Patriots

Brady: 'It’s up to us to go do something' vs. Saints

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Brady: 'It’s up to us to go do something' vs. Saints

FOXBORO – Two days after the Patriots watershed loss to the Chiefs back in 2014, Tom Brady toiled through a Wednesday press conference that was marked by furrowed brows and questions that began, “How concerned are you . . . "

Moments after he was done at the podium, he beat the media back into the team’s locker room. I’d already slipped out ahead of the pack to try and catch him for a brief side chat. 

Brady saw me, smiled and kept moving. “Rough crowd out there today,” I asked. Brady smiled and said, “Yeah, talk to me next month.”

The quarterback knew that the bludgeoning at Arrowhead was a short-lived thing. Tighten up the protection, ratchet up the urgency, grow a pair and things would be fine. No such thing as a finished product in October. 

He was right. 

There’s a little less to go on after this latest loss to the Chiefs. This one wasn’t as unsightly as the one in 2014 but there are also more moving parts on both sides of the football than there were back then. Further, Brady didn’t sound the alarm in 2014 that there was something lacking in the team’s overall competitiveness. 

Wednesday, I asked Brady if a team can easily change its stripes when it comes to things like effort, commitment and urgency.

“What you are in September is different than what you’re going to be as the season goes on,” Brady began. “You’re trying to see where your deficiencies are and you’re trying to make improvements. Obviously, what we did the other night is not good enough by any means, in any particular phase of the game, at any position. When you get outscored by 21 points or outgained by 200 yards in the fourth quarter, there’s a lot of things that need adjusting . . . 

"[New Orleans] isn’t going to make it easy on us,” Brady added. “We have to go earn it, just like the last team. There’s not a bunch of easy plays out there. There’s no magic play you can call. You’ve just got to make no excuse and go make the play. We’re all going to be challenged with that opportunity.”

It seemed, as Brady continued, that he would really like to see people competing at about “hair on fire” level at all times. And he continued to intimate that’s not what he’s seeing.

“I think [will] is important and you bring it every day,” he said. “There’s urgency in practice and the coaches put a lot of pressure on us. Veteran players and leaders put a lot of pressure on you because you’re trying to perform at a very high level. When you get beat the way we got beat I think that sat with everyone for a very long time. We’re going to have to go do something about it. I mean no one else can do it for us. We’re the only guys in the locker room. No one else is putting on the uniform. It’s only us. It’s up to us to go do something about it so that’s what we have to be able to do.” 

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski's never suffered a break like the one Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday night, but he has been through enough to know what lies ahead as the Celtics forward stares at a lengthy recovery period.

"I saw it. I mean, I wish him nothing but wellness," Gronkowski said on Wednesday. "Hopefully he heals ASAP. You never want to see that with a player in any sport. When my friend showed me that last night, you get that feeling in your body, like, your heart drops. I wish him well.

"I can't wait to see him back. I know he's going to bounce back. Being here in Boston, he's going to be a hard worker it feels like. I can't wait to see him back."

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Multiple back surgeries, a plate in his arm, a surgically-repaired ACL . . . Gronkowski has put in his share of rehabilitation work. Asked if he'd give Hayward any advice as he embarks on his road back to normalcy, Gronkowski's message was simple.

"Just go into rehab just like you go into anything else. Dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you're 100 percent . . . He wouldn't be where he is now if he wasn't a hard worker. I don't know the guy. Never met him. But it's not something you want to see as an athlete happen to anyone else."

Gronkowski acknowledged that in his experience, one of the biggest hurdles following an injury like that is the mental one. You quickly go from being a powerful athlete to a patient in need of help with even the smallest of tasks. 

"There is a big mental challenge, definitely, with that," Gronkowski explained. "It's not just not being able to be with your teammates and all that. It's outside of football, too. Because it takes away your whole life, going out like that . . . You can't do anything. You can't walk. You gotta have people do [things for you]. You get really frustrated. You just want the people around you to help you out and keep you in the best mindset throughout the whole process."

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent; Hogan added

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Patriots-Falcons practice report: Gilmore, Rowe absent; Hogan added

FOXBORO -- Chris Hogan only had one catch for 19 yards against the Jets. He very nearly had a second grab in the second quarter, but Tom Brady's throw was off the mark, and Hogan's ribs were exposed for rookie safety Marcus Maye to hammer. The pass fell incomplete and Hogan crumpled to the turf. 

He didn't leave the game, but Hogan did end up on Wednesday's injury report as a limited participant in practice due to a ribs injury. He was one of three players added to this week's injury report. Linebacker Elandon Roberts has an ankle injury and did not participate in Wednesday's workout. Guard Shaq Mason has a shoulder issue and was limited. 

Eric Rowe and Stephon Gilmore, neither of whom were spotted at the start of the session, did not participate.

Here's Wednesday's full practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Falcons game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle)
LB Harvey Langi (back)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
WR Chris Hogan (ribs)
G Shaq Mason (shoulder)

ATLANTA FALCONS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
K Matt Bryant (back)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
OLB Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring)
LB Jermaine Grace (hamstring)
LB Deion Jones (quadricep)
DE Takk McKinley (shoulder)
LB Duke Riley (knee)
WR Mohamed Sanu (hamstring)
DL Courtney Upshaw (ankle/knee)