Albert Breer notes the players are getting the message, from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
"I think it would’ve been laid down at any time of the year, regardless of whether we lost. That’s not acceptable here," linebacker Tully Banta-Cain told me, after I presented him with the news of the day. "That’s Bill’s deal, and I think in general, everyone’s sense of urgency is a little higher now. We’re in that part of the season where it’s a four-game season. "The antennas are way up. I think if anything it just brings the sense of urgency up even higher."
"Even more guys are coming in, watching more film," Banta-Cain continued. "We’ll see what we can do in practice today, and I think everyone’s got that gameface on right now. They’re not waiting til Sunday to put it on. I think Tom is a guy we definitely look to for that type of leadership, and I’m pretty sure everybody will respond to it."
Well, I think a lot of it, you know, you've got to bring awareness to what we, as leaders, and what our coach thinks are issues on the team - issues that we face as a team, individually, collectively. It's not about playing hard on Sundays. I mean, we do that. That's three hours a week that you have to show up and really commit yourself to. I don't think that's too much to ask of anybody and guys do that. It's not like we think we're not fighting out there in the game. I think what coach tells us and what I was alluding to was probably more of just the other six days of the week. We've got to make the commitment to each other. And if it's Monday and it's Tuesday and coach wants us to come in on Monday and work or stay for a two-and-a-half-hour practice on Wednesday and Thursday, then with no bitching and complaining, just doing the job.
I think at times we all feel a little bit sorry for ourselves an you're beat up and you're tired and you're sore and it's the end of the year and you go, ‘Why is he doing this?' But in the end, you're either gaining ground on a team or you're losing ground, and I always prefer to be gaining ground and getting ahead and staying ahead over the course of the week through walkthroughs, through meetings, through post-practice film, through you're film study on Tuesday, through all of the treatment that you've got to do. There's a lot that goes into it. I think that if we can keep adding that 10 percent, 20 percent, whatever it may be - probably everyone's got to look at themselves differently. I know what I need to add, and that's obviously what I need to commit to do for myself and for this team.
- Patriots sign DL Titus Adams, place DB Bret Lockett on IR.
- Erik Scalavino Bleary-eyed Brady engages in baby-talk; Wed notes from Gillette.
- Wednesday Pressers: Bill Belichick (15 min. video), Tom Brady (14:23 min. video). Plus Transcripts.
- Patriots locker room quotes.
- Back to work on a Wednesday (9:04 min. video). Today:
- Patriots-Wednesday practice participation and injury report.
- Karen Guregian feels the late players may have been the proverbial straw that snapped Belichick, as the last player to get high-profile discipline from him was Terry Glenn.
- Christopher Price notes Kevin Faulk's reaction to Belichick's disciplinary action and Brady's statement. Faulk has his own leadership role on the team, keeping Tom Brady accountable.
- Shalise Manza Young writes it's yet to be determined if Belichick's stand with the players will inspire or backfire.
- Monique Walker reports the players understand why Belichick did what he did, and why Brady said what he said, and know they have to practice better to play better.
- Eric Ortiz says not even a note from the Pope could have saved Moss, Thomas, Guyton and Burgess from the wrath of Belichick. They were late, and Belichick wanted to send a message to the rest of the team.
- Chris Gasper notes the Patriots defensive problems aren't so much a personnel failure as a system failure, and Belichick's two-gap scheme is outmoded for today's NFL.
- Shalise Manza Young says Moss is obviously a big part of New England’s air attack, but wonders if teams have figured out how to shut him down.
- Ian Rapoport wonders why the tight ends aren't seeing the ball more, especially with recent opponents focusing on shutting down Moss and Welker.
- Albert Breer reports the Patriots added QB Jeff Rowe and WR Darnell Jenkins to the practice squad.
- Adam Kilgore says Steve Smith understands what Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, and Derrick Burgess are feeling today, and John Fox understands where Bill Belichick is coming from.
- Monique Walker notes Brady welcomed his new baby son into the world and then reported to Gillette after being up all night.
- Ron Borges hunts down ex-Patriot Richard Seymour to pound home how his presence would have helped New England's anemic pass rush. "They wish it was that easy to replace me, but it’s not."
- Mike Reiss breaks down the weekly Patriots penalty leaderboard, with Logan Mankins and Tom Brady tied with 7.
- Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots record when leading at the half. This year is way, way off the norm.
- Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Panthers' WR Steve Smith is having a quiet year; QB Jake Delhomme didn't practice yesterday (broken finger) and the Panthers might go with QB Matt Moore again; Tully Banta-Cain had the team's one and only sack Sunday and knows they have to try harder.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Michael Smith calls the New England Patriots a 'team in crisis'. (1:25 min video).
- Tim Graham (ESPN) How will Patriots respond to trouble?
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Did stress of new baby affect Brady's play? I noticed he was carrying kind of low.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL's biggest rip-offs.
Bengals' example in utilizing practice squad.
(SI) Teams should follow
VIEW FROM CAROLINA
- Charles Chandler (Charlotte Observer) For QB Matt Moore, the job is all about trust.
- Darren Gantt (Rock Hill Herald) Panthers' Moore focusing on making better choices, trusting himself.
- Charles Chandler and David Scott (Charlotte Observer) Smith says he'd "probably get in trouble" if he spoke out about the passing game.
- Darren Gantt (Rock Hill Herald) Panthers' Peppers draws glowing praise from Belichick.
Steve Reed (Gaston Gazzette) Delhomme still unable to grip the football.