Belichick: Thursday's score was deceiving

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Belichick: Thursday's score was deceiving

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
After getting a chance to evaluate the films the Patriots' 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers onThursday night, Bill Belichick came to what might seem, to some, a surprising conclusion.

The first half, in which the Pats built a 28-0 lead, wasn't as good as it looked, said Belichick. And the second half, in which they were outscored 14-3, wasn't as bad as it seemed.

I think the scores a little bit deceiving," Belichick said in a conference call Friday. "I think in thefirst half we still made a lot of mistakes. Theres a lot of things we needto do better.

"And in the second half, we did a lot of good things out there,but a lot of those were negated by a few bad things.

They did some good things in the first half, too.

I thought, overall last night, that we obviously got off toa good start, which was great, he said.We got some great field position, defensively, and our offense was able tocapitalize on that and put some points on the board, get some balls in the endzone, played good in the red area."

A few of those second-half bad things were an interception thrown by quarterback Ryan Mallett, which was returned for a touchdown, and another throw that should have been picked offand taken to the house but was dropped.

Belichick said that while nobodys rooting for thoseinterceptions, mistakes like that are just part of the everyday evaluation oftraining camp . . . both by the coaches, and the players themselves.

Of course you dont want to see negative plays happen, buteventually theyre going to happen in this league, said Belichick. And so,whether it was Tom Brady getting sacked in the two-minute drive, or Ryan throwing aninterception, or Ryan throwing an interception that the corner dropped thatwould have been brought back for a touchdown, you do want to see how playersrespond to those plays.

Belichick also got to see how rookie offensive linemanNate Solder performed in his second preseason game.

I think Nates had a couple good weeks, said Belichick.Im sure he learned a lot of things last night. He did some good things.

Hes making progress. Hes working hard. I think hescompetitive in every phase of the game, the running game, pass protection,playing against athletic guys, playing against power, bigger guys. I think hescompeting in all those levels. Just being a little more experience,consistency, working together with his teammates.

Belichick said defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who's only practices once with the team, is day-to-day. When asked if Haynesworth was working out at Gillette Stadium, Belichick responded, All the players are here.

The Pats also placed rookie free agent linebacker Christian Cox on injured reserve because of a neck injury. Cox, 25, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on July 27 out of Utah.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Dont'a Hightower left money on the table in New York and in Pittsburgh, and instead took a smaller deal to return the New England Patriots, according to CBSSports' Jason La Canfora.

The Jets' offer was previously reported to be $12 million per year, including incentives. La Canfora reiterated that report. But he also detailed Pittsburgh's offer, as the Steelers also outbid the Patriots with over $9 million per year.

Instead, Hightower settled for $8.7 million per season with New England, and will play under Bill Belichick in a Patriots jersey for the sixth season in 2017.

Hightower traveled a great deal during free agency, and ended up garnering interest from the Steelers, Jets, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

The 27-year-old linebacker finished the 2016 season with 65 tackles tackles, 2.5 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble. He also had a game-changing strip sack on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI that shifted the momentum of game.

Brian Scalabrine: Celtics starters are top-5 starting group

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Brian Scalabrine: Celtics starters are top-5 starting group

When the Celtics starting 5 players are fully healthy they have a record of 23-7. Brian Scalabrine believes they're in the top-5 best starting group in the NBA and that they would've won 60 games if healthy all season.