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September 22, 2009

Time for Brady to lead

... and nine other pieces of advice for Patriots

FOXBORO — My football coaching resume is not an impressive one. Two years — defensive coordinator one year and special teams the next (yes, it was a demotion).

But something is not right with the Patriots. No, make that a lot of things aren't right with the Patriots. The offense, defense and special teams are equally confused.

That being said, the best of the Patriots in 2009 is ahead. Tom Brady needs at least another month and Jerod Mayo's absence on defense is almost akin to Brady being out with an injury.

But that doesn't mean we have to like what we see or don't want to point out some obvious flaws.

It is way too early to call the Patriots a "10-6 team," with Tom Brady's tentativeness and Jerod Mayo's injury,

Here are 10 pieces of "coaching" advice as the Patriots try to find their place going forward:

1. Brady, show some life.

Tom Brady looks bored. He saunters onto the field after timeouts. He walks solemnly back to the bench after a failed third-down conversion. A thrown helmet on the bench or a sprint onto the field would definitely be noticed.

Where's the spunk? Where's the team meeting on the bench in the fourth quarter? Where's the leader?

The Patriots are in a funk and there are two reasons why the Patriots had better get out of it quickly: Atlanta and Baltimore.

Sure, it's going to take Brady some time to get comfortable in the pocket and avoid pressure. But there is no excuse for him not being more of a leader. With the likes of Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel, gone for good, there is a leadership and energy void. Time for Brady to pick up the slack.

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