FOXBORO -- Intangibles like swagger, intensity and attitude can be difficult to measure, but if early returns are any indication, it appears the 2014 Patriots defense won’t have an issue when it comes to playing with an edge.

FOXBORO — Rodney Harrison has never been one to hold back. Friday night certainly was no different as he told some out-of-school stories minutes after Ty Law was formally inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in at Patriot Place.

Then, just like his playing days, the Sunday Night Football analyst began to drop the hammer.

Harrison said he loves the fact that the cornerbacks are playing an aggressive brand of physical football, especially at the line of scrimmage.

“That’s perfect,” She began. “You’re supposed to hate those receivers. Every time, you’re supposed choke them to death, get them at the line of scrimmages. It think that’s what I think Darrelle Revis will bring. Whether he’s an outspoken guy, lead by example. He’s going to choke you at the line of scrimmage. He can play left, he can play right. All this talk about Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, who’s the best cornerback? The best cornerback on the planet is right here in New England, and he will prove it this year.”

Then Harrison laid into the defensive backs of the last several seasons and blamed them for the Patriots falling short of a fourth Super Bowl title.

“The last how many years since I’ve been retired, six years, I’ve been very disappointed quite frankly,” Harrison said. “I take pride in this Patriot team and what Bill Belichick believes in. To see the type of guys that were on that stage and not have that same type of production, it hurt my heart to have to criticize this secondary on Sunday night. It hurt my heart.

“But at the same time, there has to be a certain level of accountability. You get to the point where you realize that, yes it’s nice to score points on offense but you need defense and you need guys that aren’t afraid to jam guys and play man-to-man coverage and hit you in the mouth and I think that’s what Browner and Revis gives you.

“It’s attitude. It’s about being excited about playing football. You have an opportunity to play for the greatest organization on the planet. How can you not come out here and get it done? It’s not good enough to win a playoff game, it’s not good enough to make it to the AFC championship game. It’s time to win a Super Bowl and everybody has to be held accountable.”

With Browner, the Patriots have another physical defensive back who plays aggressively, and Harrison said that’s exactly what has been missing in the secondary. Now with all the pieces in place on his defense, it’s definitely Super Bowl or bust for the Pats.

“That’s it. Bill Belichick, he doesn’t go into a season say, ‘Hey, this is a successful season if we win 12 games.’ No. It’s about getting to the Super Bowl and winning,” Harrison said.

As for the question of leadership and whether there’s enough to last the whole season, Harrison is optimistic that Belichick has brought in enough of the right attitude to make it work.

“You can’t be a leader if you don’t have an attitude,” he said. “You’ve got to have an attitude. You have to have some pride about yourself. You have to understand how important it is to show and do things right on an every day basis and hold yourself accountable as well as teammates.

“We weren’t afraid to get in guys’ faces and say, ‘Hey man, you’re slacking.’ Your professional pride, you get in a guy’s face, he’s going to step it up or he’s going to be replaced. And that’s what I miss. I go back to the word accountability. And that’s what I expect from this team. You’ve got Tom Brady. You have the opportunity to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play this game. How can you not get pumped up?

“My old friend Junior Seau used to say, ‘I get paid to practice. I play the games for free.’ How can you not get excited about coming in the stadium and playing in front of 70, 80-thousand people, and get excited? It’s just crazy. When these young players finally walk away from the game, they’ll finally realize what it meant to be a Patriot.

“On Sundays, we just showed up because we felt like we outworked everyone, we out-prepared, we outlifted, we ran. We ate better. We did everything. We were smarter. That’s where you win, out on the practice field, out in the meetings. These young players have to understand that.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price size up former Patriots Ty Law and Rodney Harrison, their Patriots’ attitude and how it might work with Darrelle Revis as the Patriots held an in-stadium training camp practice Friday night at Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis didn’t get a chance to continue his mastery of Tom Brady Friday night at the in-stadium training camp practice for fans.

FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis didn’t get a chance to continue his mastery of Tom Brady Friday night at the in-stadium training camp practice for fans. It was a night for Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo to get most of the reps while the starters focused primarily on individual drills and up-tempo walk-throughs.

Still, Revis smiled and laughed when asked about the significance so far of his outstanding play in camp against Brady, including a pick-six on Thursday.

