Friday, September 13, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: New England Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Observed in the locker room after the New England Patriots' 13-10 victory over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on Thursday:
Brady talks frustrations: In his postgame news conference, quarterback Tom Brady shared his frustrations on the team's offensive performance. Brady's emotions boiled over at times during the game, which ran counter to his previous comments about needing to have more patience with his young receivers. "I think I have to do a better job with my body language. I can definitely improve that," he acknowledged. "I wouldn't say it's a real strong point of mine right now."
Mankins takes jab at Jets on dust-up: Guard Logan Mankins is one of the Patriots' enforcers, and he took exception to Nick Mangold's tackle of cornerback Aqib Talib on the game-sealing interception. The play occurred in front of the New England sideline -- it led to both teams pushing and shoving -- and Mangold was ultimately penalized for a personal foul; offensive linemen D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Willie Colon were ejected. "It was a cheap shot," Mankins said. "He chose the wrong sideline to do that. We were standing up for our guy."
Edelman delivers career performance: Without receiver Danny Amendola (groin), the Patriots leaned heavily on five-year veteran receiver Julian Edelman, who had a career-high 13 catches (bettering his 10 in the 2009 regular-season finale) and was effective as a punt returner as well. Edelman drew a huge media crowd and was one of the last players to leave -- and on a night when Brady kept looking in his direction, it was clear that he had earned his quarterback's trust. That's something the team's rookies are still trying to accomplish, as Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson were targeted 17 times and combined for just five receptions. "What gets that [trust] is consistency, doing it in practice, executing that in practice and making that a game reality," Edelman said.
Defensive players feel good about performance: On a night when New England's offense was as ugly as we've seen since Brady became a starter in 2001, the defense had to rise up. The unit was pleased to pick up the offense. "We have guys banged up. We have some young guys over there, and we know it's going to take time for them to learn and develop," safety Devin McCourty said. "That's how a team works. There will be nights, maybe next game, where we don't play as well, and we'll need them to step up and they'll do that. We just need to keep playing off each other."