Patriots

Patriots CB coach Boyer: Focus on the next play

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Patriots CB coach Boyer: Focus on the next play

FOXBORO -- When Sam Bradford went deep down the middle of the field to Chris Givens for a 50-yard touchdown pass on the first drive of Sunday's game against the Patriots in London, people in New England reacted the most logical way they could.

It wasn't anything new. It was the same old Patriots secondary getting burnt by a speedy receiver, and a quarterback airing it out to him.

Fortunately, for the Patriots defense, they aren't heading the bye week while having that one play weigh too heavily on their minds. Because after that 50-yard touchdown pass, New England didn't allow another point for the rest of the game, leading to a 45-7 win.

Even with that one play, questions still exist.

But Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer pointed out on Thursday that, sometimes, it's not always what it seems.

"I think in each game, whether it looks bad, there's always some good things out there," said Boyer. "And whether it looks good, there's always some bad things out there. So, there's always stuff for us to improve on. There's always stuff for us to work harder on and get better at. And there's always some good things in there that we feel good about, that we're building upon as well."

The Patriots' secondary built upon a bad experience in that first drive on Sunday, exemplifying exactly what the coaching staff preaches to them. Play with patience, not panic.

"The most important play is the next play, whether the play that happened is good, bad, or indifferent, you need to move on," said Boyer.

New England's defense did just that on Sunday. And while that first-drive touchdown from Bradford may have looked bad, sometimes, you just have to tip your cap to the quarterback and receiver.

Boyer said there was some of that on Sunday, with regards to Bradford's money throw. Still, even he knows there could have been less separation between Givens and the Patriots' secondary on that given play.

"Our focus, from a defensive perspective is, no matter what the offense does, we always look at, are we in the best position? Did we play it correctly? I think that's where it starts," said Boyer. "There's some plays out there, where the quarterback makes a good throw and a receiver makes a good catch, and stuff like that. But even then, there's always a way to finish the play. And that's what we're always talking to our guys with. We've got to finish the play."

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."

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.