Brady talks bounce-back after flat performance

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Brady talks bounce-back after flat performance

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran DETROIT - There was no great search for a silver lining in Motown Saturday night. An all-system failure in the Patriots 34-10 loss to the Lions left Bill Belichick in an "I hate everything" mood. But the bowel-shaking aftereffects outside observers suffer from after losses like this doesn't generally extend to the locker room. Disappointed? Embarrassed?Yup and yup.But, as Tom Brady articulatedduring a rather muted postgame, they're not wondering if they'll ever win again. "I don't necessarily think losing a game and playing poorly ever helps," Brady said after a night spent under siege by the Lions defense. "I think we have to understandwhen you play well, there's thingsyou need to do better; when you lose there's things you need to do better. You don't want to ride the wave of emotion, 'We're great' and 'We suck','We're great' and 'We suck'. "We're confident as a team," he added. "We just have togo play better and that's up to each of us individually. Coach asks us to do your job and he means it. I'm the starting quarterback and he says, 'Do your job' he wants me to do it very well."Even when provided with time to do it well - which wasn't often - Brady was uncharacteristically off. He had three outright misfires. The biggest was a short-hopped throw to a wide open Wes Welker in the seam in the second quarter. On the Patriots' next drive, they went back to a similar play and got a 44-yardtouchdown. But that was really the lone bright spot. Brady said the offensive line wasn't necessarily to blame. "We were trying to get the ball downfield a little bit so you're going to try and hold it," said Brady. "They have a good pass rush. We held up out there (on the offensive line) for a decentamount of time. I have to do a better job making quicker decisions and getting rid of the football and getting it to guys who can do something with it."During the week, Brady stressed that he wasn't quick enoughin Tampa. He wanted to be quickerSaturday night.He wasn't. "In practice it was better but when you get on the game field where it actually means something it didn't really show up tonight."Brady didn't make a single hookup with an outside receiver. Deion Branch didn't see a pass. Taylor Price was targeted once and didn't come up with a back-shoulder throw. Chad Ochocinco and Brady seemed to miscommunicate on a ball Brady threw for a pick (Welker injured his neck making the tackle). Ocho had a tough night. In addition to the interception play, he had two drops as well - one was egregious, the other glanced off his hands - and a holding penalty wiped out a 15-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski on the Patriots first drive. He politely declined to talk after the game. "We communicate quite a bit," Brady said when asked about his long sideline talks with Ochocinco during the second half. "That's what it takes. He hasn't had the luxury of an offseason program and we really have to cram a lot of stuff in but he's very receptive to it, hes very competitive. He wants to do the right thing as we all do."Riffing off that though, Brady added, "I wishI could say we could go out there and everything would be perfect every single game that we play and every snap. Every drive we score a touchdown. But look it's football. When you make a bad play you gotta overcome it. And there's resiliency that comes into this game and mental toughness. And those are all things were trying to build as a team, trying to figure out what kind of team you have. "Things don't start well, you have to figure a way to turn it around," he continued."If one bad drive leads to a bad quarter, which leads to a bad half which leads to a bad game, we'll never win any games because you always have adveristy in this game. We've always got to find ways individually, collective and as offensive and defensive units to try and perform at a high level. And if it doesn't go well, to try harder and turn it around."In an exceptionally curt postgame,Bill Belichick did allow one nugget of specificity to leak. He said the Patriots would probably change their approach to next week's preseason finale against the Giants. That would likely mean the starters get rolled out there for extra activity That would be fine with Brady. "I'd love for us to get out there and play a lot better than we played tonight," he said. "There's gonna be a lot of us who'll be itching to get back out there. After days like this you want to get back on the practice field so you can see the film, figure out the technique errors and decision making errors and make those a point of emphasis."Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

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Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

It came against a rookie quarterback. It came against an offense that averages a league-worst 15.0 points per game. It came against an offense that has fewer yards than any other. 

Still there are signs that Bill Belichick is pretty pleased with where his defense is after beating the Rams 26-10 on Sunday. One came on Wednesday when Patriots.com published its "Belichick Breakdown" for a closer look at a handful of plays from the team's most recent win.

Belichick called his team's third-and-eight stop with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter "probably one of the best good, team defensive plays we've had all year."

The Patriots show a five-man front, but linebacker Kyle Van Noy feigns a rush only to drop into coverage.

"Van Noy in here does a good job on the rush," Belichick said, "and also on the coverage on the back. Just good team defense. Good pass coverage down the field. The quarterback really doesn't end up having a lot of time, but there's no one to throw it to right away."

Belichick noted that all four rushers -- Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich -- all are able to pressure Jared Goff on the play. Combined with strong coverage in the secondary, the Rams nver really had a chance.

Belichick said it looked like a "tidal wave" of defenders bearing down on the quarterback.

"Long wins here . . . on the inside spin," Belichick said, "and Trey Flowers and Hightower both win on the little twist game inside. Then that's Rob with good speed-to-power on [Rams tackle Rob] Havenstein on the outside. Four good rushers. Plus a fifth guy...Van Noy getting that two-for-one on the guard and the back.

"Good team defense. That's great to see. A lot of hard work an execution on the practice field to make that happen."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.