Tag Archives: Russell Wilson

Best Of Social Media: Julian Edelman and The McCourty Twins Attend 2019 Grammy Awards

Robert Alvarez
February 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm ET

Winning a Super Bowl has a variety of special perks.

During Sunday nights 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and safety Devin McCourty were selected as the presenters to announce the winner for the
 “Best Pop Duo or Group Performance” category.

Lady Gaga won the Grammy Award for her song “Shallow”, sung by Gaga in the film “A Star Is Born” with actor Bradley Cooper.

McCourty and Edelman’s appearance garnered a few boo’s from the Los Angeles crowd, but Devin made light of the situation joking, “LA, thank you for your cheers. Also, thank you for your boos. I appreciate you supporting your community.” 

After the show, Edelman shared photographs of himself with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, actor Mark Wahlberg, musician Rob Thomas, and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

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Danger Russ. #CliveDavisPreGrammyParty

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Not crazy, just a little unwell.

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Tony toe taps. #Grammys

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The McCourty twins shared a backstage photo with former First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.

Podcast: Patriots Loss Against The Seahawks And Niners Preview

Russ Goldman
November 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm ET

In this episode, we looked back at the loss to the Seahawks for the Patriots, and later on previewed the upcoming game against the Niners.

Podcast: Do The Patriots Have A Scheme Problem And Not a Talent Issue on Defense?

Russ Goldman
November 17, 2016 at 7:35 am ET

In this episode we talked again to Lee Schecther who is a writer for PatsFans.com and Bleacher Report. Lee was on to discuss his very interesting article entitled “The Patriots Have a “Scheme” Problem, Not a Talent Issue on Defense.” Co-hosting this episode was Steve Balestrieri.

During this episode, Lee and Steve shared their views on what went wrong on Sunday for the Patriots defense, which included a discussion on the defensive breakdowns and blown coverages during this game. I invite you to listen to our view on what went wrong on Sunday defensively for the Pats.

Patriots Stopped Short, Seahawks Take Away SNF Win

Steve Balestrieri
November 14, 2016 at 7:01 am ET

In a meeting between two of the best teams in the NFL, this one went right down to the wire. But unlike their last meeting in the Super Bowl two years ago, it was the Seahawks who turned away the Patriots on the one-yard line in a 31-24 win on SNF.

The Patriots made too many mistakes including a couple of turnovers and nearly had a third, which hurt them on a night where Russell Wilson was filleting their defense. The Patriots entered the game with the second-ranked scoring defense in the league. It looked like anything but, on a night where they couldn’t slow down Seattle’s offense.

But after a big catch by Rob Gronkowski down to the 2-yard line with about a minute to go, the Patriots had four shots to put together the tying score and send this one to overtime. This is where Seattle’s defense put together an impressive stand and Tom Brady’s pass to Rob Gronkowski on a fade in the back corner of the end zone fell incomplete. There was plenty of contact as the two physical players collided just inside the end zone. But both players tumbled to the ground as Brady’s pass fell harmlessly away.

This was a bit of sweet revenge for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks who had that happen to them at the end of Super Bowl XLIX when Malcolm Butler picked off Wilson to ice away a 4th quarter comeback by the Patriots.

Some quick observations from the game are here:

The Patriots started quickly on offense. After taking the opening kickoff, Brady drove them nicely down the field, mixing in the run and pass followed by LeGarrette Blount powering it in from a yard out to make it 7-0.

From there the sledding got much tougher for the offense and Seattle intercepted Brady for the first time in 2016 and held him without a touchdown pass. His pick seemed like either a bad decision to uncork one deep for Malcolm Mitchell or a misfire as the ball was well underthrown and was easily intercepted.

But the defense seemed incapable of putting together any kind of stops and despite tightening up in the red zone the Seahawks scored on three of their first four possessions to take a 12-7 lead.

The offense which sputtered after the opening touchdown, then put together another nice drive where Blount, who had three scores on the night, notched his second with one of the most impressive one-yard runs that you’ll see. He was stopped just short of the goal line but kept pushing to his right before finally powering in for a 14-12 Patriots lead with just over a minute to go in the half.

