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Patriots notebook

Players had a good read on these picks

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / October 6, 2010

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Every now and then, a little bulletin board material provides motivation.

A day after the Patriots pounded the Dolphins, 41-14, there was plenty of talk about one source of motivation New England had leading into the game. Patriots Football Weekly, the team’s official newspaper, printed a list of media predictions, and none went with the Patriots to win.

A copy was visible for all players to see, quarterback Tom Brady said yesterday on his contractually-obligated appearance on WEEI.

“Yeah, that was hanging up in our lunchroom, you know, with a big circle,’’ Brady said. “Well, everyone’s got their reasons, and that’s why you’ve got to go out and play, because making predictions and all that b.s., that doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to go out there and strap the helmet on. You’ve got to go out there and play, and play well.’’

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork was so bothered by the picks that he declined interviews after the game, saying with a grin, “You have all the answers.’’ On Wilfork’s WEEI appearance yesterday, he explained why he was upset.

“It’s kind of hard to come to work in your own backyard and have your beat writers for your own team that see you every day, and every last one of them go against you,’’ Wilfork said. “They have a job to do, I understand that. At the same token, you wonder why [players] act the way they act sometimes with them, because of stuff like that.’’

When Wilfork first heard about the picks, he didn’t pay much attention. But then he saw the paper.

“From what we’ve done and where we’ve been — this is seven years for me here,’’ Wilfork said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen everybody like that go against us. I’m not living in the past. That’s reality. That’s real.

“At first I saw it, but I really didn’t pay it no attention. I was like, ‘OK, some stats they’re putting up.’ When I actually walked by and saw it, and I saw everybody, like I said, our own people going against us, it was like, ‘Hmm, that’s pretty interesting.’ So, you know what? I could sit here and be [upset] all day and all morning, but I’m not going to do that. It’s OK.’’

Good bye for now
The bye week is here, and the players will be off until tomorrow as a reward for beating the Dolphins. Having a bye week so early doesn’t seem to bother Belichick.

Belichick said there will be a few meetings with coaches this week to examine where the team is.

“I think everybody’s glad when the bye week comes,’’ Belichick said. “The best thing about the bye week is going into it with a victory. But it wouldn’t make any difference when it came. There would be things that we need to work on, there would be things that we need to prepare for going forward, and we would take that time to try to improve ourselves from where we’re at.’’

No holding Mayo
Jerod Mayo seemed to be everywhere Monday night. He had 16 total tackles and one pass defended, matching the second most tackles in a game in his three-year career. Against the Bills the previous week, he led the Patriots with nine total tackles and a sack. “He competes all through the week to get things right, to do things better, to understand what our opponents are doing, understand what our game plan is, what adjustments need to be made, and so forth,’’ Belichick said. “He competes hard on Sunday, and I think that’s where a lot of his consistency comes from in the games. He’s so consistent on the other six days of the week in doing all the things that lead up to that and it shows up on Sunday.’’ . . . Running back Javarris James was released from the practice squad.

Shalise Manza Young of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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