Belichick pleased with Patriots ground game vs. Titans


Belichick pleased with Patriots ground game vs. Titans

FOXBORO -- After looking at the game film of Sunday's 34-13 win over the Tennessee Titans, Patriots coach Bill Belichick reacted to some of the good and the bad on Monday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Belichick liked what he saw from running game, and more specifically, from Stevan Ridley and his 125-yard performance against the Titans. But he still sees room for improvement.

"I thought Ridley ran hard," said Belichick on Monday. "He had some good runs. He had some other runs that we talked about, that could have gone better. I thought he finished runs and ran hard, and broke a couple tackles in the secondary.

"Overall, we just need to be more consistent with the running game," added Belichick. "We still left some yards out on the field, plenty of them, for one reason or another. It's a combination of everything."

Clearing the way for Ridley was an offensive line that, for the most part, pleased Belichick with its play. The head coach pointed out that the line wasn't one of the team's biggest issues, which is always a good thing for any offense.

"I thought, overall, our offensive line did a decent job, not perfect," said Belichick. "There's certainly a lot of things we can work on. But, I thought overall, I felt like it was OK.

"Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer split those reps at tackle pretty evenly. They both played that spot. They were OK. A couple things could have been better, but overall, it wasn't a big problem area or anything."

Another burner for Brady: Kraft compares Cooks to Moss

Another burner for Brady: Kraft compares Cooks to Moss

PHOENIX -- For an indication of just how high the expectations sit for newly-acquired Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, have a look at what team owner Robert Kraft said during the annual league meetings at the Biltmore on Monday. 

Asked about all the moves Bill Belichick and his front office have made this offseason, Kraft started with the former Saints big-play threat.

"I think what they've done is excellent this year," Kraft said. "And I know bringing this young man from New Orleans . . . since I've owned the team, the only player who could make an impact like that at wide receiver is Randy Moss. [Cooks] doesn't have [Moss'] height, but he's got his speed. I think that's complementary to what we have on the team. I'm excited about him joining us."

Cooks gives the Patriots one of the most dynamic pass-catching threats in the NFL and should provide an additional boost to an offense that ranked third in the league in points scored (27.6) in 2016. He is one of three players to record 75 catches, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. The other two? Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.

Those are some big names, but Moss may be the biggest ever associated with Cooks. What Moss did when he arrived to New England in a trade with the Raiders in 2007 was historic, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. 

As excited as Kraft is for Cooks' arrival, not even he will project a similarly gaudy statistical year. But he's clearly thrilled that Tom Brady will have yet another explosive receiving threat to pair with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and an impressive stable of pass-catching backs.

The history of QB's 40 or older isn't favorable to Brady

The history of QB's 40 or older isn't favorable to Brady

Marc Bertrand discusses Robert Kraft’s comments about Brady wanting to play another 6-7 years, and why he thinks it would be tough for Belichick to believe that Brady can realistically play that long.