs and great players. Two of the greatest players ever to step foot in the National Football League. There's definitely a legacy behind the number, and I want to make my own legacy with the number."

Curran: New deal's a win-win for Amendola and Patriots

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Curran: New deal's a win-win for Amendola and Patriots

Danny Amendola’s not going anywhere. The Patriots wideout -- whose 2016 salary of $5 million and cap hit of $6.8 million were sticking out like a sore thumb -- reworked his deal according to a league source.

Amendola, who also reworked his contract in 2015, agreed to a two-year, $7.35 million deal with $750,000 in roster bonuses and incentives. Mike Garofalo of FOX Sports first reported the deal (yay, Mike!!).

In a statement, Amendola said, “It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys. We have one goal – to win another Championship and that’s all we care about.”

This is a win-win for Amendola and the team.

Signed as a free agent in 2013 to a five-year, $28 million deal, injuries prevented Amendola from settling into a role until the tail end of 2014. Once he did, he became a valuable alternate weapon to Julian Edelman as opposed to the redundancy as a quick, mid-range little dude.

In the 2014 Super Bowl run, Amendola had 11 catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns in three postseason games. Last year, he caught 65 for 648 yards and three touchdowns and led the league in punt return average (12-yard average on 23 returns).

At 30 and with a playing style and slight build that leads to injuries, Amendola -- despite his recent work -- probably would have had a tough time getting a better deal on the open market.

Meanwhile, given the track record of receiver pickups in New England, it’s very likely a free agent signee with more upside (like Mohamed Sanu or Marvin Jones) would have cost more but contributed less. Having Tom Brady’s trust, an understanding of the program and the ability to catch 60 passes and return punts are hard to overstate.

This redo was something everyone saw as needing to happen. Now that it has, the Patriots pay structure at wideout isn’t out of whack as it was and the team has some certainty going into minicamps about who will be here.

The team now has on its roster (in order of perceived on-field value) Edelman, Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Malcolm Mitchell, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper, Devin Lucien and De’Andre Carter in the fold.

Washington, Dobson, Harper, Lucien and Carter will fight to stick.