“I’€™ll tell you what, it’€™s not because I’m his teammate ‘€“ I played against him a number of years when I was in New York ‘€“ he’€™s one of the best to ever play,” Revis said. “You can see it even in practice by going against him every day. He’€™s a hard worker and he brings the best out of you. It’€™s awesome, man.

“Going back and forth ‘€“ I’m not going to call it a competition. We’€™re teammates, we’€™re just trying to get each other better and we’€™re trying to work hard together. Sometimes he gets a play. It goes back and forth. The good thing about it is it’€™s great competition and the only thing we can do is look at it as getting each other better and just going out there and working hard.”

Revis won’t have to worry about picking off Brady next week as he and his defensive teammates will be going up against RGIII and the new-look Jay Gruden-led Redskins in Richmond, Va. starting early Monday morning.

“We’€™ve been doing that all camp, it’€™s nothing new,” Revis said of going against a different team. “We’€™re just going against another team, getting ready for them and getting prepared, just [going] out there and [doing] our jobs.”

Revis was also humbled to be called the “greatest cornerback on the plantet” by Rodney Harrison, who added that Revis is going to prove that this season with the Patriots.

“I don’€™t even have words for it man,” Revis said of the praise. “I respect those guys so much, growing up watching them. Watching Ty, and learning from Ty, seeing Rodney play as well. You forgot Troy Brown, he played in the nickel as well. It’€™s great man, I’€™m just trying to play the best ball I can and play at a high level. That’€™s why I love to play this game ‘€“ to play at a high level and compete.”

And lead. Harrison said that Revis won’t need to always be vocal because he leads with his work on and off the field.

“Lead by example,” Revis said of his style. “I think we’€™ve got a great group of veteran guys on this team. This is my first year on this team and I’€™m just trying to come in and make sure I’€™m getting accepted by everyone. One thing I’€™m trying to do is lead by example. I think that’€™s what every leader is doing on this team, just trying to lead by example and go out there and work hard and prepare and get ready for this upcoming season.”

Here is the rest of Revis from Friday night:

Q: How was it being out here on the new turf inside the stadium with the fans around you?

DR: It’€™s awesome man, it’€™s good for us to get our work in but it’€™s also to give the fans a show out here and come out here so they can see us practice. It’€™s awesome man, they are having fun with it and we are trying to have fun with it but also get work in.

Q: Is there extra pressure on you to see these guys here tonight and see all the success they’€™ve had?

DR: There’€™s always pressure for us as NFL players about going out and just playing every Sunday. Those guys are legends. They’€™re definitely legends. I respect all of those guys. I think one thing, as you look at it is, is you just try to enjoy this moment. Guys got honored today and you just enjoy their success and what they did and just go from there. You don’€™t really want to try to compare even the teams together. I mean, they had great teams when they played. The only thing we can control as a team right now is to finish up training camp strong and get ready and get prepared for the year.

Q: One thing Rodney Harrison and Ty Law both mentioned is that Bill Belichick won’€™t pigeonhole you. They both said you can do a lot of different things and Bill will allow you to do different things. Have you already started to see that here in training camp and go to him and say ‘€˜I’€™d like to do this and this’€™ or ‘€˜This fits my game’€™?

DR: You know, Coach Belichick is very open about football. It’€™s football talk. He’€™s very open about it. You can go to him about anything. You can ask him about anything. We’€™re just trying to get ready. We’€™re just trying to get ready and get prepared. Anything that’€™s best for the team, that’€™s the best position that’€™s going to put us in a position to win. That’€™s all we try to do: football talk. We talk all the time about what’€™s the best position for the team for us to win.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — The way Bill Belichick spoke after Friday night’s in-stadium practice, he was half-tempted to ask Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Otis Smith and Lawyer Milloy to suit up and join his current Patriot team on the field.

Certainly, that foursome has the competitive desire and attitude if not the youth and talent left to go out for one more practice. That’s why Belichick spent a good portion of the practice over the sideline chatting up all four, including Milloy, whom he infamously jettisoned before the 2003 opener in Buffalo.

All four were in town together of course to pay tribute to Law, who became the latest Patriot inducted into the team’s hall of fame Friday night.

