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Archive for August, 2011

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/31

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

With their fourth pre-season game on Thursday night against the Giants, the Patriots have a lot of work to do. Especially after cutting down their roster and losing to the Lions last Saturday night 34 – 10. With so much going on, there is certainly no shortage of news. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Wednesday:

  • On Monday, the Patriots began to trim down their roster from 90 players to 80 as the league’s deadline loomed. Among the cuts were safety James Sanders and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. While Wilhite was on the roster bubble, Sanders’ release came as a shock to most. To read my full write up on Sanders, check out the story here.

 

  • The Patriots also signed WR Tiquan Underwood on Monday and he is determined to stand out. He played at Rutgers with second-year cornerback Devin McCourty and has played 13 games over the past two seasons for the Jaguars. Underwood was a seventh round draft pick in 2009 and was released last week.

 

 

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady really struggled on Saturday night. Brady completed 12 of 22 passes for 145 yards and a 44 yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker. Unfortunately, he was also got sacked twice, fumbled once, and threw an interception. In Brady’s defense, he did not have the greatest protection. After the game, Brady commented on his performance:

“I think we were trying to get the ball down the field a little bit, so you’re going to hold it.  They have a good pass rush, we held up out there for a decent amount of time.  I have to do a better job of making quicker decisions, getting rid of the football and getting it to the guys who can do something with it.”

 

  • It was another quiet night for Chad Ochocinco and some fans are beginning to get anxious. Possibly for good reason though as the chemistry between Tom Brady and Ochocinco is not where it needs to be at this point. The receiver was targeted four times Saturday night and did not have one reception. Luckily, the two have more opportunities to get in sync but, time is not on their side. Ocho has “heard the rumblings”, however, and had something to say on the subject -

“I’m just nowhere near where I want to be. I’m my biggest critic anyway,’’ he said yesterday. “Regardless of what you write, what you guys see – I’m the first to judge myself. I’m always aiming for perfection and one of those things about being here, about being in an organization like this, that prides itself on perfection and excellence, you know, I’m sort of putting the pressure on myself to be right and be perfect now. Not later.

“I’m trying to squeeze everything within a short time frame. And it’s somewhat impossible but if I can aim to be as perfect as possible, I think I’ll get up to speed.’’

  • Former Patriots safety James Sanders, who was released on Monday, has signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. I am definitely disappointed Belichick decided to part ways with the safety but, I am glad he landed with a good team in the Falcons.

 

  • The Patriots are reportedly interested in defensive tackle Pat Williams. The team has been doing their “due diligence” on several veteran players across the league this off-season. So the question remains, is their interest real or are they just scouting a player they could go up against one day? For that, only time will tell but I am very curious either way. Even though Williams is older (38) he is not far removed from several dominating seasons with the Vikings. If the team feels he could contribute on select downs, I think it would be a solid addition; Although, I am not sure what he can offer at this point.

 

 

  • The Patriots final preseason game is on tomorrow at home against the Giants. After a very quick turnaround for the team, I am curious to see how they respond. After a very disappointing outing from the club on Saturday, i’m not expecting to see too many of the team’s starters in action when they face the Giants. I believe the coaching staff will now start to shift the players focus to the regular-season opener, Sept. 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

 

  • After the first league-wide roster cuts yesterday, Aug. 30th. The Patriots roster is now at 80 players. The team now has four days to shuffle their roster and finish evaluating the players as Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/30

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

Coming through with a bit of an assist today while Derek celebrates an anniversary, so here’s  a look back at today’s news:

A Little Long Snapper Talk: Anyone who listens to press conferences from head coach Bill Belichick with any regularity knows that if you listen real closely, every once in a while he’ll share some insight with you if he’s passionate about something.  Tuesday’s featured a look at the long-snapper position, which Mike Reiss of ESPN writes Belichick praised former Giant Steve DeOssie as being a guy who changed the position. It’s actually pretty interesting, so be sure and check it out.

