Patriots Huddle: Thursday's News, Notes and Links 8/7

Ian Logue
August 07, 2014 at 08:47am ET

NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
Patriots notebook: Patriots hold bonding time at Children’s Hospital
Guregian: Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light says there’s more to being a successful offensive lineman than the measurables

Bill Belichick helped set up a productive week for the Patriots and Redskins during their joint sessions. (USA TODAY Images)

Some news and notes this morning:


It's been a pretty busy week during the team's joint practice sessions and after getting a look at most of the starters during their work against Washington, it appears Bill Belichick will let Tom Brady be a spectator and will start Ryan Mallett at quarterback in tonight's preseason opener.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Mallett will get the starting nod tonight which means fans may get an opportunity to see how he fares with some of the first team players as he tries to continue a lot of the success he's had this week. Mallett's received plenty of praise during these joint sessions and now that he has an opportunity to showcase himself, how he performs this preseason could potentially raise his stock high enough to give New England an opportunity to move him before the trade deadline.

Mallett said this week he believes he can be a starter in the NFL and tonight will certainly be a great opportunity for him to be able to prove it.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to be able to play a lot," Mallett told the media this week. "I haven't really gotten too many chances during the regular season because I have a pretty good guy in front of me. Any time I get to play, I look forward to it."


Bill Belichick has been an innovator in the NFL with a lot of his insight and methods and this week's joint sessions in Washington appear to be yet another example of how big of an effect he's seemingly having on the league thanks to how they approached these practices.

A lot of the national media is taking note of how the two teams worked together this week to work on different situations and how they were able to simulate so many different things over the course of the last few days. With every game being different and unfolding in different ways, it's hard for teams to get much red zone work, two-minute drills, third down, etc. in a preseason game unless those situations present themselves in a given contest.

That's one reason why the overall thought is that a lot more value appears to be being placed on joint practices instead of preseason games. Both Belichick and Washington coach Jay Gruden took a lot of time putting together a plan to make the most out of their time on the field while orchestrating nearly two hundred players into situations where they could best evaluate them. There was plenty of work in a lot of different areas and it seems like this ended up being a very productive week for both sides and Gruden seems pleased with how it went.

"I thought it was a great experience," said Gruden. "It exposed some things we really have to work on as a staff and it exposed some things that we have to work on as players. Overall we competed really well. I’m excited the way we came off the ball and competed in all the drills, but moving forward we know we have a long way to go but we’re not as far as we think.”

It seems to be a better way for teams to compete in a more controlled environment and for the most part both teams seemingly escaped with minimal injuries while getting a lot of work done. That's about as much as they could have hoped for and tonight's game will likely be more of an opportunity for some of the younger guys to showcase themselves as they try and battle for an opportunity to earn a roster spot.

Following tonight's game, New England will get more work in next week when the Philadelphia Eagles visit Foxboro for another set of joint sessions.


The Patriots have seemingly suffered their first significant injury of this preseason after Siliga suffered an injury to his left hand on Tuesday that appears to be more severe than first thought.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, Siliga was flown back to Boston to undergo further tests on his hand and there appears to be significant concern by the team over the injury.

That's bad news for a team that doesn't have much depth up front to begin with and Siliga had been a pretty good contributor there after a strong showing last season.

One can only hope now, for his sake, is that this will be something he'll recover from.



Patriots, Redskins praise joint practices - Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young files her notebook this morning, which leads off with thoughts from both sides on this week's sessions.


Source: Ryan Mallett to start Patriots' preseason opener tonight against Redskins - Jeff Howe: Howe reports that it will be Mallett taking the field to start tonight's game.

How offensive line protects Tom Brady key to success - Karen Guregian: Guregian has an article on whether or not there should be any cause for concern on the offensive line heading into this season.

For starters, here’s what to watch - Jeff Howe: Howe has his thoughts on what to keep an eye on tonight when New England takes the field in their preseason opener.

It’s Ryan Mallett time - Karen Guregian: Guregian writes that Mallett will get a good long look tonight when the Patriots battle the Redskins.


Patriots not expected to play tonight - Mike Reiss: Reiss has his list of players he believes won't see action tonight and recaps some of the injuries that took place this week.

W2W4: New England Patriots - Mike Reiss: Reiss has his list of things to keep an eye on, including the Patriots' secondary's first exposure to the new rules on illegal contact and defensive holding.


Ryan Mallett on his Future: 'You Can't Control What you Can't Control' - Mike Petraglia: Petraglia has an article on Mallett, who is confident in his ability to be a starter in this league.

What to watch for Thursday night in Patriots-Redskins Preseason Opener - Christopher Price: Price has seven things he'll be looking for tonight, including how the interior of the Patriots' offensive line performs.

Reports: Sealver Siliga Returns to Boston For Tests on Left Hand, Will Miss Time - Mike Petraglia: Petraglia follows up on reports on Siliga's hand injury.

Week 9 showdown between Patriots-Broncos already toughest ticket - Christopher Price: Price has a note on how expensive the tickets between Denver and New England are and also on how the Patriots affect the median ticket prices for teams on the road.


Fan presents Brady with painting of him and 'Gazelle' - Here's a note on a local artist from Richmond, Virginia, who headed over to present a photo of Brady and his wife. You'll have to see it to understand it.


Dual practice could be way of future - John Clayton: Clayton has some thoughts on joint sessions after watching the Patriots and Redskins go at each other this week and believes that the way the two teams approached it should be a good model for other teams to follow.


Darrelle Revis looks revitalized in Patriots-Redskins Practice - Jason LaCanfora: LaCanfora has a terrific read with thoughts on Revis and some overall observations from his time watching these two teams.