“It was a good group here tonight, it really was,” Belichick said. “It was awesome to see those guys. It’€™s a pretty good secondary standing over there with Ty and Otis at the corner, Rodney and Lawyer at safety and then we’€™ve got Troy Brown could be our nickel back. That was an awesome group of guys, plus a bunch of other ones but that’€™s an awesome group of guys.

“So deserving for Ty. He was a great player here and I had the opportunity to coach Ty when I coached the secondary in ‘€™96 and really met with him every day, coached him every day. He and Lawyer are special players to come back. Ty played great obviously when I was head coach in those championship years. It’€™s good see him and well deserved for his recognition. He’€™s truly one of the great Patriot players and a champion.”

They’€™re obviously done but can they provide leadership just by example from what they did as past Patriots?

“Well, I think we’€™re all proud of the tradition of this team in the past ‘€“ the coaches, the players, all of us that were involved with it,” Belichick said. “I think that’€™s always something you want to be proud of and sustain but it’€™s really up to this team to be this team. We’€™ll see what we can do.”

Belichick said rookie running back and punt returner Roy Finch will be evaluated after having to leave practice midway through after suffering an apparent lower body injury. The Boston Herald reports that the injury was a knee but is not believed to be serious.

The Patriots will have a players’ day off on Saturday before traveling to Richmond, Va. on Sunday. The Patriots will practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday against the Redskins before opening their preseason next Thursday night at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. against the Redskins.

Here are some other Belichick takeaways from Friday night:

BB: Always nice to be out tonight with the fans of Foxborough and our season ticket holders. [There'€™s] a lot of energy in the stadium. I think everybody enjoys the environment. It’€™s good for us ‘€“ first time on the new turf so it’€™s good for us to get out here and experience the field, the stadium, the kicking game, under the lights, the way it’€™s going to be in preseason and so forth. I think it was a good night for us tonight. We’€™re looking forward to heading down to Washington [and] competing against the Redskins next week. I think it will be a good opportunity for us so hopefully we’€™re ready for it.

Q: Talking about joint practices, you’€™ve done that before. What’€™s the value for you to work against another team?

BB: Just getting a different look, looking at different schemes, different players, different matchups. Hopefully it will help our evaluation of our team.

Q: Are you concerned about any risks? Players on different teams go at it, it gets competitive. I know you’€™ve had situations before where potential injuries occur.

BB: We’€™re only putting 11 of our guys out there now, instead of 22.

Q: It looked like a conscious effort to get Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo some more work tonight. How do you think they responded?

BB: It’€™s training camp so everybody has some good and some they’€™d like to have back. That’€™s part of the process ‘€“ just trying to learn and improve and keep working at it. We’€™ll find out a lot next week, where we’€™re at.

Q: Brandon Browner got into it with a couple people at practice the other day. Do you like to see that intensity?

BB: Football is a competitive game.

Q: Can you talk about the challenges Washington will give your defense in practice?

BB: Obviously we’€™re not game planning for them or anything. We’€™ll just go down there, do what we do and they’€™ll do what they do and we’€™ll kind of figure it out as we go. It will be a good experience for us to work against Coach [Jay] Gruden’€™s offense, Coach [Jim] Haslett’€™s defense and see some different matchups. We’€™ve seen our guys go against our guys a lot and now we’€™ll get to see them go against somebody else. I think we’€™re all looking forward to it. I think it will be a helpful evaluation for our team.

Q: How is the chemistry of your secondary coming together after adding established veterans like Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner?

BB: Everything is a work in progress. We’€™re just a week into training camp. We’€™ll see how it all plays out. Those guys have all worked hard. They seem to work well together but we haven’€™t played anybody yet. We haven’€™t done it under pressure. We’€™ll see how it all comes together.

Q: Do you sense it’€™s been more competitive with the defensive backs against your passing game at this point?

BB: It’€™s always competitive. It’€™s training camp.

Q: Any different from the past?

BB: It’€™s been competitive in the past and I’€™d say it’€™s been competitive this year.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — The Patriots wrapped up their annual in-stadium practice session Friday evening on front of a sizable crowd Foxboro residents, season ticketholders and those who ended up sticking around after the Ty Law Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The workout ran for roughly 90 minutes, and was held in full pads — it was the eighth camp session of the summer for the Patriots, the sixth one in full pads, and the final workout before the team heads for Richmond and joint practices with the Redskins next week in the days leading up to the preseason opener.

