Belichick: Fletcher 'more confident' in leading defense

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Belichick: Fletcher 'more confident' in leading defense

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
One player that Belichick seemed extremely pleased with on Thursday night was linebacker Dane Fletcher, who seemed to be everywhere as a starting middle linebacker against the Jaguars.

Fletcher was running the defense and had five tackles in the absence of Jerod Mayo to start the game, something Belichick said Fletcher wouldnt have been able to do in his rookie year last season, thanks to his improved reaction time.

Well I think Danes made a big jump from his first year to his second year, said Belichick. Similar to our other first-year players... they're way ahead of where they were last year. It looks like Danes had a very good offseason. He looks good physically, and hes certainly a lot more confident and is reacting quicker, better than he did definitely at this time last year.

Although he played a lot of games over the course of the season, and by the end of the year, he was still doing a real good job for us.

I think those are things that he really wasnt that comfortable doing last year, added Belichick about Fletcher leading the defense. Somebody else would have been telling him. This year, hes telling other people. With that understanding and that confidence, allows a player to become more aggressive and to react quicker, because theres just less thinking involved, and hes just more sure of what hes doing.

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

Andy Dalton named Tom Brady's Pro Bowl replacement

Andy Dalton named Tom Brady's Pro Bowl replacement

With Tom Brady spending this week and next preparing for the Super Bowl, Andy Dalton has been named his replacement in the Pro Bowl. 

This will mark Dalton’s third Pro Bowl appearance. He finished fourth in the AFC in passing yards (4,206) and tied for 10th with 18 passing touchdowns. Brady threw 10 more touchdowns in four fewer games. 

Though he’s often skipped the actual games, this was the 12th season in which Brady was named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last eight seasons. 

The Ex-Pats Podcast: Patriots dismantle Pittsburgh in AFC Championship

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The Ex-Pats Podcast: Patriots dismantle Pittsburgh in AFC Championship

Mike Giardi and former Patriots center Dan Koppen discuss all aspects of the dominating performance by the Patriots over the Steelers in the AFC Championship. The two wonder why Pittsburgh refused to try and employ some of the strategies that were successful for the Houston Texans during the Divisional game last week. 

Also, Dan talks about what the players need to do this week to get ready for the circus that is the week leading up to the game.

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