Ninkovich hopes to 'look like totally different defense'


Ninkovich hopes to 'look like totally different defense'

LONDON - The travails of the Patriots defense through the first seven games of the 2012 season didn't escape the attention of the men playing on it.

But while the rest of us were casting about for answers to why a fairly talented group could be so consistently ineffective, the actual players were less mystified.

After Sunday's 45-7 win over the Rams, linebacker Rob Ninkovich said he believes the defense has the ability to play that way more often.

"As a defense, you want to improve every week and theres been some big plays that you dont want to give up the past few games," Ninkovich explained. "We just want to continue to, week-by-week, improve so that by the end of the season we look like a totally different defense, rather than good one week, poor the next. We want to be more consistent."

The one simple thing that has made consistency elusive has been individual breakdowns on plays. The Patriots are loathe to point the finger at which player or players screwed up, but it's not quantum physics either. When a defensive back gets beat badly on a throw where the quarterback gets rid of the ball in under three seconds, it's not on the pass rush. It's on the coverage. And that's what we've seen time and again. Downfield throws that come out in an average amount of time targeting receivers left uncovered. Sunday, there wasn't much of that against the Rams who, it seemed, didn't try too hard to go downfield either.

Ninkovich was asked if Sunday's performance could possibly become the status quo.

"Every week we prepare to put our best game out there on the field," he said. "The other team has good players, but weve got to make more. Weve got to make more plays on defense and get our offense on the field. The more times Tom and crew are out there on the field, the more chances we have to win. We just have to get em the ball."

With games against the Colts, Dolphins, Jets and Bills coming up, the Patriots should have chances against young andor struggling quarterbacks where they can build on Sunday's win.

Farrell on WEEI: Have not apologized to Eckersley


Farrell on WEEI: Have not apologized to Eckersley

Red Sox manager John Farrell said today on WEEI's Dale and Holley Show that he has not apologized to Dennis Eckersley for the recent incident on a team flight in which David Price ripped into the Hall of Fame pitcher -- to the applause of some teammates -- for being too critical in his role as a team broadcaster.

“Yeah, that’s a no,” Farrell responded when asked specifically if he had apologized to Eck.


According to Brooks Sutherland's story on, Farrell said he has spoken to Eckersley since the incident and has a "positive in a professional way" relationship with Eck.

Sutherland quoted Farrell as saying: “I’ve had interactions with Eck, yes. I have, yeah. Whether it’s been at the hotel, or whether it’s been at the ballpark, there’s been interactions there, yes . . . At the time when we did meet, which was down in Texas, as I mentioned, and then again in the ballpark there. I’m aware that people reached out to him the morning after the incident when we were headed in to Toronto. So, knowing that that was in place, you know, I followed with my conversations with Eck as I’ve always done. They’ve been cordial, there’s been professional respect on both side and I think my relationship with him is positive in a professional way.”

Farrell said he heard Price yelling at Price on the plane.

“You know at the time when it did happen,you heard some loud talk,” he said. “but I can’t say that that’s . . . you know there’s banter that goes back-and-forth that’s relatively calm, and I would say this was a different situation. I can’t say that the banter is in this nature. After it did take place, I know Eck came up to the front of the plane to talk to Dave Dombrowski and myself. Obviously outlined what took place and that’s why we met with David the next day in Toronto."

Tanguay: The games aren't the thing anymore


Tanguay: The games aren't the thing anymore

What about the games?

You know. The games that are played between the lines. The controversial calls, the second-guessing of strategy, the why-the-hell-did-he-shoot-that?

This all came to me today. The games have become secondary. The main theme of what we do is drama. 

Yep, we have done it. David Price being a complete asshat. Does Belichick really love Jimmy Garoppolo more? (Bill does have a history of trading for a younger model.) Should the Celtics do whatever it takes to trade for Kyrie Irving?

We have become a soap industry. It’s all about the gossip, the in-fighting, the free agent offseason. 

And you know what?


Do you?