Archive for September, 2011

Patriots Injury Report: Hernandez, Two Others OUT Sunday

The New England Patriots released their injury report Friday afternoon, as the team prepares for Sunday’s battle in Oakland. Tight-end Aaron Hernandez has been shutdown for week 4, a move that I am glad to see happen. After sitting out another game this week, hopefully Hernandez can contribute in week 5 against the Jets.

Also, Albert Haynesworth, who continues to nurse a back injury, and Patrick Chung, who had thumb surgery last week, are questionable for Sunday.

Patrick Chung is questionable for Sunday’s game in Oakland, but the team could use him against Darren McFadden and the Raiders. (FILE:Icon/SMI)


TE Aaron Hernandez (knee)
T Sebastian Vollmer (back)
DL Mike Wright (concussion)


CB Kyle Arrington (chest)
CB Leigh Bodden (groin)
S Patrick Chung (hand/thumb)
CB Ras-I Dowling (hip)
DL Shaun Ellis (knee)
LB Gary Guyton (hamstring)
DT Albert Haynesworth (back)
WR Taylor Price (hamstring)
OL Ryan Wendell (calf)


S Josh Barrett (thumb)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)

My pre-game thoughts & scouting report will be posted tomorrow. Also, the Raiders injury report will be updated and posted later today.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!


Video: Stevan Ridley Highlights

On Friday morning, I came across a video that really caught my eye and I wanted to share it with Patriots Nation. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley ran well on Sunday and was one of the few positives from the loss to the Bills. I hope he is able to pick up more carries as the season progresses, as he seems to possess the skill-set to succeeded in the NFL. Check out video below and share your thoughts. –


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Patriots and Raiders Practice Reports: Mankins, Chung Participate

The New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders released their practice reports Thursday afternoon, as the teams prepare for Sunday’s battle Oakland. After missing his first practice of his career (excluding holdout), guard Logan Mankins returned in a limited role for the Pats.

Albert Haynesworth continues to nurse a back injury that has bothered him for two weeks, and Patrick Chung participated in a limited role after having thumb surgery last week.

Here are the team’s practice reports:

Patriots –

Did Not Participate:

DT Albert Haynesworth (back)
TE Aaron Hernandez (knee)
T Sebastian Vollmer (back)
DL Mike Wright (concussion)

Limited Participation:

CB Kyle Arrington (chest)
CB Leigh Bodden (groin)
S Patrick Chung (hand)
CB Ras-I Dowling (hip)
DL Shaun Ellis (knee)
LB Gary Guyton (hamstring)
G Logan Mankins (illness)
LB Jerod Mayo (thigh)
P Zoltan Mesko (left knee)
WR Taylor Price (hamstring)
OL Ryan Wendell (calf)

Full Participation:

S Josh Barrett (thumb)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)

Raiders –

Did Not Participate:

LB Ricky Brown (concussion)
S Michael Huff (concussion)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
WR Louis Murphy (groin)
RB Marcel Reece (ankle)
DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder)

Limited Participation:

QB Jason Campbell (foot)
CB Chimidi Chekwa (hamstring)
WR Jacoby Ford (hamstring)
S Michael Mitchell (knee)

Full Participation:

S Jerome Boyd (knee)
S Matt Giordano (shoulder)
LB Quentin Groves (quadriceps)
RB Darren McFadden (shoulder/groin)
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (knee)

My pre-game thoughts & scouting report will be posted over the next two days. Also, the team’s injury reports will be updated and posted tomorrow.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!


Patriots Work Out Three Players Tuesday

Tuesday was a busy day in New England. The Patriots released defensive lineman Landon Cohen and will reportedly sign Gerard Warren Wednesday. The team also had three veteran players in for a work out. Running back Charles Scott, fullback Lousaka Polite and tight-end Jake O’Connell.

23-year old running back Charles Scott, was drafted in the sixth round out of LSU by the Eagles last season. After spending time with the Arizona Cardinals, he was on the New York Giants all of last season. The 5-foot-11, 242 pound tailback has been used more as a fullback-type role in the NFL. Scott was teammates at LSU with current rookie running back, Stevan Ridley.

Veteran fullback Lousaka Polite has played for the Cowboys, Bears, and Dolphins in his NFL career. After starting 10 games for the Dolphins last year, the 30-year old was released by Miami during final cuts this season. Polite could be a solid addition to the Patriots and the player I was most interested in Tuesday. His ability to run and block, along with his experience, could serve valuable to this club.

