Patriots

Sterling Moore settling into NFL career

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Sterling Moore settling into NFL career

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore, like most players, is settling into the NFL in his second season.
"I wouldn't say I'm established yet," he told reporters Friday. "I'm going to go out there every week and try to show I deserve to be out there on the field. But I'm more comfortable being here with the team and in the defense."
As it goes, the best players for the job are the ones on the field. It just so happens Moore's playing time is on the rise.
The 22-year old played just one snap in New England's season opener against Tennessee. Ras-I Dowling got the nod ahead of him, earning 37 snaps (57 percent of the defense's total). In Week 2, not only did Moore play 29 snaps (46 percent of the total), seeing a lot of time in New England's nickel defense, but Dowling was a healthy scratch.
He feels he's ready for the jump, especially after having a full offseason with the team. Last year he didn't sign with the practice squad, let alone join the 53-man roster, until October.
"I'm a lot more comfortable," he said. "It's night and day for me, cause I came in, didn't know the techniques they wanted me to play, didn't really know the defensive schemes, I was just kind of thrown out there. This year I know who I'm out there with, I know where they're going to be, and I know the scheme. It helps slow the game down for me."
Moore is all too happy to put distance between this year and the last. Was he thrilled to play in a Super Bowl his first year in the league? Absolutely. Does it make him sick to recall how the Giants' win almost came down to Lee Evans making the game-winning touchdown catch in his face? Ab-so-lutely.
"I've seen it quite a bit," Moore said of the play, "but most times I try to change the channel every time it comes on."
Yes, even though Evans didn't make the catch. Moore's ball strip that saved that play -- saved the game for at least another moment -- was just a hairsbreadth away from a totally different outcome.
"It kind of reminds me how close I was to kind of losing the game."
So he's moved on. From everything -- last year's harried learning curve, Super Bowl XLVI, even the early insecurity of 2012. Moore isn't willing to dwell.
"I just shrug it off."
And settle in.

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."