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New England Patriots Links 8/30/10 - First Waive: Five Must Go

Robert Mays catches Brandon Tate talking about his breakthough moment.

Returning kickoffs at the professional level was an adjustment for Tate. While openings in college left some room for hesitation, the NFL provides no such luxury.

"I’ve just to got to hit it,’’ Tate said. "Hit it and go. You can’t do too much dancing. The holes close up on you. That’s one thing I had to learn fast.

"It’s a little faster. You’ve got to make your decisions quick. You don’t have too much time to think because the dudes will be on you quick.’’

Albert Breer hears Tom Brady recount Belichick's discontent with the team after Thursday's loss to the Rams.

"He gave it to us pretty good on Friday after the game and then again yesterday," Brady said. "There's always a running joke with our team about humble pie, and he was serving it up on Friday. Just what we needed, we didn't go out and play very well. Hopefully we can learn from it and move on."

But it didn't take until that Friday meeting for the message-sending to begin. Brady got the picture when Belichick declined to go for a fourth-and-short during the game.

"I think he was just pissed off at us," Brady said. "At that point I think he was pissed off at everybody. I went over, I said, 'Coach, it's six inches.' He was like, 'Get off the field!!' I said, 'Let's go for it!' I think he wanted to do that just to yell at us, just so he could say these are the things we can't do."

Albert Breer catches up with former Patriots WR Donte Stallworth who remembers 2007 fondly and talks about what it takes to learn the Patriots offense.

"That was a special year and a special team," Stallworth said. "It’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing football. Getting to learn from coach [Bill] Belichick and Josh [McDaniels], playing with and learning from the older guys there. It was just a real special year . . . Even though we didn’t win it all, I still carry that feeling that we did."

Stallworth said he was touched by the amount of support he got from his ex-Patriot teammates during a trying time. In particular, he said his close friends Wes Welker, Sammy Morris, and Benjamin Watson helped, and he also got a lengthy email -- most guys just texted -- from Tom Brady that meant a lot.

"When I felt like the world was coming to an end, knowing they had my back, that helped a lot," he said.

As for that "special year," Stallworth said playing with Brady left an impression. "Just seeing the way he prepares for the game, watching him work, the things he does, it's easy to see why he's such a great player," he explained. "Obviously, he'll be forever etched in there with the all-time greats."