Dont’a Hightower: We have to hold each other to higher standard

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Among the problems the Patriots defense has had to deal with this season was the absence of linebacker Dont'a Hightower for two games with a knee injury, but his return against the Panthers last Sunday didn’t mean all was well.

Hightower had a sack while playing just over half the defensive snaps, but the Patriots defense continued to struggle in a 33-30 loss. Hightower said fixing things will take increased accountability because “we have to hold each other to a higher standard” than has been the case during the first four games of the year.

Hightower said that starts with honing in on the small details and building from there.

“That’s where it starts,” Hightower said, via the Boston Herald. “The small things matter. The big plays and all that stuff obviously it’s easy for guys to see that, but it’s the small things that happen. … All the little things matter right now and I think what we need to do and what we’re going to start doing is going at it at that. Don’t take things for granted, you know? Appreciate every little thing and be knowledgeable of each small detail. I think we’ll start from there and see where it goes.”

Hightower said the Patriots can “absolutely” get things back on track defensively and he’s been around long enough to know that September problems can be fixed in time for the team to make a playoff run in January. That will be both the hope and the necessity on defense in New England this year.

22 responses to “Dont’a Hightower: We have to hold each other to higher standard

  1. This will get fixed. The defense usually takes longer to gel. They will be awesome later in the season. Offense will get better too which is scary because they are not playing their best and still are getting around thirty points a game.

  2. Watching the Colts def like create a ton of pressure with former Patriot Sheard leading they was frustrating to watch given our pass rush is non-existent. I know it was SEA offensive line that aids in that but still.

    I am a super spoiled Pats fan and they usually figure it out on defense throughout the year, but I’d happily take a step back on offense for some staple defensive figures on the defensive line. The young guys, Wise and Flowers, have been a pleasant surprise.

  3. xxsweepthelegxx says:
    October 3, 2017 at 8:48 am
    Watching the Colts def like create a ton of pressure with former Patriot Sheard leading they was frustrating to watch given our pass rush is non-existent. I know it was SEA offensive line that aids in that but still.

    I am a super spoiled Pats fan and they usually figure it out on defense throughout the year, but I’d happily take a step back on offense for some staple defensive figures on the defensive line. The young guys, Wise and Flowers, have been a pleasant surprise.

    2 1 Rate This

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    LOL

    The Colts D got dusted by Seattle.

    The Pats pass rush has been good to start the year. Flowers, Wise, Butler and Marsh have all been pleasant surprises.

    Watch the games much?

    Broken coverages in zone have very little to do with the actual rush upfront.

  4. nwhmpshr says:
    October 3, 2017 at 8:37 am
    This will get fixed. The defense usually takes longer to gel. They will be awesome later in the season. Offense will get better too which is scary because they are not playing their best and still are getting around thirty points a game.

    3 0 Rate This

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    Yep.

  5. Hightower only played 1/2 the snaps. I wonder if he was on the field in those 2 massive breakdowns/blown coverage? I’d like to think he wasn’t. Anyone know???

  6. As basically a life long Patriots fan, I have to be optimistic. However, that optimism is really shaky. That defense cannot stop anything at this point. Jameis is ripe for a field day Thursday night. Ugh.

  7. The broken coverages will get fixed by either improved play or new schemes.

    It looked horrible and it was surprising to see Pats lose at home despite a plus 2 turnover differential but the game really turned on penalties, 7 to 1 in favor of the Panthers. It wasn’t just the number, it was the situation where the calls where made. Key first downs taken off the board for the Pats and Panthers’ drives extended. The Pats did benefit from a non call on Cannon who moved early on a fourth down conversion late in the game.

    Gilmore just made a terrible play getting his hands up in the face of a receiver on third and long deep in Panthers territory. That was the play of the game, extending a drive that was stopped and ultimately leading to the winning field goal (after a horrible holding penalty on Chung who was just shedding a blocker on a running play).

    The Pats have won plenty of games with the help of calls going their way but Gronk is the most unfairly penalized player in the league and he doesn’t draw anywhere near the penalties on opposing players he should. It is clear that certain refs hold him to a different standard.

  8. tigerlilac says:
    October 3, 2017 at 9:44 am
    The broken coverages will get fixed by either improved play or new schemes.

    It looked horrible and it was surprising to see Pats lose at home despite a plus 2 turnover differential but the game really turned on penalties, 7 to 1 in favor of the Panthers. It wasn’t just the number, it was the situation where the calls where made. Key first downs taken off the board for the Pats and Panthers’ drives extended. The Pats did benefit from a non call on Cannon who moved early on a fourth down conversion late in the game.

    Gilmore just made a terrible play getting his hands up in the face of a receiver on third and long deep in Panthers territory. That was the play of the game, extending a drive that was stopped and ultimately leading to the winning field goal (after a horrible holding penalty on Chung who was just shedding a blocker on a running play).

    The Pats have won plenty of games with the help of calls going their way but Gronk is the most unfairly penalized player in the league and he doesn’t draw anywhere near the penalties on opposing players he should. It is clear that certain refs hold him to a different standard.

    0 0 Rate This

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    Correct. This proves the agenda to cheat the Pats.

