Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Leftovers: Running Raiders, Ocho review
By Chris Forsberg
A few noteworthy soundbites after Patriots coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, and personnel director Nick Caserio held conference calls with the New England media on Tuesday afternoon:
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesDarren McFadden rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns in Oakland's win over the Jets.
* Patriots vs. Raiders' rushing attack: The Raiders lead the NFL with 185 yards rushing per game, including a healthy 5.5 yards per carry and eight touchdowns (twice as much as any other team in the league). "They definitely like to run the ball," said Belichick. "They have good backs [and] a good offensive line. They emphasize it a lot, you can see they’re pretty good at it. Those backs are really special. They throw enough deep balls and they do enough in the passing game to make you worry about that, too. You can’t just stop one thing. They’re certainly a very good running team, one of the best that we’ll face. That will be a big challenge for us." Working in New England's favor is the fact that Buffalo boasted the league's top rushing offense entering Week 3 and the Patriots limited them to 78 yards on the ground.
* Will the roster shuffle continue?: The Patriots have made numerous moves this month due to injuries and it would seem more moves could be on the horizon this week, depending on how many bodies the team can get healthy. Caserio wouldn't offer any hints, noting: "This week will really be no different than any other week... We will figure out where we are as a team, from a health standpoint, who is available to play and then we will go out there and practice. If there are moves for us to make then we will go ahead and make them. It is really a day-to-day sort of proposition for us."
* O'Brien's take on Ochocinco's performance: In his most extensive action of the season, Chad Ochocinco caught just two passes, dropped a surefire touchdown, and watched his defender intercept another offering in his direction. Asked about Ochocinco's performance, O'Brien tried to spin it forward to what lies ahead. "Chad, just like everybody else in that game -– me included -- would probably wish to have a couple of plays back," said O'Brien. "And, at the same time, here is a guy and a bunch of guys -- coaches included again -- that are working hard to correct those mistakes and really focusing on Oakland and trying to get better at the things we all need to get better at, because every week is a challenge. We’ve moved on from Buffalo; we’re focused on Oakland."