NEWS
|
FORUM
|
SCHEDULE
|
VIDEOS
|
STATS DATABASE
|
PODCAST
|
SALARY CAP
LATEST PATRIOTS COVERAGE:
Get Social With PatsFans.com:

REPORT: Patriots Sending Mankins to Buccaneers for TE Wright


Logan Mankins is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
(USA TODAY Images)

New England hasn’t been a stranger so far with pulling off trades to deepen their roster, but they pulled off a shocking one on Tuesday considering who was involved.

According to Jay Galzer of FoxSports.com, the Patriots have traded offensive guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and an undisclosed draft pick.

It’s been a well-known fact that New England didn’t have much depth behind tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui, so the addition of Wright, who caught 54 passes for 561 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013, certainly gives them some much needed depth at that position.

The loss of Mankins takes away some attitude and toughness up front on the offensive line, but the amount of depth they have there apparently left them with a tough decision when it came to bolstering another position instead.  As a result, the agreement was made and it gives the Buccaneers some help up front as well.

Mankins was entering his 10th season in the league after having been drafted in the first round by New England back in 2005.


The release of Tommy Kelly was likely a disappointment after the veteran had been looking forward to playing next to Vince Wilfork since signing last season. (USA TODAY Images)

When the Patriots signed Tommy Kelly before the start of last season, the veteran seemed excited about his opportunity to be in New England.

More importantly, he was looking forward to the chance to play on a defensive line that would have paired him next to Vince Wilfork, whom he expressed quite a bit of admiration for and at the time he said it factored into his decision to come to the Patriots.


Tommy Kelly is now looking for a new team after being released. (USA TODAY Images)

“You get to the end of your career, you get the opportunity to play with a real good team like New England — it came down to a couple teams — but I guess after talking with Coach [Bill] Belichick and then just the opportunity to play with Vince,” Kelly told Patriots Today at the time. “You wanna play with someone that can play. You know, you always watch people who play your position. I mean, he’s a real good player. A hell of a player.”

Kelly got to enjoy playing with Wilfork for just three and a quarter games, with Wilfork suffering an Achilles injury just 4:40 into the fourth game of the season in Atlanta.

To make matters worse, Kelly would suffer a torn ACL just a week later that cost him the rest of his season as well.

Now at the age of 33 and coming back off the injury, Kelly found himself caught in a situation where the team had been adding younger depth. After losing both he and Wilfork last season and getting caught without a lot of options inside, the Patriots appear focused on trying to build more depth to make sure they’re better prepared this time around.  We saw the addition of Dominique Easley through the draft and looking at this group there are a host of other players who will likely factor in with Sealver Siliga (barring any setbacks during his recovery from his hand injury), Michael Buchanan, Jerel Worthy, Joe Vellano or Chris Jones, among others who could find themselves in the rotation.

Either way the club seems to believe Wilfork is healthy enough to be able to give them a veteran presence inside for these guys to gain experience.  Unfortunately for Kelly, they didn’t feel the same about him.  Belichick has been a guy who has shown respect to veterans by releasing them early enough so they can start auditioning for other team sooner rather than later after being let go.  It’s just too bad for Kelly that he wasn’t able to get the opportunity he had hoped for before he landed here.

Wednesday’s New England Patriots Links 8/20


Darrelle Revis can’t wait for the 2014 regular season to start. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s links for Wednesday August 20th:

BOSTON GLOBE:

For Darrelle Revis, This Week is a game-changer – Anthony Gulizia

Jerod Mayo remains mum on injury – Shalise Manza Young

Notes: NFL expands practice squads to 10 – AP

BOSTON HERALD:

Brandon LaFell en route to filling big role  - Chris Mason

Aaron Dobson works toward return to old form - Jeff Howe

Patriots Notebook: Jerod Mayo mum on absence – Jeff Howe

Photo Gallery: Patriots Practice: August 19

Buckley: Darrelle Revis’ gut says this one’s real – Steve Buckley

BOSTON.COM:

