Miami's trouble with tight ends could give Aaron Hernandez a big game in the national spotlight Monday night.
Pepper Johnson talks about the improved play of Ron Brace from last year to this year, and the development of the younger defensive linemen.
I guess maturing. I didn't view him as being so bad last year in the Buffalo game, but some guys mature a lot faster than others. And I don't mean that as far as him being a young guy, he's never a guy that's playful, he's just learning the professional game a lot better now.
I think those guys are doing well. They're making a little progress. It's tough. It's tough for a young guy to come into a situation where you have some established guys who are already on the team. But as soon as those guys, we feel a little bit more comfortable about them, and the game, the teams that we play have a lot to do with it, too, you'll see more of those guys. But they're coming along, probably a little bit more than expected.
Nick Caserio touches on how Aaron Hernandez can be effective in the second half after teams adjust their defenses.
What must happen in his game to react to go from having a linebacker cover him to a safety? NC: Offensively, Sunday was a good example, I think there were seven different players who caught a ball. A guy's production in the first half, whatever happened in the second half, it's not necessarily a reflection of what the defense is doing. It might be the situation or a case of the quarterback went somewhere else with the football. Aaron has shown he's got a good skill set, he's athletic, he's got good quickness, he's got good hands, he's good with the ball after the catch. However defenses want to handle that, that's up to them. Our job offensively is just to go out there and execute the offense and get the ball to the guy that's open. I think Tom [Brady] did a really good job of that the other day. He was pretty efficient [and] got a lot of people involved. That helps the overall functionality of the offense. The more people that touch the ball, it puts a little more stress on the defense. Hopefully, we can continue to execute and be consistent week-to-week whether it's first half, second half or over the course of the game.
Bill Belichick talks about what he's seen from Miami QB Chad Henne in terms of growth and development since last year.
[He's a] good quarterback. We saw that last year. I think it's continued. [He has] good poise. [He] manages the team well. [He] does a good job at the end of the game, end of the half, third down, red area-type situations. [He] hasn't turned the ball over. [He] does a good job operating the offense, which is a pretty complex and diverse offense that they use. They use a lot of formationing and check-with-me's and audibling and things like that. So, just watching him on film, he looks pretty comfortable with everything they're doing. There's not a lot of mistakes, bad plays, delay of games - you know, things that are screwed up. Everything looks to run pretty smoothly and he operates it well. He makes good decisions and has a good arm, pretty athletic. He can move around a little bit back there in the pocket and he can make all the throws. He's a good, solid quarterback. He's done a good job for them.
- Game Preview: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins. Broadcast info, series history, team connections and more.
- Ask PFW: On the defensive.
- Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week: TE Aaron Hernandez has been nominated for his 6 catches for 65 yards and 1 rush for 13 yards in Sunday's win. Fans can vote for him to win.
Tuesday Conference Calls: Pepper Johnson (9:15 min.), Nick Caserio (9.13 min.) and Bill Belichick (11.24 min.) Plus transcripts.
- Patriots Today - Looking ahead to Dolphins. (4.06 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Wilfork, Meriweather on Patriots Monday. (3.48 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Coach Belichick on Patriots Monday. (2.33 min. video)
- Patriots Today - 'Kick Cancer' campaign. (2.01 min. video)
- Karen Guregian focuses on RB Danny Woodhead and the potential huge impact he can have on the team.
- Albert Breer looks at the Tom Brady/Dan Koppen pairing, saying it's becoming one of longest tenured QB/center combos ever.
- Mike Reiss charts how Tom Brady distributed the ball against the Bills, and through the first three weeks.
- Karen Guregian attempts to gauge the confidence level of the Patriots defense.
- Tom E. Curran points out which side of the field opposing QBs are targeting on the Patriots defense and why.
- Mark Farinella answers the not-so-simple question on the Patriots defense, "It's coming. Be patient."
- Mike Reiss charts which Patriots defenders are making the most tackles. Chung and Mayo top the charts.
- Mike Reiss breaks down special teams tackles for the season.
- Mike Reiss breaks down Shawn Crable's first NFL performance.
- Mike Reiss says the Patriots sub defense needs some work.
- Mike Reiss discusses the out-of-sync Patriots defense on SportsCenter Monday. (2 min. video)
- Mike Reiss notes the Patriots are still considering who will fill the open spot on the roster, created when OT Steve Maneri was released.
- Paul Kenyon sees it only getting harder from here for the Patriots.
- Karen Guregian catches up with Zoltan Mesko and Stephen Gostkowski as they participate in the Patriots Charitable Foundation's "Kick Cancer" initiative.
- Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Belichick is not expecting the Wildcat to be a huge part of Miami's gameplan; Bill Parcells still has his imprint on the Dolphins' roster; Stephen Gostkowski met with young patients at Mass General yesterday while Zoltan Mesko spent time with patients at Dana-Farber.
- Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: Zoltan Mesko is striving for consistency with his punts; Vince Wilfork hasn't slacked off even an inch after signing his big contract; Belichick talks Wildcat and WR threat Brandon Marshall.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag, with pleas imploring him to fix the sagging defense.
- Albert Breer discusses Bill Polian's 'announcement' that the 18-game season was a done deal.
- Jeff Howe asserts moving to an 18-game schedule is likely to lessen the quality of play and increase injuries.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East high energy player of the week: BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Tight ends giving Patriots versatile attack.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Some AFC East slippage in power rankings.
- Don Banks (SI) Inside the NFL: Flip-flopping coaches, surprise 3-0 teams... little's predictable in NFL.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB - Tuesday Edition: Refocused, hungrier Roethlisberger prepares for return to Steelers.
- Luis DeLoureiro (NY Times) Quantifying the impact of turnovers in the NFL.
- Andy Benoit (NY Times) 18-game season is a bad bet by the NFL.
VIEW FROM MIAMI
- Ben Volin (Palm Beach Post) Miami Dolphins look to bounce back against inconsistent New England Patriots.
- Omar Kelly (Sun Sentinel) Key matchups vs. New England Patriots.
- David J. Neal (Miami Herald) Tight ends punish Miami Dolphins' defense.
- Ethan J. Skolnick (Sun Sentinel) Dolphins' WIldcat becomes a little predictable.
- Jeff Darlington (Miami Herald) Is the struggling Miami Wildcat close to extinction?