Patriots

Anderson making most of new start

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Anderson making most of new start

FOXBORO -- Losing Andre Carter and his 10 sacks is a blow for the Patriots defense. But Mark Anderson, one of the rushers who'll be called on since Carter ripped his quad on Sunday, has nine sacks this year.
In other words? Anderson as a replacement is not ideal. But better than if New England had nobody who could get to the quarterback. "If you lose somebody like Andre, that's a very key player to our defense," said Anderson. "But my role is not going to change. I'm still gonna go out there and play hard. Conditioning and preparation don't change. One of our soldiers went down but everyone has to step up."Andersonhit a career crossroads during the lockout. A fifth-round pick from Alabama in 2006, he rolled up 10 sacks as a rookie. But his production in Chicago dipped to the point he was an October release by Chicago last season. He spent the remainder of 2010 in Houston then was a free agent. He's had a bit of a rebirth here in New England. "This has been an opportunity for me to start fresh," he explained. "It was a great thing for Bill (Belichick) and Mr. Kraft to consider me during the lockout and when the season started. I just try to go out there and have fun and make the most of every opportunity."Since he's only signed through the end of the season,does he have a sense he's entering a new phase in his career?"Whenever you get the opportunity (you have to maximize)," he explained. "I got a great opportunity here with New England and I know I have to make the most of the opportunity because I'm blessed to even be put in this situation. I'm having fun. Fun is the only word to describe what's going on right now."

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

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Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."