    The beauty of Goodell’s institutional cheating against the Pats from week to week like this, is no one cares. They know it’s not right and it’s corrupt, but they’d rather he cheat the Pats as opposed to not see the league’s ratings dip and the league be destroyed by greed.

    You will never, ever see rules completely applied differently to two different teams across 60 minutes every week like you see with the Pats. We’ve even seen

    The last 2 games NE played vs Carolina have been induced bagjobs. Kuechly mauled Gronk in the end zone in 2013 on national tv for all to see, and because Sunday’s game was regional, and NE has won 2 SBs in 3 years, no one cares the Pats were cheated on Sunday, so the narrative shifts to blown coverages by the secondary instead.

    This is all to try to not have NE get the 1 seed again. That;s what this is. They think NE may not make it to another SB if they shift homefield somewhere else, where we would see the hometeam help cheat the Pats via Goodell anyway.

    The only reason we didn’t see these shenanigans the last 2 years is because Goodell was already trying to cheat them with Deflategate, so it would have been way too obvious if he was using the refs to do it during games, many of them nationally televised.

  9. The last 2 games NE played vs Carolina have been induced bagjobs. Kuechly mauled Gronk in the end zone in 2013 on national tv for all to see, and because Sunday’s game was regional, and NE has won 2 SBs in 3 years, no one cares the Pats were cheated on Sunday, so the narrative shifts to blown coverages by the secondary instead.

    This is all to try to not have NE get the 1 seed again. That;s what this is. They think NE may not make it to another SB if they shift homefield somewhere else, where we would see the hometeam help cheat the Pats via Goodell anyway.

    The only reason we didn’t see these shenanigans the last 2 years is because Goodell was already trying to cheat them with Deflategate, so it would have been way too obvious if he was using the refs to do it during games, many of them nationally televised.

    Complaint against the refs is pathetic. You win some you lose some…..just do both with class….now just shut up….loser.

  10. tylawspick6 says:
    October 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Correct. This proves the agenda to cheat the Pats.

    The beauty of Goodell’s institutional cheating against the Pats from week to week like this, is no one cares. They know it’s not right and it’s corrupt, but they’d rather he cheat the Pats as opposed to not see the league’s ratings dip and the league be destroyed by greed.

    You will never, ever see rules completely applied differently to two different teams across 60 minutes every week like you see with the Pats. We’ve even seen

    The last 2 games NE played vs Carolina have been induced bagjobs. Kuechly mauled Gronk in the end zone in 2013 on national tv for all to see, and because Sunday’s game was regional, and NE has won 2 SBs in 3 years, no one cares the Pats were cheated on Sunday, so the narrative shifts to blown coverages by the secondary instead.

    This is all to try to not have NE get the 1 seed again. That;s what this is. They think NE may not make it to another SB if they shift homefield somewhere else, where we would see the hometeam help cheat the Pats via Goodell anyway.

    The only reason we didn’t see these shenanigans the last 2 years is because Goodell was already trying to cheat them with Deflategate, so it would have been way too obvious if he was using the refs to do it during games, many of them nationally televised.

    —————————————————————-

    Bingo, as usual. Additionally, I hate that all the sitting, kneeling, standing bs has almost 100% taken the focus off of how much I want Goodell fired.

  11. I can almost guarantee there will be no Goodell Specials this Thursday night on the heels of the obvious bagjob from the 2013 game down in Carolina. After this Sunday’s bagjob, it’s way, way too obvious so Goodell will ask the refs to take the week off and call it fair. He was so desperate to make sure Manning got the 1 seed in 2013, he was willing to bag that one on Monday Night Football, where even the most ardent Pats Hater could see Gronk mauled in the end zone, with no chance to go back for the ball.

    On Sunday, NE had 7 penalties, 5 of them completely fraudulent. Carolina only had 1 penatly called and it was on a maul job on Gronk where the defenders ran right through him, not turning in time. But, to call “illegal hands to the face” on Gilmore with such incidental contact, which essentially happens on every single jam play within 5 yards of the ball across the league on every down, is preposterous.

    After seeing the replays at Pats Pulpit in slow motion in better detail, it’s even worse than how it looked during the game.

    The second one was more legit, but still an incredible reach, especially considering there was no real extended contact and there wasn’t even a play being made in the air.

  12. Please let’s not blame the refs. The calls went against them this game, but if they had been even remotely competent on defense, they win that game by 10 points. On the surface, they should be able to at least stabilize the defense because much of the problem seems to be mental, but I do worry about talent at linebacker….the line should be alright as long as Flowers and Wise can get some sacks, but was kind of hoping Malcolm Brown would be more of a standout at this point.

  13. Wow, Pats homers love to dismiss conspiracy theories that put te Patriots in a bad light. But when they make it look like they are the victims, they’ll spew it out like it’s the absolute truth.

  14. tylawspick6 says:
    October 3, 2017 at 9:16 am
    Broken coverages in zone have very little to do with the actual rush upfront.

    tylawspick6 says:
    October 3, 2017 at 10:12 am
    …no one cares the Pats were cheated on Sunday, so the narrative shifts to blown coverages by the secondary instead.
    ————

    So was it blown coverage or were they cheated?

  15. Now I got it! The Patriots cheat to win has been proven. But when they lose, it is because they cheated against. Well, it’s obvious who the greatest cheaters are! The Patriots. Not even close!

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