Sunday, March 9, 2014
Well, it was an interesting Friday down at Gillette Stadium.
Bill Belichick spent a lot of time professing his respect for Baltimore's Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh as well as talking about making mistakes and overcoming them.
Then he took the team out to a movie.
And finally, the final Injury Report came out.
Let's start with that:
- Rookie wide receiver Josh Boyce, who had played well the last two weeks, was listed as being OUT for Sunday's game at Baltimore against the Ravens. He has an ankle injury.
Players who are QUESTIONABLE (50-50 chance to play) include cornerbacks Kyle Arrington(groin) and Alfonzo Dennard (knee/shoulder), wide receivers Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip), linebackers Dane Fletcher (groin) and Brandon Spikes (knee) and left tackle Nate Solder (concussion).
Solder did have limited participation in practice Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday. Tom Brady, on the list with a right shoulder issue, had full participation in Friday's practice after being limited Wednesday and Thursday.
- On to Belichick and the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens GM, has often spoken about Belichick's influence on him Friday Belichick returned the favor, saying, "He taught me an awful lot ... I think I probably learned more from him than he learned from me. He's a very astute, sometimes quiet kind of guy, but the wheels are always turning. He's taking in a lot.''
Belichick said that some people have questioned Newsome's Hall of Fame credentials. He got in as a tight end after playing for the Cleveland Browns. Belichick pointed out that Newsome fumbled the ball as a rookie and the Browns lost the game because of it - but that Newsome never fumbled again. "Why is Ozzie Newsome in the Hall of Fame? That's why. That kind of commitment, that kind of performance.''
As far as Harbaugh goes, Belichick spoke about their relationship and said it would "be a lot better if we didn't have to play each other every year.''
- Belichick was asked about the balance of using something as a teaching moment, or taking a player out of the equation because he continues to make the same mistake. He was specifically asked about running back Stevan Ridley, who has lost four fumbles this year and was benched for one game.
Belichick said there is a line that the players have to stay above.
"Everybody has to understand that there’s a below the line level. When it’s below the line, we can’t live with it. It hurts the team. Now, we’re all going to make mistakes and nobody makes more of them than I do. I understand that mistakes are part of the game. I’ve been in it long enough to know there’s no perfect player, no perfect game or practice. If you go out there and compete against high level competition, that they’re going to make some plays too. But there’s a below the line and we just can’t live with that and expect to win. That’s the bottom line''
He added that he knows everyone makes mistakes, but that they can't make repeated mistakes.
"We all make mistakes, even the great ones,'' he said. "But they don't repeat them, they don't make very many of them. They correct it, it's important enough to them to move on and get it right. That's how you do it. You get it right.''
- As far as the movie?
Well, Belichick changed the team's practice schedule Friday and took them to a movie.
What did they see?
Lone Survivor, the Mark Walhberg movie about a Navy SEALS operation in Afghanistan.
He is a Navy man afterall.
Mike Lowe has covered the New England Patriots since 1999 for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has had a nice view of their emergence as one of the NFL’s premier franchises.
He’s been at the paper since 1982 and has covered everything from a Little League World Series to the Summer Olympics. He is married to Tracie and they have three children and two grandchildren.
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeLowePPH.