When Hines Ward asserted, in essence, that the Patriots didn't need him in order to the beat the Steelers, Tom E. Curran felt that said all that was needed to be said about the leaky New England secondary.
"It's pretty damning when you have one of the receivers from the other team saying, 'You know what? They didn't need me,' " CSNNE.com's Patriots Insider told Mike Giardi on 'SportsNet Central' on Wednesday. " 'I know the Pats were the No. 1 seed in the AFC going into the game, I know it's a game that might determine ultimately which team plays the AFC championship at home, but we had it. We were all set because they had Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams running around out there.'
"That's damning right there . . . and the problem is, it's one thing to be bad in Weeks 1, 2 and 3, but to regress to the point the Patriots' pass defense has in Week 8 is concerning. Because this is the point at which you need to be building to a crescendo. Bill Belichick talks about November and December; right now his pass defense is in such disarray that Ben Roethlisberger's throwing it half-a-hundred times against them.
"The Patriots are going to have to outscore everybody down the stretch, I think."
Football is coming.
The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.
Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.
The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.
The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.
Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape.
OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.
The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.
Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent.