Patriots determined to win turnover battle


Patriots determined to win turnover battle

FOXBORO -- When it comes to turnovers, the Patriots defense has a pretty simple idea in mind.
"Anytime we can get Tom Brady the ball, anytime the defense can get our offense the ball, it's going to help our team win."
So said Rob Ninkovich on Wednesday. But ask any member of New England's 'D' and you'll probably hear the same thing.
"Anytime they're on the field, they're scoring, they're putting points up," Ninkovich continued. "The more times we can get turnovers and get them the ball, the more it's going to help us out in the long run."
The Patriots have six interceptions and eight forced fumbles through five games. Four of the last five turnovers caused by the defense have translated to points scored by the offense.
New England's quarterback is appreciative.
"I think weve done a great job of getting the ball off the other team," Brady said. "Like last week, its a totally different game if we dont get that fumble there at the end or that strip-sack that Rob got. That strip that Sterling Moore got on Demaryius Thomas, theyre critical. I think offensively, we have to understand were going up against a team thats created I think 14 fumbles. I dont think theyve recovered them all, but thats a lot of fumbles in five games. I think that really speaks to their tenacity, them getting after the football."
Don't forget, before complimenting his opponent, Brady first said New England's no slouch.
Safety Patrick Chung said it comes down to one thing: Practice.
It may be true a guy can have 'a nose for the ball,' but it's more true that working every single day, on every single situation, will produce favorable results for multiple guys.
"Whenever the ball's in the air, you just try to get it," Chung stated simply. "It's just something we practice all the time. Ball's in the air -- go get it. If the ball's on the ground -- go get it. Even if it's an incomplete pass. Just pick it up and act like it's a fumble."
Even Bill Belichick admitted this week he's pleased with his team's giveawaytakeaway ratio. As he should -- New England's plus-10 is tied with Atlanta for best in the NFL.
He just wants to make sure the Patriots don't rest on past performances.
"Hopefully we can be on the plus side of the turnovers against Seattle, but thats hard to do because they do an excellent job of taking it away and they do a great job of protecting it," said Belichick. "Their backs really run hard, they get a lot of extra yardage. Thats often a time when backs will be less protective of the ball because theyre struggling for those extra yards and trying to break tackles and all that but not these guys. They run hard, break tackles, gain extra yards and dont fumble.
"Well see how it all plays out Sunday but just because it happened in a couple other games or didnt happen, I dont think that really means anything for Sunday."
Sounds like a chance for Belichick's team to prove him wrong.

Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas


Kraft OK with the idea of a Raiders move to Las Vegas

Robert Kraft doesn't seem all that concerned about the potential pitfalls of having an NFL franchise in Las Vegas.

The temptations found in that city, he says, can now be found around any dark corner of the Internet. That's part of the reason why he would be supportive of the Raiders if owner Mark Davis chose to move the team to Vegas from Oakland. 

He explained his reasoning to NFL Media's Judy Battista at the league's annual spring meetings on Tuesday. 

"I think we can put the discipline and controls in [for] whatever anyone might be worried about," Kraft said. "With the Internet and the age of the Internet and what's going on in today's world, it's so much different than when I came in 20 odd years ago. If you'd like to move there and they're supportive and Oakland doesn't do what they should do, I'm behind them."

The comments echoed what Kraft told USA Today earlier this week.

"I came into the league in ’94," Kraft said. "Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology-wise. The [sports gambling] risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas. Whatever the risks, they are no greater [in Las Vegas] than playing a game in New Jersey."

Davis' hope to move the Raiders stems from an inability to get a deal done for a new stadium in Oakland.

"I have given my commitment to Las Vegas," Davis said this week, "and if they can get done what they're talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas."

Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers


Curran: Roger The Dodger continues his evasive maneuvers

Roger Goodell is doing that damn thing again down in North Carolina this afternoon.

The NFL commissioner -- who once could carry off a press conference with a breezy, in-command air -- came off like a carrot-topped armadillo talking to reporters at the end of the May owner’s meetings in Charlotte.

Defensive, clipped and disingenuous, a monotone-speaking Goodell was asked about Deflategate and Monday’s Congressional report that alleged the NFL had lobbyists trying to pressure concussion researchers into using NFL-approved doctors.

Asked about the appeal for a rehearing of Tom Brady’s case on Monday, Goodell said, “I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that . . . I’m not really focused on that at all.”

Goodell did not answer the second part of the question, whether or not he’d keep Tom Brady off the field if the court case was unresolved.

The answer, one can only presume would be, “Abso-friggin-lutely.”

As for the Congressional report, Goodell had the gall to answer that he “didn’t see the report.”

He then went on to disagree with what was in the report -- meaning his initial response was less than candid.

A few more minutes of short answers and the show was over with nobody much the wiser than when he began. 

Kraft on Deflategate: 'The whole thing has been mishandled'


Kraft on Deflategate: 'The whole thing has been mishandled'

At the NFL's brief annual spring meeting, which typically lasts about 24 hours, Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft provided some equally brief remarks about his quarterback. 

Asked for some comment on Tom Brady's legal situation, Kraft told NFL Media's Judy Battista a version of what he has been saying for the last few months as it relates to Deflategate.

"We've been behind him," Kraft said, "and the whole thing has been mishandled, in my opinion. It's unfortunate, and we hope he prevails."

The NFLPA and Brady's legal team filed a petition to the Second Circuit on Monday requesting that he be granted a rehearing. The Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension upon appeal earlier this offseason.