Ware leaves mark on Patriots

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Ware leaves mark on Patriots

FOXBORO To hear coaches talk up another talented player is a common ritual in all sports.

But to hear Patriots coach Bill Belichick expound with superlative after superlative about Dallas' defensive stud DeMarcus Ware had to make you wonder, just how good is he?

Well, the Patriots found out the hard way that the five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker is good . . . really good.

Ware's play was huge for a Dallas defense looking to prove itself against a New England offensive attack that has been among the NFL's best all season.

The Cowboys wound up losing, 20-16, but it wasn't Ware's doing. He racked up five tackles (three for a loss), which included a pair of sacks while consistently applying pressure on Brady.

Prior to Sunday's game, Belichick was asked about Ware in relation to Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

"Ware does all the things and he's the best player that we've faced this year," Belichick said. "He does all the things you want him to do. He's strong against the run; he can rush the passer; he's great at pursuit; he's got power; he's got speed; he's got good technique; he's good at pass coverage; he's an asset to your pass coverage if you want to drop him (back into coverage). I can say all those same things about Lawrence Taylor."

Ware's head coach, Jason Garrett, echoed similar sentiments following Sunday's loss.

"He's been an outstanding player for a long time, and he's certainly a guy who is one of the marquee players in this league; not only on our football team," Garrett said.

But what you see on the field, Garrett says, is only a portion of what makes him such a special talent.

"He's a guy that goes about it the right way," Garrett said. "He wants to be great. He works hard in practice to be great. He plays hard every Sunday to be great. He wants to be one of the greats. He certainly has the talent to do that, but more than that, he's approaching it that way. It's great to see."

For Garrett?

Absolutely.

The rest of the NFL?

Not so much.

Rex Ryan poses as Buffalo reporter on conference call with Julian Edelman

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Rex Ryan poses as Buffalo reporter on conference call with Julian Edelman

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, always up for a good laugh, posed as a Bills reporter on a conference call with Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.

Brissett's message when he handed off to Belichick? 'Ball security'

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Brissett's message when he handed off to Belichick? 'Ball security'

FOXBORO -- Immediately after Jacoby Brissett scored his first NFL touchdown, a 27-yard designed run against the Texans, he headed over to the Patriots sideline and handed coach Bill Belichick the football. 

Until Tuesday, we didn't know what he said during the exchange, but he indicated that he wanted to keep the ball away from Houston's defenders. On Showtime Tuesday night, as part of Inside the NFL, we found out Brissett repeated one of Belichick's most frequently used lines back to the coach.

"Ball security," Brissett said. 

That was one of the highlights from the show, which pulled some of the best clips from a mic'd up Belichick before and during his team's 27-0 win over the Texans. 

Among the moments captured were Belichick's interactions pregame with former members of the Patriots organization like Vince Wilfork and Romeo Crennel. He was also caught discussing Brissett's warmup with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. 

"Looks a little wild here in warmups," Belichick said. 

"He'll be fine," McDaniels replied. "I think he'll settle into it."