Fun With Flags? Patriots DBs Express Concern Over Rules Emphasis – Erik Frenz

NFL Expands Practice Squads From 8 to 10 Players – Erik Frenz

Jermaine Wiggins Joins Hot 96.9 FM’s Morning Show – Zuri Berry

Patriots Practice Attendance: Sebastian Vollmer Absent For Second Straight Practice – Erik Frenz

Patriots 2014 Training Camp Photos

ESPN BOSTON:

Jeremy Gallon takes ribbing in stride – Mike Reiss

How practice squad change affects Patriots – Mike Reiss

Leftovers from Patriots locker room – Mike Reiss

Patriots’ Sebastian Vollmer absent again – Lee Schechter

LaFell: Shell-shocked to comfortable – Lee Schechter

Why Tom Brady went all out on pick-six – Mike Reiss

Weekly Patriots mail is delivered - Mike Reiss

DE Jones could benefit from Revis Island – Mike Reiss

WEEI:

‘Shellshocked’ LaFell could have ‘big role’ – Mike Petraglia

Vollmer misses 2nd straight practice – Mike Petraglia

Mayo says ‘everything is good’ – Christopher Price

Edelman on MFB: Patriots ‘know the rules’ – Jerry Spar

Brady on D&C: ‘Got to be able to adjust’ to refs – Jerry Spar

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Patriots Journal: Revis anxious to get the season going - Mark Daniels

Patriot wideout LaFell admits he’s still got a lot to learn – Mark Daniels

Tuesday’s New England Patriots Links 8/19


Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski took part in contact drills for the first time this preseason on Monday. (USA TODAY Images)

A quick rundown of links on this Tuesday Morning:


MEDIA OBSERVATIONS FROM MONDAY:

BOSTON GLOBE:
Patriots Practice Report: Missing Patriots appear for final training camp session – Shalise Manza Young

ESPN BOSTON:
Observations from Patriots camp: Day 22 – Mike Reiss and Lee Schefter

NESN:
Patriots Training Camp Observations: Rob Gronkowski Advances To Contact - Doug Kyed

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:
Training camp observations: Rob Gronkowski progresses as the Patriots get healthier – Mark Daniels


ADDITIONAL LINKS:

BOSTON.COM:

Patriots Training Camp Notes: Rob Gronkowski Makes First Appearance in Team Drills – Erik Frenz - Frenz looks at the return of Gronkowski and writes the chemistry between he and quarterback Tom Brady has picked up right where it left off.

What Happened in 1-on-1 Pass-Rush Drills Throughout Patriots Training Camp – Erik Frenz: Frenz has a good entry looking at how the players fared in drills on Monday.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Rob Gronkowski ramps up the intensity – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young has an article on Gronkowski, who took part in 11-on-11 work on Monday and was in on contact drills for the first time this preseason.

Dominique Easley leads list of Patriots back in action - Michael Vega: Vega files his notebook this morning, which leads off with Easley’s return to practice Monday.

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots Notebook: Rob Gronkowski fully engaged – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact Gronkowski took part in contact drills for the first time this preseason.

Patriots Beat: Stevan Ridley’s fate in his hands – Karen Guregian: Guregian focuses on Ridley, who wasn’t happy after losing the football Friday night.

Back in action, Dominique Easley like kid in candy store – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian has an article on the return of Easley, who felt like a “lost kid” while he was out.

ESPN BOSTON:

Cleaning out the Patriots notebook – Mike Reiss: Reiss has additional notes from Monday, with Dominique Easley having some good moments in practice.

Stevan Ridley: ‘Sick feeling’ with fumble – Mike Reiss: Reiss has comments from Ridley, who wasn’t pleased after fumbling the football Friday night despite the fact it was negated by a penalty.

Rob Gronkowski takes ‘step forward’ – Mike Reiss: Reiss has notes on the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski, after he took part in drills during Monday’s session.

Jerod Mayo, Bryan Stork return for Patriots – Mike Reiss and Lee Schefter: Both Stork and Mayo were among players back on the field on Monday, including tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.

WEEI:

Michael Hoomanawanui returns to practice ‘hungry’ to get back to full strength – Ryan Hannable: Hannable has an article on the return of Hoomanwanui,

What we learned: 10 takeaways from Patriots at end of camp – Christopher Price: Price has a good read on his thoughts as camp comes to a close, including the fact he feels Julian Edelman should have another strong season if he remains healthy.

PATRIOTS.COM:

Bill Belichick Transcript 8/18: We coach the players to play within the rules - Here’s the full transcript from yesterday’s press conference.

NEPATRIOTSDRAFT:

Checking in on the Rookies: Eagles vs. Patriots – Jimmy Flaherty: Flaherty takes a quick run through how the rookies performed Friday night, with an evaluation on each in this entry.

How Patriots Wide Receiver Brian Tyms Has Become a Steady WR for New England – James Christensen: Christensen has a good read on Tyms, who has had a strong preseason thus far.

Monday’s New England Patriots Links 8/18


Receiver Brian Tyms has caught the attention of some of his teammates thanks to his play this preseason. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON GLOBE:

Patriots’ roster competition begins to sort itself out – Ben Volin: Volin has his latest roster and practice squad projections.

BOSTON.COM:

Reports: Patriots Bolster Tight Ends Group by Re-Signing Justin Jones – Zuri Berry: Berry has an article on the fact the Patriots added another tight end after only having one healthy one on their roster.

BOSTON HERALD:

Confident Roy Finch back in running – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian has a good read on Ray Finch, who is finally getting a hold of his nerves after a decent performance Friday night.

Secondary takes new emphasis in stride – Karen Guregian: Guregian has a good read on the fact the games have been unwatchable thanks to the number of flags thrown and some insight from Darrelle Revis on the situation.

ESPN BOSTON:

Third-quarter review: Bad fit for Will Smith? – Mike Reiss: Reiss goes back and looks at the film and has several thoughts from Friday night’s third quarter and  feels Smith looked out of place playing defensive end.

Rookie TE Justin Jones back in fold – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a report of the return of tight end Justin Jones, who had previously been released back on August 10th.

Harvard’s Ott out of Pats’ snapper mix – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a note on the release of Ott, which now leaves Danny Aiken as the team’s lone long-snapper.

NESN:

Reports: Patriots Re-Sign Tight End Justin Jones, Release Tyler Ott – Doug Kyed: Kyed follows up on reports of the team’s latest transaction.

CSNNE:

Breer: Patriots must assess if Ridley’s fumbles worth it – Albert Breer of the NFL Network joined Sports Tonight and discussed Stevan Ridley, who fumbled again Friday night in the team’s win over Philadelphia.

BLEACHER REPORT:

New England Patriots: What We’ve Learned Through Week 2 of Preseason – James Christensen: Christensen looks at a variety of things we’ve found out about this team so far through two exhibition games.

GLOUCESTER TIMES:

Mallett answers back; battle for backup now on – Hector Longo: Longo has article on the back-up quarterback position, which after Mallett’s recent performance he feels is heating up.

TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE:

Patriots Notebook: Tyms continues to make his case – Glen Farley: Farley files his notebook this morning, which leads off with a bit on receiver Brian Tyms, who has started catching some attention from his teammates thanks to the plays he’s made.

METROWEST DAILY NEWS:

The good, bad, and ugly from Patriots camp … so far – Glen Farley: Farley has an article looking at a variety of things that have gone right and wrong during camp so far.

DAILY MAIL:

‘Unfortunately it wasn’t the guy’: Jets fan who punched female Patriots supporter in the face following scuffle is unrepentant after his MetLife Stadium ban is overturned – David McCormack: For those who remember the female Patriots fan who was punched in the face by this fan, who was subsequently banned from MetLife Stadium, here are more ridiculous comments from this idiot, who is also being allowed back in this year.

5 Takeaways From Patriots vs Eagles


Jimmy Garoppolo had another strong showing on Friday night. (USA TODAY Images)

It was good to see the Patriots bounce back after a rocky start last week in Washington, beating up the Philadelphia Eagles 42-35 in a game that was shaky at times but overall showed a lot of promise as the team continues working toward getting ready for the regular season.

For the fans who were on hand, they were able to get a good look at all three quarterbacks Thursday night, with Tom Brady getting the starting nod and playing fairly well, while Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Mallett both followed him and also looked good while they were out there.

Taking a further look back, here are some thoughts on the victory as the team gets set for next week’s match-up at home against the Carolina Panthers.

1) PATRIOTS WERE EFFICIENT MOVING THE BALL AND SCORING:

Looking at the numbers from last night’s game, it’s hard not to feel good about what the offense was able to do as a whole and all three quarterbacks did a good job.  They finished the night with 478 yards of total offense and one of the more impressive stats was the fact that the Patriots finished with 35 first downs and were balanced in terms of how they converted them.  They finished the night with 14 passing first downs and 15 rushing, with six more converted via penalty by the Ealges. They also converted an impressive 10-of-15 (67%) on third down.

Even more amazing was what they were able to do down in scoring territory.  They converted 6-of-7 red zone opportunities against the Eagles, with each quarterback throwing at least one touchdown pass (they finished with four passing touchdowns total) and also rushed for two scores.

2) MALLETT BOUNCED BACK AFTER ROUGH OUTING:

While it wasn’t perfect, Mallett looked a little more confident than he did during last week’s loss in Washington and put together a pretty good outing.  He finished the night 7-of-11 including a touchdown pass and also rushed for a touchdown.  The touchdown pass to Brian Tyms was a perfect throw, with Mallett lobbing a perfect pass that Tyms out-leaped his defender and caught the football with both feet coming down in bounds.

Those are the type of throws that show glimpses of what Mallett’s capable of and it’s going to be interesting to see in these final two weeks how both he and Garoppolo play out there.  If Mallett goes out and has another good night and Garoppolo continues to play well behind him, the Patriots may make the decision to move Mallett should he impress another team enough for them to want to acquire him.  Belichick has already experienced how important it is to have a capable back-up in case disaster should strike and Garoppolo still needs to show that removing Mallett from the mix would be a move they could live with.


Malcolm Butler looked impressive once again after a strong showing last week in Washington. (USA TODAY Images)

3) MALCOLM BUTLER CONTINUES TO SHINE:

Butler continues to make his presence felt and followed-up last week’s performance with another good one against the Eagles.  He surprised everyone by starting opposite Darrelle Revis and was in on a forced fumble with Dont’a Hightower in the first quarter, while also forcing another later in the third quarter that he recovered.  He continues to be one of the bright spots of this preseason and is certainly making a strong case for a roster spot should he continue to play well.

4) COULD TYMS FACTOR INTO THE MIX?:

Second-year receiver Brian Tyms had another decent performance after hauling in 3 passes for 29 yards along with a touchdown and is another player making a strong case for a spot on the team.  This is a group that has a lot of speed and quickness, which is a nice change from where they were several years ago when they were comprised of older veterans. It’s going to be interesting to see how he factors in if he continues to perform the way he has over these first two games.

5) FINCH MAKING A CASE FOR HIMSELF AFTER SLOW START:

Running back Roy Finch improved from his week one outing, finishing the night with seven carries for 37 yards along with a touchdown and also caught two passes for 34 yards.  We’ve seen a lot of growth from him throughout training camp and it was good to see it start to translate into the preseason.  Hopefully he can continue to improve over these final two weeks, which if that happens could potentially help him earn a role with this offense heading into the 2014 regular season.

Overall it was a good performance all around and this week’s match-up against Carolina will hopefully be one that will see players continue to take positive steps forward before the team begins trimming the roster to 53 in the next couple of weeks.

Patriots vs Eagles: 5 Things to Watch For Tonight


Tom Brady will seemingly see his first action of the preseason tonight. (USA TODAY Images)

Friday night marks the Patriots’ second exhibition game of the year and should be a night where some of New England’s starters see some action for the first time in 2014.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is among players who will hopefully see time tonight, which will be the first time fans will have seen him throw a football in a live game since New England fell to Denver in the AFC Championship Game back in January.

