By: Ian Logue
New England made some changes on special teams yesterday, signing kicker Shayne Graham and cutting long snapper Jake Ingram, who has spent the last couple of games causing punter Zoltan Mesko to have to scoop up each snap after Ingram’s had been skipping them repeatedly accross the turf. According to the Boston Globe he’s been replaced by Matt Katula, who played six seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. They cut him back in August.
Mike Reiss writes that rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez has been targeted 2nd most on the team so far this season.
Reiss also takes a look at some of the contributions from some of the younger guys on the team, with quite a few stepping up during the first eight games of the season.
Jeremy Lundblad – who is the master of bad news for the Patriots at ESPN these days – has an article about the fact that New England misses Randy Moss on 3rd down and points out the numbers since Moss’ departure.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald takes a look at wide receiver Wes Welker, who is well off his pace of 100 receptions, and she looks at his previous production.
Guregian also looks at the fact Welker still has trust issues with his knee, and continues to wear his knee brace.
“I’ll probably keep this one the rest of the year just to be safe,” he said. “As long as I have it, I feel confident. If I don’t have it, I don’t feel confident without it.
“I don’t think you’re fully back until a full year, and even then, I think people think you go through an injury like that and you’re just supposed to come back the same when, over the offseason, I’m usually training instead of rehabbing. There’s a difference. . . . I still feel like I can play at a very high level now, and that’s my job every time I step out there.”
Ron Borges writes that while New England may be tied for the best record in the NFL, he wonders if they’re really worthy of being mentioned among the NFL’s elite.
WEEI.com reports this morning that Terrence Wheatley and Tyrone McKenzie have landed with new teams. Wheatley is now in Jacksonville, while McKenzie has ended up in Tampa Bay.
Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram tries to figure out what’s wrong with New England’s defense, and tackles other topics in a Q & A session.
Mark Farinella has an article this morning looking at the Doom and Gloom that has rolled into New England after their tough loss to the Browns on Sunday.
Greg Bedard takes a look at New England’s numbers on the season in this morning’s “On Football” column.
The Boston Herald reported yesterday that Tom Brady paid a visit to a local elementary school on the team’s off day, with the Patriots signal caller on hand to discuss health and fitness. Brady was there with owner Robert Kraft, Patrick Chung, Deion Branch and Brandon Meriweather, and the photo of Brady in this article is a little ridiculous. Looking at his hair either they were outside, or Brady rolled out of bed to this event.
And finally The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports that Wes Welker was also at a school yesterday, joining Army Staff Sgt. Michael Downing, the father of Falls School fifth-grader Jimmy Downing, speaking to the students about the true meaning of heroism.
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have updates later on.