Brady: I'll never get over the Jets loss

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Brady: I'll never get over the Jets loss

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

When the Patriots lost to the Jets in the divisional round of the playoffs last season, it stung. The Pats were 14-2 in the regular season and had recently laid a 45-3 beat down on the Jets just one month prior.

Not only that, but the loss came at Foxboro, simultaneously justifying Rex Ryan's gum-flapping and causing Patriots players to suggest afterward that they weren't well enough prepared -- sacrilege under coach Bill Belichick's roof.

How badly did it hurt? Badly enough that Monday, seven months after the defeat, Brady told WEEI that the loss was "as painful as a loss I think we've ever had here as a team."

Strong statement. Not that we need to remind you, but Brady and the Patriots once experienced a loss in February of 2008 in which they lost the Super Bowl and a chance at a perfect season.

No doubt, Brady remembers falling to the Giants in SB XLII, but what he told WEEI on Monday might just go to show how strong the rivalry between the Jets and Patriots has become.

"The Jets, Ill never get over that loss," Brady said. "Thats as painful as a loss as I think weve ever had here as a team. They can rush the passer. Theyre a good team. They pressure the quarterback, thats what we have to be prepared for with them. And they always try and find a way to confuse the quarterback, whether thats by pass rush, whether thats by coverage and often times both.

"We gave them a lot of credit when they won and I think we have to learn from that and understand what it takes to beat good teams under tough conditions. Thats what we have to try and accomplish this year."

The Patriots and Jets will square off for the first time this season on Oct. 9.

Running back D.J. Foster making a late push for Patriots roster spot

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Running back D.J. Foster making a late push for Patriots roster spot

CHARLOTTE – D.J. Foster began making his case to stick on the Patriots’ 53-man roster Friday night against the Panthers.

An undrafted pass-catching back from Arizona State who’d missed almost all of training camp with an unknown injury was pretty persuasive. He caught three passes for 33 yards, showing nice burst, carried twice for 9 and returned a punt for 16. He saw his action late in the third with fellow rookie Jacoby Brissett in at quarterback.

Foster punctuated his first reception – an 11-yard screen that Brissett (9-for-9 for 85 yards and a touchdown) – by lowering his shoulder and delivering a blow that Foster said he wanted to “get that adrenaline going.”

“It felt great,” said Foster. “It had been a long time. I was telling some guys, that was the first time I’d gotten hit since college. It felt good to get back out there. The coaches gave me a chance to get out there and show what I could do.”

James White will be the Patriots sub-back (or third down back or pass-catching back or whatever you want to call him) until Dion Lewis returns from his knee malady. But Foster showed the acceleration and quickness that made him such a productive player for the Sun Devils. With 222 receptions for 2,458 yards and another 2,355 on the ground, Foster would fit nicely in an offense like the Patriots that uses the short and intermediate passing game so well.  

He hasn’t had much chance to make a case to stick and the Patriots – with White, LeGarrette Blount, Tyler Gaffney, Brandon Bolden and Joey Iosefa all in the mix – may have to take their chances with releasing Foster and hoping he goes unclaimed so New England can bring him back for their practice squad. It’s a risk, but other teams are encountering the same issues at cutdown time. Do they pluck a player they passed on in the draft and put him on their roster ahead of players they’ve been working with since the spring?

Bill Belichick wasn’t effusive in his praise for Foster but did indicate it was a good opportunity to at least see him in game action.

“We played a couple of guys that haven’t gotten much playing time so we got a chance to look at them,” he explained. “D.J. is one of those so we wanted to give him a few opportunities to handle the ball because he hasn’t done it this year. I thought he did some good things. There are a couple of things that he could do a little better but we’ll look at the film and see how it goes. He did a couple of things with his chances out there.”

To make the most of those chances, Foster said he avoided getting too hyped before getting on the field.  
 
“Just keeping my calm and hearing the playcall and just doing the mechanics and all the fundamentals of being in the backfield (was the focus),” said Foster. "Coach Ivan (Fears, running backs coach) did a great job of keeping me mellow. I felt healthy, I felt really good. I got some punt returns, some kick returns, some special teams. I was seeking contact to get that adrenaline going.

“It’s a long process,” he acknowledged. “Talking to the veteran guys, they said it’s a long process. I knew battling my injury and come back healthy, I came back strong and I felt ready.”

We’ll see if it’s enough to carve out a niche on the roster. The cutdown to 75 players comes Tuesday.