Belichick: Ball protection is No 1 priority

Belichick: Ball protection is No 1 priority
August 23, 2013, 6:15 pm
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The story of the Patriots' third preseason game was first-half turnovers. Its relevance carries plenty of weight, mainly because those turnovers were made by New England's first-team offense, which played its most in-game action of the preseason.

And with so many unanswered questions on offense entering the regular season, the Patriots' ball security on Thursday night in Detroit was suspect enough to raise an eyebrow or two.

So a day later, how does Bill Belichick feel about the three fumbles by Zach Sudfeld, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden?

The same way he's felt since the first day of camp every season that he's ever coached. Ball security is No. 1. And if you don't protect the football, you won't see another one. Just ask Sudfeld, Vereen, and Bolden, who didn't see the ball again with the first-unit after their fumbles.

"That's the message from day one, that ball security is the highest priority," said Belichick in a conference call on Friday. "Anybody who handles the ball, that's the message from day one. I think that message has been delivered on a daily basis since we started practicing back in mini[camp]. I don't think there's any revelations about that message. Ball security is very important. Anybody who handles the ball, in any situation, can make no mistake about the importance, there can be no mistake about that message. That message has been delivered ad nauseam."