Tag Archives: Jonathan Cooper

Thursday Daily Rundown 9/15: New England Patriots News and Notes

Ian Logue
September 15, 2016 at 8:01 am ET

Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories:

Hightower Misses Practice, Gronk returns – After suffering an injury Sunday night, linebacker Dont’a Hightower was one of the notable names missing from Wednesday’s practice session.

Hightower gutted out the injury and missed just three plays after being out there for 58-of-61 defensive snaps against the Cardinals.  He also played in six special teams snaps.

Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski, Jonathan Cooper, and Nate Solder were spotted back at practice, with each player having missed Sunday night’s game.  Gronkowski looked like he’s making progress and showed good explosion coming out of his stance on Wednesday, although he still seemed to be taking it slow as he continues working on getting healthy.

It remains to be seen if he’ll push himself through enough to be out there on Sunday after being downgraded to “Out” last weekend prior to the Cardinals game, and the Patriots could certainly use his services as they get ready to face what should be a tough Dolphins defense this weekend.

Dolphins Ready for “Huge” Game Against the Patriots – Both Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh used the word “huge” to describe this weekend’s game in New England, and know full well that it’s their opportunity to grab ahold of the division and get an edge against a team they’ve struggled against in Foxboro in past seasons.

Overall the Dolphins are 2-12 at Gillette Stadium, with their last win coming in a season where Tom Brady was also sidelined, beating them back on September 21, 2008, in a 38-13 win, which also resulted in them winning the division, but it also played a factor in what ended up being the only time since 2002 the Patriots didn’t make it to the postseason.

“It’s a huge game; a huge week,” said Suh via Channel 10 out of Florida.  “(It’s) very important for us to obviously get this first win in our division and kind of set the tone in that regard.”

As for Tannehill, he’s in what is a critical season for him with a new head coach and a Dolphins team that has enough talent to make some noise this year.  However, beating the Patriots is obviously a big key in determining the course of their season, and dropping another loss and falling to 0-2 is something that he knows it will be important to avoid.  For now he expects another difficult game, and he’s preparing for the Patriots to put together a tough defensive plan against them this weekend.

“I think that’s what you get when you face New England, you really never know,” Tannehill said via the Palm Beach Post. “They like to play their man coverage but they’re always going to throw something at you that they haven’t shown much of on tape and try to make you stumble a little bit – whether it’s in protection, a stunt up front, a blitz or a coverage that they haven’t shown.”

Garoppolo Staying Level-Headed – Jimmy Garoppolo has been the talk of the town this week after his big performance Sunday night, but Garoppolo told the media on Wednesday that the consistent approach by this team is something that makes it easy to stay grounded while remaining focused, which is something he said the coaches do a good job of.

“I think the atmosphere in the building – the coaching staff does a good job of keeping us level-headed, so it’s just a ‘never too high, never too low’ kind of thing,” said Garoppolo.  “It’s just on to the next week. It’s a long season so you just have to keep moving on.”

He faces a tough battle this week, with the Dolphins having held Seattle’s offense to just 12 points while managing to put a beating on Russell Wilson after sacking the elusive quarterback three times in the contest as well as picking him off once.  They amassed nine quarterback hits, which is a pretty impressive stat given who they were going against and that’s something Garoppolo is likely aware of.

One of the points of emphasis Garoppolo mentioned was the fact he’ll have to do a good job of getting rid of the football quickly again on Sunday because he knows he’ll be in trouble if he doesn’t.

“It’s going to be important,” said Garoppolo. :You don’t want to hold it back there, especially against these guys. They’re talented, they get off the ball fast and everything, so the more you hold it, the more trouble we’ll be in. We just have to do a good job of playing our game.”

For now, it’s a new week, and with Sunday in the rear view, Garoppolo seems to be handling the mentality that comes with being a starter well.  With a tough division game coming up the elation of what happened Sunday night already seems to be out of his system, and now he’s looking forward to the next challenge he faces as he tries to help New England improve to 2-0 on the season.

