Patriots

Belichick: 'I've got to do a better job' of making players maintain composure

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Belichick: 'I've got to do a better job' of making players maintain composure

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots were rolling over the Raiders in Mexico City, there was a play near the end of the game that stood out. 

Unhappy with Jonathan Jones' shove on one fourth-quarter pass play, Oakland receiver Johnny Holton approached Jones and gave Jones an open-hand smack to the helmet. Holton was penalized. Jones wasn't because he let Holton walk away after he noticed a flag was thrown immediately. 

A few days later, Belichick was asked about the incident. How often is poise in those situations discussed during Patriots meetings?

"We talk about it every day," Belichick replied. 

Fast forward two weeks, and the Patriots are now without one of their stars because he lost his cool late in another blowout win. Rob Gronkowski was penalized and later suspended for his late hit on Bills corner Tre'Davious White. Danny Amendola was also flagged for a shot on safety Micah Hyde that occurred about the same time. 

During Wednesday's press conference, Belichick seemed to shoulder some of the responsibility for his players reacting as they did in that instance. 

"Yeah, that’s important for us," Belichick replied when asked about players keeping their composure. "Yep, that’s important every week. It’s a competitive game. There’s a lot of emotion out there. Yeah, as the coach, I’ve got to do a better job of that."

Monday night's game in Miami could test the Patriots in that regard. The last time they played the Dolphins, two weeks ago at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady took a couple of questionable hits. Danny Amendola found himself in a wrestling matching with Bobby McCain that got McCain ejected. And there was plenty of jawing back and forth from both sides. 

There figures to be no lack of emotion when the two teams get together again in prime time. Belichick will undoubtedly be providing reminders for his players to keep their heads and simply "do business as business is being done." 

Butler: Retweet of Cutler-carving-Patriots-blitz stat 'a big misunderstanding'

Butler: Retweet of Cutler-carving-Patriots-blitz stat 'a big misunderstanding'

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler has an unsolved mystery on his hands. 

After Monday night’s loss to the Dolphins, Butler retweeted a Pro Football Focus graphic that detailed how well Jay Cutler did when the Patriots blitzed him.

The retweet was later un-retweeted...or de-tweeted. And Butler said on Wednesday that he wasn't sure how it ended up there in the first place. 

"I don't know," Butler said. "Totally a misunderstanding."

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He was asked if he was hacked. He was asked if he mis-hit the retweet link while scrolling through Twitter. He would not confirm any of those suggestions, insisting he had no idea how it happened and that it was an accident.

Though the retweet, which came relatively quickly after the game, served as an indication of Butler's feelings toward the play-calling in Miami, he did not say much to put to bed any notions that he would've liked to see fewer blitzes. 

When asked if he was disappointed in the gameplan, he replied, "Nah. Next question."

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Injury report: Brady practices, Branch missing

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Injury report: Brady practices, Branch missing

Tom Brady who has missed Wednesday practices the past few weeks and skipped back-to-back practices last week with an Achilles injury, was back at practice today as the Patriots geared up for their showdown with the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Rob Gronkowski was back after missing last week while serving his one-game suspension. Defensive lineman Trey Flowers was back as one of several limited participants after missing the Monday night loss to the Dolphins and newly signed receiver Kenny Britt also practice. Defensive lineman Alan Branch, who injured his knee against the Dolphins, didn't practice.

Here's the full injury report: