Patriots ready to move on after loss

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Patriots ready to move on after loss

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com
FOXBORO Not that you expected much in the way of bitching, moaning or detailed self-reflection in the wake of Sunday's loss, but Monday afternoon at Gillette, the Patriots were predictably tight-lipped surrounding the details of their defeat, and ready to focus on this week's opponent: The Buffalo Bills.

"Any time you lose, you're upset," said safety Brandon Meriweather, one of the few players to speak during Monday's locker-room access, "but I've always been told that you have to have a short memory. You can't let things linger on. Last night wasn't my night to moan and get all the thinking about the Jets out. So now I'm thinking about Buffalo."

Julian Edelman's words carried a similar tone:

"We have to put that game behind us. We've got to have a short memory. That's what we have to preach to our guys right now, and that's what we're doing. We have to take that film we just watched and take all the bad things and learn form them, fix them this week and prepare for the Bills."

Fair enough. But what specifically went wrong on Sunday? What are those things that the Patriots need to improve upon?

"After watching the tape there's obviously a lot of things we need to do better and think we can do better," said Bill Belichick. "We just have to get back to work this week and get ready for Buffalo and get some things straight on or end. It's pretty much across the board: Offense, defense and special teams. You name it."

While the Pats certainly made their fair share of first-half mistakes, it's the latter half that's come into question. It was over the final 30 minutes where the Jets officially took control of the action, caught the Pats off guard and had them scrambling (in vain) to make the proper adjustments. It's those adjustments (or lack thereof), which has New England buzzing on Monday, but the team stopped short of citing any specific Jets moves as the reason for their triumph.

"Nah, I don't think they made many adjustments," Meriweather said. "They came out and pretty much did the same things. Maybe threw one or two wrinkles in there, but other than that they pretty much did the same thing. They just made the plays when they counted."

"I didn't really pay attention to their adjustments," said Fred Taylor, who had five carries for 11 yards, all in the first half. "I was just paying attention to what we were trying to do throughout the course of the game. And every time we kind of started out or whatever, I think those are things I pay most attention to. They did whatever was necessary to win the game."

And that was that. Sunday's loss can still be felt throughout New England on Monday, but their team is ready to move on.

Although Taylor admitted that no matter what anyone says, the team won't soon forget the feeling of walking off the Meadowlands in defeat.

"The Jets will definitely be in the back of our mind somewhere," he said. "If a guy says that it isn't he'd be lying to you. It's just human nature. Especially if you get beat up by somebody. You remember it."
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.

Garoppolo's mom keeps him apprised of trade rumors: 'She's all over that stuff'

Garoppolo's mom keeps him apprised of trade rumors: 'She's all over that stuff'

Jimmy Garoppolo can't help but hear trade rumors that involve his name. He heard all about them during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Now his mom's keeping him up to date. 

"My mom loves telling me the news updates," Garoppolo told ESPN's Adam Schefter, "so she’s all over that stuff, but it’s been working really well . . . 

"I’m telling you, she could be your assistant. She’s all over the place. Her and my dad on Twitter and stuff like that. I don’t even think they know how to tweet, but they always have something going on . . .

"They know what to hit me with and what to keep quiet. They know me so well that they know what I’d like to hear and what I don’t need to hear. There’s a couple slip-ups here and there, I’m not going to lie to you, but they’re just so excited about it. It’s an exciting time, and they’re loving it."

Garoppolo tried his best to deflect questions about his future as he prepared for Super Bowl LI, but he could only insulate himself so much from those conversations. After six quarters of well-played football, he's chummed the waters for quarterback-starved franchises. As the draft nears, offers are expected to hit the Gillette Stadium offices, and it will be up to Bill Belichick and his staff to determine whether they should part ways with Tom Brady's backup. 

Schefter asked Garoppolo about one team in particular that could be interested: the Chicago Bears. Their general manager Ryan Pace is an Eastern Illinois alum, like Garoppolo, and Garoppolo is a Chicago-area kid. 

"I get asked about [that possibility] all the time from my friends and family back in Chicago," Garoppolo said. "They’re good reporters, my family. But I keep telling them I really don’t know how it would feel until . . . if it was to happen, I wouldn’t know how I’d feel until it did, you know? So it’s kind of one of those things, it’s hard to say right now."

Garoppolo added: "For the most part I am just trying to stay level-headed, trying not to think about it, over think it too much because at the end of the day I am still under contract. It is not my decision if I get traded or if I don’t, so I am just trying to take it all in stride. At the end of the day, you just have to enjoy it. The NFL, it is a hard place to be, hard place to succeed and when you get an opportunity you have to go and take advantage of it."

The idea of getting an opportunity, though, is an enticing one. Before the 2016 season, Garoppolo was very open about how he looked forward to his opportunity to start with Brady suspended for the first four weeks of the season. And with Schefter, he acknowledged that there are times when it's hard not to be impatient when you're the guy behind the guy.

"There’s times," Garoppolo said. "Obviously the kickoff happens and you are ready to roll. The juices get flowing again. You get the adrenaline, the butterflies. It’s football, you have to love the atmosphere . . . 

"We all play the game. We all want to be out there on the field and get an opportunity to play. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there is probably the best way to put it. We’re competitors at the end of the day. We want to be out there, I want to be out there competing and playing with my teammates.”