Tag Archives: Shaq Mason

Best Of Social Media: Sights And Sounds From The Patriots Championship Parade

Robert Alvarez
February 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm ET

On Tuesday the New England Patriots concluded their Super Bowl celebrations with a championship parade through the streets of Boston.

For the twelfth time since 2001, the 2018 New England Patriots became the latest Boston “Big Four” sports team to be honored with a duck boat rolling rally.

Check out all of the best social media postings from the Patriots, media, and fans below.

View this post on Instagram

Can I call you Gronky too??? @gronk

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://twitter.com/patspulpit/status/1092826800626024448
https://twitter.com/RobGronkowski/status/1092798039805304840
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6 #StillHere

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

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Still Dreaming

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btg2DDWhaFb/
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Boston. You are insane. #LFG

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

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How. Do. We. Feel.

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

https://twitter.com/zeus30hightower/status/1092864195253751809
https://www.instagram.com/p/BthXi69lXAX/
https://twitter.com/BumpNrunGilm0re/status/1092995398363422720
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bti6PwsHiaX/
https://twitter.com/Flyguy2stackz/status/1092847064642392064
https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1092827140435992579
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#mvp #flashthat #slimeseason

A post shared by Cordarrelle Patterson (@ceeflashpee) on

https://twitter.com/KVN_03/status/1092891124316942342
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtjTKiAF-da/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bti_OidA5gL/
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All the way live. #champs

A post shared by Jonathan Jones (@getitonjones31) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BthINUah0fc/
https://twitter.com/KVN_03/status/1092921193638907905
https://twitter.com/McCourtyTwins/status/1093155254416359426
https://www.instagram.com/p/BthQQUjhNCs/
https://twitter.com/NateEbner/status/1092848296744374273
https://twitter.com/sportingnews/status/1092825397807513601
https://twitter.com/ShaqDiesel_70/status/1092850811682648066
https://www.instagram.com/p/BthH1YHhATf/
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Rookie and the Vet

A post shared by Braxton Berrios (@hnynut_berrios) on

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World Champs!

A post shared by Adrian Clayborn (@ajaclay99) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtgqTmPBsMY/
https://twitter.com/NBCSPatriots/status/1092887724422516736
https://twitter.com/WillBrinson/status/1092827881934389248

The 2018 New England Patriots On Social Media

Robert Alvarez
August 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm ET

The following list is a reference point for the 2018 New England Patriots social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.

(NOTE: Most Snapchat account links only available within app and are not listed publicly)

Ryan Allen 

David Andrews

Ja’Whaun Bentley

Braxton Berrios

Brandon Bolden

Tom Brady

Kenny Britt

Rex Burkhead

Marcus Cannon

Patrick Chung

Adrian Clayborn

Duke Dawson

Phillip Dorsett

Eric Decker

Nate Ebner

Julian Edelman

Danny Etling

Trey Flowers

Marquis Flowers

Mike Gillislee

Stephon Gilmore

Rob Gronkowski –

Lawrence Guy

Duron Harmon

Dont’a Hightower

Jeremy Hill

Chris Hogan

Jacob Hollister

Brian Hoyer

Cyrus Jones

Jonathan Jones

Ted Karras

Harvey Langi

Brandon King

Devin Lucien

Shaq Mason

Jason and Devin McCourty

Sony Michel

Malcolm Mitchell

Cordarrelle Patterson

Derek Rivers

Elandon Roberts

Eric Rowe

Christian Sam

Danny Shelton

Joe Thuney

Vincent Valentine

Kyle Van Noy

LaAdrian Waddle

James White

Deatrich Wise

Isaiah Wynn

New England Patriots Training Camp Primer – Offensive Line

Steve Balestrieri
July 3, 2018 at 8:21 am ET

Health is the Biggest Question Mark

The Patriots head into training camp in just about three weeks now and as we’ve been saying, the competition this year at a number of positions will tell the tale on who goes and who remains. This has been a tumultuous offseason in many different ways. The Patriots lost a lot of key veteran players and all of the off-field hoopla surrounding Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been non-stop.

Soon that will all be behind us as the players get back on the field and we start talking about football again. In the next segment of our 2018 Patriots Training Camp primers is the Patriots Offensive Line.

The team lost left tackle Nate Solder this spring as he signed a big money contract with the Giants. He’s protected Tom Brady’s blind side for several years and done it well. Replacing a trusted veteran like Solder who was as good off the field for the team as well as on it.

So, with that in mind who are locked in and who’s on the bubble?

Roster Locks: Trent Brown, Isaiah Wynn, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon

The Patriots traded for Brown with the 49ers this spring, giving up a 3rd round draft pick in return. Although he’s played mostly right tackle in the NFL, he says he can play anywhere and the team may move him to left tackle.

Brown is a mammoth-sized human being. Listed at 6’8, 359 pounds, he’s every bit of that and possibly even bigger. But for a very large man, he has surprisingly good footwork. And he’s just 25 years old. Brown got some great kudos from Denver’s Von Miller who said this about the new Patriot:

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said of Brown. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move the way he moves.”

The team used a 1st round draft pick (#23 overall) on Wynn and although he played left tackle for the Bulldogs, he projects to be a left guard in the NFL. Wynn is short for a tackle, 6’2, 302 but both he and Brown were competing for the left tackle spot but during the spring, they lined up next to one another with Wynn at left guard.

