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New England Patriots Links 9/28/09 - Defense The Story In 26-10 Win Over Falcons

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Bill Belichick talks about the Patriots' short-yardage 4th-down attempts.

Well, the short yardage in our own end ... I felt like we could get a yard. There would have been plenty of criticism if we didn't, but then we were able to get that and basically hold onto the ball. If I'm not mistaken, we were able to hang onto the ball for pretty much the rest of the third quarter. And the other fourth down, we were right on the edge of field goal range. It would've been a long field goal, so I felt like we had a pretty reasonable chance to pick that up.

Fred Taylor on Tom Brady's frustration and demeanor in the huddle and at halftime.

That's why he's great. If he was the type of guy that didn't demand that type of perfection, we'd just get another guy. But he's Tom Brady and he hasn't won all those championships for nothing. As a player, you get in line, you listen, I'm an older guy but I pay attention. He's the leader, he calls the shots, you got to do what he says. That makes the offense go.

[H]e's always speaking to us. He motivates us, he's a competitor, and he makes sure that we're not going to fall into complacency. He's a great person, great player, thank God I'm on his team.

Bob Ryan says "when you play the kind of sound, classic two-way football the Patriots did yesterday, the players have every right to feel they’ve earned their money."

Just remember that it took Peyton Manning a long time to become Peyton Manning after missing all the 2008 exhibition season in the aftermath of knee surgery. In his third game of 2008, Manning was a measly 15 for 29 for 216 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. It can be argued that he didn’t really find his true rhythm until a 320-yard, 2-TD performance against Houston in Week 11. So file all that away as you watch Tom Brady play this season.