Wes Welker’s OK: Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has an entry with the Sporting News this afternoon on Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who appears to be fine after reportedly suffering a neck injury during Saturday night’s debacle against Detroit.  Rapoport writes that the team needs more help production-wise at the receiver position, which has seen Chad Ochocinco struggle to get acclimated, and Deion Branch struggle to get open.

An Endorsement for Patrick Chung: One day after the release of James Sanders, Belichick had some kind words for Patrick Chung during his press conference.  Belichick told the media that you can’t outwork him, which is high-praise for the Patriots safety.  “Patrick’s one of our young players that’s really worked hard. He’s very diligent. He’s a hard worker,” Belichick said. “I mean, you really can’t outwork Chung — he’s here early, he stays late. He’s in top condition. He can play all the plays that he needs to play. He’s been very productive for us in the kicking game [and] defensively. I think there’s still room to grow with him, but he works hard at it. He’s had a good camp and he’s had two solid years behind him.”

Foxboro Residents Not Impressed: Gillette Stadium apparently had its power restored before the residents of Foxboro, and according to a Channel 7 report they’re not impressed.  According to the article  this is primarily because the stadium sources power from two locations in the event of an outage.  The first is Foxboro, and the second is Wrenthem – which currently has power – and that’s the reason why power is currently on at the stadium.

Ochocinco’s ‘Self Contained’, Haynesworth is a ‘Likeable Fellow’: Two interesting descriptions of Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco, and Albert Haynesworth were made by owner Robert Kraft.  “(Ochocinco) is very self-contained and works very hard, and wants to do well,” Kraft told the Boston Herald Tuesday evening. “He and Brady seem to have a great rapport. And Albert Haynesworth is a gentleman. If you’ve heard him speak, he’s not the image of the NFLNetwork with that mean face, I mean I hope he’s mean during the games . . . but everything I’ve seen, he’s a very likable fellow. I hope both of them make great contributions.”

Ochocinco doesn’t care what you think: The Patriots receiver has apparently heard the rumblings about the fact he’s still working to settle into the offense, but he told reporters on Tuesday that he’s not worried about the criticism.  “I’m just nowhere near where I want to be,” he told the Boston Globe on Tuesday. “I’m my biggest critic anyway. Regardless of what you write, what you guys see – I’m the first to judge myself. I’m always aiming for perfection and one of those things about being here, about being in an organization like this, that prides itself on perfection and excellence, you know, I’m sort of putting the pressure on myself to be right and be perfect now. Not later. I’m trying to squeeze everything within a short time frame. And it’s somewhat impossible but if I can aim to be as perfect as possible, I think I’ll get up to speed.”

Jerod Mayo is now an SI Cover Boy: Mayo is apparently gracing the next cover of Sports Illustrated in the upcoming NFL Preview issue that’s about to come out.  Ian Rapoport of the Herald has a photo that you can view via this link.

And Finally, Fletcher, Wright, and Spikes back at practice: Christopher Price of WEEI writes that the Patriots saw Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, and Mike Wright all return to practice on Tuesday.  It’s good news because Spikes has been sidelined since the beginning of the month, while Wright has been battling an ailment that Belichick said recently was unrelated to the concussion he suffered last season.

That’s it for now.  Hope you’re all caught up on today’s events, and Derek will be back tomorrow night.

- Ian

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/29

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots began another week in the NFL after their their third pre-season game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night. After a tough loss 34  - 10 loss, there is certainly a lot to digest and analyze.  Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Monday:

  • On Monday, the Patriots began to trim down their roster from 90 players to 80 as the league’s deadline loomed. Among the cuts were safety James Sanders and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. While Wilhite was on the roster bubble, Sanders’ release came as a shock to most. To read my full write up on Sanders, check out the story here.

 

  • Along with Sanders, the Pats also released CB Jonathan Wilhite, LS Matt Katula, WR Darnell Jenkins, TE Garrett Mills, CB Malcom Williams, DL Kade Weston, K Chris Koepplin, WR Tyree Barnes, & DE Clay Nurse. As more roster shuffling occurs, I will post updates.

 

  • The Patriots also signed WR Tiquan Underwood and S Ross Ventrone. While Ventrone has been in and out of the Pats locker room for years, Underwood is a new face to some. Athough, he did play at Rutgers with second-year cornerback Devin McCourty and has played 13 games over the past two seasons for the Jaguars. Underwood was a seventh round draft pick in 2009 and was released last week.

 

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady really struggled on Saturday night. Brady completed 12 of 22 passes for 145 yards and a 44 yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker. Unfortunately, he was also got sacked twice, fumbled once, and threw an interception. In Brady’s defense, he did not have the greatest protection. After the game, Brady commented on his performance:

“I think we were trying to get the ball down the field a little bit, so you’re going to hold it.  They have a good pass rush, we held up out there for a decent amount of time.  I have to do a better job of making quicker decisions, getting rid of the football and getting it to the guys who can do something with it.”

 

 

  • It was another quiet night for Chad Ochocinco and some fans are beginning to get anxious. Possibly for good reason though as the chemistry between Tom Brady and Ochocinco is not where it needs to be at this point. The receiver was targeted four times last night and did not have one reception. Luckily, the two have more opportunities to get in sync but, time is not on their side.

 

  • Wes Welker left the Lions game with a neck injury on Saturday night. After Tom Brady threw an interception, Welker made the tackle that left him shaken up. Early reports are that the injury is not that serious but I will post an update when more details are revealed.

 

  • One of the Patriots top rivals, the Indianapolis Colts, have an interesting situation worth monitoring early in the season. Peyton Manning‘s neck injury seems to be more troublesome than the club led spectators to believe. After acquiring veteran quarterback Kerry Collins and reportedly inquiring about Matt Hasselback when free agency began, one has to think the team is very concerned about their franchise leader. If the Colts are not the usual contender, there could be a power shift in the AFC Conference.

 

  • The Patriots final preseason game is on Thursday at home against the Giants, giving the team a very quick turnaround. After a very disappointing outing from the club on Saturday, i’m not expecting to see too many of the team’s starters in action when they face the Giants. I believe the coaching staff will now start to shift the players focus to the regular-season opener, Sept. 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

 

  • According to my calculations, the Patriots are currently at 82 players on the roster. They will need to make two more cuts in the next 24 hours in order to meet the league’s 4 p.m. deadline tomorrow afternoon.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Patriots Start to Trim Down Roster. Cut Sanders, Others

The Patriots informed veteran safety  James Sanders that they will release him on Monday afternoon. As the Patriots begin to cut down their roster from 90 – 80 before Tuesday’s deadline, this roster move shocked many people apart of Patriots Nation. Analysts, spectators, and fans were not the only one’s who were surprised, Sanders himself was caught off guard -

“It was a shock. It wasn’t one of the things I was expecting to hear today. It didn’t cross my mind,” Sanders said on Monday.

Bill Belichick also commented on the move later on Monday- “Tough release there with James Sanders. Been a really good guy to have on this team.”

After pulling a hamstring at the beginning of training camp, he was limited in reps during practice. Sanders only participated fully in four practices and had 19 reps during Saturday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions.

Sanders was scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.8 million this season, which might have been the deciding factor in his release. The Patriots might have believed that was too rich for a player who will be third on the depth chart behind likely starters Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung.

Former Patriots defensive back Ellis Hobbs tweeted to Sanders on Monday afternoon -

@EllisHobbs@JamesSanders36 what’s good bruh, what’s goin on they got rid of the smartest player 2 be apart of the patriot organization?!”

Sanders was not told the specific reason for his release.

I am saddened by the news of Sanders release. He was a class act and a solid player for this team. He offered great leadership to a young secondary and even though he was not the most talented, he still had a lot to offer.

