No Huddle: Brady, Welker, and more postgame sound


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.

Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats


Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats

FOXBORO -- When Dion Lewis wasn't spotted at Wednesday's practice, we had to make it clear when we mentioned his absence: He had only, as far as we knew, missed the start of practice. Though unlikely, there's always the chance a player emerges from the locker room once practice has started and goes through the remaining periods of the workout. 

Now that we have the injury report for Wednesday, we know that wasn't the case for Lewis. He did not show up on the report as a limited participant, meaning he didn't participate at all. 

There were no surprises on Wednesday's injury report, with nine players listed as limited, including tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), linebacker Jamie Collins (hip) and receiver Julian Edelman (foot).

For the Bills, running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) did not participate. Bills coach Rex Ryan explained on Wednesday that McCoy aggravated his hamstring injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, but he did not rule him out for the Patriots game this coming weekend.

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
LB Zach Brown (illness)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?

Will time off in September benefit Brady down the stretch?

FOXBORO -- As far as Tom Brady is concerned, there were no silver linings to Deflategate or the month he spent in exile from his team. Don’t try to put whipped cream on that particular mound of fecal material.
Found that out Wednesday when I gingerly asked Brady whether he’s ever felt this good in mid-October.
“I feel good,” said Brady. “I felt good at this time last year though, too. From one year to the next, I’d say I’ve become pretty efficient with how I get ready to play.
So the missing of September?
“I always wish I could be out there playing,” he pointed out. “I’d much rather be playing than not playing, but it is what it is. I feel good at this point. But like I said, I felt good last year, I felt good the year before that, and I think every year at this time of year just based on the right routine and kind of doing the right things to get yourself feeling good.”
The line of questioning was prompted by two things.
First, Brady’s played 256 games -- regular season and playoffs -- since 2000. His 31 postseason starts are the most in NFL history and he’ll add to it this year. No quarterback’s ever had a schedule like Brady’s for as long as Brady and the punishment he takes (witness Denver last January) would have destroyed the Montanas and Mannings with whom he’s compared. The extended layoff had to do a body good. And the level at which Brady’s playing right now -- and may continue to because he’s fresher -- can only mean good things.
Second, all the band, resistance and quickness work Brady does will never make him fast. But it has seemed to make him more decisive and determined that -- when he does opt to run -- the body will cooperate and arrive at the appointed destination without disaster.
Sunday, Brady both bought time for completions and embarked on short-range scrambles that picked up key first downs.
When Brady talked last week about making Pittsburgh “defend every inch of the field,” Brady scooting into open areas was a perfect illustration of that.
“If there are two or three plays a game that you can make just moving the pocket, or sliding, or buying your receivers more time, or scrambling on third-and-two, it’s just one more thing that they have to defend,” said Brady. “We made – Jimmy [Garoppolo] made a bunch of those when he was in there early. Jacoby [Brissett] made some.
“It’s nice to be able to do that because I think it’s a little discouraging for a defense when they feel like they’ve got you covered or they’ve got the right call on it, and all of the sudden – I mean, I don’t think they’re preparing for me scrambling for first downs. I know they’re not working on that. They’re working on stopping Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], and stopping Julian [Edelman], and Danny, and Hogs [Chris Hogan], LeGarrette [Blount] and James [White]. That’s not one of their top 10 things on their hit list, so I think it’s pretty discouraging when it happens and hopefully we can keep it going.”
At this point, Brady’s running has to at least be in the scouting report.
Although Rex Ryan isn’t buying.
“I’d like to see him do it more often,” said Ryan when asked if the scrambling of Brady was becoming annoying. “Put him in the option, that’s one thing that doesn’t scare you much, you live with that. What scares you is when he lets the ball go. He’s able to pick up a few first downs, But I think we may have the edge in running ability this week. I may go out there and make that bold statement. They may be worried about (Tyrod Taylor) more than than we’ll be about Tom running.”