Curran: Offense continues to roll

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Curran: Offense continues to roll

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - There was a point in the first half when my former Providence Journal colleage, Steven Krasner, leaned over and said, "It looks like the Patriots just have more guys on the field."And it did. New England rolled up 274 yards of offense and Brady threw for 240 as the Patriots leaped to a 20-7 halftime lead over fellow AFC power San Diego. Brady went 20-of-23, including two big throws to the maligned Chad Ochocinco (15 and 40 yard completions). He also hit six other receivers in the half as the Pats scored on each of their four possessions (touchdowns to Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski; 22 and 47-yard field goals by Stephen Gostkowski). The Chargers got their share as well, putting up 243 yards of offense (196 passing yards from Philip Rivers). But the Patriots came up with an outstanding goal-line stand capped by a fourth-and-goal stop by Jerod Mayo on Chargers' battering ram Mike Tolbert at the goal line. New England promptly went 99 yards the other way on a 10-play drive to make it 17-10. San Diego was moving the ball until, with 19 seconds left and San Diego at the Patriots' 29, Rivers tried to loft a pass into the flat and Vince WIlfork came up with his first-career pick. Starting at the Chargers 47 with nine seconds left, Brady hit Deion Branch with two darts that gained 18 yards in six seconds and Gostkowski pounded through his second field goal as time expired.

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

Belichick: 'All the experts in the league' can decide on number of preseason games

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Belichick: 'All the experts in the league' can decide on number of preseason games

FOXBORO -- After Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson went down with a torn Achilles in a recent preseason game, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said he wouldn't mind if the league eliminated preseason games. 

"If I had my choice, I'd go none," Harbaugh said. "That might be an extreme point, but we could run scrimmages, or we could run practices against other teams and figure it out. We'd all be in the same boat. That's for people higher up than me to decide."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked on Tuesday afternoon for his thoughts on the value of the preseason. 

"I think I’ll let all the experts in the league decide that," Belichick said. "That’s not really my job. My job is to coach the team. But, I think our joint practices give us extra opportunities to evaluate the team. That’s why we use them.

"I’d say probably almost every team in the league does that. There might be a couple who don’t, but most of them do one, sometimes two. It seems to me like most of the teams want that type play and competition and opportunity rather than less of it. You want to play against somebody else. I don’t know why you wouldn’t schedule a few extra scrimmage days. But, you should talk to the experts about that. That’s not really my . . . we just play by the rules."

Rodney Harrison apologizes for saying Kaepernick is ‘not black’

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Rodney Harrison apologizes for saying Kaepernick is ‘not black’

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison apologized on Twitter for saying Colin Kaepernick wasn’t black after saying in an earlier radio interview that the 49ers quarterback wouldn’t understand the discrimination people of color face every day.

“I’m a black man, and Colin Kaepernick, he’s not black,” Harrison told a Houston radio station. “He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people or people of color face on a every single [day] basis when you walk in the grocery store, and you might have two or three thousand dollars in your pocket and you go up into a Foot Locker and they’re looking at you like you’re about to steal something. I don’t think he faces those type of things that we face on a daily basis.”

Kapernick, who ignited a controversy when he refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game to protest racial injustice, is biracial. His birth mother is white and he was adopted by white parents.

Harrison, now an NFL analyst for NBC Sports, later tweeted the following: 

 

 

 

Brady believes Patriots will have plenty of emotion, energy without him

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Brady believes Patriots will have plenty of emotion, energy without him

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has been an emotional leader for the Patriots since he took over the starting quarterback's gig back in 2001. He leads the team out onto the field. He screams and yells and holds his teammates accountable and generally plays with a level of passion that borders on hysteria. 

Brady was asked how the Patriots might cope without him for the first four weeks of the regular season.

"We’ve got a lot of great leaders on this team," he said. "The veterans, I think we’ve got like -- we’ve got a lot of really good players, a lot of really good leaders. I think we’ve always done a good job cultivating guys to step in and fill the void. I think we’ll do a great job with that. Between our coaches and our players, we’ve got a lot of great leaders, so I’m very confident in that. We’ll go out and play with a lot of energy and emotion that we always do."

The last time the Patriots went without Brady for an extended period of time was in 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Brady explained that during that stretch, he wasn't able to expend much energy watching games because he was so focused on getting well. This time, he hopes to return to the team with an improved perspective on his job.

"It will be tough to watch, but it will be fun to watch in some ways to see what it looks like when you’re not there," Brady said. "That’s a different perspective. Hopefully I can use that perspective and then come back with better perspective saying, ‘Wow, I really noticed some things that maybe I wouldn’t have seen had I been there.’ So that’s kind of what I’m going to try to do."