Patriots Camp Report: Day 9
August, 1, 2014
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New England Patriots training camp:
- The Patriots had their annual night practice inside Gillette Stadium for season-ticket holders and Foxborough residents, with Bill Belichick saying it was a good chance for players to get used to new FieldTurf that had been installed earlier this year. In addition, Belichick said it was good from a special-teams perspective to get used to playing under the lights. "A lot of energy in the stadium. I think everybody enjoys the environment," Belichick said.
- The team announced that 22,886 fans were in attendance, which continued a theme of strong crowds that have been consistent throughout camp.
- Belichick spent a lot of time during practice speaking with former players who were in town for corneback Ty Law's Patriots Hall of Fame induction. "It's a pretty good secondary standing over there with Ty and Otis [Smith] at the corner, Rodney [Harrison] and Lawyer [Milloy] at safety and then we've got Troy Brown, who could be our nickelback," Belichick cracked. "It was awesome to see those guys."
- The Patriots' 2014 secondary has played with a physical edge in training camp, particularly cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis. "They seem to work well together," Belichick said, "but we haven't played anybody yet. We haven't done it under pressure."
- Harrison expressed a strong opinion about the Patriots' additions in the secondary this year. "About time! About time!" he repeated. "For the last six years, I've been very disappointed. Quite frankly, I take pride in this team and what Bill Belichick believes in ... It hurt my heart to have to criticize this secondary on Sunday night [broadcasts for NBC]. But at the same time, there has to be a certain level of accountability. You get to the point where you realize 'Yes, it's nice to score points on offense, but you need a defense.' And you need guys that aren't afraid to get up there and jam guys and play man-to-man coverage and hit you in the mouth. I think that's what [Brandon] Browner and [Darrelle] Revis give you."
- Harrison was fired up about the Patriots. "It's attitude. It's about being excited playing football," he added. "You have an opportunity to play for the greatest organization on the planet. How can you not come out here and get it done? It's not good enough to win a playoff game. It's not good enough to make it to the AFC Championship Game. It's time to win a Super Bowl, and everyone has to be held accountable."
- Harrison on Revis: "All this talk about Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and who's the best cornerback? The best cornerback on the planet is right here in New England -- he will prove it this year."
- Patriots players have a day off Saturday, then the team travels to Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday for joint practices against Washington on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.