I trust Bill Belichick’s decision to cut Sanders and cannot help to wonder if this is a vote of confidence in Meriweather’s direction going forward. Only time will tell as the Pats and the other 31 NFL teams have to trim their rosters to 80 by tomorrow’s deadline.

Along with Sanders, the Pats also released CB Jonathan Wilhite, LS Matt Katula, WR Darnell Jenkins, FB Eric Kettani, & DE Clay Nurse. As more roster shuffling occurs, I will post updates. Stay tuned.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/28

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots wrapped-up another chaotic week in the NFL, as they played their third pre-season game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night. After a tough loss 34  - 10 loss, there is certainly a lot to digest.  Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Sunday:

 

  • My Patriots Roster Prediction 2.0 was posted earlier this week. I made a few changes from my first edition, but the evaluation process is still on going. Never the less, I feel like I have narrowed down the tough decision areas for the coaching staff. Check out the post and share your thoughts.

 

  • Wes Welker left the Lions game with a neck injury on Saturday night. After Tom Brady threw an interception, Welker made the tackle that left him shaken up. Early reports are that the injury is not that serious but I will post an update when more details are revealed.

 

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady really struggled on Saturday night. Brady completed 12 of 22 passes for 145 yards and a 44 yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker. Unfortunately, he was also got sacked twice, fumbled once, and threw an interception. In Brady’s defense, he did not have the greatest protection. After the game, Brady commented on his performance:

“I think we were trying to get the ball down the field a little bit, so you’re going to hold it.  They have a good pass rush, we held up out there for a decent amount of time.  I have to do a better job of making quicker decisions, getting rid of the football and getting it to the guys who can do something with it.”

 

 

  • It was another quiet night for Chad Ochocinco and some fans are beginning to get anxious. Possibly for good reason though as the chemistry between Tom Brady and Ochocinco is not where it needs to be at this point. The receiver was targeted four times last night and did not have one reception. Luckily, the two have more opportunities to get in sync but, time is not on their side.

 

  • For what it’s worth, the Patriots say they will not be practicing tomorrow.

 

  • One of the Patriots top rivals, the Indianapolis Colts, have an interesting situation worth monitoring early in the season. Peyton Manning‘s neck injury seems to be more troublesome than the club led spectators to believe. After acquiring veteran quarterback Kerry Collins and reportedly inquiring about Matt Hasselback when free agency began, one has to think the team is very concerned about their franchise leader. If the Colts are not the usual contender, there could be a power shift in the AFC Conference.

 

  • The Patriots final preseason game is on Thursday at home against the Giants, giving the team a very quick turnaround. After a very disappointing outing from the club on Saturday, i’m not expecting to see too many of the team’s starters in action when they face the Giants. I believe the coaching staff will now start to shift the players focus to the regular-season opener, Sept. 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

 

  • The first league-wide roster cuts will be taking place on Tuesday, Aug. 30th. This is when the rosters will go to 80 players, decreasing from 90. Initially, Aug 30th was suppose to mark the day when teams reduce the rosters to a maximum of 75 players, but the league office made that change earlier this week. Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/26

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots wrapped-up another chaotic week in the NFL, as the continue to prepare for the Detroit Lions. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Friday:

 

  • Patriots rookie running back, Shane Vereen, returned to practice after he took a few weeks off to nurse a hamstring injury. The Cal tailback should offer a change-of-pace to the Patriots backfield and also adds a home run threat when he has the football.

 

  • As Saturday’s third pre-season game against the Detriot Lions approaches, I compiled a list of a few players I would not expect to see on the field. The players that are on this list, are pure speculation based of practice notes and weekly repetitions. I would not expect to see CB Leigh Bodden, OL Marcus Cannon (non-football injury list), DE/OLB Jermaine Cunningham, RB Kevin Faulk (PUP), LB Dane Fletcher, RB Stevan Ridley, LB Brandon Spikes, or DL Mike Wright.

