January 22, 2013

Patriots Beat: Sadness, not euphoria for Pats again

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Tom Brady
click image to enlarge

You don’t need to be an expert in body language to guess things are not going well for QB Tom Brady as he walks off the field in the second half of Sunday’s AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Pats were shut out in the second half of a 28-13 loss to the Ravens.

The Associated Press

click image to enlarge

Wes Welker, left, is a free agent, and the Patriots have a huge decision to make - pay him a lot of money to stay, or lose him.

The Associated Press

Related headlines

BY THE NUMBERS

8

Years since the Patriots last won the Super Bowl

31

Number of Patriots free agents, including Wes Welker and Aqib Talib

13

Games Patriots won this season, again getting them to the AFC final

Beyond that?

Building a team, said Belichick, is a long process. The Patriots will spend time analyzing how they did things as a staff and as individuals, then take a look at how they can improve. As a team.

"You've got to look at the entire context of the team and not just take it one guy, piece by piece," said Belichick. "I don't think that's the way you put together an entire football team. You've got to see the big picture and how it all fits together and there are a lot of factors that go into that. That's why it takes some time."

Belichick did answer one question:

"Yeah. I'll be here; you'll have to deal with me again next year," he said, to close his press conference. " I know that's disappointing for a lot of you. Until I'm told otherwise, I plan on being here."

And that's good for the team because, as kicker Stephen Gostkowski said, "As long as we have Coach Belichick we'll be all right."

The Patriots did a lot of good things this season. They won 13 games and got to the AFC championship game for a seventh time in 12 years. As Belichick noted, "There aren't a whole lot of teams saying that."

And, noted Ninkovich, a lot of young players on defense -- rookies Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Alfonzo Dennard -- gained valuable experience. "Our future is definitely bright so we have to continue to be mentally strong and learn from it," he said.

Ninkovich and others know of the team's rich legacy. But, he said, this team has to create its own.

"That whole era is over with," said Ninkovich. "It's gone. So this is a whole new team, it's a different bunch of guys. We all have to experience it and learn for ourselves what it's like. Getting in the Super Bowl last year and losing left a bad taste in my mouth.

"I would have liked to get back this year but that wasn't the way it happened. You take all the lessons in life and learn from them and put your best foot forward the next year."

Starting, well, today.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

mlowe@pressherald.com

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

 

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