Tight-end Jake O’Connell, a 2009 seventh-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, has played in 19 games over his young NFL career. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, O’Connell made five catches for 38 yards over the past two seasons. The 25-year-old tight end could fit as a third TE option with the recent release of Dan Gronkowski.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Roster Shuffle Continues: Release Cohen, Bring Back Veteran

On Tuesday the Patriots released defensive lineman Landon Cohen. Cohen, signed with New England last Wednesday. He appeared on 17 snaps Sunday and registered one tackle.

First reported by Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, the Pats will sign veteran defensive tackle Gerard Warren on Wednesday to fill the roster spot left by Cohen. In my opinion, Warren was one of the more surprising releases as I felt he earned a role on this team.

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick continues to shuffle New England’s roster with the release of Landon Cohen on Tuesday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Warren, who started 10 games for the team last season, has been on and off the roster over the past two months. Warren’s return was expected because some of his personal were in his old locker at Gillette Stadium through the first three weeks of the season.

At 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, Warren adds some much needed size to the Patriots’ defensive line. With Albert Haynesworth (back) and Mike Wright (concussion) on the mend, his return could not come at a better time. Expect the transaction to be finalized Wednesday.

New England has undergone an extensive amount of roster turnover since the season began. It seems Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office are still looking for the right fit in their 53-man roster.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

REPORT CARD: Patriots Not Ready for Upstart Bills

The Patriots went in to week 3 with a 2 – 0 record and were off to an incredible start. On Sunday afternoon, the upstart Buffalo Bills put up a fight, and left the Patriots faithful scratching their head. Here is my report card for week 3 –

Offense Grade: B

The Patriots offensive performance was interesting. For starters, Tom Brady was not the leading MVP candidate he had shown in the first two weeks. He tied a career high throwing four interceptions and the running game could not get established. Yes, the offense scored 31 points, but when the team needed to make plays offensively, they were not able to do so.

Stevan Ridley was one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s loss to Buffalo. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

I was looking for someone to step up when Brady was struggling. Wes Welker made some incredible plays, Rob Gronkowski continues to show he is a probowl talent and Stevan Ridley had a team high 44 rushing yards on 7 carries. While the team showed once again that they can score with any team in the NFL, their inefficiency and inconsistency were backbreakers on Sunday.

Defense Grade: F

The worst grade I have handed out so far in this 2011 season, and for good reason. While the defense did pick off Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, there was not much else to be thrilled about during the game. For one, penalties killed this defense. Including a late game drive by Buffalo in which New England’s defense gave up 46 penalty yards when the game was on the line.

The pass rush remains to be non-existent and the secondary play has been deplorable. Someone on this defense needs to be a playmaker. I also expect more from defensive captain’s Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Devin McCourty. I believe there is room for improvement, but the unit needs to step up immediately.

Special Teams Grade: A

Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 23- yard field goal and had solid kickoff’s throughout the day. Punter Zoltan Mesko had a 46.7-yard average and seemed to be okay after suffering a slight knee injury in week 2. While I am disappointed with the Patriots return ability so far this year, their coverage continues to be spectacular.

Overall Game Grade: D

Overall, the game was ugly. New England lost after leading by 21, as well as the offense and defense not performing to their standards. I know the majority of Patriots Nation have strong feelings towards this game, which is understandable, but do not blow it out of proportion.

Hopefully the Patriots learn from this game and fix many of their problems as the season progresses. The Pats will have another tough task this week as they travel to Oakland to face the Raiders in week 4. My pre-game thoughts will be posted later in the week.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Video: Patriots Tribute

On Tuesday morning, I came across a video that really caught my eye and I wanted to share it with Patriots Nation. 13-year-old Patriots fan Gabbie Rae put together a great tribute video approximately four minutes long. Check out video below –



Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Pre-game Thoughts: Patriots at Bills

The New England Patriots travel to face division foe Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Patriots have started their season 2-0, but they have a tough challenge against an AFC East rival in week 3. The Patriots have a bit of an injury bug, so their depth could be tested. Here are a few thoughts on the upcoming game –

– Not the same Bills team: The Buffalo Bills seem to be a new team this year. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but they have looked good. They lead the NFL in points per game, with 39.5, and in rushing yards per game, with 193. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks confident and he has opened up the Buffalo offense. The Patriots will need to keep their running game in check and try to drum up some pressure on Fitzpatrick throughout the game.

