Patriots

Harrison happy to see Patriots getting defensive

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Harrison happy to see Patriots getting defensive

Ex-Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, how a football analyst for NBC, is encouraged by what he saw in the Patriots defense in Monday night's win over Miami.

Specifically, he's delighted to see a change in philosophy.

"In '03 and '04, when we had most of our success, we were an attacking-style defense with Romeo Crennel as our coordinator," Harrison told Tom E. Curran on Thursday night's edition of 'Quick Slants'. "We played a lot of man-to-man coverage, we locked our corners up on the outside, and we would blitz linebackers, safeties. We had a lot of communication, a lot of disguise.

"Then all of a sudden they started getting away from that. They became a very conservative defense. And that bothered me, because I felt like it was more of a . . . 'bend but don't break' mentality.

"Now I feel like they have an opportunity to come out here and establish themselves. They got big guys up front, they have a very athletic secondary . . . and I was really proud Monday night just seeing these guys blitzing, moving around . . . things that we used to do that made us successful."

Harrison also understood former teammate Tedy Bruschi's blast at Chad Ochocinco for saying he was in "awe" of the Patriots offense.

"I got a chance to talk to Tedy . . . and he asked me . . . 'Were you ever in awe of what we did as a Patriot?' And . . . I wasn't in awe, because you're so . . . wrapped up in working hard, preparing, all the necessary things you have to do to make the team better," said Harrison.

"So you never had time to tweet. You never had time to do anything . . . but study football . . .

"I think it comes down to a certain attitude and a certain mentality. And Tedy, he's an old-school guy. He's very smart, he's always prepared, one of the hardest-working guys that I've ever played with. So you can understand why Tedy was so upset, along with other guys."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

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