It Is What It Is
Follow football writer Christopher Price at In addition, get the latest updates at
A Patriots Blog Blog Network

Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I just do what I’m told. I’m not overanalyzing anything’ regarding removal from Monday’s game

10.01.14 at 8:38 am ET
By   |   Comments
Tom Brady and the Patriots were crushed Monday night. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Tom Brady suffered one of his most embarrassing losses Monday night. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan, Tom Brady attempted to explain the team’s poor play in Monday’s embarrassing loss to the Chiefs and why the already-struggling offense appears to be getting worse. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady acknowledged he did not have a good game, but he downplayed the importance of one disastrous night for him and the team.

“I think you’ve got to have enough mental toughness to endure through all the situations,” Brady said. “This game, it tests your will, it tests your mental toughness, it tests your discipline and your work ethic. I think those are the things that are going to be tested by us the rest of the year. I don’t think it’s just going to be easy to just roll out helmets out there and expect to go out there and win games. We’ve got a lot of tough opponents, the competition’s tough.

“It was a tough loss the other night, but whether you lose by one point or you lose by 30, they’re all going to count the same in the end. We’ve got to figure out the things that we need to do better, which is quite a few things in order to be a lot more competitive than we were. It was a disappointing loss, but at the same time we’ve got to be able to move on. We’ve got a short week and we’ve got a great opponent. We don’t want one bad week to turn into two bad weeks. That’s where we’ve got to show, like I said, our mental toughness and our ability to move forward, learn from our mistakes and hopefully not repeat them.”

Brady was removed from the game in the fourth quarter, with the result no longer in doubt, and backup Jimmy Garoppolo entered and threw a touchdown pass. Bill Belichick laughed off a question in his postgame news conference about a quarterback controversy.

“I just do what I’m told. I’m not overanalyzing anything. We were getting our butts kicked,” Brady said. “It was a situation where we didn’t have a good game. That’s what coach wanted to do, so that’s what we did.”

Routs of the Patriots in the Belichick-Brady era are rare, and past teams have been able to avoid allowing bad games to lead to bad seasons. However, the 2014 team has underwhelmed since the start of the season, leading to questions about whether these Patriots can turn things around.

“There’s no magic play, there’s no magic scheme. It’s us as players playing a lot better than we’re playing,” Brady said. “This hasn’t been an isolated incident. I don’t think offensively we’ve played well all year. I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time. We’ve got to figure out the reasons why we’re not playing as well as we’re capable and try to improve them.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady,

In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

10.01.14 at 12:02 am ET
By   |   Comments
Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

Every week, we list the Patriots’€™ “offensive touches,”€ a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. Here’€™s a breakdown of the 2014 New England offense after four games:

RB Stevan Ridley: 60 (57 carries, 3 catches), 4 negative runs
RB Shane Vereen: 43 (28 carries, 15 catches) 1 negative catch
WR Julian Edelman: 30 (4 carries, 26 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 13 (13 catches)
WR Brandon LaFell: 10 (10 catches)
RB Brandon Bolden: 9 (8 carries, 1 catch), 1 negative run
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
RB James White: 6 (3 catches, 3 carries)
QB Tom Brady: 5 (5 carries), 9 sacks, 3 kneeldowns
WR Danny Amendola: 3 (3 catches)
TE Tim Wright: 3 (3 catches)
FB James Develin: 2 (2 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 1 (1 catch)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 1 (1 catch)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 sack

Notes: The Patriots had three negative plays from scrimmage on Monday — three sacks (two of Brady, one of Garoppolo.) … On the season, New England has run 260 plays from scrimmage, and 16 of them have gone for negative yardage, not including kneeldowns. …  Against the Chiefs, the Patriots ran 49 plays, a season-low, and none of them in no-huddle. In addition, 27 of their 49 snaps (55 percent) were in shotgun formation. … On the season, the Patriots have run 19 of their 260 plays out of no-huddle (7 percent) and 94 snaps in shotgun (36 percent). By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps.