“Sunday’s over with. We’re already into the Dolphins,” said Garoppolo. “We’ve been into the Dolphins for the last couple of days now, so it’s a new challenge and it’s a new week. That’s the season for you.”

Belichick Has Praise For Tannehill – After putting together a solid performance to knock the Patriots out of having a shot at the number one seed last season in the finale, the game seems to still be fresh in Bill Belichick’s mind as he talked about the Dolphins on Wednesday.  One player who did a good job in that game was quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who Belichick said, “killed us” in their 20-10 loss in Miami.

“Since he killed us last year? I mean that was pretty good,” Belichick said of Tannehill, who passed for 350-yards and two touchdowns in the win. “He’s a good quarterback. He’s smart, he handles the offense well, he certainly takes control of things at the line of scrimmage, as we’ve seen quarterbacks do in Coach Gase’s offense.”

“It obviously runs through the quarterbacks. It tracks adjustments, but he’s a good decision-maker, he’s athletic, throws the ball well. He can certainly make plays out of the pocket. The big drive that he had in the fourth quarter going – I don’t know – 85, 90 yards against Seattle on the road to take the lead. I mean I don’t know how he could’ve done any more than that in that critical situation. He’s a good player. He’s definitely a problem for us.”

Patriots Sign WR White to the practice squad – The Patriots added a new player to their practice squad on Wednesday, adding another receiver to the mix after signing former Alabama standout Andrew White.

White was originally signed as a rookie free agent with the San Francisco 49ers back in 2015 and played in four games last year, finishing with two catches for 18 yards and also returned kicks in both the punt and kickoff return units.

Expectations seemed to be high on White and it was thought that he could even be a starter in the slot for them this season.  But obviously things didn’t work out and the 49ers released him back on September 3rd, 2016.

Tuesday Daily Rundown 8/30: New England Patriots News and Notes

Ian Logue
August 30, 2016 at 7:31 am ET

Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories.

Knighton Out – The writing appeared to be on the wall for defensive lineman Terrance Knighton after a preseason that saw him not get any snaps last Friday night, and on Monday the Patriots parted ways with the veteran, ending his short tenure in New England.

The team released him Monday, which follows up on the concerns he had after the game where he seemed surprised about his lack of snaps against the Panthers.

“You’re always concerned when you’re not playing,” he said via ESPN. “I prepared myself to play, the coaches made the decisions on who they wanted to play, and I’m not going to ask any questions or make any excuses or look for any explanation. I’m just going to get dressed, get back on the plane and see what happens.”

Bill Belichick addressed the move on Monday, saying that it was just one of those things that happens during what’s been a competitive training camp.

“Just didn’t work out,” Belichick told the media. “He came in, worked hard, lost weight, got in good condition, tried to do the things we asked him to do. Just other people ahead of him.”

The early release of Knighton gives the former Washington standout an opportunity to start exploring opportunities elsewhere, which is something Belichick has historically done for veterans he respects.

Knighton tweeted a good bye after the news, “Well it’s been real New England.  The road continues.”

Stork Fails Physical, Nullifies Trade – After being acquired for a conditional draft pick by Washington last week, it looks like Bryan Stork won’t be landing with a new team after all.

According to published reports, Stork failed his physical for what would have been his new team, nullifying the trade that would have potentially yielded a conditional draft pick for the Patriots had Stork ended up in Washington.

The 25-year former Florida State lineman has had a rough run over his first two seasons in New England, suffering four reported concussions over that span after emerging as a starter up front on the offensive line.

He earned a lot of respect of the players around him, with a memorable article from January 2015 from Yahoo.com where he made Eric Edholm nervous after a seemingly harmless line of questioning was something Stork wasn’t interested in, setting up some uncomfortable moments.

But on the same day as that interview, Jimmy Garoppolo offered up some praise for Stork after he recalled meeting him in the Senior Bowl where they two played together.

“Well, we were in the Senior Bowl together,” Garoppolo said, “so I knew him before we were actually drafted here. But playing with him there, I realized … he’s a badass.”

