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Harrison: Brady's feeling the heat, thinking 'our defense stinks'

Alert: Rodney Harrison is talking again.

In a season when former Patriots stars have emerged from the woodwork to nitpick the 5-2 team, Harrison took a few minutes out of his Tuesday to voice displeasure with New England's weak-sister defense.

"I hate it, I don't like it at all," Harrison told the Boston Herald. "That scheme doesn't work for me. When you play a good offense, a team that spreads you out, there's just too many openings in zone coverage. You have to mix in man-to-man coverage. You have to become more creative on defense. You have to disguise, bring more pressure.

"Then I look at that secondary, and they're playing really soft coverage, that bend-but-don't-break defense. I hate that."

Harrison, an analyst for NBC's "Football Night in America," acknowledged Tuesday on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" that few teams can duplicate what the Steelers did Sunday, but he claims to know what's keeping quarterback Tom Brady up at night.

"All I'm saying, is if you wonder why (Tom) Brady -- in back-to-back years in the postseason -- loses, part of it is Brady and the offense not stepping up," Harrison told the Herald. "But part of it is him putting pressure on himself thinking, 'Our defense stinks. We're going to have to score a lot of points if we want to have a chance to compete.' "

It's unconfirmed if Bill Belichick plans to frantically reboot the franchise based on Harrison's concerns, but don't hold your breath, folks. The issues on defense must be addressed before the playoffs -- the unit looked outmatched against Pittsburgh -- but this is a team that historically compartmentalizes losses and comes out fighting. The Patriots will do that again.

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