However, the slate is clean and the outlook for this season appears to be bright given some of the players coming back from injuries, as well as some of the Patriots’ offseason acquisitions.  These games may be meaningless in the standings, but the reps are valuable in terms of preparing for a long year and will be ones they’ll use to iron out the kinks as they continue getting ready for the regular season.

Here’s a quick rundown of some things to keep an eye on tonight:

1) WITH TOM BRADY, IT’S ALL ABOUT EXECUTION:

It appears that every offseason moving forward will center around the potential demise of Brady, with quite a few critics circling him like buzzards while looking for any weakness to suggest that he’s no longer as good as he’s continued to be.  For Brady, the noise doesn’t matter, but this is still a key opportunity to make sure that he and his receivers are able to use this time getting more in sync so they can start better than they did in 2013, most notably in the first half over their first two games.

In the first half of the opener in Buffalo last year Brady was just 13-of-25 for 122 yards, with the only player he seemed to be on the same page with being Julian Edelman.  He was 5-of-5 for 31 yards and two touchdowns over the first two quarters when throwing Edelman’s way and the offense was shaky up until the latter part of the game before he and Danny Amendola turned it on and started moving the football in the second half.

They also struggled in week two against the Jets, with Brady finishing the first half 11-of-24 for 136 yards, with the quarterback leaning once again on Edelman after completing 7-of-12 over the first two quarters.  He was just 5-of-17 overall combined for the game when targeting Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, with Brady and Edelman clicking in the second half after catching 6-of-6 passes thrown his way.  That’s something that can’t happen this season and it would be great if Brady can achieve that type of precision with the other guys around him heading into this year.  That work starts tonight.


Jimmy Garoppolo looked good last week, but can he follow it up tonight against the Eagles? (USA TODAY Images)

2) CAN GAROPPOLO FOLLOW UP HIS WEEK ONE PERFORMANCE?

Rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was the lone bright spot at quarterback last week after a pretty dismal week one showing offensively for New England, but he showed enough to make the back-up quarterback position a little more interesting given Ryan Mallett’s struggles in that game.  As a second round pick the expectations are already fairly high for the former Illinois standout, especially given who he’s playing behind.

So far Garoppolo seems to be gaining confidence while Mallett has appeared a little tentative, which is disappointing for anyone hoping to see New England receive any value for him before he hits free agency and likely moves on. Mallett’s availability for tonight seems in question, but should Garoppolo play well against the Eagles, it may set up an interesting situation over these final two weeks given their focus on having plenty of depth at other positions.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility to carry three quarterbacks, but if he does play, Mallett needs to step up and finally have a strong performance.  He doesn’t get many opportunities to show what he’s capable of and so far, given the sample we’ve seen, he’s definitely not taking advantage of his time on the field.

3) MALCOLM BUTLER LOOKING TO BUILD ON HIS STRONG SHOWING

As the Patriots continue trying to revamp their secondary, Butler was a player who last week was impressive and that’s continued through this week during their joint sessions against Philadelphia.  The undrafted rookie finished with two passes defensed and six tackles in Washington and so far has actually looked like a player who has been in this defense for a while despite being a newcomer.  It’s a group that overall is fairly crowded and Butler’s presence only muddies it further, but it’s a problem that New England should be happy to have given how he’s played.

The bigger question now is whether or not he can remain consistent and continue to improve.  There are still three games to go and tonight’s performance should hopefully be a reasonably good indication of  what direction he’s headed in.  However, so far he’s a player who is starting to look like a roster lock if he can keep it up.


For Kenbrell Thompkins, the time is now for him to step up and show he’s a starting NFL receiver. (USA TODAY Images)

4) TIME FOR THOMPKINS TO SHINE

Kenbrell Thompkins has looked good in practice during this preseason but didn’t have a strong showing during his one appearance last week in Washington.  He was targeted just twice with one reception, having played 29 offensive snaps.  For a player who is trying to re-establish himself as a starter in this offense, he needs to look like a man among boys when he’s on the field.  He can’t afford to be just another player and tonight is another opportunity to hopefully have a better performance.  

To this point he’s seemingly slipped down the depth chart and finds himself behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson.  But the problem he faces now is the fact Brandon LaFell’s stock has been rising, leaving Thompkins and Josh Boyce seemingly at the lower tier of that depth chart.  As a result, the time is now for the second-year receiver to show everyone what he’s got.