“He’s a hard-nosed dude, and that’s what you want in your linemen,” said Garoppolo at the time about playing with him in New England.  “Just getting in there, doing his job. You can’t ask for a better lineman than that.”

As for what his future holds, Stork had been mulling retirement so it remains to be seen what direction his career may take.  He told the Tallahassee Democrat back in 2013 that when his playing days were over, he was hoping to buy a big piece of land out in the country somewhere, with a runway on it so he could fly planes and live in peace.

Thankfully after a relatively successful football career, hopefully he has the money to make that dream a reality should he decide his playing days are over.


Jackson is off to a rough start so far in 2016. (USA TODAY Images)

Jackson Heads to PUP – Guard Tre’ Jackson will start 2016 on the PUP list, which means he’ll miss at least the first six games of the regular season.

The second-year player out of Florida State started nine games while appearing in 13 during his rookie season and looked like he was poised to contend for a starting role in 2016.  But so far he hadn’t been a full participant in practice and had just been seen doing conditioning and getting in light workouts during training camp, which obviously means he’s not quite healthy enough to factor into the Patriots immediate plans.

Jackson, who has a history of knee problems, suffered a knee injury during the middle of the season against Miami and seemingly escaped serious injury after the Boston Herald reported that his MRI came back negative.  However after fighting through it, he ultimately missed both playoff games and underwent offseason knee surgery.

The move to PUP gives the Patriots an extra roster spot to start the year, as he won’t count against the official roster while he remains with that designation.

Cooper Returns – One quick bit of good news is that offensive guard Jonathan Cooper returned to practice on Monday for the first time since the beginning of camp.  Cooper has reportedly been dealing with a plantar fascia condition in his foot, which he aggravated early on after being carted off the field and it’s hampered him ever since.

He joined Shaq Mason on the practice field on Monday for the warm-up period before heading down to the lower field to do some conditioning.

Cooper was part of the compensation the Patriots received from the Arizona Cardinals, with the hope that having him coached up by Dante Scarnecchia might see him finally live up to his potential. The veteran offensive lineman is a former 1st round pick for the Arizona Cardinals (7th overall) in 2013.

Mingo Enjoying Transition in New England – After playing in a 3-4 defensive alignment in Cleveland, Barkevious Mingo is enjoying getting back to his roots now that he’s joined the Patriots.

After being acquired from the Browns last week for a fifth-round pick in 2017, Mingo has been hard at work getting immersed in the Patriots’ defense.  The Patriots play a 4-3 defense, which Mingo admitted is similar to the one he played at LSU.  But he’s also excited about the fact he’s reunited with former Browns teammate Jabaal Sheard, who he told Boston.com has helped make him comfortable since he’s been here.

“Jabaal was there my first year and he carried me along that long, long year,” Mingo said. “Being back with him is definitely a huge relief.”

It seems to have been a good experience so far, with Mingo admitting that he’s gotten plenty of help from everyone since he’s been here as he continues getting acclimated with his new teammates.

“It’s hard. These guys got couple of months on me,” Mingo said. “It’s a challenge but the guys here they’re really helping me come along, pointing me in the right direction and just getting me ready to play.”

Patriots Training Camp Primer – Offensive Line

Steve Balestrieri
July 18, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

Return of Scarnecchia and Health Two Biggest Issues

The Patriots head into training camp in just a few weeks and there should be no shortage of competition at a number of spots. As a lead-in to the beginning of camp, we’ll break down the positions and give our take on who is a lock, a near lock for the 53-man roster and who is on the bubble. Next up is the Offensive Line.

Bill Belichick likes to say that the spring’s OTAs and Minicamp is a learning exercise and that the real competition begins in training camp. While that is true to an extent, with 89 players on the current roster, a minimum of 36 of these will be cut. That doesn’t take into consideration the tweaking that goes on during the season after the initial 53-man roster is completed.

