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New England Patriots Links 9/28/11 - Patriots' Rushing Defense to be Tested in Oakland

<em>RB Stevan Ridley had some success running against the Bills Sunday</em>.
RB Stevan Ridley had some success running against the Bills Sunday.

Bill Belichick answers questions about the upcoming game in Oakland, and if there is a carryover from a loss the week before.

I really think each week is a new week. Each week presents new challenges. Sometimes the matchups from one week are more or less favorable than the week before. Again, a lot of times you never know exactly how a team is going to play anyway so you have to be ready to make adjustments during the game. You go in with an idea and you have some options. And then based on the way the game unfolds, sometimes it goes a little differently than the way you think it will once you see how it's going. You try to game plan wide and give yourself enough flexibility to be able to adapt and put your team in the best opportunity you can to be successful and be competitive. We have confidence in all the players on the team and whatever all they're asked to do. We'll put them in there and have them do it. If we didn't, then we'd have somebody else.

Q:  Rolando McClain, one of the Raiders linebackers, was asked to describe you guys. He kind of called you guys a ‘finesse team.' I don't know exactly how he meant it. What do you think when you hear a description like that?

BB:  I don't know . You'd have to ask him about it then. I don't know what he meant or how he meant it or anything else. We're trying to be a winning team - that's what we're trying to be.

Nick Caserio says rookie RB Steven Ridley made the most of his opportunities Sunday.

He was a productive back against a good level of competition. He made the most of his opportunities on Sunday - like a lot of players have. I think the most important thing is week-to-week try to improve on your performance from the previous week and develop a level of consistency - whether it is Ridley or whether it is really any other player on this team. I think that's really the most important thing - to learn from last week and move forward and figure out how you can improve and how you can help the team in whatever capacity that may be.

I think he's got strong qualities - he's big [and] physical. He's got a lot to learn and a long way to go, but we will see how it goes this week.

Bill O'Brien responds to a question about Richard Seymour and the best way to handle a guy like him who's that disruptive in the middle.

That's a good question. That's a tough question. These guys are really big up front. They're a physical defense, they're fast. Again, that's part of our discussion right now of all the different areas of their defense and how we're going to handle some of the problems all over the place that they present - challenges that they present. So, there are a lot of different things you can do - I'm certainly not going to tell you, but he's playing really well. They're all playing really well right now; it's a really good football team that's playing fast and physical.



  • Greg A. Bedard previews the Raiders' run-first, smash-mouth offense in which QB Jason Campbell has attempted only 82 passes in three games.
  • Karen Guregian writes about the need for the Patriots ground game to improve.
  • Chris Forsberg notes rookie RB Stevan Ridley saw his most extensive action Sunday and provided a bright spot in the loss.
  • Mike Petraglia wonders if Stevan Ridley is ready for a break-out.
  • Greg A. Bedard sees inconsistency and repeated errors, both in technique and execution, in the secondary.
  • Monique Walker reports the Patriots will re-sign veteran DL Gerard Warren, according to a league source.
  • Tom E. Curran thinks re-signing veteran DL Gerard Warren may help slow down Darren McFadden.
  • Fred Smerlas believes the Pats' young defense lacks coordination.
  • Paul Perillo says that the defense's inability to make crucial stops means they're not a Super Bowl team. They're the Colts.
  • Jeff Howe thinks stopping Richard Seymour will be vital to the Patriots success in Oakland, and 19 other Patriots thoughts.
  • Ron Borges focuses on Richard Seymour leading the Raiders' revival.
  • Chris Forsberg revisits the Richard Seymour trade two years later.
  • Jeff Howe notes that Bill Belichick doesn't allow injured players to travel with the team on road trips, but has made an exception for Kevin Faulk.
  • Christopher Price talks about what might have been, if Bill Belichick had taken a coaching position with the Raiders.
  • Chris Forsberg serves up a few noteworthy soundbites from Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien, and Nick Caserio yesterday.
  • Mike Reiss looks at where the Patriots rank in key statistical areas, with the big dip coming with the red-zone defense.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag, with plenty of insight as usual.
  • Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: Sunday will be a test for the Patriots rushing defense; Patriots bring back DL Gerard Warren and released DL Landon Cohen; Julian Edelman is prepared for however the coach wants to use him Sunday, as last week he even lined up in the backfield.
  • Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: With Deion Branch, each game has been either feast or famine; Branch wants to do more to contribute to the game but knows the feeling of 'being in a groove' like Wes Welker was in Buffalo; Bill O'Brien lumps Chad Ochocinco with the coaches and a 'bunch of guys' trying to correct mistakes and get better; Belichick is well aware of the Raiders old-school running game; Julian Edelman has added kick return duties to his punt returns this season.
  • Monique Walker reports BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Deion Branch and Julian Edelman visited students at the Morse Pond School in Falmouth yesterday to celebrate volunteerism.
  • Chris Forsberg sees Tom Brady is still tops in Total QBR in spite of his four-interception effort.
  • Mike Rodak reports the Patriots hosted three offensive players for workouts on Tuesday, including two fullbacks.