 

  • Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald caught up with Patriots defensive lineman Shaun Elliswho may see his first game action this Saturday out in Detroit against the Lions.  Ellis, who is recovering from a hip injury, said that it’s more about the mental aspect of the game where he’s putting his focus. “For me, it’s the meeting room,” Ellis said. “I’ve played a lot of games. So, (it’s about) just getting my mental reps and things in practice. When I start going fully, it’ll come back to me.

 

  • My Patriots Roster Prediction 2.0 was posted yesterday. I made a few changes from my first edition, but the evaluation process is still on going. Never the less, I feel like I have narrowed down the tough decision areas for the coaching staff. Check out the post and share your thoughts.

 

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan on his weekly radio appearance for WEEI. Brady said he loved to see the defense attacking opposing QBs. “I love to see that. From another quarterback’s perspective, to stand there on the sidelines and watch them attack the quarterback — force them into quick decisions, force them into throws that you don’t want to make but have to make because you don’t have time to see the coverages — that’s good for any defensive football team.”

 

  • Jerod Mayo spoke in the locker room with reporters on Tuesday and touched on the new defensive style the team seems to be implementing. “We’re a very multiple defense… One week we may come out with pressure and the next week we may come back with sitting back in coverage. So you never know, and I think that’s a good quality of this defense… It changes every week and I’m very excited how it started off. You never know what Coach Belichick is coming up with in his office.”

 

  • The Pats re-signed rookie free agent offensive lineman, Mike Berry, on Wednesday morning. Berry, a 6-foot-3, 316-pound guard out of Auburn, initially signed with the club on July 27 and was released on Aug. 3. The signing brings their roster back to the 90-man maximum as they add more depth to the offensive line.

 

  • The Tim Tebow situation in Denver has gone from laughable to absurd, quickly. Reportedly, Tebow was out at a rowdy bar until 2 am on Tuesday night and has slid to the bottom of the depth chart. For what it’s worth, I like Tim Tebow. Now I don’t believe he can be a start quarterback in this league but I feel he is getting treated unfairly. Ironically, the same things he was praised for in college is now what he is getting chastised for in the NFL.

 

  • The first league-wide roster cuts will be taking place in four days on Aug. 30th. This is when the rosters will go to 80 players, decreasing from 90. Initially, Aug 30th was suppose to mark the day when teams reduce the rosters to a maximum of 75 players, but the league office made that change earlier this week. Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Video: Rob Gronkowski Rookie Year Highlight Mix

As I was surfing the internet early Friday morning, I came across another interesting video that I thought Patriots Nation would like to see. In the video below, Jesse Dampolo took the time to mix a highlight tape together of Patriot’s tight-end Rob Gronkowski. After a strong rookie campaign, Gronkowski looks to build on a promising NFL career.

Gronkowski had 546 yards on 42 receptions, with 10 touchdowns last season.

 

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Patriots Roster Prediction 2.0

My second 53 man roster prediction for the Patriots 2011 season:

Quarterbacks - Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett (3)

Running Backs - Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley (4)

Wide Receivers – Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch,  Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater (6)

Tight Ends - Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Will Yeatman (3)

Offensive Line - Sebastian Vollmer, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Matt Light, Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Rich Ohrnberger, Ryan Wendall – (8)

Defensive Line - Albert Haynesworth, Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Mike Wright – (6)

Defensive Line / Linebackers - Jermaine Cunningham, Andre Carter, Eric Moore, Mark Anderson, Rob Ninkovich – (5)

Linebackers - Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton, Dane Fletcher, Tracy White – (5)

Cornerbacks - Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington, Darius Butler, Ras-I Dowling – (5)

Safeties - Pat Chung, Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Sergio Brown, James Ihedigbo – (5)

Specialists - Stephen Gostkowski (k), Zoltan Mesko (P), Matt Katula (LS) – (3)

Projected to PUP List: Kevin Faulk, Marcus Cannon, Ron Brace

Roster Notes:

  • Not having Kevin Faulk on the roster was a tough decision for me but I am sure it will be an even tougher decison for the coaching staff. After a heartbreaking injury last season, I just cannot see the veteran RB making a strong enough recovery to contribute enough on the field to justify a roster spot. However, could his locker room and leadership keep him around? Absolutely, only time will tell. I know Patriots Nation will be rooting for him. That’s why I slated him to PUP to start the season.
  • I really believe Will Yeatman has the inside track on Lee Smith to make the roster. Yeatman seems to offer more as a blocking tight-end and Smith’s ability to long snap is diminished if the team keeps Matt Katula. Ideally, I would have liked the team to keep Alge Crumpler, but it seems the Pats want to move in a different direction.
  • Keep an eye on undrafted free agent Jeff Tarpinian to sneak into the roster as a special teams specialist. His biggest competition will be veteran Tracy White.
  • The new kickoff rules won’t just cause more touchbacks throughout the season, it could also cause Brandon Tate a job. His development as a receiver is not where it needs to be in order for the third year wide-out to hold a roster spot.
  • If the Patriots can slip Markell Carter through waivers, I expect the 6th round draft pick to be on the practice squad.
  • Tough decison at Cornerback between Darius Butler and Jonathan Wilhite, I decided to go with Butler. I believe he has the potential to make a strong third year campaign after a tough 2010 season. With less pressure and time out of the spotlight, the CB might be able to help as a nickel or dime package defensive back.
  • Every year there are surprise moves on the Patriots roster. This season, I could see Jeremy Ross, undrafted free agent from Cal, being just that. He has had a great couple weeks in camp but will certainly need more to crack the roster. Still, I believe Ross has talent and could very easily make the practice squad, giving him more time to develop.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

 

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/24

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots continue another chaotic week in the NFL, prepping for the Detroit Lions. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Wednesday:

  • Patriots rookie running back, Shane Vereen, returned to practice after he took a few weeks off to nurse a hamstring injury. The Cal tailback should offer a change-of-pace to the Patriots backfield and also adds a home run threat when he has the football.

  • Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald caught up with Patriots defensive lineman Shaun Elliswho may see his first game action this Saturday out in Detroit against the Lions.  Ellis, who is recovering from a hip injury, said that it’s more about the mental aspect of the game where he’s putting his focus. “For me, it’s the meeting room,” Ellis said. “I’ve played a lot of games. So, (it’s about) just getting my mental reps and things in practice. When I start going fully, it’ll come back to me.

  • Patriots rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling returned to practice on Monday after missing the past three weeks. The return proves to be a timely one as veteran corner Leigh Bodden was not seen at practice and was only n the game for seven plays in the pre-season opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault on Monday. Haynesworth went to resolve a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast while having drinks with friends at a Washington hotel. If he stays out of trouble over the next 18 months and completes 160 hours of community service, prosecutors have agreed to drop the charge entirely. @ProFootballTalk reported yesterday that the league will not suspend Haynesworth and I believe the Patriots will not take further action at this point either.

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan on his weekly radio appearance for WEEI. Brady said he loved to see the defense attacking opposing QBs. “I love to see that. From another quarterback’s perspective, to stand there on the sidelines and watch them attack the quarterback — force them into quick decisions, force them into throws that you don’t want to make but have to make because you don’t have time to see the coverages — that’s good for any defensive football team.”

  • The Pats re-signed rookie free agent offensive lineman, Mike Berry, on Wednesday morning. Berry, a 6-foot-3, 316-pound guard out of Auburn, initially signed with the club on July 27 and was released on Aug. 3. The signing brings their roster back to the 90-man maximum as they add more depth to the offensive line.

  • Jerod Mayo spoke in the locker room with reporters on Tuesday and touched on the new defensive style the team seems to be implementing. “We’re a very multiple defense… One week we may come out with pressure and the next week we may come back with sitting back in coverage. So you never know, and I think that’s a good quality of this defense… It changes every week and I’m very excited how it started off. You never know what Coach Belichick is coming up with in his office.”

