Archive for September, 2010

Grogan’s Grade Week Three: New England vs Buffalo

The Gang talked to former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan as they do every Monday morning at 7:30am on “The Morning Buzz”, but here’s an expanded interview with Ron Marshall who sat down with him later on and touched on a few more topics that you may want to check out:

R.R. Marshall: Steve, at times last Sunday’s contest resembled and old AFL high-scoring game with both teams marching up and down the field at will, not at all like the typical low-scoring games we are used to seeing between the Patriots and Bills. Did this game unfold the way you thought it would going in?

Steve Grogan: The Patriots did exactly what I thought they would do. Buffalo did much more offensively than I expected, particularly with the quarterback change with the young Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills really hadn’t had much success offensively this year and then they went out picked the Patriots defense apart, which was surprising to me. Fortunately they scored 38 points so giving up 30 didn’t cost them the game, but that won’t happen every week.

RRM: Well, you have to give the Patriots de facto offensive co-ordinator Bill O’Brien some credit for a diverse game plan. I can’t remember the last time I saw two reverses in the first half by the Pats?

SG: I think offensively the Patriots felt really comfortable with what they were doing. Tom Brady seemed very confident throwing the ball and had a great day. They were putting it in the air and spreading it around to a lot of different people. It was a lot of fun for me watching the fourth quarter when they were trying to put the hammer down and run the football just over and over again with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. They haven’t done that in a long time, and that’s something that back in my day is what you did when you were ahead in a close game. Just run the ball and run the clock down and keep getting first downs, and they did that today. But maybe I’m too old school.

RRM: New England was roundly criticized for not making good adjustments after halftime during their last two games, but they came out in the second half and switched to a no-huddle offense. Did you get the sense it reflected a sense of urgency on their part to come out and get things going?

SG: Yes, I think they knew they were in a real dog fight with the Bills and it was probably going to be the last man holding the ball that would win the game, especially the way the defense was playing. I think the Patriots wanted to change things up and get the tempo up and try to score every time they had the ball, and then see what happens at the end and whether the defense could hold up long enough.  In this case their adjustments worked, so you can’t criticize them for not changing things up.

RRM: You alluded to how you like to see them run the football, and they had five different backs account for some 200 yards rushing for the game. Isn’t that is unheard of in this era around here?

SG: It was really good, and like you mentioned it was a little bit of everybody contributing, although it seems Green-Ellis is the guy they seemed to settle on the most. I haven’t looked at the stats to see who carried how many times, but it seemed to me he had more carries than anybody. It’s good to get a little bit of young legs in there, and right now he’s playing very well. He is showing some flashes, and I think it’s great to see them giving him a chance.

RRM: Speaking of young legs, when do we start the Danny Woodhead fan club in Foxboro?

SG: (Laughs!) You know when the kid scored, I said wait a minute where did he come from? Oh that’s right, that is the kid they picked up from the Jets? He certainly brought a little bit of excitement with the few carries he got. It’s fun to see a young guy like that brings a little bit of energy to your squad.

RRM: On HBO’s Hard Knocks show he was one of the last cuts the Jets made and the coaches really didn’t want to do it but he became a victim of the numbers game. They kept telling him he could play in the NFL, and it appeared he proved them right in this game? 

SG: I don’t think Woodhead is an every down back, but a change of pace kind of kid with smallness inside, and that can cause the defense some problems because it’s hard to locate him. I wish nothing but good luck to him.

RRM: You say that a quarterback has to show leadership by example, and Tom Brady certainly did that. He completed 21 of 27 for 252 and three  touchdowns and threw in a scramble run for a first down just for good measure. What else can you ask for?

SG: Like I said, I thought Brady threw the ball really well. He seemed more confident with the game plan. When he ran for the first down I hadn’t seen him get that excited over throwing a touchdown pass! It was like I was proving to you people that I can run every once in a while (laughing!) when I have to, but he is not going to make a living doing that. But again, they were spreading the ball around to Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and both of the young tight ends late in the pivotal parts of the game. They have so many weapons offensively you know they’re going to do it that way. It’s just a matter this young Patriots defense is going to be able to hang on and let the offense win a game for them.

RRM: After three games it seems that this reconstituted Patriots’ defense will be a work in progress this season. Have you seen any improvement over the last three weeks?

