New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he doesn't need to send a message to his team about holding onto the football.

Belichick says he's been telling his players that since May — "ad nauseum."

The Patriots fumbled three times in Thursday night's 40-9 exhibition loss to the Detroit Lions. Quarterback Tom Brady also had an interception.

Belichick said in a conference call with reporters on Friday that there was no need to send a message to the players who fumbled. Running backs Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden and tight end Zach Sudfeld all coughed up the ball.

The coach says ball security "is the highest priority."

The Patriots have one more exhibition game, against the New York Giants next Thursday night.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org