View from the Stadium: Pats strapped in secondary


View from the Stadium: Pats strapped in secondary

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
OAKLAND-- The Oakland Raiders enter Sunday's game with the league's leading rusher and a passing game that would be best described as "complementary."Yet with the Patriots yielding yards at an alarming rate through the air and nursing injuries in their secondary, the Raiders may be tempted to go up top.
Leigh Bodden and Ras-I Dowling are both inactive for this one. And while Bodden has been disappointing this season, the Patriots are shorthanded in the secondary and can ill afford to be a man down. The corner rotation now has Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, and the little-used, recently-arrived Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams. Raiders' quarterback Jason Campbell is last in the NFL among starters with just 82 attempts. The Raiders have big speed on the edges with wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and rookie Denarius Moore. It will definitely be an area to watch since the Patriots have been so bad at defending downfield throws on the edge.Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

Patriots players got a refresher on NFL social media policy because of Brown

FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week. 

"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."

Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.

"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."

Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."

Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.

"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."