Picked-up pieces from player interviews
September, 12, 2012
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Picked-up pieces from player interviews Wednesday at Gillette Stadium:
Ridley turns page on opener & ball security issues. Running back Stevan Ridley was asked several questions about his strong start to the season (21 carries, 125 yards, TD), and repeated several times that he didn't want to look back. Like his running style, the idea is to keep plowing ahead. "We got off to a start, and we have to build on that. If you get satisfied or complacent where you're at, you're not going to last too long," he said. Ridley has also turned the page on his ball security issues from 2011, an issue he touched on again Wednesday. "Being sat down in the AFC Championship pretty much is a lesson learned for me. I learned my lesson from that and I'm trying not to repeat the same mistakes," he said.
Preparing for Fitzgerald challenge. A lot of chatter on the excellence of Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, with safety Steve Gregory and cornerback Devin McCourty among those doing the talking. "He's made his name off being covered, but going up and catching the ball over guys," Gregory said before the team took the practice field and worked on a jump-ball drill. "He's that type of receiver, regardless of whether a guy is in position or not, he has a way to change and move his body in the air to go get the ball, so we have to be ready for that."
Wilson doesn't play like a rookie. Gregory, the team's starting safety, talked quite a bit about communication in the backfield. He praised safety Tavon Wilson, the second-round draft choice who had an interception in the opener. "Tavon is a good communicator. He learns fast. He's a smart guy," he said. "He plays a little bit older than he seems."
Lloyd has background with Cardinals. After playing the Cardinals twice last season as a member of the Rams, in addition to facing them in the preseason, receiver Brandon Lloyd talked about how the Arizona pass rush puts pressure on an offense. "When I was thinking about that team in St. Louis, they were always that team that could win every Sunday, but things kind of fell apart and things didn't fall into place for them," he said. "They're a good team and individually those players get a lot of respect." Lloyd also had some fun with the idea of a "double flyover" -- the Patriots saw a flyover in Tennessee and are anticipating their own for Sunday's home opener.
Special teams captain Slater on Peterson. Matthew Slater, the club's special teams captain, touched on how the Cardinals present a significant challenge in the kicking game. Returner Patrick Peterson, in particular, is dangerous. "He's one of those guys that every time he gets a chance to return a kick, he can take it the distance," he said. "We might lose a little sleep over this guy, because he's that talented. It has to be all 11 of us doing our job to try to contain this guy. A guy like this, you can't really shut him down, you have to hope to contain him. His size and speed combination, there really isn't a guy out there [like that] out there."
Ribbing for rookie Jones. Defensive end Chandler Jones' strip sack was a difference-making play in the season-opener, but his celebratory dance? That needs some work. "Chandler and his creative dance, I don't know where he learned that one," Gregory cracked.