Patriots notebook

Brady takes the blame

QB says he’s at fault for hard sack

By Mike Reiss
Globe Staff / August 25, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - Tom Brady usually doesn’t like to take a sack, but when it came to last Thursday’s exhibition loss to the Bengals, he was OK with getting slammed to the turf by Robert Geathers.

“It didn’t hurt. I’m glad I got hit. Honestly, it felt good for me to get hit like that,’’ Brady said yesterday on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan’’ program.

Brady explained that the sack - with Geathers racing past right tackle Nick Kaczur untouched - was the result of his own miscue. Brady had called a draw play in the huddle.

“That was my fault,’’ Brady said. “I certainly deserved that. A lot of times you see stuff like that happen, the initial thought is to blame the offensive line. Our offensive line, they make so few mistakes. As a quarterback, that’s part of the decision-making process and I made a poor decision. I’m the one that paid for it.’’

Brady said the hit wasn’t as painful as it might have seemed.

“I’ve taken a lot of hits in my career. They may look bad, but a lot of them don’t feel bad. The awkward ones are the ones that probably hurt,’’ he said. “The ones like that, you stand there and someone hits me, I kind of saw him at the last minute, too. I kind of put my shoulder down and protected myself. It wasn’t anything too bad. I’ve been hit harder than that before.’’

Kaczur deal finalized
The Patriots and Kaczur finalized a contract extension through 2012 yesterday. The deal is worth $16 million over the next four years.

Kaczur’s base salaries are $2 million in 2009, $2.7 million in 2010, $3.4 million in 2011, and $4.1 million in 2012. The deal includes an option bonus of $3.5 million, and there are workout bonuses of $100,000 in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

The Patriots have starting left tackle Matt Light under contract through 2010, and second-round draft choice Sebastian Vollmer is signed through 2012.

Instant impact
Perhaps overlooked in the Patriots’ 7-6 loss to the Bengals was the strong performance of defensive lineman Ty Warren, who was playing for the first time since undergoing double groin surgery in the offseason.

In three series, Warren finished with three tackles (one for a loss), had a quarterback hit, and also drew a holding penalty.

“It definitely felt good getting back out there,’’ he said. “I was kind of surprised in a sense, because it was basically starting where I left off. I’m getting into football shape and I feel good about that.

“When camp started, if it was up to me, I would have wanted to start. But it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, so we did what we did [in waiting to play]. My injury, I still had it a bit at times, you’re still working through the scar tissue and all that stuff. But when I’m out there, I’m not really thinking about it.’’

Accelerated role
Coach Bill Belichick said this week that fourth-year tight end David Thomas has improved since the start of last season and “athletically, he looks more like he did his rookie year, in terms of quickness and speed, explosiveness out of breaks and things like that.’’

Thomas credits full participation in the team’s offseason program under Mike Woicik and Harold Nash. In the past, a foot injury has kept him from going full force in the offseason.

“I don’t know if I’m any quicker or not, but that’s something I definitely worked on this offseason - speed, strength, and quickness. If that’s showing up on the field, it’s encouraging,’’ he said.

Thomas had added a new twist to his game, lining up as a lead blocker in two-back sets. Without a pure fullback on the roster, the Patriots have tried Thomas in that role.

“It’s been an adjustment because that’s not something we’ve done a lot,’’ he said. “I think the more versatility you can build, the more you can do for the team, the better your chances of helping the team and the better off the team is.’’

Watson returns
Tight end Benjamin Watson, who has been sidelined on and off with an undisclosed injury, returned to practice. “Definitely, I feel behind as far as not being able to practice, not doing the conditioning,’’ he said before the full-pads session. “It’s one thing to understand what to do, but it’s another thing to do it.’’ . . . Veteran linebacker Paris Lenon has been held out of practices for about three weeks, but it appears he’s close to returning. “As a football player, you want to be out there to get in a groove and to improve,’’ he said. “I wasn’t able to, but I was doing everything I could and I’m feeling good now.’’

Edelman held out
Rookie Julian Edelman, who gingerly walked off the field after a punt return in the fourth quarter Thursday night, was among the players held out of practice . . . Rookie offensive lineman George Bussey returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 1 . . . Belichick said the Patriots will treat this week like the regular season in terms of “getting used to the scouting reports, the different cut-ups, the different ways we break down our opponents and get into more of a weekly preparations schedule, as opposed to a training camp practice routine.’’ The Patriots visit the Redskins Friday.

Christopher L. Gasper of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Mike Reiss can be reached at

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