By: Derek Havens
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.”
- On an interesting note, wide-receiver Deion Branch is the only starting receiver that has not registered a catch in two pre-season games. Ian Logue goes more in-depth about this topic in his latest post.
- 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.
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