Russell Wilson had all three timeouts and time to get down the field to try to put Seattle back on top at the half. It was time for more Super Bowl déjà vu’ for this game. Just like in that one where Wilson sliced and diced the Patriots in a too easy scoring drive, he did it again.

He found a willing accomplice in Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The Patriots retreated to deep zone coverages and rushed three and at times only two. Wilson had plenty of time to extend plays which resulted in blown coverages and wide open receivers. The final play found Doug Baldwin ridiculously wide open for a touchdown just prior to the half and the Seahawks went into intermission with a 19-14 lead.

Of course, Patricia could see that Wilson was picking on everyone not named Malcolm Butler. He took turns on Justin Coleman who gave up a 36-yard pass play to Tyler Lockett on Seattle’s first drive and whistled for a penalty on third down (how many times have we heard this year?) that extended a drive from inside the Seattle 30-yard line and again led to a score.

Eric Rowe was inactive tonight after getting picked on a bit the past two games. Coleman didn’t do much to turn the heads of the coaches in a positive way. To add insult to injury he was then flagged for a clipping call which wiped out a nice 21-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones in the third quarter.

Logan Ryan fared little better. Whenever Wilson needed a completion, he looked to either Coleman or Ryan’s way and invariably someone was open, and far too often on this night, they were far too open. It was an awful night for the Patriots secondary.

Seattle got the opening kickoff of the second half and initially things were looking up. The defense held Seattle to a three-and-out and Dont’a Hightower nearly picked off Wilson on third down. From there Brady led the Patriots on a 10-play, 91-yard drive (thanks to the Coleman clip), to put the Patriots up 21-19.

Blount scored his third touchdown of the night on a beautifully set up sweep to the left. The blocking was set up nicely by tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett with nice lead blocking by James Develin. Blount got to the edge and was able to race along the sideline for a 13-yard touchdown. Blount’s touchdown was his 12th of the season which is tops in the NFL.

There was a scary moment on the drive when Kam Chancellor came free on a blitz. Marcus Cannon, who played a strong game at right tackle, lost his footing. Chancellor came hard at Brady and he too lost his footing and dove low attempting to sack Brady before he could throw. He hit him low around the knees which he was flagged for. Brady appeared in discomfort and was clearly in pain but could continue. There didn’t seem to be any intent to play dirty there, just one of those unfortunate turns of events.

The Patriots new found optimism was short-lived however, Wilson quickly sliced and diced his way to a field goal and a 22-21 lead. The coverage by the secondary was continuing to be suspect at best.

After a promising Patriots drive stalled at the 14-yard line and resulted in a field goal to put NE back up 24-22, the Seahawks would take the lead for good.

Wilson easily moved them down the field for another score.The key play was a 38-yard wheel route by rookie RB C.J. Prosise who burned fellow rookie LB Elandon Roberts. He got easily past Roberts and catching the nicely thrown ball was tackled at the Patriots two.

Roberts was going to be under the microscope after the Jamie Collins trade this week and he didn’t have the type of game to allay the fears the fan base had at trading away their most talented defensive player. Despite a big stop on the goal line, he wasn’t particularly effective in the running game and his struggles in coverage, which were already documented, became apparent on that big play by Prosise.

There the defense stuffed Prosise on a run and the play closely held up after a challenge. After a false start penalty on Jimmy Graham, the defense got a stop on third down where Stephen Hauschka booted a chip shot field goal to make it 25-24.

The Pats were in great position, starting at the Seattle 48. Cyrus Jones had a nice return on the kickoff before being stripped of the ball, luckily for the Patriots Nate Ebner was alert and on the spot and scooped up the ball. Once again, the optimism was short-lived however as Julian Edelman was stripped of the ball by Chancellor after a reception from Brady. Richard Sherman recovered and the Seahawks were in business.

Wilson moved easily down the short field and Baldwin toasted Ryan for a too easy 15-yard touchdown, his third of the game to make it 31-24. Carroll decided to go for two and put the game away. That attempt failed and the Patriots had a final shot to tie things up.

