Belichick says Pats need to keep 'eye on target'


Belichick says Pats need to keep 'eye on target'

By Tom E. Curran

Have a holly, jolly Christmas . . . just don't let it get in the way of the damn football game. So sayeth Bill Belichick - though not in as many words - during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. Asked how hard it is to keep young players focused when the chaos of Christmas and the holidays are swirling, Belichick said,"I think thats important for every person, every member of the organization, not just the young players, but all of us. To maintain our focus, keep our eye on the target, and not worry about anything but Buffalo. That's really all there is right now. Take everything else, and push it to the side a little bit, and try to make sure we do a good job on our preparation, and make sure we don't take anything for granted. Do all the little things that we need to do, and put all our energy and emphasis into that."The Bills are 4-11 and the threat is there that they won't capture the attention of the Patriots. Kinda the way a 2-11 Dolphins team didn't get the 12-1 Patriots' best shot back in 2004. The result? A 29-28 loss. "We all can potentially be distracted," Belichick added. "Everybody's job is important. I think that's a message for everybody this week.What has experience taught him, in dealing with the process? Basically, to treat this holiday week like every other week."Last week is no different than this week," Belichick said. "This week is no different than last week or next week. We still need to put everything we have into each game, take advantage of our opportunities, whether it's film study, meetings, walkthroughs, practice . . . and just maximize that."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

FOXBORO -  A verrrrrryyyy long time ago, the Patriots targeted September. There were t-shirts and everything printed back in 2002 as the Patriots came off of their first Super Bowl title.

The names of that season’s first four opponents – Steelers, Jets, Chiefs and Chargers – were all listed on a bullseye.

How’d that work out? Well, they hit the bullseye for most of September, winning the first three. Then they lost four in a row and the notion of “targeting” a segment of the schedule around these parts went the way of the Dodo bird.

Which may be why, as truly remarkable as this September’s been, Bill Belichick isn’t taking any bows after three damn wins.

“We’re just really focused on Buffalo,” Belichick told me Friday morning when I asked about whether winning the first three in the face of some adversity was a point of pride. “I don’t really care about last week. I don’t really care about two weeks ago. I don’t really care about last year. I don’t really care about four years ago. I don’t really care. I think we’re just trying to get ready and compete against Buffalo. That’s our challenge this week.

“The rest of it – it’s in the books. It is what it is,” he said. “So write whatever you want to write about it. It’s good, it’s bad, I mean I don’t really care. It’s done. We’ve got to do a good job of what we have here with Buffalo. We can’t live in the past. And I respect where you’re coming from, I really do. It’s not like I’m trying to be dismissive of it, but I really don’t care. It doesn’t really matter. Nothing that happened last year, last week, last month really has anything to do with this week.”

Things change after Sunday. The best player the franchise has ever had rejoins a team that – in spite of the adversity – flourished without him. Even though the competition wasn’t what one would call “stiff” compared to challenges Brady faced as recently as last January, it’s still remarkable.

Asked about Brady’s looming return, wide receiver Julian Edelman also redirected.

“We got a game before that,” he pointed out. “When he comes back we'll obviously be happy but we got a job ahead of us with the Buffalo Bills.” 

Asked if there’s some pride taken in the beginning, Edelman replied, “It’s just having pride in your job in general. Really just focusing every week and trying to improve. I say it every week on these cameras, if you try to get better and you get better every week, you're gonna do these things. 

“It tells you that you have a mentally tough team that goes out there and works hard and prepares hard and does the extra things,” Edelman added. “I've been around here a little while and that's just the mentality we've always had and continue to have. We have a tough one against the Bills and we'll see how it tests out against these guys.”



Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable


Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

The inury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)


OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)