Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald * reports that the Patriots placed safety Rodney Harrison on the injured reserve list indicating he will be out for the rest of the season. The Pats signed street free agent safety Michael Stone and re-signed former offensive lineman Gene Mruczkowski, who had been cut at the end of training camp and also released linebacker Wesly Mallard, who was primarily a special teams player. Nick Cafardo of the *Boston Globe also offers a similar report.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe offers a story on Tom Brady's performance on Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cafardo writes that Sunday's win seemed to elevate Brady to a new echelon. And there's a reason for that. After Brady's mentor, Charlie Weis, went to Notre Dame, it was clear this would be a transitional season. The respect he's gained in the Patriots locker room is off the charts, especially now, when he's been given more responsibility in terms of play-calling and leadership. "He's so cool, doesn't get rattled. The clock's ticking, no timeouts, we're cool, we're fine, wins the game, and immediately after the game, what's he do? He gives credit to everyone else on the planet Earth. He's got everybody believing in him. It's just awesome," said punter Josh Miller.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots offense has a different look to it this year. The offensive schemes resemble more of Bill Belichick's Cleveland Browns (circa 1991-95) than Weis' Pats (circa 2000-04). "It's taken on a little different style. The plays tend to be a little different. There were certain plays that Charlie liked that he really believed should be in the game plan every week. And between myself, Bill, (quarterbacks coach) Josh (McDaniels) and (receivers coach) Brian Daboll, those are plays that maybe we're not as confident in. Not because they're bad plays, but because our style has changed," said Tom Brady.
Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald delves into the secret of Patriots wide receiver Tim Dwight's success. Dwight acknowledges that the toughest thing about being a wide receiver in the NFL is conditioning. "That's physical and mental conditioning," said the veteran wideout, who is in his first season with the Patriots. "Knowing the game plan. Recognizing things. And obviously being able to come back play after play. Because everything we do is sprint, sprint, sprint." In addition to being an NFL player, Dwight also has prepared for success after the NFL. He owns a liquor store and a yoga studio in Iowa.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald is reporting that the Patriots worked out street free agent running backs Amos Zereoue and Erik Bickerstaff, indicating Kevin Faulk may have been injured at the end of the Steelers game Sunday.
Joe Saraceno of USA Today writes that adverisity seems to bring out the best in the Patriots. The Patriots are always at their best when times are tough and it doesn't get any tougher than losing starting safety Rodney Harrrison and offensive lineman Matt Light in addition to the litany of injuries to the defensive backs. "When we meet with NFL coaches (the day before games), many of them complain about injuries to us. Bill Belichick never - and I mean never - does. He eliminates the talk, which then eliminates a built-in excuse (for players) subconsciously," said CBS lead NFL analyst Phil Simms. Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal and Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger also offer similar articles.
Mark Farinella of the Sun Chronicle writes that the Patriots are losing more than a star player in Harrison. They are losing a leader and the heart and soul of the defense. Farinella writes that Harrison has always been a tone-setter for the Patriots. The 12th-year veteran safety always seemed to know when to ratchet up the contact level and make the big hit.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.