So next on deck are the big bodies on the Offensive Line. The team is banking heavily on the return of positional coach Dante Scarnecchia who was retired for two years. He’s a tough taskmaster who demands the most from his charges. The health of this group is a big question mark; injuries ravaged them and the protection of QB Tom Brady steadily got worse as the season progressed.

So who’s locked in and who’s on the bubble?


Dante Scarnecchia returns to be the Pats OL coach after he retired two years ago. (USA TODAY Images)

Roster Locks: Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason, David Andrews, Jonathan Cooper
Health is the key here, Solder was lost in Dallas Week 5 for the season with a torn bicep. Vollmer battled injuries throughout the campaign and has knee and back issues. But if both are healthy they’ll be your starting tackles. One would have thought that the tackle position would have been addressed in either free agency and the draft but it was not. We’ll see how that turns out later this year.

The Pats didn’t draft Thuney to sit on the pine, and with Mason, Jackson and Kline MIA this spring, he took the starting reps at left guard whenever Brady or Garoppolo was on the field. He even took a few at center. Mason finally appeared in the last spring workout and had 10 starts as a rookie. Coming from the running game of Georgia Tech, he’s an excellent drive blocker but as one would expect, had issues with his pass blocking.  Andrews, who started all the games early last season and played fairly well is undersized but tough. In a surprise move, he was getting the starting reps over Bryan Stork this spring…something to keep an eye on.

Cooper was a top draft pick for the Cardinals before injuries derailed his career there. With the aforementioned players out this spring, he got the starter’s reps at right guard. The Pats are hoping that Scarnecchia can rekindle his professional career.


Nate Solder returns after going on IR after Week 5 in 2015. (USA TODAY Images)

Near Roster Locks: Bryan Stork, Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle
Stork, who played so well as a rookie at center, missed the first six weeks of the season on IR-Designated to Return and struggled as he had health issues of his own last year. Stork even played at right tackle against the Giants as Cameron Fleming and Marcus Cannon struggled. It will be interesting to watch the competition between Stork and Andrews this summer. With Thuney providing added insurance, the pivot position should be in good shape.

Cannon, is the ultimate head scratcher for this team, but Bill Belichick and Scarnecchia love this kid.  He was ineffective last season when pressed into starting duty and was just abused in the AFC Championship Game in Denver. As the saying goes, we’ll see how it plays out on the field.

Waddle has the opportunity to seize the swing tackle position. He too was hurt against the Cowboys and his shoulder injury sidelined him. But the Patriots gave him a two-year contract this offseason and he also has the capability to be an extra blocking tight end in short yardage.

On the Bubble: Tre’ Jackson, Josh Kline, Cameron Fleming, Ted Karras
Jackson was a rookie draft pick (4th Rd, 111th overall), a year ago and had nine starts while appearing in 13 games. Prior to coming out in the 2015 NFL Draft, he had knee issues and he missed time with those during the season as well as missing both playoff games. If he’s healthy he’ll compete for the right guard spot, where he saw all of his action a year ago. But he missed all of the spring, so his status will bear watching once training camp begins.

Kline is a guy who the Patriots traditionally love, an undersized but tough player. He too missed all of the spring. With the additions of Thuney and Cooper along the interior of the line, he may find himself on the outside looking in.

Fleming flopped as a swing tackle a year ago, like Cannon was ineffective when pressed into service. But the last offseason, the Patriots fiddled with the idea of moving him to guard. He was training to do just that, cutting down on his weight a bit and improving his quickness. We saw the video of his workouts last spring and it seemed he was destined to move inside.

But the team drafted Mason and Jackson last spring and Fleming went back outside. The results were not good. Perhaps with a full offseason with Scarnecchia, Fleming can get his game back together. The swing tackle position will again go thru Cannon, Waddle and Fleming.

Karras is a tough kid that has a lot of upper body strength, completing 32 reps on the bench press at his Pro Day this spring. The 6th round draft pick has an NFL pedigree and is a good pass protector but isn’t very athletic and may find himself a practice squad candidate unless he can shine in limited opportunities.