SG: You know they’re going to be up and down. They’re going to have their good moments and bad moments. They had a couple of good moments at the end of this game like that interception to seal the game at the end, but I thought they let Buffalo run the ball way too easily. Ryan Fitzpatrick hurt them with his legs more than he did his arm, running out of the pocket picking up key first downs. You have to realize this is still a young defense that hasn’t seen a lot of things yet. That being the case you just don’t know what to expect from series to series from them, and that will lead to a lot of frustrating moments.

RRM: It was interesting last week when Tom Brady called the fans out for leaving early and for not making enough noise. I know you have attended games at Gillette and you have certainly experienced the fan fervor as a player in the 70′s and 80′s in the old Foxboro Stadium. Have things changed that much since the Patriots moved into Gillette?

SG: Oh, I think there’s no question that there is more of a corporate crowd there now with the way the ticket prices have gone up the way they have. The old stadium was a bunch of rough neck, hard core New Englanders that would sit on the metal benches and drink too much, yell too much and party too much. It was a different kind of crowd, no question about that. Today you don’t see the same people week in and week out because of how much the ticket prices are. People buy season tickets and then split them with different family members or business partners so it is not the same people going there every week like it used to be, and I think that makes a big difference.

RRM: For a team that has had their woes on the road going back to last year Miami is the last place you want to play, but unfortunately that is where the Patriots will find themselves next Monday night. What are your thoughts on this match?

SG: Like Belichick says, it is what it is. The Patriots are going to have to go down there and it will be a definite challenge. Miami is an improved football team and they have been the last few years. It hasn’t been easy to win in their stadium, so I think we have to hope that this offense continues to put 38 points on the board every week and keep your fingers crossed that the defense is going to get a few stops along the way and win the ball game. They also have some problems on special teams covering kickoffs. They allowed that touchdown by the rookie C.J. Spiller who’s a real burner but you just can’t have that happen, so I’m guessing Belichick will make that an area of emphasis in practice this week before they play Miami.

RRM: So I take it there’s good news this week for Grogan’s Grades?

SG: I’d say so. I would give the offense an A. I think the defense has to be a B+ (maybe) but the special teams only a C-. They gave up that touchdown on the kickoff return right after they come out in the second half and scored on their first drive to take control of the game. You just can’t let the other team back in the game by playing like that on special teams. It is just frustrating to see that happen and it really gets under your skin when you are out there in a game like that. 

 I thought Tom Brady should get a game ball for his performance; I just thought he played really well and was very composed. Randy Moss had a couple of big touchdown catches. Along the offense line you had all five of them protecting Brady well and when you see him pushing the ball and running the way he did that is exciting for an old timer like me. They also blocked well for the running backs, and if they keep that up the front office can tell Logan Mankins to stay at home and play golf and we will see you some other time.

Grogan’s Grades for Game #3

Offense: A
Defense: B+
Overall: B

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Monday Morning Patriots Buzz Links

The day after the Patriots 38-30 win over the Bills, after taking a trip around the internet this morning here are some good articles for you to check out if you haven’t read them already.

Christopher Price of WEEI.com has “10 Things We Learned From Yesterday”, and feels that right now, it’s all on the offense.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article on Kyle Arrington, who he writes made the most of his playing time during yesterday’s 38-30 win over the Bills.

Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com breaks down yesterday’s first quarter of play, analyzing each possession and giving his take of what happened.  It’s a good read, so be sure to check it out.

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald writes that, “Some guys are studs. Others are stubs. Danny Woodhead? Maybe he’s both.

Albert Breer of the Boston Globe writes that it’s a good thing the Patriots gave Tom Brady a contract extension, because this season may prove that he’s more valuable than ever since they’ll need him to help carry their young defense in the coming months.

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe writes that Woodhead ended up being a big help to New England’s offense, although he couldn’t see him as he was surrounded by reporters and wonders if that’s what it was like for the Bills when he was lined up behind the Patriots offensive line.

Tim Forseberg of ESPNBoston.com writes that if the energy level of the crowd at Gillette Stadium is concerning Brady, he learned Sunday there’s an easy solution to that problem: Give them something to cheer about.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com takes a look at yesterday’s game and says that the Patriots victory was obviously needed, yet it still doesn’t mask their problems on the defensive side of the football.

Monique Walker of the Globe has a blog entry this morning with quotes from Brady’s interview this morning on WEEI, with Brady saying he’s got a lot of confidence with the guys on the defensive side of the football.

