Harrison happy to see Patriots getting defensive

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Harrison happy to see Patriots getting defensive

Ex-Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, how a football analyst for NBC, is encouraged by what he saw in the Patriots defense in Monday night's win over Miami.

Specifically, he's delighted to see a change in philosophy.

"In '03 and '04, when we had most of our success, we were an attacking-style defense with Romeo Crennel as our coordinator," Harrison told Tom E. Curran on Thursday night's edition of 'Quick Slants'. "We played a lot of man-to-man coverage, we locked our corners up on the outside, and we would blitz linebackers, safeties. We had a lot of communication, a lot of disguise.

"Then all of a sudden they started getting away from that. They became a very conservative defense. And that bothered me, because I felt like it was more of a . . . 'bend but don't break' mentality.

"Now I feel like they have an opportunity to come out here and establish themselves. They got big guys up front, they have a very athletic secondary . . . and I was really proud Monday night just seeing these guys blitzing, moving around . . . things that we used to do that made us successful."

Harrison also understood former teammate Tedy Bruschi's blast at Chad Ochocinco for saying he was in "awe" of the Patriots offense.

"I got a chance to talk to Tedy . . . and he asked me . . . 'Were you ever in awe of what we did as a Patriot?' And . . . I wasn't in awe, because you're so . . . wrapped up in working hard, preparing, all the necessary things you have to do to make the team better," said Harrison.

"So you never had time to tweet. You never had time to do anything . . . but study football . . .

"I think it comes down to a certain attitude and a certain mentality. And Tedy, he's an old-school guy. He's very smart, he's always prepared, one of the hardest-working guys that I've ever played with. So you can understand why Tedy was so upset, along with other guys."

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.

View the gallery here

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.