New England Patriots Links 10/14/11 - Pats' D Ready to Man Up Against These 'Boys

Devin McCourty: "We're practicing better as a defense and I think it's showing on Sundays."

Devin McCourty talks about the biggest challenge for the Patriots defense in facing the Cowboys' collective talent on offense.

It's definitely a tough job. Both of their tight ends are very good in the pass game. Then they have two receivers that are good at getting vertical but also bigger guys that can catch the ball short and break tackles. Probably on the whole, as a group, it's going to be a very tough challenge.

With Dez and Miles Austin, they're both bigger, stronger guys. It always helps that it's not the first time you've seen it. Going against different guys this season who have been those bigger-type of receivers, you can use some of what they did against us and how they played. I think the biggest thing is just the physical nature of the bigger receivers - most of the time they're bigger than the corners they're facing so they try to use that to their advantage.

[Tony Romo is] very mobile. He moves around a lot. No play is really ever dead with Romo - even when guys get to him, he's able to escape. I think the biggest thing is once he escapes, he's not always looking to just take off and run. A lot of times he gets outside [and] he's still trying to throw the ball down the field. He has the ability, to really, no matter which side he is on -- left or right -- he can turn his shoulders and get the ball vertical. So in the secondary, we have to stay on our guys and stay ready no matter what he does back there.

Mike Petraglia notes Aaron Hernandez isn't chicken of anything, especially of talking with reporters while eating some of the General Tso's grilled version.

Has he ever thought of trying to eat while he’s playing? "Probably not, because I don’t want to drop any more touchdown catches," Hernandez quipped, referring to his drop at the end of the first half on Sunday, producing the first red-zone interception Tom Brady has ever thrown on home turf.

"So you guys thought that was pretty funny?" Hernandez rhetorically asked the group of cackling of reporters. Uh, yup, we did, Aaron.

"It’s not an excuse, though," he said of the brace. "You’re not thinking about it when it’s on. You still play football. It might make you a tenth-of-second slower but it’s not that big of a difference and you can’t use it as an excuse or I would have on that [potential] touchdown."

"I feel pretty good. Feels better and better every day."

Bill Belichick released a statement after placing Mike Wright on season-ending injured reserve.

"Mike did everything he could to return and contribute to the team.  Unfortunately, we felt the best course of action was to place him on injured reserve at this time."





  • Carlos Mendez (Star-Telegram) Witten says Cowboys need a win against Patriots, not keep it close.
  • Brandon George (Dallas Morning News) Cowboys know settling for field goals inside 20-yard line isn't a winning formula.
  • Rainer Sabin (Dallas Morning News) Cowboys face a Patriots team struggling to adjust to its new defense.
  • Charean Williams (Star-Telegram) Tony Romo sees Super Bowl title in Dallas Cowboys' future.
  • David Moore (Dallas Morning News) QB Tony Romo: 'This team is going to win a Super Bowl.'
  • Rob Phillips ( Timing of Romo's statement no accident.
  • Nick Eatman ( Walking the line: Romo searching for fourth-quarter balance.
  • Charean Williams (Star-Telegram) Romo will wear Kevlar jacket and take painkilling shot.
  • Carlos Mendez (Star-Telegram) New defense has Cowboys LB Ware feeling more free.
  • Rob Phillips ( Ground control: Run game quietly boosting Pats' offense.
  • Nick Eatman ( Patriots TEs another defensive challenge.
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