Patriots

Brady: Patriots offense is stronger on the outside

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Brady: Patriots offense is stronger on the outside

Tom Brady spoke Sunday on SiriusXM NFL Radio about the upcoming season and what he's seen at camp so far.

When asked about his physical condition this year, Brady seemed to be pleased with how he was feeling.

"Yeah, I feel good and think every year as you go you become a little bit more efficient in which you do in the offseason and you figure out the things that work for you and the things that don't necessarily work for you."

"I always say that the best part of my life is playing football and having this job, so I take it very seriously and every day you wake up in the offseason and try to figure out ways to be a better football player and that is still a challenge going into my thirteenth season."

"I think I've figured out a few things and I'm excited to see how those play out on the field."

Brady was then asked about the newest addition to the Patriots' offensive arsenal, Brandon Lloyd and his freakish athletic ability.

"I think you saw some of that today in practice too with his ability to jump and body control. He's got great hands, a great feel out there. It has been a lot of fun being with him."

"I know he's played for a bunch of teams in the course of his career, but hopefully he settles in here and he's here for a long time."
The Patriots quarterback also commented on the strengths of his powerful offense -- and how it's evolving.

"The strength of our team was between the numbers, that's where a lot of the passes went. If they didn't cover us outside, we threw it out there. But when you have Aaron and Rob and Wes on the inside, it's hard, you got three pretty good players."

"Deion made plenty of catches for us out there, but in terms of the contributions made on the outside, that was our guy. Now you add Donte Stallworth, Jabar, and Brandon. I think there are some guys out there we can take advantage of some match ups."

"If you cover us inside, we're gunna throw it outside and if you cover us outside, we're gunna throw it inside. You wanna play deep, we're gunna throw it short. That's good offensive football. You go out there, see what they're doing and you go to the weak spot."

"Every defense doesn't have every single strength that a defense could have. That's the chess game of football."

You can find the full Sirius interview here.

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.

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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.

Have the offseason changes negatively affected the Patriots locker room?

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Have the offseason changes negatively affected the Patriots locker room?

The Patriots improve their record to 4-2 with a win over the Jets, but there are still a lot of concerning factors for New England. Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen talk about something the team isn't used to - close games.

Giardi also dives into whether there is a major problem with the locker room dynamic, and whether all the moves they made in the offseason were blown way out of proportion by the media and fans of the talent added, but didn't factor in the personalities they lost.

Koppen and Giardi also look at how the offensive line play has fallen off, despite the same personnel as last year. Finally, discussing the late scratch of Stephon Gilmore due to a concussion. Anything to read into the timing?