Patriots

Belichick, athletes send condolences to Krafts

191543.jpg

Belichick, athletes send condolences to Krafts

With the news of the passing of Myra Kraft, athletes -- some Patriots, some not -- took to Twitter and other outlets to give their condolences to the Kraft family.
Coach Bill Belichick: On behalf of the entire Patriots football operation, we mourn the passing of Myra Kraft. As much support as her quiet but unmistakable presence provided us in the competitive arena and as much as I personally will miss her warm embraces before and after each game, Myra shined brightest in a much broader arena. In the humanitarian arena, her generosity through philanthropy was admired and appreciated by all. She made a permanent impression on hundreds of coaches, players, staff and our families as a model of grace, strength and giving. Myras vision and example will impact and remain very much with our team forever.

Matt Light: "She wasn't someone that we saw like Robert and Johnathan and the rest of the family. but her impact was felt in many other ways. And just the things that she did in that community and what that did for the guys on the team. It really drove me to do a lot and to give back, to find my little niche, and to be a part of that community. And I'll tell you she's an incredible person, she really was."
Jerod Mayo to Boston Globe: "I am extremely saddened with the passing of Myra Kraft. Shehas been a mainstay in the community and the Patriots family. Her giving spirit along with her countless random acts of kindness and philanthropy will continue to be a legacy to be remembered."

Vince Wilfork: "(expletive) lockout I don't even know how to get in touch with Mr. Kraft to offer my support and condolences a wonderful life lost that I probably would have had the chance to see again if it wasn't for the problems!! Luv ya Myra "momma". Sorry guys had to vent myra was a wonderful woman who my wife and I loved dearly somuchmorethanfootball"

Kevin Faulk to Boston Globe: "Myra Kraft meant a whole lot to me and my family with her influence and her generosity. ... She did so much for the state of Massachusetts as well as the Patriots."

Leigh Bodden: "Praying for & wishing the Kraft Family the best through this tough time."

Darius Butler: "My condolences and prayers go out to the Kraft family during this tough time."

Brett Lockett: "All my prayers and blessings go out to Robert Kraft and the Kraft family. We are suffering a major loss in the Patriot family."

Devin McCourty: "Please give your thoughts and prayers to Mr. Kraft and his family on the passing of Mrs. Kraft."
Zoltan Mesko: "Behind every great man, there stands a great woman My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kraft family. Rest in Peace Myra H. Kraft."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "I would like to extend my prayers and sincere condolences to the Kraft family during this difficult time. Please keep them In your prayers."

Julien Edelman: "My Prayers go out to the Kraft family."
Heath Evans: "We have lost 1 of the greatest women I know & hands down the finest in all of sports wthe passing of Mrs. Myra Kraft"

Dane Fletcher: "RIP Myra Kraft Thoughts & prayers go out to Mr. Kraft and the Kraft family, she was a very unique & special person!"

Taylor Price: "Prayers and condolences go out to Myra Kraft and the Kraft family."

Lawyer Milloy: "Myra Kraft has passed away. With my Brisk depature from Boston, she is the one person that I regret not saying goodbye too. As a young playerman she was a gr8 example of how a woman stands beside, not behind, a man of power! I never got a chance to say thanks 4 that lasting impression. R.I.P. You will be missed."
Taylor Twellman (Revolution): "Today is a very sad day. Myra Kraft in '02 when I came to Boston opened her arms to me and made me feel like her son. morethansports. And will forever remember what MyraRobert meant to me and my parents when I signed @NERevolution. My 2nd set of parents were n Boston!"

Chad Ochocinco: "@lindacohn I've never been part of the Patriot organization but my condolences to the team and the Kraft family.May Mrs. Myra Kraft r.i.p"

Braylon Edwards: "RIP Mrs. Kraft, my prayers and condolences go out to the entire Kraft family."

Dante Stallworth: "@mortreport oh no!! That's terrible news... Great family, great ownership that really cares about EVERY player! My condolences to the Krafts."

QUICK SLANTS PODCAST: Belichick ignoring noise? Or trying to change the narrative?

quickslantspodcast_clean.jpg

QUICK SLANTS PODCAST: Belichick ignoring noise? Or trying to change the narrative?

