Brady sets tone for Ochocinco, Haynesworth

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Brady sets tone for Ochocinco, Haynesworth

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran

FOXBORO - The assimilation of Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco into the Patriots way of doing things began in earnest Friday. The underlying message delivered by the most important Patriots player there's ever been?

No playeris more remarkable than anyone else. And nobody individual player is ever more remarkable than the team.

"You have to put the team first," Tom Brady said to a throng of media after Friday morning's practice. "The Troy Browns, the Tedy Bruschis and the Rodney Harrisons, those guys set a great example and it's an example that I learned from over the years. That's really what the veterans have tried to do here."

There's anidea that NFL players "take care of"rogue players in the locker room by threat of force. Alpha male crap. It's a myth. At least in this NFL.

A team's culture is diffused through incoming players not by injection but in an ooze. It's the tenor of teammates' comments, practice habits, locker room comportment and meeting room posture. It's the tempo of practice and the speed with which players move from drill-to-drill. More than anything else, does a team let things slide if they are "good enough" or do they freak with less than perfection?

Don't abide and you'll be minimized.

When a two-time league MVP and three-time Super Bowl champion works as hard as an undrafted free agent, the message is sent and often gets through. Bill Belichick has said that things are easier for the coaches when your best players are your hardest workers. Between Brady, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Wes Welker and Devin McCourty, there are several messengers.

And the message to the new guys is, "Great to have you. Get comfortable. Don't act like you're more important than everyone else."

Theres been a lot of trades and a lot of transactions over the course of my career, so guys have come and gone, and Im always excited to get great players," said Brady. "Were all trying to find our role. Chads trying to find a role, the rookies are trying to find a role. The only way that were going to have a successful year, is if were out on the field practicing and executing at a high level."

Let's be honest here: it doesn't always work. Doesn't matter if it's Ocho or Steve Martin, or Monty Beisel or Chad Jackson, Donald Hayes or Johnathan Sullivan. Some guys don't get the operation or don't want to be a part of it.

Rarely does that player latch on somewhere else and find great success. Still, the point is that there are guys who just don't work out.

The chance exists that Ocho might be unable to accept the challenge of toning down his personal stuff. Or that he'll outwardly cry about touches. There's an even better chance that Haynesworth's conditioning will never catch up and he'll play like a dog when he does play.

But the best chance is that these players - liberated from being seen as "stars" and having someone tell them what to do - will accept it for a while.

I think coach Belichick sets an expectation for everybody," Brady pointed out. "He doesnt treat me any different than he treats a rookie whos coming out here for his second day of practice. Every time we walk in the building, theres four things listed. And every time we walk out, theres four things listed. The most important one is, doing our job."

So when I come in, its actually pretty easy," Brady admitted. "I follow the game plan that he puts up there. I think for each guy that comes in, they have to do the same thing. Its not, Hey, Toms got a different set of rules, Wes has a different set of rules. Everyone has the same set of rules.

There is no way to predict. It's really all guessing.

"Every player is different," Belichick said Friday. "There are no two players that are the same. There are no two players circumstances that are the same. There are no two of us that exist that are the same. Everything is different with each guy."

Ocho will tweet his love for Brady and act as if he's wandered into the NFL's Garden of Eden. Brady appreciates that and likes the enthusiasm. But it comes back to one thing, he said.

Hes just fun to be around. He loves football," Brady said of his new target. "I think thats why guys do well here. Because they love the game. They love to compete. They show up, and they want to win. To be a good player on this team, you have to put the team first."

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

Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

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Perry's Patriots 53-man roster projection

With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.