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Monday 10/21 locker room notes
Following team meetings on Monday afternoon, defensive co-captain Rob Ninkovich spoke to members of the media in the Patriots locker room and admitted that the team needs to bring more energy to away games.
"I don’t think we had the sense of urgency we needed to start the second half," said Ninkovich after the Patriots we outscored 20-6 after halftime on Sunday.
"We’re going to get together and try to come to some type of plan for us to get going here and have a better third quarter in these games."
The Patriots only other loss this season - against Cincinnati - has also come on the road. In that game, New England was outscored 10-3 in the second half.
"There are a lot of plays that we left out there that we have to learn from," added Ninkovich. "We have to bring more energy to away games and try and match the energy that's in the stadiums that we’re going to.
"If you look back at the Cincinnati game, we didn't play well at all, and the last game we didn't play well. I think it’s learn from your mistakes."
Meanwhile, the Patriots offense will hope to get an added boost of energy from all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who returned from injury and made his 2013 debut on Sunday.
He recorded 8 catches for 114 yards in the loss, and instantly became Tom Brady's go-to target.
The 100-yard game was the 10th of Gronkowski's career, setting a new franchise record for tight ends previously held by Ben Coates.
"It was definitely good to have him back on the field - obviously he brings a lot to the table," said rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
"I feel like he just opens it up for the outside receivers. He’s a big target in the middle of the field so I feel like defenses have to respect that."
The young Patriots offense will continue to learn how to mesh with their new weapon when practice resumes on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.