Patriots

Belichick: Brady is a difficult player to coach

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Belichick: Brady is a difficult player to coach

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick sat down with Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network this week to talk about the upcoming season.

The NFLN folks were good enough to forward over a pair of Brady-related quotes from the interview which will air on NFL GameDay Morning this Sunday at 9:00 AM ET.

Lombardi asked Belichick about Brady's comment earlier this year that he hadn't gotten over the loss to the Jets in the 2010 postseason.

Im not sure how many losses Ive ever gotten over," Belichick replied. "I remember a couple of games I lost in high school and Im still not over those losses either. When you put a lot into the game, the losses stay with you. Thats part of sports. You can never get them back, but it just drives you a little harder next time.

Having been in a losing Patriots locker room and seeing how visibly angry Belichick can be, that's not hard to believe.

After the 2005 playoff loss to Denver, I remember clearly him walking through the locker room, his face a mask of focused, quiet anger. You saw it in 2006 after the AFC Championship loss to the Colts in his postgame interview. You saw it again after Super Bowl 42. Belichick empties his soul into these games -- which may not be the healthiest approach -- and the convalescence from a season-ending loss is ongoing.

Lombardi asked Belichick about working 1-on-1 with Brady as was seen in "Bill Belichick: A Football Life."

"Tom and I get together every week and talk about the preparation for the team were playing," Belichick explained. "Hes a tough player to coach because hes so well prepared; hes seen all of the games, hes seen all of the plays. You cant walk into a meeting with Tom Brady and only have watched half of the film because hell bring up things that hes seen in other games. You dont want to be sitting there saying I didnt watch this, or I didnt watch that.

In a story I did for NBCSports.com prior to the 2009 season, Belichick told me the same thing but elaborated a bit more.

"You have to be better prepared than he is because he sets such a high standard with his preparation and his level of understanding, Belichick told me. As a coach, youre competing with that, trying to exceed that or else, what are you doing (for him)?

You dont want to go into a meeting with him and say, Well, this team didnt hit a lot of outcuts against (this defense). Hell turn around and say, Well, in the Green Bay game last year they did. They hit five of them. Youll want to have seen that game and make sure you know what happened so that hes not telling you what happened when you should be telling him what happened.

Should be an interesting watch.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

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Vikings hold off Lions 30-23 to extend win streak to 7

DETROIT = Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to win a seventh straight game, 30-23 over the Lions in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. Click here to read more. 

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

Pats can find reasons for thanks everywhere

The Patriots hit Thanksgiving with an 8-2 record, a stranglehold on first place in the AFC East, and a rest-of-the-season schedule -- save for the much-anticipated meeting with the Steelers on Dec. 17 -- almost bereft of quality opponents. So they have a lot to be thankful for.

But here are some things you may not be aware of . . . 

SURGICAL-GRADE DIPPED LATEX TUBING

Whoever came up with the stuff Tom Brady's resistance bands are made out of -- it's actually "surgical-grade dipped latex tubing sheathed in ballistic nylon," according to the TB12 website -- probably deserves a tip of the cap from the entire region. The 40-year-old uses the bands extensively as part of his training regimen, and he currently leads the league in passing yards, yards per attempt, quarterback rating, rating under pressure and touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

SUSAN SCARNECCHIA

Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was retired just a couple of years ago. He traveled. He spent time with his grandchildren. Then the Patriots called. After some time to think about it -- and after talking it over with his wife Susan -- Scarnecchia opted to come back after two years away from the game. At 69 years old, he's helped this year's unit overcome some early-season struggles, and he still seems to be on top of his game. Think the Patriots are happy he had his wife's blessing to jump back in? 

ELECTRONIC TABLETS

You weren't expecting this, were you? Bill Belichick has said he's not a fan . . . but that's on game days. "I’m done with the tablets," he said last year. "I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me." But when it comes to players using tablets on their own time? They're incredibly useful. Whereas years ago players would have to come into the facility early or stay late in order to watch extra film, now they can study from the comfort of their own homes, on a team flight, or while riding in a car (as long as they aren't driving). For teams that have players who want to be over-prepared, having access to all-22 video at any time can be an advantage. 

DR. ROBERT WATKINS

Who's this, you ask? He's the Los Angeles-based back specialist who operated on Rob Gronkowski's back last year. He operated on the big tight end in 2009 and 2013, and his latest procedure seems to be holding up as well as possible. Gronkowski quickly regained his strength and athleticism, and he continues to be his team's most dynamic offensive weapon. He has 41 catches for 619 yards and five scores this season, and he's been used extensively as a blocker in the running game and in pass protection. Gronkowski deserves credit -- as does the Patriots medical, training and nutrition staffs -- for being so effective in his return to the field, but the Patriots are probably thankful that last year's back surgery went as well as it did.  

FLOWERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Trey Flowers has been arguably his team's most dependable defender this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he's been on the field for 606 snaps, which is fourth among edge defenders. His 338 pass-rush snaps are second among 4-3 defensive ends, per PFF. He's played through injury at times, and he's remained productive. Against the Raiders he had three quarterback hits and three hurries. So why would the Patriots be thankful for Flowers Construction Co.? That's the Huntsville, Alabama company run by Flowers' father, Robert, who put Trey to work when he was growing up. The work ethic he learned on-site has helped him go from a fourth-round pick who lost most of his rookie season to injury into a playing-time iron man and one of the team's most reliable defenders.

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