Brady made a couple of brilliant throws to put them in position. Facing a third and 5, he hit Edelman for a 30-yard gain and then the pass to Gronkowski, an over the shoulder throw for 34 yards put the Pats in prime position to tie things up. Blount attempted to dive over the pile but a fantastic play by Chancellor stopped him just short. Chancellor burst around the edge and got a hold of Blount’s legs, just slowing him enough.

The Patriots got too cute with another QB sneak by Brady that failed and he nearly fumbled it away. They should have stuck with Blount at that point. But credit Seattle’s defense for turning it up when they had to. The Super Bowl ending in reverse.

Edelman and Bennett had nice games for the Patriots, with seven catches for 99 yards and seven for 102 respectively. Brady finished 23 of 32 for 316 yards with no TDs and an interception. Blount carried 21 times for 69 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense easily had their worst game of the year. Wilson sliced and diced his way thru them to the tune of 25 of 37 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Expect the Jamie Collins questions to Belichick to resume after this week’s performance. For a team that a week ago was supposed well ahead in their prep for Seattle according to Bill Belichick, they certainly didn’t look like it defensively.

Now they travel to the West Coast for a 4:25 tilt against the 49ers. This will mark Brady’s first game in his career playing in his hometown.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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 – Seahawks Key Matchups, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?

Steve Balestrieri
November 11, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

The New England Patriots return home to take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. This will be a rematch of sorts of the 2014 Super Bowl. The game has big implications for both teams in their individual conferences and although it is only Week 10, those are already coming into play.

The game will be televised by NBC and can be seen locally on WHDH Channel 7 in Boston. Al Michaels will handle play-by-play duties with Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst. Michele Tafoya will work the sidelines. The game will also be aired on the Patriots flagship radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, produced by Marc Cappello.

The Patriots (7-1) came off their bye week in good shape leading the AFC with the best record and allowing the second least average amount of points in the NFL. Tom Brady is as sharp as a razor right now and Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett used the bye week to get healthy. Dion Lewis can be activated at any time now and will be another big boost to the offense.

The Seahawks (5-2-1) beat the Buffalo Bills 31-25 on Monday Night Football. Russell Wilson had a fantastic first half leading four touchdown drives and the defense made a key stop at crunch time in the final moments of the game to seal it away.

We here at PatsFans.com are continuing our “Razor’s Edge” column in 2016 to give some quick analysis on some of the key matchups of the game and what you can look for in how the game plays out.

Series History:
The Patriots and Seahawks meet for the 18th time on Sunday. The Patriots have a slim 9-8 advantage all-time against Seattle although the Seahawks hold the edge (5-4) in games played in New England.

The last time these two teams met was arguably one of the best Super Bowls ever played. Tom Brady led the Patriots back from a 10-point, 4th quarter deficit to take a 28-24 lead with just a couple of minutes to go. Russell Wilson then took the Hawks to the Patriots one-yard line with under a minute to go. But Malcolm Butler intercepted Wilson’s pass in the end zone to seal away the victory.

Here is a look at some of the key matchups and who holds the Razor’s Edge.

First up is the Patriots offense:

Patriots Defense Is Changing, But Not Against Wilson

Steve Balestrieri
November 10, 2016 at 6:26 am ET

Now that the election hysteria has subsided for the moment, it is time to get back to football. Just about a week ago, the Patriots traded linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns and now the unit will be forced to undergo some changes. But if you’re like many fans and expecting them to be more aggressive on defense, those changes aren’t coming, at least not this week.

The most immediate focus on Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is how they play on replacing Collins in the defense and number two is, how to breathe some life in what has been a moribund pass rush.

First, what’s the plan on replacing Collins? As we’ve now been already aware, the Patriots had planned on making Collins a part-time player and already against Buffalo, they replaced him on early downs by rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts. Roberts is a smaller player at 6’0, and 235 pounds but doesn’t play that way. He’s a downhill, physical player with a great burst.

“He’s a missile, man,” Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower said earlier in an interview. “He’s a torpedo. He’s a hammer.”

While he’s definitely a force against the run as his play against All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas in the Cleveland game will attest, he’s not as comfortable in his coverage role. The Patriots know that they’ll have to live with his learning that aspect of his craft on the job. But for third downs or obvious passing downs, there will be some tinkering to do.

The obvious choice would be to use Barkevious Mingo, who, not possessing the strength or the size of Collins, is at least as close as one can get in the athletic department. Recent addition Kyle Van Noy and Shea McClellin, as well as Rob Ninkovich, may get some looks there.

Hightower remains the key member of the unit, he can do it all. The Pats signal caller on defense is a big, physical run-stuffer inside and can bring great pressure on the A-gap blitzes up the middle. They can also shift him to the outside and force plays out on the edge where he had some experience as an outside edge rusher while at Alabama. Expect them to tinker with different combinations to find the right mix.

Which brings us to the pass rush, if you are expecting them to get more aggressive this week, think again. Although Russell Wilson has been banged up and still doesn’t have the normal burst and quickness that we’ve seen out of him in the past, he’s quickly getting there. Watching the Buffalo game showed that he’s almost got his mobility back.

And if there’s one thing that Bill Belichick will preach this week, it will be containment. This has been the Patriots M.O. when facing mobile quarterbacks, they’re willing to sacrifice pass rush pressure to keep the quarterback in the pocket. That is especially important to a team that likes to play man-to-man coverage like the Patriots do.

With defensive backs trying to stay plastered to a wide receiver down the field, if a quarterback escapes the pocket and begins to run, their job then becomes much more difficult. Invariably once a QB breaks containment or a would-be sack, someone becomes wide open down the field.

The problem becomes one of time. How long can you expect the secondary to hold their coverage before someone breaks open? And with a QB like Wilson, he’s much better suited for hitting plays from the pocket than a player like the Pats faced two weeks ago in Tyrod Taylor.

With the Seattle running game mired in neutral this season and averaging just about 81 yards per game, those problems running center around the health of Wilson who has averaged much more yardage rushing in the past. The Patriots may opt to keep a spy on Wilson and get after him a bit more, but history has shown that they’ll try to contain him on the edge and slowly force the pocket closed.

With Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and tight end Jimmy Graham, Wilson has plenty of options to stretch the field and if he begins to make plays with his feet, they can easily break off a big play down the field. He hit Baldwin on a 50-yarder on Monday night against the Bills.

The Patriots don’t want to see that; their focus is on denying the big plays down the field and they have been very good at preventing those. They’ve only allowed one 40+ yard pass play this season.

So on Sunday night, expect to see much of what we’ve seen before when facing QBs like Wilson. They’ll be in the containment mode and try to squeeze the pocket. If there is some pressure, look for it up the middle in trying to force Wilson into getting rid of the ball quickly. As always, that can be a dangerous proposition against the mobile Seattle QB.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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 2016 Opponents, 5 First Impressions of Seattle

Steve Balestrieri
November 8, 2016 at 7:43 am ET

Seahawks Need Wilson and Graham to Be Healthy

The Patriots return home this week for a primetime matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. This week’s game rekindles the 2014 Super Bowl rivals as they enter the second half of the season. It also could be a preview of a possible February matchup between two of the more talented NFL teams.

The Patriots (7-1), are just getting off their bye week. It came smack in the middle of the season and finds the Patriots on a four-game winning streak and in good shape health wise. The have a three-game lead in the division over Miami, four games on the Bills in the loss column and five on the Jets.

The Seahawks (5-2-1) defeated the Bills on Monday Night Football 31-25. The biggest issue with Seattle has been inconsistency and much of that has to do with their health. Seattle has been banged up physically on both sides of the ball. The defense hasn’t been as stout and the offense has struggled to run the ball.

Here are our Five First Impressions of the Seahawks:

No Beast Mode in the Running Game: The Seahawks running game has been mired in neutral for much of this season. Seattle is averaging only 82.1 yards per game entering their MNF game with Buffalo, and added just 33 yards on 12 attempts.

Christine Michael was ineffective against the Bills and had just one yard on five carries. He was replaced in the third quarter by rookie running back C.J. Prosise. The big, (6’1, 220-pound) rookie may see some extended looks this week as they search for a spark in the running game. But the two backs combined for just 10 yards on eight carries. They’ll need more from these two moving forward.

They miss RB Thomas Rawls who has been injured and isn’t expected back until November 20. Of course, the most dangerous runner may end up being the elusive and talented Wilson. When he’s healthy he can make plays with his feet and pressure the defense.

