Bill Belichick addresses the media before the Bye break.
We're just working on a lot of things this week in all phases of the game - offense, defense, special teams. Obviously, we've gotten started on Miami, but also a combination of things we need to work on generically, regardless of who we're playing and that's just kind of across the board. We need to work on everything, stay sharp and improve in every area.
It's a long season, a lot of practices, a lot of different situations. You get a new opponent every week. Things are always changing, so you try to just keep moving in the right direction and just keep improving and that encompasses a lot of things. I don't think right now is the time to be happy or sad; I think it's a time to analyze where you're at and try to make it better.
Ian Rapoport listened to Wes Welker explain his secrets to leading the league in YAC.
An essential facet, the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder from Texas Tech said, is understanding coverages.
"Knowing where defenders are, knowing which way to turn, when I need to get up field, and when I have a little more room to do something else with it," Welker said. "The main thing is securing the ball, getting it up the field, and trying to make something happen."
Welker has gained most of his 484 receiving yards after contact. He said film work has enabled him to find holes in a defense he didn’t really realize were there as a rookie or second-year player.
"I didn’t learn about coverages and understand them," he said. "I knew what they were on film, but I never understood what they were doing on the field."
"Obviously, [Tom Brady] is going to put it where I need to turn," Welker said. "He can see what’s behind me. He’s a really good quarterback. We understand what each other is thinking against different coverages, how he wants me to run the routes, and where he’s going to be putting the ball. It all goes hand in hand."
- Erik Scalavino notes without a game, it's a self-scouting weekend for the Pats. Plus, news and notes from the Patriots locker room and Thursday’s practice.
- Bill Belichick Press Conference (17 min. video) Plus Transcript.
- Patriots Now! Thursday notes from Gillette Stadium. (3.10 min. video)
- Jeff Howe catches us up with how the Patriots will spend their time off.
- Ian Rapoport notes the team will use this time to scour their own film, weed out the plays that haven't worked and build on those that do.
- Shalise Manza Young reports that self-scouting will be a part of the Patriots Bye week focus.
- Christopher Price details how Wes Welker became 'Mr. Reliable' for the Patriots.
- Albert Breer focuses on the Brandon Meriweather of 2009. Calm. Poised. Confident.
- Jim Donaldson says the Patriots' toughest battle will be to stay healthy for the rest of the season.
- Michael Hurley thinks the Patriots' early-season losses could help in December and beyond.
- Albert Breer notes the AFC East trash talking will be getting a lot louder in the coming weeks.
- Mike Reiss tracks how often the Patriots are in sub packages (5 or more defensive backs).
- Jim Lazar unmasks the real Patriots and makes his weekly NFL picks.
Shalise Manza Young notes there were 13 players absent from Thursday's practice. Brady was present and hasn't missed a practice all year.
- Mike Reiss points out that the Patriots pay some practice squad members well over the minimum to show their appreciation for their hard work.
- Mike Reiss reports which free agents the Pats have been working out, to update their emergency list.
- Christopher Price presents the transcript of Wes Welker's short interview with the media yesterday.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly onlint chat. Lots of good questions and insight here as usual.
- Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Players talk about how they'll spend their Bye; Brady honored as the AFC Offensive Player of the Month; Brian Hoyer got playing time two games in a row; Belichick doesn't think the Pats will add any plays on defense, just work on performing the plays they have, better.
- Boston Globe Pro Picks for Week 8.
- Jenny Dell (ESPN) "Countdown Daily" delivers a bye-week AccuScore report for the New England Patriots, and the chances of reaching the postseason are highly favorable. (30 sec. video)
- Flawed owner involvement is one of worst-kept secrets in sports. (SI)
- Bill WIlliamson (ESPN) How long will these streaks last? Broncos, Bucs, Colts, Titans, Saints and Rams.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) Week 8 Picks.