Here are a few quick notes:

– The following players were not in pads with the rest of their teammates for the session: wide receiver Aaron Dobson, defensive back Jemea Thomas, running back Tyler Gaffney, linebacker Cameron Gordon, linebacker Deontae Skinner, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, offensive lineman Chris Martin, defensive lineman Dominique Easley and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon.

– A large part of the evening session was given over to the backup quarterbacks, with Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo getting the bulk of the work. Maybe it was just because the news broke earlier in the day the Patriots had kicked the tires on veteran quarterback Brady Quinn, but it was interesting to see Tom Brady‘s two backups get so much work in what really amounted to a high-profile practice session.

– In 7-on-7s near the start of the workouts, Garoppolo got the majority of reps, and was up and down. Malcolm Butler had a nice pass breakup on a ball from Garoppolo meant for Derrick Johnson. On the next play,. he failed to connect with D.J. Williams. On the third attempt, he made a nice connection on a comeback route along the sidelines for his pal Brian Tyms, and followed that up with a sharp looking pass to Roy Finch.

– In 11-on-11s midway through practice, Finch caught a nice little dump off from Mallett, but went crashing out of bounds, careening into a handful of players. He collided with Davis on the sidelines, and both of them stayed down for a stretch. Davis was eventually helped to his feet, but Finch stayed down for an extended stretch before being helped to his feet, and then, leaving for the locker room. In the same series of 11-on-11s, Logan Ryan picked off Mallett, and the backup quarterback also overthrew Johnson.

– In the next 11-on-11 session — after a brief break for kick return an kick coverage work — Mallett looked efficient working the backup offense down the field, making a good connection with Wilson Van Hooser. (It was interesting to see rookie tackle Cameron Fleming working as right tackle with what appeared to be the No. 2 unit.) Garoppolo followed that up with an uneven performance — on one play, the pocket broke down and he scrambled away before overthrowing Asa Watson. Garoppolo ended the session by overthrowing running back Stephen Houston. After that, it was mostly handoffs. An uneven performance for the backup QBs, and Garoppolo in particular.

– No contact in the 11-on-11s for Rob Gronkowski, but he continues to look good in his routes, running and cutting and not looking constricted in the drill work.

– As has been the case since he returned to the field, Matthew Slater was running with the wide receivers in the drills. In year’s past — if memory serves — Slater has also spent time working out with the defensive backs as well. In that same vein, fullback James Develin continues to work with the tight ends as opposed to the rest of the backs.

– When it comes to Slater, he and Kanorris Davis were probably the two hardest working guys on the field through the first part of the session. Under the guidance of special teams coach Scotty O’Brien, the two were running sideline-to-sideline, looking like they were working on gunning/coverage work. Davis is an intriguing prospect — he spent some time on the active roster and the practice squad over the last year plus, and distinguished himself as someone who isn’t afraid to throw his body around with near reckless abandoned. (Fans may remember Brandon McGowan with the same approach a few years ago — Davis has the same sort of playing style.)

Travis Hawkins, Josh Boyce and Slater appeared to get the majority of work in kick return drills. Hawkins, who returned kicks as a collegian at Delaware, displayed a nice field awareness, and didn’t appear overwhelmed by the spotlight. If he’s able to continue on the same track that he’s been on over the course of the summer, he could figure into the mix as a possible backup kick returner.

– It appeared that Bill Belichick spent the majority of the session on the sidelines talking with Law and Rodney Harrison.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

After a 32-minute acceptance speech and a 10-minute roasting that included the reunion of Patriots secondary from the early 2000s, Ty Law gave a little something back to the Patriots, namely owner Robert Kraft.

After a 32-minute acceptance speech and a 10-minute roasting that included the reunion of Patriots secondary from the early 2000s, Ty Law gave a little something back to the Patriots, namely owner Robert Kraft.

Every Patriots fan recalls Law leading the dance parties in the parades after each of the Super Bowl wins. Law wanted to go back to the future Friday night after his induction speech and celebrate in a way only Ty Law can, a dance. He gave the Patriots owner a new pair of kicks and the party was underway.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia