Brown: Belichick at his best during Colts weeks

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Brown: Belichick at his best during Colts weeks

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The proliferation of ex-Patriots in the media has given added insight into the hooded world of the dynastic Patriots. Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Christian Fauriaand Heath Evans all have hit their stride in front of the cameras. But no ex-Patriot shoots it straighter and is more willing to pullback the veil than Troy Brown.Which is ironic. Of all the players I mentioned, he was hands down the worst interview in the locker room when heplayed.If the locker room shut down to the mediaat 11:45 a.m., he'dcome in from the weight room at 11:44. And if he talked it was a "just the facts" recitation of platitudes. Now? What would you like to know?And Brown confirmed what one presumed. When the Colts were next on the schedule, the intensity ratcheted up significantly. "Every week we played the Colts it was intense," Brown said Tuesday night. "Those were the days Bill (Belichick) was at his best and making sure you had everything about the Colts covered - offensively, defensively, and definitely don't let them beat you on special teams, because that was the weakest part of their team. When theydid punt." Brown, who does work for us at Comcast SportsNet and also at WEEI,was speaking at Waxy O'Connors in Foxboro on Tuesday night where he helped hype CSN's "New England Football Night", which debuts Thursday at 7 p.m.When preparing for a big game, Brown said, things were ratcheted up."For us on the inside, it was always different," he explained. "For you guys on the outside it was business as usual, another work week -'Another good team. Peyton Manning's a good quarterback, one of the best we ever played. Tony Dungy's a great coach, blase, blah. Dwight Freeney can rush the passer.' For you guys it was, 'Everybody's great.' For us on the inside, there was a little added emphasis on those opponents, the Colts the Jets."We knew that. And the Patriots knew we knew that. So why not play along and tell it like it wasis? Probably because treating the Colts as special meant that the team would run the risk of treating the Bills as not special. The easiest message for Belichick to give his players was the same message week after week, season after season. If the script never changed, he didn't have to worry about their approach to a game or what they'd say to us. "Even if Bill didn't say anything about that stuff, guys kinda took it to heart," said Brown. " 'We're playing the Jets; this is where Bill used to be.' 'We're playing the Colts, this is Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. You took it a little more personal even if we didn't say it to you guys. You could feel the inensity in the locker room and meetingroom approaching game time. It was a more fun week but we probably lost a week or two from our lives from the stress."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener


For the sixth season in a row, the Patriots will conduct joint practices with an opponent ahead of playing a preseason game. The team announced they'll work out with the Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 7-8 at Gillette Stadium before playing the Jags in the preseason opener Aug. 10. 

The practices will be free and open to the public and will be held on the practice fields behind the Stadium.

The Patriots had joint practices with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears last summer and previously had them with the Saints in 2015, the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, the Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and the Saints and Bucs in 2012.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has talked about the value of these joint practices, has found it a good way to scout players they might eventually have an interest in and has reportedly been discussing conducting them with another preseason opponent, the Texans (Aug. 19 at Houston), coached by former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien.