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Archive for the ‘ Football ’ Category

Tom Brady’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript 9/14


“It’s good to win.” – Tom Brady after Sunday’s win over Minnesota. (USA TODAY Images)

On if it’s exactly where he wants it yet offensively:

“I think we all have a lot of work to do. ¬†So, it’s good to win. ¬†We’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

On if it’s nice to not get hit like he did last week:

“Yeah. ¬†I think we had pretty good control out there, thought we did a good job in the run game. ¬†Took advantage of some opportunities, but hopefully we can do a lot better.”

On the performance of the defense and special teams:

“Yeah, they made a lot of great plays… a lot of great plays, big time plays, that was what we needed and hopefully they keep doing it. ¬†So we’ve got to start producing when we get it and take advantage of some of the things that…you know, getting the ball in¬†short field and¬†stuff, get in the end zone.”

On the play of Julian Edelman:

“Yeah, you know, he’s doing a great job for us. ¬†So he’s a great player, made some great punt returns. ¬†He’s a great player for our team. ¬†So hopefully we can keep making improvements and he’s a big part of that and hopefully we kind of look¬†better.”

On the fact he seems very down and if there’s one thing he can say they need to do better:

“I’m happy we won. ¬†I just wish we’d go out there and play like we’re capable of. It’s just the way it is. ¬†Just glad we won, it’s a great team win, a lot of guys contributed, a lot of great plays were made, hopefully offensively we can do a better job next week.”

On if he thinks a lot needs fixing:

“I think we’re going to try to make improvements. ¬†We’ll get back to work and see what we can do better. ¬†Certainly, same way after last week, try to make some improvements and hopefully we can go out there and do a better job.”

On his thoughts on Stevan Ridley:

“Yeah, some great running, great blocking up front. ¬†He always runs really hard. ¬†We were really close on some runs to breaking him¬†some longer ones, but that was really important for us to be able to run the ball like that. ¬†We’re going to need that all season.”

On the fact he has 149 wins, number two all time and how it feels for him:

“Um…I’m glad we won. ¬†You know what…I don’t think about those things too much. ¬†But I’m glad we won and hopefully we can do better next week.”

“Thanks guys.”


Belichick notched his 200th career victory Sunday in Minnesota. (USA TODAY Images)

OPENING STATEMENT:

“Well that was a real good team win for us today. ¬†Really proud of the team. ¬†We got great contributions from all three areas, thought our special teams did a real good job, Steve [Gostkowski] kicking the ball, made a couple of big returns, obviously the blocked kick by Chandler [Jones]. ¬†Offensively we had a more balanced attack than we had last week, which is what we needed. ¬†Had a lot of runs, play-actions, converted some big third downs, converted some red area opportunities. ¬†Defensively we had a lot of turnovers, plus the blocked kick. ¬†So that’s a good formula. ¬†Obviously still a lot of things we need to work on, we’re a long way from being where we need to be, but we certainly made progress this week. ¬†Hopefully we can go back and have another good week of practice and grind it out and continue to improve, which we need to do. ¬†It’s good to come up here and see the team play as well as they did, play hard for each other, play well as a team, good complimentary football from all three units and that’s what we need to do. ¬†”

On the blocked field goal by Chandler Jones:

“That was the hugest ten point play…it was a huge play. ¬†We work on it every week and it¬†was great to¬†see it happen the way it did, see that hard work in practice¬†payoff and become reality in the game. ¬†That’s what it’s all about.”

On how win number 200 feels:

“It felt good. ¬†Every win feels good. ¬†It felt good, it felt real good. ¬†I’m proud of the way our team played today. ¬†We had a lot of good players…I thought our captains did a real good job this week coming off of last week’s disappointing game in Miami. ¬†We got great leadership from our veteran players and our captains. ¬†The team played hard today.”

On the adjustments they made on defense following the Vikings’ first offensive series, they were able to get turnovers, etc:

“I mean, the turnovers were huge. ¬†Most of those plays were on balls down the field. ¬†They got us early in the game on misdirection plays, the crossing route for [Vikings tight end Kyle] Rudolph and then the crossing route¬†back to the tight end off of the play-action, then the cross boot for the touchdown. ¬†So we need to do a little better job on staying at home and defending our areas and not over-pursuing. ¬†We kind of got caught on that on the first drive. ¬†They had a good group of plays and they definitely were able to execute them well. ¬†That was a good drive.”

On the offensive line bouncing back:

“I thought that Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive staff did a great job with the game plan. ¬†We had some good opportunities to run the ball and that set up some play-action passes. ¬†We weren’t in a lot of long-yardage situations. ¬†There were some with penalties, but we didnt’ have a lot of negative plays where we just got blown up in the backfield or anything like that. ¬†So I thought that the staff did a great job. ¬†Our offensive line, our tight ends, James Develin was part of that, they blocked well. ¬†Stevan [Ridley] ran hard, the backs all ran well. ¬†So it was good to see that. ¬†That certainly helped us in the passing game, set up some passing opportunities and also kept us out of long-yardage [situations].”

On the fact history is important to him and the fact he’s the 6th coach to reach the 200 win mark during the regular season and what it means to him personally:

“It means a lot. ¬†What it really means is I’ve coached a lot of good football¬†players. ¬†Those are the guys that win the game. ¬†Players win games in this league and I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to coach a lot of great players and so that’s really about them winning the games. ¬†But it’s certainly an honor to¬†have my name thrown around in there with some of those guys, I’d say really all of whom, other than Curly [Lambeau], that I looked up to as a kid and admired and maybe borderline worshiped as NFL coaches. ¬†I certainly never got into coaching expecting that to ever happen, so it’s very gratifying to reach that milestone. ¬†But what it really says is that I’ve had a lot of good players. ¬†That’s really what it says.”

On the fact the tackling seemed better this week and if it was a point of emphasis:

“Absolutely. ¬†Blocking and tackling were the two biggest points of emphasis this week. ¬†I think we did improve. ¬†We can still do better, but taking care of the ball, turning the ball over, blocking and tackling, those are the fundamentals that we need to do well in. ¬† Obviously we had too many penalties, which again negated some good plays and gave them extra opportunities. ¬†So we’ve got to do a better job on the penalty front. ¬†But I thought the fundamentals of blocking, tackling, turnovers, ball security, ball protection, and running with the ball. ¬†I thought our backs ran well, our receivers ran well, Julian [Edelman] on the returns, so we made some plays with the ball in our hands.”

On the success on special teams punting the football:

“I thought our special teams really responded. ¬†I mean, this was a huge challenge [Marcus] Sherels and [Cordarrelle] Patterson, they’re the return tandem in the league last year. ¬†Those two guys are great, [Blair] Walsh is a good kicker, I mean they’ve got real good special teams units. ¬†Joe Marciano’s an excellent coach, he’s done a good job, and Mike Priefer, whoever you want to call it, but either way, we knew¬†it was a big challenge to come in here with their units, their specialists, the production that they’ve had in the past and the schemes that they have. ¬†But our guys really met the challenge. ¬†[Matthew] Slater and certainly our specialists, Julian [Edelman], Danny [Aiken], Ryan [Allen], Steve [Gostkowski], you know, those guys, they played well and anytime your specialists play well, then there’s a good chance your special teams are going to play well. ¬†So those guys did a good job. ¬†We got a lot of…downed some punts inside the 20, gave us an opportunity for good field position. ¬†They really, they looked good.”

On how he felt Deontae Skinner played with Jamie Collins being deactivated:

“We’ll see. ¬†There’s probably some things that were O.K.. ¬†There’s probably some other things that we need to sharpen up on. ¬†But we felt like we had to make that move just for the game with Jamie not being able to go, so Deontae has had a couple good weeks on the practice squad and in practice. ¬†It’s an opportunity for him. ¬†I think he was mentally ready to take advantage of it, so I’m sure he’ll get better as he continues to play. ¬†I mean the guy hasn’t played a lot of football for us this year.

On the fact Chandler Jones had a big day and won all his match-ups:

“Chandler’s, I mean he’s played well for us. ¬†He’s a good player. ¬†Again, anytime you can get that kind of a lead like we did and we saw the reverse of that last week when it was a one-dimensional game and those guys can just do their thing, tee off on the quarterback and all that, that’s a defensive lineman’s dream. ¬†We were able to capitalize on it and get some pressure on the quarterback, but our ability to make plays to get ahead to create that situation really had a lot to do with it too. ¬†But he did a good job, we got a good pass rush from all those guys, Rob [Ninkovich], Chandler, [Dont'a] Hightower, [Dominique] Easley, Vince [Wilfork], we had a bunch of guys hitting the quarterback.”

On as someone who loves the league, what he can do to make things better [given some of the recent off the field events related to the NFL]:

“I think we need to do what we always do, and that’s take care of our job and do our job and¬†try to do it well. ¬†That’s what we’ll focus on and continue to focus on. ¬† We really can’t control anything outside of what we do. ¬†We’ve just got to do the best that we can, leave all those other things to the process and so forth. ¬†I mean, it’s certainly unfortunate. ¬†I have a lot of personal respect for Adrian [Peterson] and Ray [Rice], and the whole situation is really unfortunate with the events of what happened. ¬†But we all know what that is, so it’s an unfortunate situation.”

Tom Brady’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript


Sunday was a frustrating afternoon for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s what Tom Brady had to say following Sunday’s loss to Miami:

On if the Dolphins were better than he thought they would be:

“They have a good team. ¬†They always play pretty well down here, especially against us and we just … We had a decent first half, I think we left some opportunities out there in the first half and in the second half just, obviously didn’t do anything in the third quarter and that lead to a one-dimensional team in the fourth quarter and we didn’t make enough plays there. ¬†So give them a lot of credit. ¬†They dealt with a lot of injuries and they’re pretty mentally tough, and we’ve got to learn from it. ¬†We’re going to get back to work. ¬†Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. ¬†The guys in the room have to dig deep and see if we can go out and get a win next week.”

On if he feels he was let down a bit in terms of the protection:

“I mean, those guys are working their tail off. ¬†That’s a good front. ¬†We’ve got to do better in all areas and I’ve got to do a better job. ¬†That’s kind of where our focus is for this week.”

On if it was good to have Gronkowski back in the line-up to throw to:

“Yeah. ¬†Yeah… I mean he’s a good player for us. ¬† So I think all of us have to go out there and play a lot better than we played today. ¬†I mean, you can’t play the way the way we played and think that we’ll win a game this season. ¬†There’s nothing positive to really take from the things we were doing. ¬†I think it’s a good example of if you do the things that we did today, you’ll¬†get beat. ¬†We played a good football team at home. ¬†Like I said, we had a decent first half, but, you’ve got to put 60-minutes together if you’re going beat them.”

On if he thought conditioning was a factor:

“We’ve been practicing in this all summer so I don’t think that played a part of it. ¬†I think¬†our execution was just terrible.”

On the fact the guys up front didn’t seem to be gelling:

“Truthfully, I don’t think we were gelling anywhere today. ¬†There wasn’t much positive from the quarterback position, the receiver position, the tight end position, the anybody position, none of us can play like that and expect to win. ¬†All of us have to go out and do a much better job than we did today, take the coaching, understand what we need to do better and then go and execute¬†next week.”

On the fact it’s been a while since they’ve lost the first game and how important it is for he and the other veterans to keep the mindset right with the younger players:

“Well, it’s a long football season and you’ve got to make improvements throughout the course of the season. ¬†Whether you win or lose, you’re not going to be playing really perfect football, especially in September, but you’ve got to try to win these games, they’re important games to win. ¬†They all count the same. ¬†A win or a loss counts the same in September as it does in December. ¬†We just didn’t play a good football game. ¬†We got off to a decent start, made some turnovers, and then let them back in the game in the third¬†quarter and then we just couldn’t do anything in the fourth quarter. ¬†So we’ll try and figure out the things that we did wrong, and build on the good things, get rid of the bad things, and hopefully that will put us in a better place next week.”

On what the change was in the second half:

“I think our execution was just terrible. ¬†We just couldn’t do anything offensively. ¬†We couldn’t sustain drives. ¬†We couldn’t get a first down. ¬†We couldn’t run it, we couldn’t throw it,¬†it was just a bad day.”

On if he’s surprised they didn’t take more advantage of Miami’s defense after their linebackers went out with injuries:

“I know, but like I said, they had some guys that came in that did a good job. ¬†#53 [Jelani Jenkins] … [Jason] Trusnik did a good job. ¬†They’ve got¬†some good players, especially depth at that position. ¬†They’ve got¬†a good front, good players in the secondary, they make you earn it. ¬† We just couldn’t sustain anything. ¬†Too many drives¬†where we sputtered. ¬†Certainly in the second half, the third quarter … you can’t play football that way.”

On the fact Gronkowsi looked behind and if he had any sense that Gronkowski was behind in his reactions to what they were trying to do:

“Like I said, I think everybody … the guys in the blue jerseys, I don’t think any of us played very well. ¬†I don’t think that was Gronk or anybody in particular. ¬†I mean, this is a team sport. ¬†We all rely on each other. ¬†I think we play with anticipation, we communicate well and we try and go out there play for each other and you play to win. ¬†I think today we just didn’t do the things that we need to do to win. ¬†You can’t turn the ball over like we turned it over, you can’t give them short fields and have opportunities in the pass game and the run game and make more yards than we did. ¬†We just didn’t do anything with it.”

On if he was affected by the rush himself:

“That’s a good question. ¬†I just don’t think you want to stand back there and hold the ball when you know they’re bearing down, so you just try to pick guys out and make the throws. ¬†But there’s times where you probably look at the film and you have more time than you think and that’s part of playing football. ¬†There’s things that I have to do a lot better job, using my instincts to help our team move the ball and score points.”

On if he can talk about his calf:

“It’s good. ¬†Thanks for asking.”

On the fact they took away Julian Edelman in the second half:

“They took away everybody in the second half. ¬†Truthfully, I mean we didn’t really make any yards in the second half. ¬†There wasn’t one guy that we, anybody we threw the ball to, we didn’t do anything. We didn’t run it, we didn’t throw it, I think that was, not just to Julian, that was to every player. ¬†We couldn’t produce any yards.”

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 РSteve 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 РZuri 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

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 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.

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

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.

‚ÄúI think he‚Äôs smart,‚ÄĚ McCourty said via the Boston Herald. ‚ÄúI 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‚Äôs an aggressive guy. He always plays physical.

‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ

Patriots Huddle: Friday’s News, Notes and Links 8/8


It was a rough night for Patriots QB Ryan Mallett. (USA TODAY Images)

Some notes and links following last night’s loss:

JIMMY GAROPPOLO OUTPLAYS MALLETT IN DEBUT:

For all the praise Ryan Mallett received this week, it was quarterback Jimmy Garopplo who had the better outing during the Patriots 23-6 loss down in Washington Thursday night after Garoppolo finished the night completing 9-of-13 passes for 157 yards along with a touchdown in the second half.

While it hasn’t shown up as much during training camp, Garoppolo looked fairly poised and even showed some great touch on the football after hitting a couple of deep plays to Brian Tyms, including a 53-yard pass on third down in the fourth quarter along with his 26 yard touchdown throw to him in the closing minutes of the game.

“I did alright,” said Garoppolo after the game.¬† “There is a lot of stuff to improve on. It is a process. For any rookie quarterback, there is a lot to learn from and we will go watch the tape tomorrow and fix those things.”

Meanwhile, Mallett finished the night 5-of-12 (42%) for just 55 yards on a night that seemed fit for him to finally be able to showcase himself following a week that saw him garner some positive remarks from members of the national media who were in Virginia watching him.

Unfortunately it didn’t translate over into the game, which for now leaves Mallett the same as he’s been.¬† He’s been just O.K.¬† Not great, not terrible, but certainly not strong enough to be considered a starting caliber quarterback.

It’s early to pile too much praise on Garoppolo, but it wasn’t a bad start for the rookie.¬† It’s just one game and he was going against players who, many of which, won’t even be in the NFL one month from now.¬† But he made the most of his opportunity, which is about as much as he could have hoped for.

There’s still three preseason games to go and plenty of snaps likely in their future.¬† Hopefully for Mallett’s sake he’s able to regroup against the Eagles this week.

STARS SIT THIS ONE OUT:

Last night was clearly an evaluation for some of the more unproven players, with a lot of New England’s starters sitting out while others got some plays in to get comfortable and back into game shape.

Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Logan Mankins were among some of the stars who sat this one out on the offensive side of the football, while Chandler Jones, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower were some notable names who were on the sidelines watching other guys take their reps on the defensive side.

However, out on the field were Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, both of whom are coming back from injuries and needed the snaps as they continue working on settling back in.¬† Kelly told the Boston Globe after the game that he’s still got a bit more work ahead of him to get back into shape, but he expects next week’s game against the Eagles to go a little more smoothly.

‚ÄúI think I have to work on it, but that‚Äôs what these games are for,‚Äô‚Äô Kelly told the newspaper. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt see myself getting this gassed next week against Philly.‚ÄĚ

PATRIOTS SUFFER ANOTHER INJURY:

According to the Boston Globe, second year defensive tackle Chris Jones suffered an ankle injury in the first half and didn’t return, which delivers another blow to a group that already lost Sealver Siliga earlier in the week with a hand injury.

Prior to the two getting hurt their depth was already shaky at best, so Jones’ injury will be something to monitor, especially if the injury to Siliga is as serious as some of the recent reports have been stating.

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

BOSTON GLOBE:

Ryan Mallett unimpressive in Patriots opener – Ben Volin: Volin has his “On Football” column for this morning, which focuses on the rough night that Mallett had down in Washington.

Patriots stars missing in opener – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young files her notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact quite a few starters sat out last night’s contest.

Patriots have rocky start to preseason – Here’s a collection of photos from last night’s game

Ryan Mallett hype is a trick of the trade – Christopher Gasper: Gasper writes there are lobbyists in Washington who wish they could spin as favorably as the Patriots have on Mallett recently.

BOSTON.COM:

Patriots vs. Redskins Stock Report: Ryan Mallett Struggles, Malcolm Butler Shines – Erik Frenz: Frenz recaps some of the performances from last night while taking a look at some players who helped their cause.

BOSTON HERALD:

Ryan Mallett misfires – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on the less than impressive performance by Mallett last night.

Patriots Notebook: Returning vets get little taste – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook, which leads off with him looking at the performances of Kelly and Wilfork in their first game action since being placed on injured reserve last year.

Brandon Browner burned early – Karen Guregian: Guregian has notes on the fact that the new contact rules hurt Browner last night.

ESPN BOSTON:

Leftover Thoughts from Patriots’ Loss – Mike Reiss: Reiss has additional thoughts on last night’s game, including the fact it was another step forward for Vince Wilfork.

Belichick, players react to preseason loss – Mike Reiss: Reiss has additional quotes from inside the locker room after the game.

Tale of two backup QB’s for Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss contrasts the play of the two quarterbacks last night.

Observation deck: new England Patriots -Mike Reiss: Reiss has his takeaways from last night’s game along with some additional thoughts in this piece.

Ups and Downs for the Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss has some players who he feels had a good night, while others didn’t fare so well.

WEEI:

What we learned Thursday – Christopher Price: Price has a good read from last night’s loss after how it all unfolded.

Patriots Huddle: Wednesday’s News, Notes and Links 8/6


Edelman and the Patriots had a long joint practice session Tuesday down in Richmond against Washington. (USA TODAY Images)

Here are this morning’s links along with notes on each:


OBSERVATION LINKS:
Here’s a quick run down with links to media observations from yesterday’s session:

BOSTON GLOBE:

 Another impressive day for Tom Brady РBen Volin

BOSTON.COM:

Patriots Training Camp Notes: Long Practice, Mixed Results – Zuri Berry

WEEI:

Tuesday Practice Report – Mike Petraglia

ESPN BOSTON:

Patriots Camp Report: Day 13 – Mike Reiss

Observations from Patriots camp: Day 13 – Mike Reiss

PATRIOTS.COM:

Patriots offense stays hot in the Richmond heat, defense keeps hitting and other blogservations – Andy Hart

Butler getting job done at corner; Tues. joint practice notes from Richmond – Erik Scalavino

REDSKINS.COM:

#SkinsCamp Day 11: Notes & Highlights – Andrew Walker


ADDITIONAL LINKS:

BOSTON GLOBE:

Bill Belichick has always seen Tom Brady as a leader – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young files her notebook this morning, which leads off with comments from Belichick on his first year in New England, which included the drafting of Brady.

BOSTON HERALD:

Justin Jones sees red with opportunity – Karen Guregian: Guregian has an article on Jones and writes that when he’s on the field, you can’t take your eyes off him.

Tom Brady still impresses and leads, bar none – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on Brady, with humorous comments from Logan Mankins talking about the veteran quarterback.

ESPN BOSTON:

Tom Brady: We don’t have all the answers – Mike Reiss: In this article Brady talks about the things they’re working on and the benefits of working against Washington’s defense.

Patriots tested in steamy 3-hour practice – Mike Reiss: Reiss gives his synopsis of yesterday’s session, which Brady said afterwards was one of the longer practices he could remember.

Brady on ‘pygmies’ Edelman & Amendola – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a funny comment from Brady, who is hoping the two receivers don’t get mad at him for the reference.

Belichick: ‘Situational’ practice important – Lee Schechter: Schechter has comments from Belichick from yesterday and the benefits of being able to work on different situations.

WEEI:

Tom Brady thanks Wes Welker for mentoring Julian Edelman, Develops Chemistry with Danny Amendola – Mike Petraglia: Petraglia has comments from Brady, who credits Welker for helping Edelman and also notes the receiver has “worked his tail off”.

CBS BOSTON:

Patriots Blog: Mallett Will Get Opportunity In Preseason – Levan Reid: Reid has notes from yesterday, including comments from Belichick, who praised Ryan Mallett during his press conference.

ATTLEBORO SUN CHRONICLE:

FARINELLA: Kraft mailing probably needs fine print – Mark Farinella: Farinella has an article on another potential access road on route one and his thoughts on the situation.

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL:

James White impresses New England Patriots – Bob Wolfley: Wolfley has a local article on White, who is a former Wisconsin Badger.

WASHINGTON POST:

On Day 2 Redskins and Patriots stress red zone, third down, two-minute drill – Liz Clarke: Clarke has notes from Tuesday, which saw the two sides work on situational football and was something Bill Belichick felt was valuable to be able to create.

Tom Brady relishes the challenge, even in practice – Jason Reid: Reid writes that Brady has looked sharp, noting that even some Redskins fans have cheered for him while watching him.

Thoughts from Patriots’ Camp: Brady just as driven as ever – Mark Maske: Maske has Patriots-related thoughts in this piece, including comments from Brady on a variety of topics.


Gronkowski is among several key players returning in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

Despite an AFC Championship appearance, 2013 managed to carve out its own niche in Patriots history and joins another season that fans will have a hard time forgetting.

There was 2008, which was “the Year Tom Brady Was Injured” and will probably forever be remembered for that reason. ¬†Odds are pretty good that 2013 will be there with it and¬†will likely¬†be remembered as “the Season Everyone Was Injured”.

It was ridiculous. ¬†By the time December hit following Rob Gronkowski’s knee taking a hit against Cleveland that more or less derailed his and the Patriots’ season, 20 injuries had been suffered, with Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald pointing out at the time that it cost players a combined 87 games collectively over that span.

They lost three big key players on the defensive side of the football, with Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly as the key names who were wiped off the roster and strangely enough, each one fell right after the other.  Wilfork went first, (gone in week four down in Alanta), followed by Kelly (injured his knee in Week 5 and was inactive for three games before ending up on IR) and then finally, Mayo (Week 6 against the Saints).

The offensive side of the ball was also a mess. ¬†They suffered a big blow when Danny Amendola re-aggravated his groin in Week 1 against the Bills (which cost him the next three games and he never looked the same) followed by a broken wrist by Shane Vereen (given the short-term injured reserve designation, which sidelined him for 8 games), a concussion to Amendola against the Saints in Week 6 that cost him another game, Sebastian Vollmer’s gruesome broken leg in week eight against the Dolphins that ended his season, followed by the foot injury suffered by Aaron Dobson that cost him three games and was re-aggravated in the season finale and has him now on PUP.

Yet somehow, this team was playing in Denver in January and only needed one more win for a Super Bowl berth. ¬†That in itself is a miracle when looking back on what they endured along the way. ¬†It’s actually hard to believe that game only took place six months ago, yet thankfully,¬†the landscape now feels¬†completely different.

Added over the offseason were some key additions, including experienced defensive backs Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, with Revis as the one who could potentially be on defense what Randy Moss was for the offense in 2007. Sprinkle in some other good acquisitions such as Chris White, James Anderson, and Will Smith, along with their draft picks, and this has the opportunity to be one of the more competitive camps in recent memory.

From there Gronkowski’s back and relatively healthy, having even avoided being placed on PUP. ¬†Wilfork appears to be on track and is expected to be out there, while Tommy Kelly is on PUP but hopefully if all goes well, he’ll get the opportunity to play alongside Wilfork for a full season, which was something he had hoped to do last year.