3:00 Why has Bill Belichick been so surprisingly positive of his team’s performance in tight wins?

6:30 Phil Perry breaks down what grades he gave the Patriots on his report card following the win over the Jets

15:00 Reaction to the Austin-Seferian Jenkins overturned touchdown, and what changes need to be made in the NFL replay system. 

23:00 Why was Patriots offensive line much more effective against Jets?

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

25:00 Patriots-Falcons preview, how did Falcons blow a 17 point lead to the Dolphins?

What's missing from Patriots? A defense that has a clue

What's missing from Patriots? A defense that has a clue

FOXBORO - We’re not quite at the point of fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, or 40 years of darkness, or even dogs and cats living together, but this Patriots season isn’t headed down the right path, despite a 4-2 record and the top spot in the AFC East. 

There are several elements that appear missing at this juncture - chief among them a defense that actually has a clue. Please don’t celebrate holding the Jets to 17 points - I’m looking at you, Dont’a Hightower. Josh McCown threw for just 194 yards against the Cleveland freakin’ Browns for goodness sake, but he got you for 354 and two scores?! Even the 2009 Patriots defense is offended by that.

MORE

We’d be foolish to think the Pats can’t get this leaky unit fixed for reasons so obvious I won’t state them in this space so as not to waste my time or yours. We also know - long before Bill Belichick’s 6 1/2-minute explanation on the Monday conference call - that it's not supposed to be perfect right now. Actually, it’ll never be perfect. That’s not how this game works. 

Yet week after week, we see uncommon breakdowns and one defender looking at the next as if to say, “I thought you had him?” or more to the point, “what the hell were you doing?” It started Sunday at MetLife on the third play of the game. Malcolm Butler, playing 10 yards off Robby Anderson, looking as if he’s never played the position before, inexplicably turning his back on Anderson even though the wide receiver makes no real move to the post. That results in just about the easiest completion of McCown’s life, a 23-yarder on third-and-10. 

On the same series, on another third-and-long, the Pats rushed four and dropped seven into coverage. Defensive end Cassius Marsh continued his season-long trend of rushing so far upfield he ended up in Hoboken. With Deatrich Wise ridden outside on the opposite edge, McCown wisely stepped up and found prime real estate with New York City views. He wanted to throw and could have when the Pats fouled up a crossing route from the backside of the play. But with that much room to roam, McCown took off, scooting for a quick 16 yards and another first down.

Fittingly, that drive ended with a Jets touchdown on yet another dumb play, this one courtesy of Mr. Hit or Miss, Elandon Roberts. Channeling his inner Brandon Spikes, the second-year pro blew off his key and responsibility on third-and-goal from the 1, charging hard to the line. This, despite one of the most feeble play-action fakes you’ll see. In fact, I’m not even sure it was a real play-action fake. Anyway, score it as a touchdown to Austin Seferian-Jenkins and an indictment on David Harris, who apparently can’t vault past the erratic Roberts on the depth chart.

Similar to the week prior in Tampa, the Pats found better footing after that. They forced three straight three-and-outs in the second quarter and then helped turn the game when Butler intercepted an ill-advised throw by McCown just prior to the half. They got another turnover to start the third, with Butler coming off the edge on fourth-and-1 and forcing McCown into panic mode. The veteran QB fired an off-target throw to - get this - a wide open receiver who went uncovered on a drag route and Devin McCourty was gifted an interception.

But this group frowns on prosperity. It took a little-seen rule to prevent a Seferian-Jenkins touchdown in the fourth, and on the game’s final drive, the Pats allowed a 32-yard completion on fourth-and-12. Then, on what turned out to be the Jets final play, the Pats let Tavaris Cadet leak out of the backfield and run unchecked 20 yards down the field. Had McCown not soiled himself again, Gang Green would have had a first down and at least one crack at the end zone. Then, who knows what the heck happens?

It was just a season ago that the Patriots led the entire NFL in scoring defense. If you’ll recall, we spent a better part of the year wondering if that defense was championship quality. Turns out they were. Right now, we’re wondering once again if this defense is of that ilk, but through an entirely different prism. It’s on the players and staff to change the current outlook, or those cats and dogs will have to figure out their shared space.