|Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez kicks up his stretching routine a notch before practice. (Bill Greene/Globe Staff)|
On scoring, Brady has good point
Quarterback: Better execution is needed
FOXBOROUGH - As quarterback of the NFL’s No. 1 passing offense, Tom Brady said there is only one way to reconcile the Patriots’ statistical ranking with their struggle to put points on the scoreboard.
“We need to go out there and execute well this week,’’ Brady said yesterday as the Patriots prepared to face the Jets Sunday night. “Last time we played them, we were a bit inconsistent as well, even though we scored 30 points. I think we can still be more consistent.’’
Already this season, Brady has thrown 10 interceptions. He threw four last season. Asked the reason behind the dramatic spike, Brady said, “I’ve just got to make better decisions.’’
In back-to-back losses to the Steelers (25-17) and Giants (24-20), the Patriots struggled to maintain their scoring pace.
“I think it’s funny when we say that New England is struggling,’’ said Jets coach Rex Ryan during a teleconference. “I think they had 450 yards against us and they had 450 against the Giants, or something like that.’’
While the Patriots may have not struggled in accumulating yardage, they have struggled to put points on the board, averaging 19.0 in their last three games.
“Yeah, well, then I hope that trend continues,’’ said Ryan.
The Jets discovered a blueprint on how to defeat the Patriots in last season’s 28-21 playoff victory.
“With Brady, you can’t run traditional coverages,’’ Ryan said. “You’ve got to get to him. You’ve got to get hits on Brady. You can’t let him sit back or he’ll absolutely carve you up.
“So that’s no great shock, but you definitely want to make him uncomfortable back there. If it’s a seven-on-seven, or it turns into what we call, ‘pass skelly,’ then you’ve got no chance to beat him.
“Without Peyton [Manning] playing, I’d say he’s the best quarterback in the league right now.’’
Not letting go yet
It didn’t take long for Albert Haynesworth to find work after he was released by the Patriots Tuesday. Haynesworth was picked up yesterday by the Buccaneers, who had a void after losing Gerald McCoy to a season-ending knee injury.
After Haynesworth’s departure, is unproductive receiver Chad Ochocinco next in line to go? Not if Brady had anything to say about it.
Brady is not ready to throw in the towel on Ochocinco, who has nine catches for 136 yards, but none in the last three games.
Brady was encouraged by the fact that Ochocinco, who was targeted five times, was able to get open against the Giants.
“He’s going to continue to be out there and hopefully make a bunch of plays for us,’’ said Brady. “One of these days, it really is going to click for all of us.’’
A day after jettisoning Haynesworth and signing receiver Tiquan Underwood, the Patriots made a series of roster moves yesterday, placing safety Josh Barrett (calf) on injured reserve and signing linebacker Niko Koutouvides and defensive back Sterling Moore (from the practice squad) to the 53-man roster.
Underwood and Koutouvides were with the Patriots in training camp; both were cut on the final day Sept. 3.
“I think the foundations are usually put in during training camp and you kind of go off of that,’’ said Koutouvides, 30, a 6-foot-2-inch, 238-pounder from Purdue who has played with the Seahawks (2004-07), Broncos (2008), and Buccaneers (2010). “It’s been eight weeks since I’ve seen this playbook. It’s just basically refreshing my mind and getting back to the terminology and the new stuff that was added.’’
Underwood, 24, could help as a kick returner; he began last season returning kicks for the Jaguars.
“I feel comfortable back there,’’ said Underwood, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by Jacksonville out of Rutgers. “Whenever you’re an offensive player, you like to get the ball in your hands, whether it’s special teams or just a play designed for you.’’
Moore, 21, a rookie free agent out of Southern Methodist, was originally signed to the practice squad Oct. 5, then released Oct. 17 and re-signed to the practice squad Oct. 19.
The Patriots also signed linebacker Mike Rivera, defensive Josh Victorian, and safety Ross Ventrone to the practice sqaud. Ventrone has been signed and released by the team five times this season. Defensive back Malcolm Williams was released from the practice squad.
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, on Wes Welker, who victimized him for a 73-yard reception in the first meeting: “Last game, the matchup was great with Wes. Sometimes I was throwing him on the ground, and sometimes he was catching some balls on me. I call him the ‘Energizer Bunny’ because he never stops. It doesn’t matter what you do to him. He just keeps on coming and coming.’’ . . . Welker (rib) was among nine players the Patriots listed as having limited participation in practice. The others: CB Kyle Arrington (foot), DE Shaun Ellis (rib), RB Kevin Faulk (knee), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), LB Gary Guyton (shoulder), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), WR Taylor Price (hamstring), and OT Sebastian Vollmer (back). Four players did not practice: S Patrick Chung (foot), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), and OL Ryan Wendell (concussion).
Monique Walker of the Globe staff contributed to this report; Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org