Now that the injuries are behind them, Rob Ninkovich said on Wednesday that he and the rest of his teammates are looking forward to what he feels should be a better year.

“You look at last year, and you definitely put that to bed as far as like what we did last year,” said Ninkovich. ¬†“But you want to take some of the good things that you did out there and improve on those and then you see the things that you need to improve on. As a whole defense, you want to be better this year, this season. I think that, definitely as a defense, we’re going to be a better defense, but we’ve got to put the work in. So that starts today. Again, I think the things that we did last year well, you want to continue to do those and then also improve in some areas.”

On the offensive side of the football, the health of Gronkowski will be the thing most people will be watching this season. ¬†Between his fractured forearm in 2012 followed by his knee injury in 2013, he’s had a rough patch over the past two years that he’s likely hoping to put behind him.

Also in focus will be the health of Dobson along with Amendola, both of whom are two big keys as they’re each players who will benefit greatly with Gronkowski out there. ¬†Amendola and Gronkowski only played together in just over five games in 2013, with Gronkowski getting knocked out of what would have been their sixth. ¬†Gronkowski sat out the first six games and Amendola was sidelined in week seven with a concussion that he suffered against the Saints.

With Dobson, the number of that trio being together drops even further. ¬†The three only took the field as a group in four¬†contests last season after he missed the game before Gronk’s injury when he suffered his foot injury against Denver.

Bill Belichick said on Wednesday that while Gronkowski’s health is important, he stressed that the health of everyone is critical as the team tries to avoid an injury bug that took down far too many players last year.

“The health of the team is the most important thing that we have,” said Belichick. ¬†“That‚Äôs for all 90 players now and 53 players once we have our final roster. We always try to do everything we can to help all the players stay healthy and stay on the field. We do that for everybody; every single guy.

“It‚Äôs a consideration for all them. Certainly Rob, but everybody. We don‚Äôt single out ‚Äėthese players‚Äô and ‚Äėthose players‚Äô. It‚Äôs all the players, all of them.”

Hopefully this time around he’ll have more of them for longer than he did in 2013.

Patriots Huddle: Wednesday’s News & Links 7/23


Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots report this morning before Thursday’s public practice session. (USA TODAY Images)

As the players report this morning, here are this morning’s links:

BOSTON GLOBE:

Do Patriots finally have a premier secondary? – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young has an article on the Patriots secondary, which now may be among the NFL’s best.

Patriots training camp ‚ÄĒ what to watch for – Sean Leahy: Leahy looks at what to keep an eye on as camp begins, including which¬†injured player will be the most important to watch.

Money may dictate Patriots’ roster moves – ¬†Ben Volin: Volin looks at several players who may be in trouble due to their contracts.

BOSTON HERALD:

Bill Belichick, captains meet with media today to open training camp – Jeff Howe: Howe has a quick entry this morning with Bill Belichick set to meet with the media this morning.

For Patriots new season starts now – Jeff Howe: Howe has his article previewing training camp, with some thoughts on several players and positions.

ESPN BOSTON:

Patriots’ evolving D keys Super hopes – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a quick article on the defense, which will likely be the biggest key surrounding their success this season.

Wake-up call: Bill Belichick gets it started – Mike Reiss: Reiss notes this morning’s media schedule, with Belichick set to meet with the media, along with several other players.

USA TODAY:

Patriots report: Will Super Bowl drought end at 10 years? – Lorenzo Reyes: Reyes has a spotlight on the Patriots and wonders if this will be the year they’re finally able to win it all.

NEPATRIOTSDRAFT.COM:

Five Areas to Monitor as Camp Opens – Oliver Thomas: Thomas has his thoughts on what to watch for with the players reporting today, including how the linebacker position comes together with the return of Jerod Mayo.

CBS BOSTON:

Patriots Offensive Line Preview: Can Stork, Rookies Deliver An Added Boost? – This morning’s position preview focuses on the Patriots’ offensive line, which will hopefully do a better job of keeping Tom Brady upright this season.

CSNNE:

Gasper: Is Gronk’s health the biggest concern? – Christopher Gasper: Gasper appeared on CSNNE and wondered about the overall health of the team, which obviously includes Gronkowski.