Belichick: Thursday's score was deceiving

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Belichick: Thursday's score was deceiving

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
After getting a chance to evaluate the films the Patriots' 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers onThursday night, Bill Belichick came to what might seem, to some, a surprising conclusion.

The first half, in which the Pats built a 28-0 lead, wasn't as good as it looked, said Belichick. And the second half, in which they were outscored 14-3, wasn't as bad as it seemed.

I think the scores a little bit deceiving," Belichick said in a conference call Friday. "I think in thefirst half we still made a lot of mistakes. Theres a lot of things we needto do better.

"And in the second half, we did a lot of good things out there,but a lot of those were negated by a few bad things.

They did some good things in the first half, too.

I thought, overall last night, that we obviously got off toa good start, which was great, he said.We got some great field position, defensively, and our offense was able tocapitalize on that and put some points on the board, get some balls in the endzone, played good in the red area."

A few of those second-half bad things were an interception thrown by quarterback Ryan Mallett, which was returned for a touchdown, and another throw that should have been picked offand taken to the house but was dropped.

Belichick said that while nobodys rooting for thoseinterceptions, mistakes like that are just part of the everyday evaluation oftraining camp . . . both by the coaches, and the players themselves.

Of course you dont want to see negative plays happen, buteventually theyre going to happen in this league, said Belichick. And so,whether it was Tom Brady getting sacked in the two-minute drive, or Ryan throwing aninterception, or Ryan throwing an interception that the corner dropped thatwould have been brought back for a touchdown, you do want to see how playersrespond to those plays.

Belichick also got to see how rookie offensive linemanNate Solder performed in his second preseason game.

I think Nates had a couple good weeks, said Belichick.Im sure he learned a lot of things last night. He did some good things.

Hes making progress. Hes working hard. I think hescompetitive in every phase of the game, the running game, pass protection,playing against athletic guys, playing against power, bigger guys. I think hescompeting in all those levels. Just being a little more experience,consistency, working together with his teammates.

Belichick said defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who's only practices once with the team, is day-to-day. When asked if Haynesworth was working out at Gillette Stadium, Belichick responded, All the players are here.

The Pats also placed rookie free agent linebacker Christian Cox on injured reserve because of a neck injury. Cox, 25, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on July 27 out of Utah.

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

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

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Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."