Quick Hits: Brady, Belichick & The Browns?

When Rodney Harrison talked smack on NBC TV, you knew it was only a matter of time before Tom Brady responded. Quick hits from this week in Patriots news.

Tom Brady did not take exception to Rodney Harrison's playful remarks on NBC this past weekend, even though Harrison caught some flak from Patriots' fans and his own friends.

Harrison told Brady to "take off the skirt" in reference to a seemingly questionable roughing the passer call in New England's win over Baltimore on Sunday.

Though others lashed out at Harrison, Brady understood the comment was in jest.

"I wasn't watching, and I don't know what the hell he was talking about," Brady said. "I just ignored it. Then, I got a bunch of text messages from friends saying, 'What did Rodney say?' You know Rodney. Some things never change."

Belichick The Teacher

--Bill Belichick coached with Josh McDaniels in New England, so he understands McDaniels' plight in terms of gaining credibility as a head coach in Denver, but said age has nothing to do with it. McDaniels is one of the league's youngest coaches -- a position Belichick was familiar with in his early days with Cleveland.

"I've never really felt like age was the big factor," Belichick said. "I started coaching when I was in my early 20s in different organizations -- Baltimore, Detroit, under a couple different head coaches. I was still in my 20s when I went to the Giants.

"I think anytime you go into a new situation, everybody has to establish (and) gain the respect of the other people that are on the new team, whether that's you coming in, or somebody new coming to your team. It's a process that all of us have gone through anytime we've changed jobs, changed schools or whatever. Age is never a big thing for me, whether it was the head coach of Cleveland or any of those assistant jobs. It was more about doing the job."

A Browns Fan Among Them

New England's director of player personnel, Nick Caserio, grew up a Browns' fan, so he had an early impression of Belichick long before he began working with him in Foxboro.

"I know that they went -- I can't think of whenever that year was -- 11-5 and ended up making the playoffs," Caserio said. "Obviously some things happened, whether it was the following year when the organization kind of (fell apart).

"I just knew that the team was successful and they won games and they went to the playoffs, so that's probably about the extent of it from my perspective."

Hopes To Play With Junior

--In an exclusive interview with the Boston Globe, linebacker Jerod Mayo indicated he'd love to play alongside Junior Seau, whose name has come up as a potential signee with Mayo still nursing a knee injury.

"Just as far as being a leader, and a leadership role, he's a great guy," Mayo told the Globe. "I had the opportunity to play with him last year and he really helped me learn the game."

Tate's Return Possible

--Rookie WR Brandon Tate could be a valuable asset to the roster when he's eligible to come off the non-football injury list following the game against Tennessee later this month.

Tate tore ligaments in his knee during his senior year at college, but has been making strides this season despite not being able to play yet.

"We really won't know until he is actually on the field," Caserio said of Tate. "He is working hard with the trainers. I think since he has been here that Brandon has been really diligent with his whole workouts and his rehab."

Another Linebacker?

The Patriots added former Pittsburgh linebacker Bruce Davis to their practice squad. Davis played five games last year as a rookie and was cut at the end of camp this season.

He had been out of football until the Patriots came calling -- an experience he described as humbling, to say the least.

"It's kind of like being a freshman in college again. You got to start over," he said. "You got to start from the bottom and at this point I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Do what you got to do at this point, and when you're sitting at home and you're wondering whether you're ever going to play again it really changes your perspective on the game and how much you love the game and what you're willing to do to get back in the game."

Making The Most Of Their Opportunity

--The Patriots have made the most of their forced turnovers so far.

Through four games, they've recovered four fumbles and have scored on each ensuing drive, including a crucial touchdown in Week 1 when they recovered a fumble on a kick return by Buffalo.

That play, in addition to Eric Alexander's forced fumble on the opening kickoff of Sunday's game, gives the Patriots two fumble recoveries on kickoffs this season.

--LB Jerod Mayo, who has not played since Week 1 due to a knee injury, was present during the media portion of practice this week. Mayo is still expected to miss at least two more games, but his presence is perhaps a sign that his rehabilitation is heading in the right direction.Mayo's bag was packed for the game against Denver and he was listed as questionable on the injury report.
--WR Randy Moss also was not on the field during the media portion of practice this week, though this is more than likely just a precautionary measure since he's yet to miss a game despite his back injury.
--S Brandon Meriweather was among the noteworthy players sporting a black jersey at practice Wednesday to symbolize his nomination as one of last week's practice players of the week.
--LB Tully Banta-Cain also wore one of the black jerseys in practice Wednesday for his role in preparing the team for Sunday's game in Denver. Banta-Cain has been valuable both on the field during game time and in practice.

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