Outside Looking in…. Longshots: Chris Barker, Keavon Milton
Both of these players have been let go in the past and face long odds of making the roster out of training camp.

Barker was originally claimed off of waivers from the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 season and appeared in four games. During the 2014 season, he split time between the practice squad and the active roster and appeared in two games. Last season he was signed to the active roster for the Week 10 game against the Giants before being released and signed back to the practice squad.

Milton was a UDFA in 2013 and was signed by the New Orleans Saints. He was among the final cuts of the Saints and was signed by the Browns and appeared in eight games with no starts that season. He then was released by the Browns at the end of training camp in 2014 and signed to Seattle’s practice squad. Released in September 2015 he was signed by the Patriots to their practice squad in November. The 6’4, 320-pound Milton was a blocking tight end at Louisiana-Monroe who made the transition to tackle

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriots Fourth And Two Podcast: Patriots Moves In Free Agency

Russ Goldman
March 24, 2016 at 6:03 am ET

In this episode, we discussed the many moves the Patriots have made since Free Agency opened for the 2016 season.

Chandler Jones Thanks Patriots, Fans Following Trade, Players React On Social Media.

Robert Alvarez
March 15, 2016 at 10:04 pm ET

The newest member of the Arizona Cardinals, defensive end Chandler Jones, took to his Instagram account to thank the Patriots organization and their fans following the news he was dealt to the desert for a second round draft pick and guard Jonathan Cooper.

Arizona, here I come. #birdgang #BeRedSeeRed #AzCardinals

A post shared by ♛Chandler Jones (@chanjones55) on

This emotional VIDEO of Jones later surfaced on Reddit of himself on an airplane to Phoenix as he took a few moments to reflect on the days events and again thanked his fans for the past four years.

Dont’a Hightower, Julian Edelman , Rob Ninkovich, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon all posted goodbye messages on their social media accounts.

https://twitter.com/zeus30hightower/status/709866707507146752

https://twitter.com/Edelman11/status/709865216025174020

I will miss my brother on the other side…his future is bright, watch out nfc west!!! Love ya @chan95jones

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

Gonna miss these two…its just business they say but we turn into brothers…continue to be great fellas (D-Mac)

A post shared by Jason+Devin McCourty (@mccourtytwins) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BC_Sl-0qwQb/

Patriots Trade Chandler Jones to AZ for Cooper, 2nd Rd Pick

Steve Balestrieri
at 3:29 pm ET

The Patriots free agency period is quiet no more. The Pats just completed a huge trade, moving former 1st round Draft Pick Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for G Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd Round Draft pick. This was first reported by ESPN’s Diana Russini and Adam Schefter.

The social media scene has been ripe with Jones talk since the 2015 season ended but picked up in intensity the past two days with the news of Chris Long visiting the Patriots yesterday. While no news of Long’s visit has borne reports of his imminent signing, one can connect the dots and see the possibilities unfold now.

Regardless, the trade is a win-win for both teams, Arizona is looking for a pass rusher now that Dwight Freeney is a free agent and the Patriots have questions with their offensive line and have lost their 1st round draft pick with Deflategate sanctions.

Jones, with 12.5 sacks in 2015 will certainly help the Cardinals in that regard although he struggled badly down the stretch with only a pair of sacks in the last seven games. He had two sacks in nine playoff contests, but with the huge contracts given to players at equal to or beneath his level of play this spring, the Patriots were not going to re-sign him after the 2016 season. Jones was scheduled to earn $7.79 million as part of the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

That is no longer in the cards and in getting an interior offensive lineman and an additional 2nd round draft pick, it is a no-brainer for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Regardless of the Long situation, the trade doesn’t leave the cupboard bare for New England with the team still boasting DE’s Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard (arguably their best DE in 2015), and last season’s draft picks Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers on the roster.

Cooper was a first round draft pick for the Cardinals in 2013. He should immediately contend for a starting role and is especially valuable with the news that last season’s draft pick Tre’ Jackson had off-season knee surgery.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.