Wilson and Graham are a Potent Duo: The Seahawks got a healthy Jimmy Graham back this season and he’s heating up. Monday night against the Bills, Graham caught 8 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. That is his third 100-yard game of the season, which is two more than he had in 2014 and 2015 combined. Both of his scores were of the incredible variety, one-handed grabs (17 and 18 yards), in the end zone. He’ll provide a very tough matchup for the Patriots defense.

Wilson is probably healthier than he’s been all season and on Monday night, it showed. Coach Pete Carroll stated earlier that with Wilson rounding back into the form that they’d allow Wilson to open things up more offensively.

He was the key in the 28-point first half, running for a three-yard score, his first of the year and completing 14 of 17 passes for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Graham. His passer rating for the first half was a near perfect 158.0. He finished with good numbers, 20-26 for 282 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 137. The Patriots are aware of how difficult he is to defend when he’s able to move around and break containment. That will be a primary focus this week.

Seattle’s Defensive Dominance Continues: Granted the Seahawks defense is a bit banged up right now with the absence of Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor, but this unit has been the gold standard for the past several years.

Since 2012, Seattle is head and shoulders above everyone else in the most important defensive metric….points allowed. The Hawks defense has allowed just 15.6 points per game and is far ahead of their closest competitor, the Patriots at 19.8. The NFL average is 22.9 points per game.

They’re fantastic at generating turnovers and since 2012 are second in the league with a +51 in the turnover ratio department. The Patriots are the top team with a +56 margin. The next closest team? The Cardinals at +27.

Seattle has been the top team the past several years in pass yards allowed and have the second highest QB pressure percentage. And they do so without having to blitz much. The Seahawks blitz on just 25 percent of opponents drop backs, but when they do, they’re very effective. Seattle gets pressure on 38.7 percent of their blitzes, tops in the NFL.

Seattle Getting Healthier for Second Half Push: The Seahawks have been a banged-up unit this season. We mentioned above how Wilson is just starting to round into form after suffering from a couple of different injuries. But he isn’t the only one who is getting healthy.

Chancellor, the Seahawks starting safety and emotional fireplug has missed four games with a groin injury but is expected back this week against the Pats. There’s no doubt that they missed his veteran presence as well as his physicality in the secondary.

Rawls is expected back in the Hawks November 20 game against the Eagles and Bennett and tight end Luke Wilson are expected to return to practice this week. Their availability for the Pats is still up in the air, however.

Tyler Lockett who got hurt in the Rams game back in Week 2, seems fully healthy for the first time since. He was a big factor against Buffalo, notching a 13-yard end around, a 43-yard kickoff, a 22-yard punt return, and a 17-yard reception.

Sherman Front and Center for Two Critical Plays: Not surprisingly, whenever the Seahawks play, CB Richard Sherman always plays a critical role for the Seahawks. He has against the Patriots in the past and no doubt will again this week. Last night at home against the Bills, he was involved in two plays that drew the ire of many people during the action.

During the Bills’ final play on offense, Sherman flattened Bills receiver Walt Powell in the end zone. Deadspin tweeted a picture of it out and ask “Wonder why this guy wasn’t open?” But looking at the play again on the tape, once QB Tyrod Taylor scrambles out of the pocket, that play was legal, so long as the ball wasn’t in the air. Sherman did the smart move and didn’t allow the receiver to get open.

He took a page out of Tom Brady’s book and quickly tweeted to Deadspin to “check the rule book.” And he was right.

He was also in the center of a bizarre sequence at the end of the first half. The Bills lined up for a field goal. Sherman, attempting to block it, rushed offside. He dove at the ball and took out Bills kicker Dan Carpenter as he skidded down on the field.

In retrospect, he should have been flagged twice, for the offside and the roughing the kicker penalty which would have set the Bills up for a very makeable kick at the end of the half. The officials compounded the problem with a serious screw up of not resetting the game clock after a spike which cost Buffalo five yards. Rex Ryan was justifiably furious after the game. One thing is for certain, Seattle is always the home of some crazy plays either at the end of halves or the game.