5) HOW WILL REVIS’ PRESENCE AFFECT THE GUYS AROUND HIM?

Friday night may mark the first time fans get their first glimpse of Darrelle Revis in the secondary, which should be interesting in terms of seeing that dynamic and how well he works with Devin McCourty and the rest of that defensive unit.  There were times in the past where the lack of solid play at corner has put McCourty out of position trying to help out, which was emphasized when that changed following the addition of Aqib Talib to this group.

Once Talib arrived McCourty was able to focus more on his job and having Revis there should once again allow him the same luxury. Revis’ experience and calm demeanor has seemingly already had a positive effect with the other guys and so far they seem to be each working well together.

The good news is this unit already looks completely different from last year’s and it seems like Revis’ impact on the guys around him is having quite a positive effect.  We’ll see tonight how that translates during what few snaps they ultimately play, but it should be exciting to see them in action.

It should be another interesting game, but hopefully we’ll see additional players take advantage of their opportunities as the team continues the evaluation process building a roster that will hopefully see New England among the NFL’s elite by the end of the season.

Patriots CB Arrington Getting Reps at Safety


Kyle Arrington has spent this week expanding his role in New England’s defense. (USA TODAY Images)

One of the sure ways to solidify a role with the Patriots is to be a player who isn’t afraid to fill multiple needs and it appears Kyle Arrington is getting the opportunity to increase his value to New England’s defense.

Arrington has been a player who has played both inside and outside in New England’s secondary since becoming a starter and has improved quite a bit in the past couple of seasons.  Now it appears he’s getting some work in at safety after spending some time there this week.

Bill Belichick had some praise for Arrington this week and feels he can play anywhere.

“I think Kyle has a really good skill set to play anywhere [in the secondary],” Belichick said via the Boston Globe. “He’s fast, he’s tough, he’s a good tackler, which your safeties need to be, but I’d say it’s even more important at safety. He tackles well, he runs, he’s a very athletic player.”

The veteran defensive back, who is one year into a four-year deal, is in a secondary that is pretty crowded at the cornerback position and that situation only appears to be potentially getting more complicated following last week’s performance by Malcolm Butler, who played well during the Patriots first preseason game.  Butler finished the night with two passes defensed along with six tackles and overall has looked pretty solid to this point during training camp.

With Arrington getting reps at safety, it gives New England some added depth in the event of injuries to Devin McCourty or Duron Harmon and it will also be interesting to see how things shake out when the team makes their final roster decisions in terms of who they keep and whether or not Arrington can fill the role of two players.

For now he’s garnered enough respect from his coach and teammates for his ability to step in when called upon, with Devin McCourty noting that Arrington’s experience being moved around has made him a smart player.

“I think he’s smart,” McCourty said via the Boston Herald. “I think he understands the defense on the whole. The way he plays, he can fit in at safety. He can fit in at corner. He’s an aggressive guy. He always plays physical.

“I think him being able to play inside and outside has given him more understanding of the defense, so it allows him to do more things now that coach asks him to do.”

Friday’s New England Patriots Links 8/15


Tom Brady is expected to see action tonight against the Eagles. (USA TODAY Images)

MEDIA PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS:

ESPN BOSTON:
Patriots Camp Report: Day 22 - Mike Reiss

WEEI:
Thursday Practice Notes – Christopher Price

BOSTON HERALD:
Practice Observations
 - Jeff Howe

BOSTON GLOBE:

Five areas to watch in Patriots’ second exhibition game – Ben Volin: Volin has his “Five Areas to Watch” for tonight, including the quarterback rotation and he feels who every plays after Tom Brady comes out will speak volumes about their intentions.

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots Notebook: Jerel Worthy of long look – Jeff Howe: Howe has some notes on newly acquired Jerel Worthy after he saw action on Thursday.

Patriots-Eagles: 5 things to watch for – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on tonight’s game and feels how well the Patriots’ offensive line protects Tom Brady will be among some things to keep an eye on.

