Brady on huddling vs. hurry-up

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Brady on huddling vs. hurry-up

FOXBORO -- Sunday night provided a case study in the "Huddle Up vs. Hurry Up" debate.

For most of the first half in New York, the Patriots took their time and didn't put pressure on the Jets defense to deal with their fast break, so to speak.

But after falling behind 9-6 late in the first half, the Patriots took over on their own end and went no-huddle. A couple hours later, the Jets defenders were just getting their breath back and sucking on a 37-16 loss.

Tom Brady spoke Wednesday about trying to go up-tempo without being haphazard. And he cited examples where, unlike the Jets game, it didn't work.

"Wetried to run it against Dallas and we didn't score a lot of points and we tried to run it in Pittsburgh and didn't score a lot of points," pointed out Brady. "To me it's more about the execution than the tempo of the game. ... Sometimes when you try no huddle and it doesn't work we say, 'We're not gonna do that anymore' and then you guys wonder why we didn't go no-huddle."

The communication necessary to run any offense is critical. And because the Patriots are generally good at communication, you'll see in most every game the points when Brady lets the play-clock dwindle so he can get everything set after the defense declares. That would be the huddle-up.

"(At the line) you're trying to get everybody on the same page," Brady said. "If I'm doing one thing and the offensive line is thinking another or the running back is thinking something different from the two of us then that's where it gets challenging. I really think that at times we've done a good job of it this year, especially on the road where things are more difficult."

Sunday wasn't one of those nights. Which is why the Patriots finallyopted to speed things up.

The quick change, said Brady, can leave a defense up the creek.

"(If the defense says), 'Let's disguise, let's disguise' then I go up and say 'Blue go!' and the ball's snapped and there's a guy totally out of position, (that's bad for the defense)," Brady noted. "There's a fine line between what you're doing. If we feel that it's gonna be a big disguise game then there's gonna be a lot of quick counts (to catch the defense in its dummy formations). Ultimately, if they're showing you what they're doing then you take your time. That's just the cat and mouse all day long with good defenses and good secondaries. You can have one guy that's trying to disguise but then if nobody else is, then that makes no sense.

Ultimately it's a coordinated effort by a defense to try and disguise. You can try to disguise all you want but if the offense is making the plays, the coach is going to say, 'You just have to get up and cover your guy.'"

And the tough thing for any defense -- and this week's opposing defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel -- is knowing that the Patriots can do it either way.

So too is knowing when to play games with the defense.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.