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New England Patriots Links 10/07/11 - Power Lines: Pats D Must Be On Against Jets O

Vince Wilfork responds to a question about the chemistry on the line.

It's a learning process but I think the more we play, the better we get - just knowing how each other plays. One thing I can tell you, it's a bunch of great guys - hard workers, tough guys. These [are] guys that can just go to work for you. You don't have to worry about these guys giving 100 percent because they're going to give it. That comes with time. I think we're getting better as a unit. I think we're moving forward. I think we're starting to come around and make a little bit more plays. I think the more we play, the more plays we will make. The situations that we're put in, sometimes you can't see that. But we know. The more we play, the better we get, I believe.

I'm pretty happy with the pressure that we've been getting. It hasn't been perfect at times. But at the same time, it hasn't been bad at times. Just because we're not recording sacks, we're getting hits, we're hitting the quarterback [and] we're getting some guys free. But you have to get all those things working together - the coverage and the rush, it works together. The back end knows that and we know that up front. We know that when these guys cover, we have to get home. It's a team effort. It's definitely a team effort. But I think we'll get better. Like I said, we don't have anyone here saying 'We're the greatest defense and there's nothing else we can to do to get better.' Everyone sees exactly what each other sees - that we can get better, there are some things we can change and some things we can play differently that allow us to be a better defense. We're making strides toward that. I expect big things out of this defense to come. The more we play, the better we're going to get. I think that's what we need.

Aaron Hernandez uses humor in his attempt to speak with the media without saying anything.

How does his injured left knee feel today, came the first question?

He responded with nothing more than a guttural sound.


Awkward laughter ensued.

He was then asked how to transcribe that answer.

“Aaahhh?” he offered, adding only the inflection of a question at the end. The laughter increased.

Was there anything Hernandez would like to add?

“Aaahhh,” he stated matter-of-factly, to yet more laughter.

“I feel pretty good,” he conceded. “I’m just trying to get healthy, take it day by day.”

“It’s always frustrating [to miss games] when you love the game,” he added, “but as I say, I’m just taking it day by day. Can’t wait to get back.”



  • Ian Rapoport reports Jerry rice is impressed with Wes Welker, who's on pace to reach his receiving yards record.
  • Monique Walker notes Bill Belichick has a lot of confidence in Dane Fletcher, which he shows by continuing to increase his responsibilities on the field.
  • Chris Gasper believes the Jets will bring their best against the Patriots, who must prove they're up to the challenge this time around.
  • Mike Rodak says the Patriots are preparing for an unpredictable Jets defense.
  • Mike Reiss shows that if the Jets go the "ground and pound" route Sunday, the Patriots have already proven they can answer that challenge.
  • Tedy Bruschi Bruschi's Breakdown: Pats face Jets team looking for identity.
  • Ron Borges sees everything about the Patriots-Jets rivalry boiling down to matchups, and that includes the Jets kick return team vs. the Pats kick coverage team.
  • Chris Forsberg points to drive stats logged by Football Outsiders that show Stephen Gostkowski and kickoffs are a big reason for New England's success.
  • Jermaine Wiggens explains how the Patriots will try to prevent a repeat of Tom Brady's problems with the Jets' defensive schemes. (4.37 min. video)
  • Ron Borges thinks the most important difference between Mark Sanchez and Tom Brady this week are in the sack numbers per pass attempts.
  • Mike Reiss notes the Patriots have an unexpected opening on their practice squad, as Eric Kettani has been denied leave from the Navy and called back to the USS klakring.
  • Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat. Good insight here, per usual.
  • Julian Benbow waxes poetic about Plaxico Burress' return to football.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Aaron Hernandez, Albert Haynesworth and Mike Wright were back at practice yesterday; Gary Guyton is ready to resume his role as signal-caller for the Patriots defense; RB Eric Kettani is returning back to his ship and active duty in the Navy; Vince Wilfork thinks the idea of getting valuable information from former Jets players is overrated.
  • Michael Vega Patriots Notebook: Aaron Hernandez took a non-verbal approach to describe how his knee was feeling; Vince Wilfork doesn't mind saying he'd rather Jets center Nick Mangold sit out this one; Rob Gronkowski says as much as he enjoys getting TD passes, he equally enjoys blocking; Injury and practice update.