Belichick discusses life without Hernandez


Belichick discusses life without Hernandez

By Danny Picard Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --With the report that Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez willmiss some time because of an MCL sprain that he suffered on Sunday, BillBelichick addressed the issue moving forward, and how his offense will make upfor the receiving numbers hes put up through the first two weeks.

We have a lot of different skill players in our offense,said Belichick on Monday at Gillette Stadium. Weve got a lot of differentformations. We use multiple personnel groups, multiple formations. Whatever wehave to do, well use some combination of those.

Belichick has watched the film, and is ready to turn thepage and move onto the next game in Buffalo.

But before that page is completely turned, Belichick talkedabout some of the good and the bad from Sundays win over the San DiegoChargers, including how his defense was able to keep tight end Antonio Gatesreception-less.

Belichick doesnt believe they did anything revolutionaryto stop Gates, but seemed genuinely proud of the way his defense executed theirmixed-coverage scheme on him.

We tried to mix it up and switch our coverage looks betweenjamming receivers, said Belichick. Wed double him on the line and jam, notdouble him on the line and try to get more pass rush, double him down thefield. We had various degrees of success and not so successful times, doingthat. But we tried to keep him off-balance, give him a little mix, change thecoverages up a little bit.

The Patriots allowed 470 total yards on Sunday, which included372 passing yards. That comes just a week after allowing 516 passing yards tothe Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

Still, the Patriots are 2-0 on the early season, and havedone their fair share of damage on the offensive side as well. But as forwhats been going wrong in the secondary, Belichick said it has nothing to dowith one specific thing or player.

Id say the big problem we had yesterday was, we had ourchances to get off the field, and we just didnt do a good job of it, saidBelchick. Several plays we couldnt make on third down, that I think werepretty makeable plays. We just didnt make them.

As previously stated, the Patriots have battled those highpassing yards from opposing offenses, with extremely high passing yards oftheir own, which have included two 99-yard touchdown drives, which Belichickcalls a product of staying away from long-yardage situations.

If you were wondering what the officials were trying toreview in the fourth quarter, following a Vincent Jackson touchdown and theensuing extra point, then Belichick would be the wrong person to go to in orderto get an answer.

Belichick said on Monday that he had no idea what the reviewwas for, because under the new NFL rule of reviewing each scoring play, theofficials dont tell the coaches what theyre reviewing.

On a scoring play, its an automatic review of the scoringplay, including the extra point, which is a scoring play, said Belichick. Sowhat they were looking at, they dont tell us. We just sit there and look dumblike everybody else. Then they come out and say it was a touchdown, or if itwasnt, then they tell us it wasnt.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief


Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism