Posted: 1/2/2013 10:11 AM
What are your thoughts on who you would like to see the Patriots play on January 13 and what you would like to see the Patriots accomplish this week.
Chance favors the Prepared Mind.
Posted: 1/2/2013 1:27 PM
Posted: 1/2/2013 2:54 PM
The Patriots are currently holding their first of two practices this week on the lower field behind Gillette Stadium.
There were three players not spotted during the media-access window: Tom Brady, Rob Ninkovich, and Dont'a Hightower.
Since this is their bye week the Patriots are not required to submit an injury report, but it is likely safe to assume that Brady is simply getting a veteran's day off - when he does get a day of rest, it is always on a Wednesday.
Ninkovich left Sunday's game with Miami with a hip injury; Hightower has been on the injury report with hamstring and shoulder injuries, which could be the reason for his absence.
Players were in shells and sweats.
Posted: 1/3/2013 8:12 AM
Following a scheduled day off Tuesday, the Patriots returned to practice Wednesday, and will work out Thursday before being given a three-day weekend. Don’t expect to hear them refer to the time off as a vacation, though. And even though they don’t have a game this weekend, it hasn’t meant an easy week.
“I feel like, instead of thinking of it as a week off, thinking of it as a week to get better,” tight endAaron Hernandez said. “We all need to get better, we need to grow as a team during this week, take that step.
“We have a couple practices where we’re going to go hard, and work on the things we need to work on, and then the days we have off, relax, maybe watch a little bit of film, get some mental reps, and that’s about it.”
Hernandez said he’ll be tuning in to the games that will determine the Patriots’ opponent in the divisional round. Either Houston (with a win over Cincinnati), or the Indianapolis-Baltimore winner will play the Patriots Jan. 13 at Gillette Stadium.
Until an opponent is finalized — Saturday at the earliest, or Sunday — the Patriots are exercising a little self-help.
“All of us got to work on what we’ve got to do better individually and as a team, and then take those steps forward to next week,” Hernandez said. “Every week is detail-oriented, it’s all about focus to detail, and that’s how you can come out fast, play hard, and make plays.”
Even though it’s only a two-practice week, followed by a three-day weekend, players likely weren’t getting the impression that it’s time to exhale and coast. At least not from the coaching staff.
“Nobody ever said it was a week off,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We’re here, there are things we can accomplish, things that we can do, things that we’re doing. That’s what we’re here for.”
One area of improvement for the Patriots during the regular season was on defense. Through 10 games, opponents were averaging 22.5 points per game, with eight of them scoring at least 20. In the last six games, the points dropped to 17.6, with the Patriots holding five opponents to fewer than 20.
Only eight teams gave up fewer than the 331 points allowed by the Patriots.
“I think there’s some relevance to some statistics,” Belichick said. “I’d rather be obviously high in wins, low in points, low in third-down conversion percentage, low red-area percentage, low goal-line percentage, low yards-per-rush, low yards-per-attempt, low penalties. The most important one is wins, the next most important one is points.”
Long pass plays for opposing offenses also decreased as the season continued.
“I’d like to think we improved. We certainly worked on it,” Belichick said. “We made a couple changes after the Seattle game, kept working on it more.
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. I don’t think it’s any one thing, one player, one call. Defense is team defense. It’s pass defense, it’s pass rush, it’s run defense to create longer yardage situations, it’s pressure coverage, it’s a little bit of everything.”
Brady resting up
Because of their bye, the Patriots were not required to submit a practice report Wednesday, but three players, including quarterback Tom Brady, were not spotted in the brief portion of practice made accessible to the media. Brady also missed practice last Wednesday — his first absence of the season — and was listed that day with a right shoulder injury. He returned a day later, was removed from the injury report, and played well against the Dolphins in Sunday’s regular-season finale, throwing for two touchdowns and 284 yards.
One can assume that Brady, who has played more than 98 percent of the offensive snaps this season (1,213 of 1,237, a snap count higher than any quarterback in the league), was simply being given an extra day off.
Defensive end Rob Ninkovich and linebacker Dont’a Hightower were the other players not spotted at practice. Ninkovich suffered a left hip injury against the Dolphins. Hightower has been on the injury report most of the season with hamstring (which forced him to miss two games) and shoulder injuries.
Last edited 1/3/2013 9:32 AM by Division
Posted: 1/3/2013 9:07 AM
Posted: 1/3/2013 1:47 PM
By Michael Vega, Globe Staff
FOXBOROUGH --- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice Thursday and was joined by defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who injured his left hip in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins, according to Globe colleague Michael Whitmer.
Rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who has been battling hamstring and shoulder injuries, also returned.
Despite frigid conditions, the Patriots conducted their final practice of their bye week outdoors on the lower grass field behind Gillette Stadium in sweats and shells. The team, which had perfect attendance for practice, will take the next three days off.
Posted: 1/4/2013 7:35 PM
Posted: 1/4/2013 8:32 PM
Posted: 1/5/2013 2:35 PM
Posted: 1/5/2013 4:34 PM
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