Read More: offensive opportunities,

Bill Belichick on D&H: Monday’s loss ‘wasn’t a good night for us, period’

09.30.14 at 6:08 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined WEEI’s Dale & Holley show on Tuesday to discuss New England’€™s 41-14 loss to the Chiefs on Monday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

There were very few aspects of positive play for the Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium, as New England fell behind 17-0 after one half of play and could not get the ball moving on offense throughout the second half to mount a comeback.

“It just didn’€™t go well last night,” Belichick said. “We didn’€™t get off to a good start, ended up playing from behind. We weren’€™t able to stay on the field offensively in the first half. Defensively, we gave up a long touchdown drive on a couple of big plays and then ended up with a field goal at the half, which certainly some points that could have been saved there. Instead of it being 10-0, or even 14-0 at the half, it ends up 17. Then we turn the ball over three times in the second half and the game got out of hand. It just wasn’€™t a good night for us, period.”

With the Patriots down by a significant amount in the final quarter, Belichick replaced Tom Brady with rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. Belichick said the score was the reason he brought in the first-year quarterback.

“I thought the game was out of hand at that point. I took a lot of players out,” Belichick said. “I played some guys that need some playing time.”

Continued Belichick: “Every player on the team is part of the evaluation of the team every week: what we can do, how we can do it better and what our plans are. There’€™s no player that isn’€™t part of the team, every player is part of the team at every position.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick,

Tedy Bruschi on D&H: ‘Right now, [Tom Brady] isn’t one of the elite quarterbacks’

09.30.14 at 4:14 pm ET
By   |   Comments

In the aftermath of the Patriots’ 41-14 demolition at the hands of the Chiefs on Monday Night Football, former Patriots linebacker (and current ESPN analyst) Tedy Bruschi pulled no punches in examining the state of his former team. He suggested that the Patriots were out-coached when they were on defense (praising Chiefs coach Andy Reid for using misdirection plays to open up the field, particularly the weak side of the line for the running game) and simply beaten up when their offense was on the field.

“You’re comparing the world championship teams, of course there’s a major talent deficit,” Bruschi, in his weekly interview on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, said. “They’re not playing at a world championship level.”

He noted that Chandler Jones can be coached to improve his technique and do a better job of holding his ground on the weak side of the line for runs, while adding that he felt that Vince Wilfork had performed adequately at the point of attack, with the issue being the large holes emerging next to him on the line. Bruschi said that he felt the defense would have to be the defining presence of the team given some of the offensive shortcomings on display that show little possibility of immediate resolution.

No one was beyond blame for the offensive woes. Asked if Tom Brady remained an elite quarterback, Bruschi was candid.

“Right now, he’s not one of the elite quarterbacks, just based on performance. I can’t say that,” said Bruschi. “Based on numbers, wins and losses, accuracy, throws down the field — no. He’s not. He’s not playing like it.”

That said, Bruschi quickly added that some of coach Bill Belichick‘s player personnel positions had destined Brady to struggle. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Darrelle Revis, Jimmy Garoppolo, Logan Mankins, Richie Incognito

Bill Belichick: ‘We just didn’t do a good enough job really in any area’

09.30.14 at 12:50 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The day after one of the worst losses in recent franchise history, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said not much has changed.

“€œWe just didn’€™t do a good enough job really in any area,”€ Belichick said on a conference call Tuesday morning. “[There was] no consistency offensively, didn’€™t do a good job defensively against the running game, didn’€™t convert on third down, in the red area. Offensively we weren’€™t good on third down. We just dug ourselves a hole and then a good pass rush team, like the Chiefs are, we put ourselves in a bad situation in the second half and they capitalized on it.

“I think Kansas City did a good job ‘€“ give them credit. But we didn’€™t really just do much to help ourselves last night, period. The offense didn’€™t help the defense; the defense didn’€™t help the offense. We just didn’€™t play a good complementary game. We put ourselves in some bad situations.”

Things don’€™t get any easier for the Patriots, who will host the unbeaten Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium on a short week. It’€™s part of a stretch of four games in 18 days for New England, which sits at 2-2 with one-quarter of the season completed.

“€œThere’€™s no doubt that this will be a challenging period of time for our team in terms of our mental toughness and resiliency and being able to handle a lot in somewhat of a compressed period,” Belichick said. “But that’€™s what it is and we’€™ll try to do the best we can in terms of utilizing our time as productively as we can. As I said before, it’€™s a balance of all those things. It’€™s a balance of correcting things. It’€™s certainly a lot of preparation and moving forward with the next opponent, in this case, a very good one in Cincinnati. Yeah, we’€™ll have to put those things together and find a way to get as much done as we can with the opportunity and the time we have allotted.”

One area where the Patriots could get a boost is at cornerback and wide receiver. Brandon Browner and Brian Tyms are scheduled to come off their four-game suspensions this week, and could provide New England with depth and support at both positions. As for how they might fit as the roster is presently assembled, Belichick said that remains to be seen.

“Those two players have [not only] missed four weeks, four games, but all the practice time as well. We’€™ll have to see where they are relative to the other players,” Belichick said. “I think both those guys had good preseasons and they both had very positive impacts in the opportunities they had in preseason. But in the time that’€™s passed, we’€™ll see how far behind or where they are relative to their teammates that have been practicing and working over that timeframe.”

For more Patriots news, check out

Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Browner, Brian Tyms,

Pressure Points: Which Patriots have done best job getting after QB?

09.30.14 at 12:37 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Every week over the course of the 2014 season, we’€™ll provide a look at the Patriots pass rush numbers. Like all stats, the numbers have to be placed on context of game-situations and personnel. And while sacks can be overrated, when evaluated as part of a bigger picture that includes quarterback hits and quarterback pressures (the latter courtesy of Pro Football Focus), it should provide a good picture as to which defenders are consistently able to get after the quarterback. Currently, the Patriots are tied for ninth in the league in sacks with nine. Based on the official NFL game books and PFF, here’€™s a look at the pass-rush numbers for the Patriots after four games for the 2014 regular season:
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: pressure points,

Rodney Harrison on MFB: ‘[Tom] Brady just looks like he’s scared to death back there’

09.30.14 at 12:37 pm ET
By   |   Comments

NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots’ embarrassing 41-14 loss to the Chiefs on Monday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Harrison said he was “shocked” at the performance by his former team, as the Patriots were dominated for one of the rare times in the Bill Belichick era in Foxboro

“I’m trying to be mellow, but it really hurt me,” Harrison said. “I’m not used to seeing a team go out that was so unprepared, a team that was flat-out embarrassed. You expect your best players to step up and be able to make plays, and you put on that tape and you just see quarterbacks not afraid to go at [Darrelle] Revis, Vince Wilfork, he missed a tackle that could have stopped that touchdown, [Jerod] Mayo gets burned on a touchdown, [Tom] Brady just looks like he’s scared to death back there.

“It’s so many issues. If it was just one issue, then you could probably fix it. But it’s so many issues, that’s the concern that I have.”

Added Harrison: “This was a case of the Patriots going into a situation and you’d think the players just showed up and said, ‘OK, I’m part of the Patriots, we’re going to win this game.’ But if you look at the Oakland film, Oakland should have beat the Patriots. So this is a team that everyone says, ‘Hey, don’t worry, they’ll be fine.’ No, you have to worry, because they have a lot of looming issues.

“You look at the offensive line, they looked like basically Kansas City was going up against a high school offensive line. They have no deep threat. Where’s the deep threat? Then you pay Danny Amendola all this money and he’s just virtually nonexistent. So if I’m Bill, I’m definitely concerned. You look on the defensive side of the ball, you can’t even get a pass rush. So it’s a lot of issues there.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Browner, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski
Latest on Twitter
Patriots Box Score
Patriots Schedule
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback