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

Report: NFL paid Goodell over $31 million in 2015

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Report: NFL paid Goodell over $31 million in 2015

Roger Goodell's salary has reportedly fallen in recent years, but he's still paid handsomely for his work as NFL commissioner.

According to the Associated Press, Goodell earned just over $31 million for 2015. That's a seven percent decrease from the $34 million he received for 2014. 

The NFL's last tax return served as an indicator of Goodell's 2015 salary. The league's tax returns no longer have to be made public since it has changed its status from exempt to taxable, per the AP.

The next-highest paid executive at the NFL offices on Park Avenue? General counsel Jeff Pash, one of the most prominent players in the Deflategate sage, who earned $6.5 million in 2015, down from $7.5 million in 2014. 

Richardson suspended one game for violating personal conduct policy

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Richardson suspended one game for violating personal conduct policy

The NFL announced this week that Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson has been suspended without pay for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. 

Richardson will miss his team's season-opener against the Bengals and will be eligible to return to the Jets active roster on Sep. 12. The Jets and the Patriots meet for the first of their two division games on Nov. 27. 

Richardson responded to the news of suspension on Thursday. 

In July of 2015, Richardson led police on a high-speed chase -- hitting speeds as high as 143 miles per hour -- in suburban St. Louis. Police reported a strong odor of marijuana in the car and inside found a loaded, semiautomatic handgun that was possessed legally. Richardson had a 12-year-old relative riding with him in his Bentley at the time of the incident.

In January, Richardson pleaded guilty to resisting arrest. Though he avoided jail time, he was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service. 

Richardson has been one of the league's best defensive linemen since entering the league as a first-rounder in 2013. He served a four-game suspension to start last season after violating the league's substance abuse policy.

PFF: Collins is 'the best linebacker in the AFC'

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PFF: Collins is 'the best linebacker in the AFC'

He may have been left off of the NFL Network's Top 100 list, but Jamie Collins isn't flying under the radar at Pro Football Focus.

On PFF's list of the top 10 defensive players in the AFC, the Patriots linebacker came in at No. 8 and was given the description as the top linebacker in the conference.

Collins' versatility within the confines of the Patriots defense is what makes him so valuable, PFF's John Kosko explains: 

"He doesn’t dominate in any one role like Luke Kuechly does in pass coverage and run defense, but he is very good at all facets of the game. Collins has the athleticism to cover TEs and HBs effectively, the explosiveness to rush the passer, and the size and strength to defend the run. 

"The former Southern Mississippi linebacker is arguably the most versatile player in the NFL, and allows Bill Belichick to employ a defense that confuses opposing quarterbacks. With the only knock against Collins being his 34 missed tackles the past two seasons, the Patriot is the best linebacker in the AFC."

Collins graded out as the No. 5 linebacker in football last year, per PFF's numbers. He ranked behind only Carolina's Luke Kuechly, Minnesota's Anthony Barr, Indianapolis' Jerrell Freeman and Seattle's KJ Wright. 

Fellow Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower earned the 10th-highest grade for linebackers last season, according to PFF -- a grade that likely would have been higher had his snap-count (602 in 2015) approached that of Collins (792).

While Collins is a rare physical talent, the argument could be made that it's Hightower who is the more important player to the Patriots defense given his prowess as a pass-rusher and run-defender. He also has myriad responsibilities as the extension of the team's coaching staff in the defensive huddle. 

In order to slow down opposing passing games, many Patriots defensive packages employ either five or six defensive backs and just two linebackers. Lucky for them, they have two of the best in the conference.

Both Collins and Hightower are entering contract years this year, and finding a way to keep them in-house figures to be near the top of the list of priorities for the Patriots front office.