“The defense is opportunistic. They made a couple of big plays there at the end which we really needed. You’re right, they are a bit younger than the offense and the offense should feel like it has more responsibility in terms of playing with situational football and so forth.
 
“The thing about the defense is they have a lot of talented players. They’re all first and second round picks over there, it’s not like they can’t play. Playing against them in training camp, I know the kind of plays they can make, so you’re right, I think not having quite the experience as the offense is one thing. Having the youth and excitement, it’s a very fast defense that can make some plays and I have a lot of confidence in those guys. “

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald has a column this morning talking about the crowd yesterday at Gillette Stadium, with a story of an interesting incident that took place in the club seats during the Patriots 38-30 win over the Bills.

Bill Burt of the Lawrence Eagle Tribune writes that the biggest enemy the Patriots may be facing this season is the schedule.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com takes a look at yesterday’s game and says that the Patriots victory was obviously needed, yet it still doesn’t mask their problems on the defensive side of the football.

Reiss also writes that BenJarvus Green-Ellis stepped up at the right time yesterday, exploding through the hole and running downhill as he racked up 98-yards on 16 carries.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has an article on Arrington, who said after the game that there were plenty of people in his hometown watching the game yesterday.

And finally Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com breaks down yesterday’s first quarter of play, analyzing each possession and giving his take of what happened.  It’s a good read, so be sure to check it out.

That’s it for now, but check back later on as we’ll have more updates later this morning.

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Listening to some of the reactions Sunday afternoon, it’s kind of surprising that fans didn’t seem to realize that the Patriots defense was going to have their fair share of struggles early on this season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to most people considering that coming into this year they were going to be in a situation where “on the job experience” was going to be a key factor in their development.  After watching Sunday’s game it almost looks like what has been one of their main problems to this point is they’re simply dealing not only with a lack of experience individually, but also with eachother.

One of the biggest problems on the defensive side of the field almost appears to be a lack of chemistry to this point between the players.  You can clearly see that there are guys who aren’t where they’re supposed to be, especially in certain passing situations.  Taking another look at the game, there were a couple of things people really need to realize:

  1. They’re young.  Starting three rookies and two second year players means that nearly half of your defense has played very little in the National Football League.  “It is what is,” and unfortunately that’s going to mean mistakes are going to happen – and sometimes it’s going to be a big one.  We saw that this afternoon when Devin McCourty let his man get behind him and Patrick Chung couldn’t quite get there in time to stop him from reaching the endzone.  We also saw it at the linebacker position when several of those guys got beat a few times on different passing plays.  Odds are probably pretty good we’ll see other ”growing pains” as the season goes on as well.
     
  2. They haven’t played much together.  Take a look at the starting line-up from a year ago.  Seven of those players are either on IR or no longer with the football team.  Anyone who’s ever played football knows trust and faith in the guy next to them is something that doesn’t come overnight, and until they start playing better individually, it’s going to take some time before each of them can look the other in the eye and know that they’ll be where they’re supposed to be on each play.

Some have questioned what type of an effect Twitter and these other social media outlets have had with any of the younger players.  You have to wonder how happy Bill Belichick would have been if he noticed Gary Guyton’s tweet Saturday night around 11:30 about the Georgia game – which means he was obviously awake when he had an important divisional game the next day.  I doubt the likes of Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, or Mike Vrabel would have been on “Tweeting” that late the day before a game.  Instead Brandon Spikes got the starting nod over him, and while Guyton ultimately outplayed him today, he’s a guy that they really need to see some consistency from.

In the secondary McCourty continues to look good, save for the touchdown he and Chung gave up.  Up to this point McCourty has been one of the best open field tacklers they’ve had on this team in years, and he’s continued to improve week after week.  So on the left side things are going fairly well, it’s the other side that continues to have a few issues.

Arrington got the starting nod Sunday over Butler, and for now you have to give him the edge after today’s performance.  Butler got beat quite a few times this afternoon, giving his guy quite a cushion yet he wasn’t able to close the way he did against the Bengals in week one.  It’s bizarre, if you look at who he was in week one compared to last week and then this afternoon’s game, he doesn’t even look like the same player.  You almost have to wonder if he’s got issues with his confidence, which in this league guys will eat you alive if you don’t believe you’re better than they are.  The problem is they only have so much time to let him improve, and if he’s getting beat more than half the time, unfortunately that’s a formula that will typically prompt a change.

At the linebacker position it’s clearly just an issue of a bunch of young guys who haven’t completely caught on to the system yet.  For the most part they’ve been where they’ve needed to be.  The problem appears to be that in coverage they’ve been either too far off their guy, or they’ve been in position and simply missed a tackle.  Fans have to admit this is one of the fastest groups they’ve had in quite a while, and the only thing that’s really going to improve their play is more time on the field together, and more experience in live game action.

Up front we’ve seen improvement from Mike Wright and Ron Brace, with Vince Wilfork remaining as steady as he’s ever been.  They’re still struggling a bit against the run, but part of their job is to try and clog the lanes and let the linebackers make the play.  Sometimes that’s been happening, sometimes it hasn’t.  But on passing downs we’ve seen some penetration and we’ve seen them push guys back, which has started to allow other guys to have a chance to make a play.  They flushed Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the pocket on several occasions on Sunday, but he was able to get away and gain some yards using his legs.  Unfortunately on those plays no one accounted for him, and it was a missed opportunity for someone to potentially make a sack or at least stop him from gaining any positive yards.

Overall it’s clear the plan for now is they’re in a “bend-don’t-break” defense, where they’re just trying to keep as much as they can in front of them and not let guys get behind them and hopefully hold them to field goals.  For the most part that strategy worked on Sunday.  They gave up three field goals and made a critical 3rd down play that forced a 51 yard attempt that sailed wide left.  Another touchdown came off of a fumble recovery that gave them great field position, while another was a result of a kickoff return for a score.  Take away those two mistakes and sixteen points doesn’t seem so bad.

Unfortunately the mistakes still happened, and the competition they’ll be facing for the rest of the season won’t allow for that margin of error.  Hopefully we continue to see some improvements, because the rest of the year heading into next Monday night’s game against the Dolphins isn’t looking like it’s going to get any easier.

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Positives & Negatives From Patriots vs. Bills

Looking back at Sunday’s game against the Bills, obviously this week there was certainly far more to be happy about than there was last week, so here’s a look at what went well, and where they struggled against Buffalo. 

POSITIVES:

  • Jermaine Cunningham made a great play on the 4th play of the game, taking down CJ Spiller for a loss.  He was a guy who had a lot of success getting in the backfield at Florida, and plays like that one were exactly why New England drafted him.  He also put good pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick which helped force the high throw on the interception to Patrick Chung.
     
  • Danny Woodhead made a good impression in his new role with the team, scoring New England’s 2nd touchdown on a 22-yard run, which was a career long run and his first touchdown of his career.
     
  • Aaron Hernandez had a great 12-yard run on an end around on New England’s opening series.  He broke a couple of tackles before being taken down and finished the afternoon with a team high 6 catches for 65-yards.
     
  • Tom Brady was as good as it gets on Sunday, making a great play-action fake on New England’s first touchdown, hitting Randy Moss who slipped by the defense after they bit on the fake.  He finished the afternoon 21-of-27 for 252-yards and three touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 142.6.  He also had a big moment after scrambling on a third down play early in the 3rd quarter, and then pumping his fist after he made the first down.  It was a key play as it kept the drive going and later lead to a touchdown throw to Rob Gronkowski.
     
  • Randy Moss didn’t start Sunday’s game and only had two receptions, but both of them went for touchdowns, with Moss making one of them in spectacular fashion.  He caught it traffic, even bumping into the official on the play but still held onto the ball.
     
  • Brandon Meriweather had a tough week after it was learned he hasn’t been starting because of the fact the coaches were unhappy with his need to improvise in practice instead of sticking to his assignment.  He made a great play early in the game when he came in from the backside and chased down Marshawn Lynch on one play, and also later had an interception which sealed the game for New England.  He finished Sunday’s game with five tackles.
     
  • Mike Wright did a great job Sunday in collapsing the pocket and he also did a decent job against the run.
     
  • Tully Banta-Cain as usual had a good game against Buffalo.  While he didn’t finish with a sack, he helped flush Fitzpatrick on the play where Jerod Mayo chased him down for his second career sack.
     
  • Patrick Chung was all over the field on Sunday and was aggressive on every play, finishing the afternoon with 7 tackles and also had an interception.
     
  • Jerod Mayo was solid all afternoon, making his second sack of his career and finishing with 9 tackles.  He’s off to another great start this season.
     
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried 16 times for 98 yards including a touchdown, and may have given Belichick a reason to give him more playing time after today’s performance – especially if Taylor is still hobbled with his toe injury.

NEGATIVES:

  • Kyle Arrington inadvertently made a key block for Marshawn Lynch on Buffalo’s opening drive, getting blocked to the ground by Bills’ receiver Roscoe Parrish.  Patrick Chung had a good angle on him, but tripped over Arrington and Parrish ended up picking up 16 yards on the play.  He did do a great job of knocking away a touchdown pass attempt from Fitzpatrick early in the game to Lee Evans, but made a bad decision on the next play, when he moved over on Brandon Meriweather’s man, and got picked out of the play on Buffalo’s first touchdown.  He may have won the battle between he and Butler Sunday as he finished with three tackles and Butler finished with one – but he clearly has a lot of work to do to become the player the Patriots need him to be.
     
  • Fred Taylor had some good runs early in the game, but was later seen being tended to by trainers as he continues to battle with a toe injury.
     
  • Brandon Tate looked tentative during kickoff returns, and also fumbled away a 16-yard reception on a third and long play that would have been a first down on their third drive of the game.  Moss tried to recover it but it appeared they wrestled it away for Buffalo’s first takeaway of the season.
     
  • Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown, but got called for an interference penalty at the start of the second quarter (the first of his career) which set up 1st and 20.  That third and long lead to the fumble by Tate which later lead to a touchdown by the Bills.
     
  • Zoltan Mesko had a forgettable afternoon punting the football.  The normally sure-footed Mesko only averaged 34.7 net yards on the day, which certainly was out of character for the rookie and his lowest output of the season.
     
  • The Patriots special teams allowing a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown right after Moss’ touchdown catch to get he Bills back within one at 24-23 w/12:58 left in the 3rd.  Not exactly something you want to see right after you score a touchdown.

GAME NOTES: 

It was nice of CBS’s feed to die right before kickoff. Fans missed the opening kickoff the feed appeared to be restored just before the first snap by Buffalo’s offense on their opening drive…Jermaine Cunningham got the starting nod for the Patriots at OLB over Tully Banta-Cain….Kyle Arrington also got the start over Darius Butler….It’s interesting to note that Brandon Tate got the nod over Randy Moss who didn’t start Sunday, but Moss caught the touchdown for New England on their opening drive.  After Sunday’s game Moss became the 2nd player in NFL history with 150 or more touchdown catches. Only he and Jerry Rice (197) have 150 or more…. Shawn Crable finally got his first snap of the season on defense, playing in the dime package on the third-down stop before Buffalo’s second field goal.  He made his first official tackle around the 8:19 mark while taking down Marshawn Lynch….Bill Belichick was seen having a long chat with play-caller Bill O’Brien during a timeout following one of Buffalo’s touchdowns…Belichick was also quite animated just before the end of the half, as he was seen screaming at the officials after the Bills field goal before halftime. Belichick said after the game he was frustrated by the use of timeouts by Buffalo – who tried to use an additional timeout that shouldn’t have been allowed…Danny Woodhead’s 22-yard touchdown run Sunday was the longest by a Patriot since Laurence Maroney scored from 45-yards out in the snow against the Titans last year in their 59-0 home rout… Wes Welker now has 364 receptions with the Patriots, moving him ahead of Irving Fryar (363) into 5th place in franchise history… Alge Crumpler saw a little time at fullback Sunday, and made a couple of good blocks in the running game….Patriots opened in the no-huddle to start the second half, which ended with a 35-yard scoring strike to Moss.  That touchdown by Brady was the 232 of his career, tying Steve Young for 19th all time.  He later broke that mark when he threw a touchdown to Gronkowski two possessions later.

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Patriots vs Bills: First Impressions

Some first impressions following this win over the Bills:

  • The battle between Kyle Arrington and Darius Butler appears to have gone to Arrington, as Butler was a little more inconsistent today than Arrington was.  It’s obviously a little early to pass judgment on either of these two considering it’s only the third game of the season, and one would have to believe we’ll see improvement from both of these players in the coming weeks.
     
  • It was nice to see Jermaine Cunningham play well out there today.  He did a solid job of helping create pressure and was also key in helping free up a couple of guys who made tackles on the inside on rushing plays.  It looks like he’s developing fairly well so far.
     
  • Shawn Crable got his feet wet Sunday, and did a good job bringing down Marshawn Lynch early in the fourth quarter.  It’s hard to tell how many plays he was in on due to the limited vantage points available from watching the game on television, but the fact he was out there at all is a positive considering his troubles over the past couple of years overcoming injuries.  Hopefully we’ll see more from him in the coming weeks.
     
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a great game, gaining 98-yards on 16-carries (6.1 avg) and a touchdown.  New England needed a spark and it was nice to see him come in and contribute.
     
  • Danny Woodhead came in and did exactly what they needed him to with Kevin Faulk out of the line-up.  He’s a good change of pace player who ran the ball well, finishing with 3 carries for 42-yards including a 22-yard touchdown run.
     
  • We saw yet another good game from rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez who finished with 6-catches for 65-yards and also had a 13-yard rush on an end around.
     
  • It was good to see Randy Moss catch a couple of touchdowns Sunday, including a 35-yard touchdown between three defenders and the official.  He only had two receptions Sunday, but each of them were in the endzone.
     
  • Rob Gronkowksi had a good day, grabbing three receptions for 43-yards including a touchdown.  His one mistake was an interference call which put them in a 1st-and-20, which later resulted in a fumble by Brandon Tate.  The Bills went on to punch one in after that.  I’m guessing he’ll hear about it during the film sessions this week.

Overall it wasn’t their best performance, but there were plenty of positives to take away from this one.  We’ll have more analysis from this one shortly.

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Today’s Inactives

The Patriots just announced the team’s inactives for this afternoon’s game against the Bills.

The players who won’t be active for today are DL Brandon Deadrick, LB Dane Fletcher, OL Nick Kaczur, NT Kyle Love, T Steve Maneri, OL Quinn Ojinnaka, WR Taylor Price & DB Terrance Wheatley.

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Patriots/Bills PreGame Notes

Twitter is buzzing this morning as the members of the Boston media are already at Gillette Stadium. Here are a few things that we’ve learned so far this morning:

  • Jeff Howe of NESN reported via Twitter this morning that Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was seen down on the field about 30-minutes ago working with LB coach Matt Patricia and another trainer and assistant strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash. He was listed as Probable for today’s game, but his status is still in question until the inactives list comes out in about 10-minutes.
     
  • Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports that offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka was seen warming up in the end zone. He also noted that Dane Fletcher was seen down on the field running around, and wonders if that’s a bad sign for Spikes’ status for today’s game.
     
  • Some great shots of the field taken today, with one by Shalise Manza Young, another by Rapoport, one by Mike Giardi, and one by Mike Reiss.
     
  • Randy Moss’ one handed grab graces the cover of this week’s program, while Kevin Faulk coincidently was the photo selected for this week’s game against Buffalo.
     
  • The Patriots will take a moment today to remember the fan who passed away two weeks ago less than an hour before kickoff against the Bengals.  New England will honor 18-year season ticket holder Jeffrey Chartier with a moment of silence before today’s game.

We’ll have more in a few minutes.

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Brandon Spikes Working Out on the Field

Jeff Howe of NESN reported via Twitter this morning that Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was seen down on the field about 30-minutes ago working with LB coach Matt Patricia and another trainer and assistant strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash.

Spikes was added to the injury report last night with the injury and was listed as “Probable” for this afternoon’s game against the Bills.

We’ll update with today’s inactives as soon as they’re available.

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LB Spikes Added to the Injury Report

The Patriots announced a few minutes ago that linebacker Brandon Spikes has been added to the injury report with a calf injury.  His official status for tomorrow’s game is “Probable”. 

The other interesting story line at the linebacker position tomorrow will be whether or not Shawn Crable is active for the game.  It was reported this morning by the Globe that he took over Kevin Faulk’s roster spot, so we’ll have to wait and see if he sees any action against the Bills Sunday.

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Patriots DB Lockett Arrested

Nothing like an arrest report to liven things up on an otherwise boring Saturday afternoon.

WEEI.com reports that Patriots defensive back Bret Lockett was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with disorderly and failure to move, citing multiple sources within the Providence Police Department.

Following his arrest Lockett was released a few hours later, and according to the website a source indicated he has a court date set for next month.

The 23-year-old defensive back out of UCLA was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Sept. 7, 2009 and spent the latter part of this season on injured reserve, before ending up back on injured reserve this year with a chest injury.

No further details on the arrest are available at this time, although we’ll try and update more once the information becomes available.

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