Wilfork: Pats know meaning of one-game season

191543.jpg

Wilfork: Pats know meaning of one-game season

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Vince Wilfork has been giving advice to his younger teammates all season. And now he has the biggest piece of advice of all:

Win or go home.

It's now a one-game season, and every tip he's passed along to his youngerdefensive teammates will have to pay off on Sunday against the New York Jets,or New Englands season will end just as quickly as it ended in last yearsplayoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"You lose this one, you go home," said Wilforkprior to Thursdays practice at Gillette Stadium. "The emphasis has been,all this time, to just remember what we're here for. If we lose this game, wecan't go back and say, 'Next week we have to get ready for this,' because nextweek would be over. I think everybody understands that.

"When Sunday comes, we have to be ready to play. We've got to expect theirbest. We've got to prepare for everything. Like I said, with it being aone-game season, we're likely to see anything, things that we haven't seen,things that we've seen. We kind of know what they like to do, but on top ofthat, like I said, with it being a one-game season, you never know."

Still, the Patriots are approaching it the same way they've approached everygame this season: not too high, and not too low.

"We make sure we know what we're doing out there," said Wilfork."We make sure we know exactly what's going on. That's the key. If we can'tdo that, we're in trouble. I think you get a lot of people pumped up, morejacked, going through the pregame on game day, so as of right now, I thinkwe're even-keel.

"Right now, we're just relaxed, going through our stuff, making our rightpreparations, getting ready for this game. Come Sunday, I'm pretty sureeveryone is going to be jacked up, but we've got to make sure we controlourselves because we've got to play football games. You can get in troublesometimes like that."

Wilfork said he hasnt looked back at what got them introuble last year, when Ray Rice ran one up the middle for 83 yards and anearly seven-point lead. The Ravens took a 24-0 lead after the first quarter,and finished their 33-14 win over the Pats with 234 total rushing yards andfour rushing touchdowns.

New Englands rush defense has significantly improvedthroughout this season, and Wilfork said that came with more studying, morereps, and most importantly, more players understanding their job.

Early on in the year, our run phase was kind of crazy, said Wilfork. Justseeing guys not understand the defense the way it needed to be played. So, astime went on, we got better and better and better. I think now, were sittingback and can say, Okay, weve gotten better, we have to continue to getbetter. We just cant sit back and say, Oh, were good. I think its justeveryone knowing their role, knowing exactly where they need to be and whenthey need to be there and preparation. I think everything we do can revolvearound preparing. If you prepare well, if you do that, youll be okay.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

Belichick: Brady-less Patriots ‘just really focused on Buffalo’

FOXBORO -  A verrrrrryyyy long time ago, the Patriots targeted September. There were t-shirts and everything printed back in 2002 as the Patriots came off of their first Super Bowl title.

The names of that season’s first four opponents – Steelers, Jets, Chiefs and Chargers – were all listed on a bullseye.

How’d that work out? Well, they hit the bullseye for most of September, winning the first three. Then they lost four in a row and the notion of “targeting” a segment of the schedule around these parts went the way of the Dodo bird.

Which may be why, as truly remarkable as this September’s been, Bill Belichick isn’t taking any bows after three damn wins.

“We’re just really focused on Buffalo,” Belichick told me Friday morning when I asked about whether winning the first three in the face of some adversity was a point of pride. “I don’t really care about last week. I don’t really care about two weeks ago. I don’t really care about last year. I don’t really care about four years ago. I don’t really care. I think we’re just trying to get ready and compete against Buffalo. That’s our challenge this week.

“The rest of it – it’s in the books. It is what it is,” he said. “So write whatever you want to write about it. It’s good, it’s bad, I mean I don’t really care. It’s done. We’ve got to do a good job of what we have here with Buffalo. We can’t live in the past. And I respect where you’re coming from, I really do. It’s not like I’m trying to be dismissive of it, but I really don’t care. It doesn’t really matter. Nothing that happened last year, last week, last month really has anything to do with this week.”

Things change after Sunday. The best player the franchise has ever had rejoins a team that – in spite of the adversity – flourished without him. Even though the competition wasn’t what one would call “stiff” compared to challenges Brady faced as recently as last January, it’s still remarkable.

Asked about Brady’s looming return, wide receiver Julian Edelman also redirected.

“We got a game before that,” he pointed out. “When he comes back we'll obviously be happy but we got a job ahead of us with the Buffalo Bills.” 

Asked if there’s some pride taken in the beginning, Edelman replied, “It’s just having pride in your job in general. Really just focusing every week and trying to improve. I say it every week on these cameras, if you try to get better and you get better every week, you're gonna do these things. 

“It tells you that you have a mentally tough team that goes out there and works hard and prepares hard and does the extra things,” Edelman added. “I've been around here a little while and that's just the mentality we've always had and continue to have. We have a tough one against the Bills and we'll see how it tests out against these guys.”

 

 

Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

patriots-garoppolo-brissett-081516.jpg

Patriots-Bills injury report: Garoppolo, Brissett listed as questionable

The inury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

OUT
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

QUESTIONABLE
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)