Strength in numbers for Pats' defensive line


Strength in numbers for Pats' defensive line

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
MIAMI GARDENS - While members of the Dolphins defense were sucking wind Monday night, the space-eaters along the front of the Patriots defensive line seemed, comparatively, fresh as a daisy. The very deep rotation the Patriots employed Monday night allowed them to get the most out of their big men despite the heat in South Florida. "Heat always plays a factor on both sides of the ball," said Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. "You could just see tonight, our offense with the up-tempo slowed their defense a little bit. With the number of bodies we have here (on the defensive line), a lot of people played today, we kept guys fresh. We havent had that in the past but we have it now and I think we'll use that to our advantage and I think that wasa good thing for us."Newcomeer Albert Haynesworth was sucking wind in the Patriots' final preseason game against the Giants. It was the only one in which Haynesworthplayed. He looked in better condition Mondaynight in his in-and-out appearances. "I played a good bit," Haynesworth pointed out. "I knew we were going to rotate a lot to keep us fresh so, I liked it. I liked it a lot. I liked the rotation to keep us fresh and keep us going. They want you to not be out there half-assed. They want you to go your hardest for how many plays you can. Then when you can't go your hardest, you come out and catch your breath and get back to where you can go your hardest again and go back in. It was a great feel."Aside from Haynesworth and Wilfork, the Patriots also rolled in Myron Pryor and Kyle Love at the defensive tackle spots. Mike Wright started the game but was out by the second quarter and was on the sidelines without his helmet. Wright,who suffered a concussion last year,told me after the game he was "fine" but that the medical staff took his helmet away to prevent him from going backas a "precaution." Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter and Mark Anderson were among those rotating in at ends in the 4-3. "The good thing about it is everybody know what they're doing," said Wilfork. "You don't have anybody out there don't know what the heck they're doing and that's a positive for us. That's one of the things we have working for us this year is that we have a lot of depth and we want to use it. We have a lot of good football players and we're going to continue to use it. It makes it harder for our opponent to game plan for us. If they wear one set out, guess what? We got another set coming in."Asked how having Haynesworth lined up next to him impacted his game, Wilfork replied, "Well, can't double too many people."

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Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out


Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The full Patriots and Falcons injury report:

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'


Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

FOXBORO — You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last “you’ve got to be kidding me” injury to open a Boston season before Gordon Hayward. 

That injury, of course, was the torn ACL suffered by Brady on a hit to the left leg from Bernard Pollard with 7:27 left in the first quarter of Week 1. Brady missed the rest of the season and the Pats went on to miss the playoffs despite going 11-5 under Matt Cassel. 


Brady, who reached out to Aaron Rodgers last Sunday after the Packers quarterback was lost for the season, said he felt for Hayward after the Celtics’ key free agent acquisition suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle 5:15 into the season opener against the Cavaliers Tuesday.

“It’s just a big reality check for all of us because we all think we’re invincible to some degree, and then you go and you have this really tough injury that just happens,” Brady said. “It is tough and everyone probably goes through something a little different or it hits them at different times, and I feel bad for [Hayward and Rodgers], but I’m sure they’ll both come back stronger and better than ever. 

“That’s what you have to do as an athlete. You’re always faced with adversities and you’ve got to overcome them. Mental toughness is a big part of that. I know both those players have a lot of that.”