Sherman defended his actions after the game, stating, “I went straight for the ball. I didn’t go for the kicker. I slid for the ball,” Sherman said. “He should not have kicked it. Maybe he wanted to. I went for the ball. That’s where I went. So, if the ball gets tipped on the play, the rule is if it’s tipped there’s no flag.”

Check back with us later in the week as we’ll break down the key matchups for the game right here on PatsFans.com.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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.

New England Patriots News 8-30, Brady and Chandler Energize Offense

Steve Balestrieri
August 30, 2015 at 6:53 am ET

Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news notes and what’s happening around the division:

A slightly abbreviated column this Sunday as we’re still in the midst of moving here and surrounded by boxes with a lot of work to still get done before heading back to the Patriots practices this week. So there’s no AFC East notes this week, we’ll get back to that next Sunday.

Brady and Chandler recapture Chemistry from early Workouts: During the first two preseason games, Tom Brady didn’t have Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell , Aaron Dobson or Scott Chandler to work with and the results were about what you’d expect.

Things didn’t start so well on Friday night in Carolina with Brady tossing two picks in the first half. But once the Patriots went to their two minute drill at the end of the first half, we saw the Brady we’ve been accustomed to for so many years.

With Chandler playing in his first preseason game for New England, he and Brady got the drive going and then capped it off with a beauty of a throw and catch in the far left corner of the end zone with under a minute to go.

During the spring and early days of training camp, Brady was developing a nice chemistry with Chandler and the big tight end should be a really nice target with Gronk in the red zone for the Pats this season.

Develin Will be Missed in the offense: If one were to look at the stat sheets it would be easy to discount the loss of James Develin, the Patriots fullback who broke his leg on Friday evening in Carolina. It also would be untrue.

Develin is a very talented player who fits in perfectly in the Patriots offense. He’s very versatile and can do a bit of everything from being a lead blocker in a traditional fullback role,(see Jonas Gray’s touchdown run against Green Bay), line up as an H-back or even slide out and catch the odd pass as a tight end.

Develin didn’t rack up eye-popping stats of his own but his presence on the field definitely helped other players to do just that.

Concussion Cure in the water? Who Knew?: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson took a lot of flak this week when he spoke about the healing properties of Recovery Water. He stated that after taking a big hit from Clay Matthews in the NFC Championship Game in January that the product helped prevent a concussion.

While such comments are to be taken with a consideration that the athlete is being compensated for his endorsement, it should be noted that this goes beyond that. Wilson also spoke about a teammate’s knee injury was cured by Recovery Water’s curative effects. A few Patriots with consistent injury woes should become heavy investors.

Tom Brady a few years ago also endorsed a product, NeuroSafe, that was purported to reduce concussions. It has since gone belly up.

Dion Lewis Looks to be a near lock for the roster: When he signed with New England, not much interest was generated by the signing of running back Dion Lewis in his quest to work his way into the Shane Vereen role.

One of our close friends and sources from inside the building in Foxboro stated back in the spring that the Pats coaches were enamored with Lewis’ speed and athleticism. At the time I kind of pooh-poohed that statement. During the early days of training camp, I saw little to change my impression. But in the past two weeks, that perspective has changed.

Lewis has been electrifying on the field during the past two preseason games and although he only played in 10 snaps on Friday night in Carolina, the diminutive 5’8 Lewis impressed once again both running and receiving, catching a touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Look for Lewis and James White to some work this week against the New York Giants and for both to be on the roster once the regular season starts.

“So Bill, how did the defense look on Friday night?” Thanks for asking: In one of the more bizarre and hilarious episodes in the Marshawn Lynch vs the NFL in terms of speaking to the media, his latest was the best yet.

After being fined for not speaking with the media again, Lynch took a different track than his previous one word answers when he responded with kindness to every question by responding, “Thanks for asking.”  While it would be easy to point fingers at Lynch for being uncooperative, he’s been this way for years and it is not an act.

But one has to only imagine the raised eyebrows there’d be in Foxboro if Bill Belichick ever decided to answer his questions in that way.

“Hey Bill, do you plan on giving Jimmy Garoppolo more 1st team snaps this week?” Bill, would answer, “Oh thanks for asking about our quarterback situation.”


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.