Belichick lays out the consequences

Belichick lays out the consequences

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - Bill Belichick spoke Friday about staring into the gaping maw of his team's 2010 mortality. Not really. "The season's gonna end for somebody this week," Belichick said in front of a loaded-to-the-gills media room at Gillette Stadium. "I'm not trying to over-dramatize it but that's the way it is." Belichick was in a pleasantly matter-of-fact mood on Friday. With a healthy crew of New York media on hand, Belichick gave them a look at the stark contrast in approach between him and Jets coach Rex Ryan. "It's the same for all of us," he said when discussing how much pressure was on younger players. "I don't care if you've been in the playoffs or haven't been in the playoffs. It's a one-game season. However many plays there are, that's how many are left. And if they're not good ones, that'll be it. If they're good ones, we'll get another opportunity. But if they're not good enough, season's over." Belichick said Brandon Spikes is improving but that the inside linebacker's first few days back after his four-game suspension were shaky. It will be interesting to see this weekend whether Spikes gets hisnormal number of reps or whether Gary Guyton, who played well in Spikes' absence as an everydown inside linebacker,gets more reps. Members of the Gillette Stadium grounds crew have been at the facility since Tuesday working to get the joint ready. That's "at the facility" as in, haven't gone home. And barely slept much. Asked about Wes Welker's press conference that was chock full of foot references on Thursday, Belichick answered, "My focus is on the Jets. You have to ask him about that. The Patriots' rookie class has been outstanding. But Belichick resisted calling them off the charts exceptional in terms of smartsmentioning Vince Wilfork, Patrick Chung, Jerod Mayo and Tom Brady as guys who came in and got it down quickly. "We've had a lot of guys come in here and learn the system gain more knowledge and gain more experience from one week to the next . . . Some guys do a better job of it than others," he noted, "but this isn't the first rookie class that's come in and had a couple guys play well." IR'd guard Stephen Neal was in the locker room Friday (as was owner Robert Kraft). Neal said he intends to be back next season. "That's the plan," he told me.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Clowney fined for hit on Brady; Rowe fined for unsportsmanlike penalty

Clowney fined for hit on Brady; Rowe fined for unsportsmanlike penalty

When Tom Brady complained to officials during the third quarter of last week's Divisional Round game against the Texans, he was wondering why Jadeveon Clowney wasn't penalized for a late hit. 

Not only did Brady get the call a little later in the game when Clowney hit him again in the fourth, but Clowney has now been fined for that hit. Per Pro Football Talk, Clowney was docked $18,231 for roughing the passer. 

Brady defended his on-the-field tantrum in the third quarter after Clowney's hit, insisting it may have helped lead to the Patriots being given extra yardage in the fourth. 

"Yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan show. "If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."

Patriots corner Eric Rowe was also fined for his actions during the Divisional Round. He was hit with a $12,154 penalty after picking up an unsportsmanlike penalty for pulling a Texans player off of a scrum in the first quarter