Brady on big hits, revved up Chargers 'D'


Brady on big hits, revved up Chargers 'D'

By Mary Paoletti

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady didn't want to go in-depth on "devastating hits" on Wednesday.

When asked if the media is sensationalizing the subject or if the game really is getting too dangerous, Brady skirted the issue.

"I've never really hit anybody and I don't get hit too much in the head, so who knows?'' he smiled. "They make rules; we've got to follow them."

He said that he hasn't even seen Brandon Meriweather's helmet-to-helmet hit on Todd Heap from Sunday's 23-20 win over the Ravens. The subject in general seemed simple enough to the Patriots QB.

"It's a dangerous game, it really is. I think we all signed up for this game, we know it's dangerous,'' Brady said. "Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. That's not why we play the game. But we also know about the physical nature of the sport. Everybody in this locker room has been hurt. That's just part of what you're signing up for. "

Whatever happens, happens. At least for Tom Brady.

"I know Brandon. You get trained as a player and everyone's just trying to go out there and make the play. Sometimes I guess guys cross the line, sometimes guys are trying to do it within the rules that are set for us. It's a very instinctive game out there. They're going to enforce the rules however they see it. We learn to make adjustments with them."

Case closed.

The only story Brady's concerned with is New England's upcoming matchup with San Diego.

"They're 2-0 at home and 0-4 on the road and we're playing them at home and I'm sure we're going to get their best. It's going to be a good challenge.

"We want to play good teams," Brady added. "We want to play them on the road.''

Despite what Bill Belichick called "a bit of a slow start" from the Chargers, Norv Turner's club can pose some problems for the Pats. Teams are switching things up on defense now that New England no longer has an established deep threat like Randy Moss. Last weekend, Baltimore brought its safeties up and forced Brady to put the ball in the air. San Diego will likely do the same.

"It's about mixing and matching,'' Brady said. "If the safeties are going to come down low, try to stop the run, you have opportunities in the passing game. I think that's where you get problems as an offense, where you can't take advantage of what they're doing on defense."

Taking advantage won't be easy. And there could be a lot of heat on Brady in particular.

"They've got a ton of sacks,'' he noted. "I think they're first in the league in defense. Shaun Phillips has six sacks. He's a great pass rusher. They've got a really good front seven."

The QB knows his stats. San Diego does lead the NFL in team defense, allowing just 255.2 yards per game. And four of Phillips' sacks came in a single game against the Cardinals platoon of QB's.

What he didn't mention is that the Chargers are also first in the league in team offense -- to the tune of 432.7 yards per game.

It will take a complete game on all fronts for the Patriots to come home with a win. In light of New England's come-from-behind, last-second victory over Baltimore last weekend, this week at practice will be a busy one.

"You can't just play 30 minutes of football," the captain acknowledged. "There's not one position on this team that can't have their best game, because the way the Chargers play at home, the explosiveness that they have on offense, the way they're creating turnovers on defense and sacks and negative plays . . .

"Each guy in this locker room has to have their best game this week."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.