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Brady: All accountable

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / December 13, 2011
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FOXBOROUGH - Tom Brady reiterated yesterday he had no issue with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien getting in his face Sunday after Brady’s fourth-quarter interception in the end zone.

They had a heated, expletive-laced argument on the sideline, most of which was caught on television by CBS. Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer tried to step between the two and receivers coach Chad O’Shea pulled O’Brien away, but a few minutes later the coordinator and quarterback were sitting next to each other on the bench, engaged in a far more civil discussion.

“He and I have a great relationship, and I love that he feels that he can coach me, and I think that’s something that as a veteran player, you maybe don’t get a lot from coaches,’’ Brady said. “Because you’re a veteran, you don’t think, ‘Oh man, I can’t be yelled at,’ but you can - and you should.

“We’re all held accountable.’’

Coach Bill Belichick wasn’t nearly as willing to discuss the dust-up in yesterday’s press conference, and was asked if he’d talk to the individuals involved.

“We do the same things we always do on Monday. We address the game and we move on to the next opponent. It’s a transition off one game and into the next. Whatever it is, it is,’’ he said. “That’s what Mondays are.’’

One player said yesterday it wasn’t the first time Brady and O’Brien have had words, and he didn’t expect it would be the last.

Brady pointed to the emotional nature of both men.

“We’re both very emotional people, and when things don’t go well, everyone gets frustrated,’’ Brady said. “There’s different ways that we express our frustration, and when I make a play like that at the end of the game that’s not what he expects, or any player or coach expects, and that’s just part of the game.’’

Brady made his comments during his weekly appearance on WEEI.

Receiver Tiquan Underwood, who was the intended receiver on the pass that was intercepted by the Redskins’ Josh Wilson, yesterday took the blame.

“It was a good play by the guy, but I know I have to catch the ball or bat it away,’’ said Underwood, who also called the argument “part of the sport we play. It’s very intense.’’

Nice return by Fletcher

After missing six games with a thumb injury that required multiple surgeries, Dane Fletcher started at linebacker with Rob Ninkovich and Jerod Mayo Sunday.

The second-year player finished with seven tackles and also brought down Redskins returner Brandon Banks at the 20-yard line on the opening kickoff.

“It felt so good to be back on the turf, on the grass, again,’’ Fletcher said. “Playing on Sundays, that’s kind of what I live for.’’

Belichick said Fletcher played well considering the extended layoff. “I thought Dane did some good things, starting with the opening kickoff - he made a nice tackle on that,’’ Belichick said. “I thought Dane was in on a lot of tackles. It looked like he played with good anticipation and was around the ball.’’

Kraft right up there

Patriots owner Robert Kraft was named the eighth-most influential person in sports business in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal, one spot higher than last year.

“Kraft’s summer of sorrow, losing his beloved wife, Myra, also may have seen his greatest accomplishment,’’ the magazine reported. “The picture of Colts center Jeff Saturday hugging Kraft, a key member of the NFL’s negotiating committee, on the day the new collective bargaining agreement was announced showed the world who may have been most responsible for saving the NFL season.’’

Kraft was the highest-ranked team owner on the list, two spots ahead of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Steve Burke, the president and CEO of NBCUniversal holdings, who oversaw the merger of NBC and cable giant Comcast, got top honors.

Yards in chunks

Belichick didn’t say it, but he was not pleased with field conditions at FedEx Field. The Army-Navy game was played the day before, and the natural grass field was chewed up. “Certainly played on better,’’ Belichick said with a grumble . . . Belichick said the Patriots will leave for Denver Friday after practice instead of traveling on Saturday, as is customary, giving the team a bit longer to get used to the high altitude and time change. New England also left on a Friday for its game at Oakland earlier this season.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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