New England Patriots Links 9/29/10 - Fins Week Begins

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.

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