Three things to look for Friday night when the Patriots take on the Bucs in Tampa:
“Suck it up”
The Pats just played a game Monday night, but before they could blink an eye they were on their way to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers hosted a joint practice with the Pats yesterday, and will host one more today before the two teams play Friday night. That’s quite the turnaround for New England.
“Look, it’s training camp,” Bill Belichick said. “The coaches are tired, the players are tired, but we’re going to have a short week during the season. We’ve got a Sunday-Thursday game during the season. That’s what training camp is for, to suck it up. It’s to be mentally tough and whatever situations you have – you’re tired, you’re sore, you didn’t get enough sleep, you travel, whatever it is – you block that out and you focus on what you can control, which is your performance and your effort.”
Bill Belichick said he spent time watching film of Monday night’s loss to the Eagles with his staff on Tuesday. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall to hear what was said about the offensive line.
Belichick hasn’t shown much angst publically in regards to the line, and actually had praise for tackles Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, but the reality is that those two players have had trouble so far standing their ground. Fellow tackle Sebastian Vollmer is now off the PUP list and practicing with the team, but he may not play Friday.
The team is awaiting Brian Waters in camp, which can’t come soon enough. Wouldn’t it be nice if Matt Light walked in with him?
Keep an eye on . . .
Neither Steven Ridley or Shane Vereen did much of anything against the Eagles. While it appears Ridley still has the edge over Vereen at the running back position, there’s still enough camp left for it to go either way.
Cornerback has become a deep position on the Pats. Between Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore, and Alfonzo Dennard, there’s a lot of cornerbacks to go around. The same goes for safety with the emergence of Nate Ebner. Some tough cuts will have to be made at both defensive spots.