  • The Tim Tebow situation in Denver has gone from laughable to absurd, quickly. Reportedly, Tebow was out at a rowdy bar until 2 am on Tuesday night and has slid to the bottom of the depth chart. For what it’s worth, I like Tim Tebow. Now I don’t believe he can be a start quarterback in this league but I feel he is getting treated unfairly. Ironically, the same things he was praised for in college is now what he is getting chastised for in the NFL.

  • I am really surprised Lofa Tatupu is still on the market. The linebacker has been solid in Seattle over the previous years and seems like a solid addition to LB-needy teams. I would like the Patriots to take a closer look at Tatupu, I believe he would be a fit here in New England. How cool would it be for the team to announce the signing at the annual Mosi Tatupu (Lofa’s father) Comedy Benefit at Gillette Stadium?

  • Roster cuts will be taking place later this month. Aug. 30th when the roster will go to 80. Initially, Aug 30th was suppose to mark the day when teams reduce the rosters to a maximum of 75 players, but the league office made that change earlier this week. Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!

Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/22

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter @PatriotsHaven to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots started another chaotic week in the NFL, prepping for the Detroit Lions. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Monday:

  • Patriots rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling returned to practice on Monday after missing the past three weeks. The return proves to be a timely one as veteran corner Leigh Bodden was not seen at practice and was only n the game for seven plays in the pre-season opener verse the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Wide receiver Taylor Price also returned to practice after missing last weeks team activities. Price was a key piece to the teams victory in the preseason opener against the Jaguars, he had five receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Patriots injuries seem to be stacking up. So far in the Pats 2011 camp, there have been: 21 practices (10 full pads, 5 shorts/shells, 6 walkthroughs). In that time, 38 players missed at least one practice due to injury. This could definitely be an effect of the lockout. Hopefully the team can get healthy for the regular season opener against the division rival Miami Dolphins.
  • Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault on Monday. Haynesworth went to resolve a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast while having drinks with friends at a Washington hotel. If he stays out of trouble over the next 18 months and completes 160 hours of community service, prosecutors have agreed to drop the charge entirely. While I do not believe the Patriots will cut Haynesworth, an NFL suspension is more likely; I expect neither will happen though.
  • There has been a lot of “Roster Predictions” the past couple of weeks. My first roster prediction was posted last week and I will be updating the 2.0 version set to post on Tuesday morning.
  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan on his weekly radio appearance for WEEI. Brady said he loved to see the defense attacking opposing QBs. “I love to see that. From another quarterback’s perspective, to stand there on the sidelines and watch them attack the quarterback — force them into quick decisions, force them into throws that you don’t want to make but have to make because you don’t have time to see the coverages — that’s good for any defensive football team.”
  • Greg bedard of the Boston Globe tweeted last week that he had confirmed the reported salary cap number for the Pats - “League source confirmed @ProFootballTalk‘s cap number for Patriots is correct: $9.2 million under as of Monday. For all AFC East cap room numbers, check out my post earlier in the week.
  • The Raiders selected Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft on Monday morning. For what it’s worth, I believe the kid has talent and is an incredible athlete for his size. Obviously the Raiders wanted him and Al Davis has never been afraid of long-term projects. However, with the use of their third round pick, they forfeit that selection in the 2012 draft. This leaves Oakland without a pick in rounds two, three, and four next year.
  • I am really surprised Lofa Tatupu is still on the market. The linebacker has been solid in Seattle over the previous years and seems like a solid addition to LB-needy teams. I would like the Patriots to take a closer look at Tatupu, I believe he would be a fit here in New England.
  • Roster cuts will be taking place later this month. Aug. 30th when the roster will go to 80. Initially, Aug 30th was suppose to mark the day when teams reduce the rosters to a maximum of 75 players, but the league office made that change earlier this week. Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

For Patriots updates in an instant, Follow me on Twitter: @PatriotsHaven!