Borges: Dan Connolly in a battle – Ron Borges: Borges believes that Connolly is fighting for a spot on the roster this preseason, although he feels Connolly’s versatility should keep him safe.

ESPN BOSTON:

Listing Patriots not expected to play – Mike Reiss: Reiss runs down the list of players he expects to sit out tonight, which includes Aaron Dobson, and he believes Ryan Mallett may potentially sit tonight as well after being limited this week.

Key areas for Patriots vs. Eagles - Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at some key areas to watch tonight, including how the defense looks as a first unit playing together.

Weekly Patriots chat recap - Mike Reiss: Reiss has a recap from his chat yesterday, which goes over a variety of topics.

Cave recalls college battles with Worthy – Patriots offensive lineman Braxton Cave talks about what it was like matching up against newly acquired defensive tackle Jerel Worthy in college.

Jerod Mayo not present for Patriots practice – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a note on the fact Jerod Mayo wasn’t practice on Thursday morning.

WEEI:

Ryan Mallett: Two missed practices were ‘maintenance’ days – Ryan Hannable: Hannable has a quick entry on Mallett, who missed time this week with an apparent knee injuries, but appears to be OK.

Josh Boyce on Returning Kicks: ‘I think I’m pretty good for it’ - Ryan Hannable: Hannable has an entry with thoughts from Boyce, who believes he’s a strong candidate for New England’s return game.

Ryan Mallett Expects to Play Friday Night Against Eagles - Ryan Hannable: Hannable has an entry on the fact that Mallett is ready to go and he’s put last week’s performance in the “rear-view”.

CSNNE:

Curran: What guys to watch vs Eagles - Tom Curran discusses a few things to keep an eye on and feels defensive lineman Will Smith is among several players to watch tonight.

CONCORD MONITOR:

What to look for in Patriots’ preseason game vs. Philadelphia - Tim O’Sullivan: O’Sullivan has his things to watch for tonight, including whether or not Malcolm Butler can follow up his strong week one performance.

BLEACHER REPORT:

5 Things to Watch in Patriots Preseason Week 1 Matchup vs. Eagles - Erik Frenz: Boston.com’s Erik Frenz looks at some things to keep an eye on tonight, including what he feels is “bordering on tragic” in regards to their tight end situation.


Week one was a less than stellar performance for back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett. (USA TODAY Images)

After a rough outing in week one of the preseason against Washington, Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett is trying to have a short memory as the team gets set for their second exhibition game of the year Friday night against Philadelphia.

Mallett, who finished the night just 5-of-12 (42%) for 55 yards along with a sack, didn’t exactly look comfortable out there against the Redskins after getting the starting nod.  He was erratic while he was out there and had several errant throws, including one where he hit running back Roy Finch in the back of the head as he came out of the backfield.

Having been a back up for several seasons, Mallett had said that he feels like he’s a starter, however he didn’t exactly look like one last week in Washington.   They had problems moving the chains largely in part due to fact they struggled running the football, as well as the fact Mallett struggled to complete passes on early downs. He finished 0-for-3 on first down and just 1-of-3 on second down, which put him in long yardage situations throughout most of the time he was out there.

He faced nine second down plays last Thursday night, seven of which were from eight or more yards. Third down was just as dismal, with Mallett converting just three of seven for the contest, mostly due to the fact five of those seven were from 10 or more yards.

The result lead to a group that only crossed midfield twice with Mallett at the helm. They never reached any farther than the Redskins’ 36 yard line and that drive ended with a missed 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowksi late in the second quarter.

Mallett missed a couple of sessions this week for what he called “maintenance days”, which coincidentally followed what appeared to potentially be him aggravating his knee after catching his brace in the turf in Washington.  It remains to be seen if he’ll see action tonight depending on his injury situation, with Mike Reiss of ESPN BOSTON suggesting he could sit this one out. Should he get the opportunity to potentially try and redeem last week’s performance, he said this week he’s focused on going out and having a better game, while having already put last week behind him.

“I’ve already moved passed it and ready for this week,” Mallett told WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “Rear-view mirror kind of game right now.”