Second year corner back Devin McCourty looks to get back on track against the Bills Sunday afternoon. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

– Don’t expect a lot of defense: In all aspects of this game, I am definitely not expecting to see a ton of great defense. With Belichick’s new defensive scheme and the several additions the team made during the off-season, my expectations are higher than the team displayed the last few week’s. With both team’s possessing some of the most potent offense’s in the NFL so far this season, a defensive game would be surprising. I expect both team’s to put up points, but whatever defense plays better could be the deciding factor.

– Running game in focus: The Bills have a solid one – two combo with Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. While Spiller has been disappointing thus far in his young NFL career, Jackson is one of the most underrated running backs in the league. Like I had previously mentioned, Buffalo has rushed for an average of 193 yards per game. The Patriots, who have both Albert Haynesworth and Patrick Chung out for the game, will need to be prepared for Chan Gailey’s offense.

On the other side, the Patriots should do well rushing the ball Sunday. I expect Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis to have 100-yards and Danny Woodhead should get his touches as well. Even though Buffalo has Kyle Williams and first round pick Marcel Dareus along their defensive line, they have struggled to stop the run over the past few seasons. This could be the Patriots key to success against their division rival.

Looking for Devin McCourty to step up: After an incredible rookie season, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty has struggled this season. In week one, he gave up 139 yards to Brandon Marshall and in week 2, another 172 yards to Vincent Jackson. While both of these wide receivers are big and physical, I am expecting more from the defensive captain. Hopefully, the second year defensive back can return to probowl form Sunday afternoon.

With all of these thoughts taken into consideration. I believe the Patriots can win this game, but there are some definite concerns. The Pats are pretty banged up and their injury situation is worrisome. While I believe the Patriots could struggle, I am confident they get the win on the road. My prediction is Patriots – 34,  Bills – 24.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Patriots Work Out Three Players

On Saturday morning the Patriots worked out three players. Tank Tyler, Julian Hartsell and Sealver Siliga, all defensive lineman, visited Foxborough early in the morning.

With Mike Wright’s future in doubt, and other injuries along the defensive line, the Patriots worked out three players on Saturday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Tyler, the most notable free agent who visited Saturday, was a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2007. At 6-2, 325 pounds, Tyler is a strong defensive tackle that showed flashes of promise earlier in his career. He has played in 43 career games with 19 starts.

At 6-3, 291, Julian Hartsell was an undrafted free agent this season out of Catawba. He spent training camp with the Titans and can play both positions along the defensive line.

Sealver Siliga, who the team also worked out, is a  6-2, 307-pound undrafted free agent out of Utah. Siliga spent training camp with the 49ers during the off-season.

With New England’s injuries along the defensive line, Albert Haynesworth (back) and Mike Wright (concussion), the team may need to add healthy depth for the coming weeks. Haynesworth, who was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, will be missing his first game as a member of the Patriots.

With Bills right guard Kraig Urbik out, Haynesworth had a favorable match-up for Sunday’s contest. As for Wright, his year may be in jeopardy and possibly his career after getting another concussion at the beginning of the season.

In any case, the Patriots have shown that they are not afraid to shuffle their roster at any point this season. While I would not expect any more moves until the early part of next week, if any are made at all, the fact the club worked out these players definitely makes you think more critically of the team’s current injury situation.

I will post any updates when more details are available.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me:@PatriotsHaven!

Injury Report: Haynesworth, Two Others Downgraded to Out

On Saturday evening the Patriots announced three additional players have been downgraded to out. Albert Haynesworth, Patrick Chung and Taylor Price all will not play on Sunday in Buffalo.

Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back), Safety Patrick Chung (hand) and wide receiver Taylor Price (hamstring) are officially Out against the Bills.

Patrick Chung’s absence Sunday will make the game in Buffalo that much tougher for an already struggling New England defense. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Yesterday, the team listed tight-end Aaron Hernandez (MCL Sprain), right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) as Out on Friday’s injury report as well.

These injuries make tomorrow’s game even tougher. The Patriots, who are already thin at safety, now lose one of their best defensive backs with Patrick Chung. Surely, Patriots Nation wishes a speedy recovery for all of these injured players.

I still believe the Patriots can win, but the game will not be easy. These injuries give an opportunity to many of the back-ups, and should provide as a good measurement of New England’s depth.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!