Andrews, Mason, and Cannon have been starters and remain solid pieces who have performed very well. The only questions with the locks revolve around health. Brown and Wynn are coming off of shoulder surgery, while Cannon was placed on IR late last season.

If this unit is the starting five on Week 1 and we believe that they will be, the team should be in a very good position for the offensive line play to start the season. Cannon’s availability physically is the only question. Will he be ready to go? Or will he begin camp on the PUP?

Near Roster Locks: Joe Thuney, LaAdrian Waddle

Thuney missed the spring minicamp with an injury and his spot was taken by Wynn. It will be interesting to note if Thuney is healthy for training camp, he may a fight on his hands to get back his starting left guard spot from the talented rookie from Georgia.

There is a possibility that Thuney will start training camp on the PUP if he’s still not ready to go. Health is the only possibility we’d see with him not making the 53-man roster.

Waddle is a valuable swing tackle who they brought back during free agency despite his getting feelers from other teams. He can play either side and has performed well when called upon. And with the long season that the team faces, he’ll be called on again this year.

On the Bubble: Cole Croston, Jason King, James Ferentz, Andrew Jelks, Ted Karras, Matt Tobin, Luke Bowanko, Ulrick John

The Patriots have several players vying for one or possibly two spots along the OL. Our feeling here is that Croston nails down one of those slots. We penciled him in for first 53-man roster projection. He’s versatile and can fill in at guard or tackle if needed.

But his spot will have to be earned so, the competition factor again will come into play. The team brought back King this spring, so that speaks highly for him. Karras has made the team as a backup and can play guard or center.

What may open the door for one or two more of these players is if Thuney or Cannon or maybe both are placed on PUP to start training camp. But with the demanding and outstanding OL coach Dante Scarnecchia back in the fold for another year, one thing is for certain. He’ll get the very best out of this group.

While as a whole, they have to improve but in pass blocking and in the running game, Coach Scar made it clear back in the spring, “I really like the guys we have here right now,” he said during the OTAs.

So physical questions aside, the Patriots offensive line may be very different, at least on the left side this year but they also have the potential to be very good and better than the 2017 unit as well.

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.

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Celebrate Christmas

Robert Alvarez
December 26, 2017 at 8:11 pm ET

With a win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the New England Patriots earned a first round bye for the eighth consecutive season. However despite Week 17 still being a must win game to decide the first or second seed, the team put a pause on the regular season finale next week to celebrate the Christmas holiday with their friends and families on Monday.

Speaking with the media Tuesday, even head coach Bill Belichick answered a Christmas related question with a football twist,

Below are some of the best postings from social media shared by the 2017 Patriots, their wives and former Patriots.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdJMEwThNK8/?taken-by=tombrady

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdGcS9GFDoy/?hl=en&taken-by=gisele

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIi-meBj21/?hl=en&taken-by=edelman11

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIkxzBnum6/?hl=en&taken-by=gronk

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIWv0Xg0yp/?taken-by=dharm30

Merry Christmas!! #flex

A post shared by Dion Lewis (@d_lew33) on

Promise I'm otw with gifts but first Pizza…

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdGTRYAA2fU/?hl=en&taken-by=jhharrison92

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdJVXatBgrG/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdI6VUFjBdy/?hl=en&taken-by=nink50

New England Patriots Training Camp Primer Offensive Line

Steve Balestrieri
July 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm ET

Continuity and Preparing for 2018 are Keys

The Patriots head into training camp in less than two 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 position.

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. With a roster of 90 players and no cuts needed before the final 53-man roster cut down, there will be plenty of time for evaluation.

So we’re going to take a look at the Patriots Offensive Line. One of the keys to the 2016 success and part of the struggle down the stretch in 2015 had to do with continuity. The Patriots five starters played together nearly wire-to-wire last year and their performance showed. In 2015 injuries decimated the unit and the team couldn’t get any kind of cohesiveness going.

The good news is that five starters return as well as some of their top backups. But the team didn’t neglect their offensive line this offseason. With an eye to the future, they drafted two tackles in the 2017 NFL Draft, Tony Garcia, and Connor McDermott. Garcia in particular looks to have been drafted with 2018 and beyond in mind.

Although the team lost RT Sebastian Vollmer to retirement this spring, he missed the entire 2016 season with an injury and with the ascendance of Marcus Cannon, the team looks to be in good shape there.
So, with that in mind who is locked in and who’s on the bubble?

Roster Locks: Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Tony Garcia
The starting five returns, seem to be healthy and are locked on the roster this summer. Solder returned from IR in 2015 to play very solidly last year. He’s in the last year of his contract and with that in mind, the team has drafted two possible replacements.

Moving up and using multiple picks to draft Garcia, he’s obviously someone who Dante Scarnecchia feels can be a left tackle of the future. With Solder in place for at least 2017, there is no pressure on Garcia to produce early. This will be a red-shirt type of year for him to learn the system and develop under the tutelage of Coach Scar.

Cannon came out of the doghouse to play very well in 2016. Guards Mason and Thuney are young and physical and should only improve. Andrews is an undersized but smart center and he’s not going anywhere.

Unless there is an injury somewhere, I see no changes happening along the starting lineup for the Patriots offensive line in 2017.

Near Roster Locks: Cameron Fleming, Ted Karras
Last season both Fleming and Karras were the top backups for the tackles and the interior line last year. They both have the inside track for the top backup positions again as well. Karras has the versatility to play either guard or back-up the center David Andrews. He’s not the most athletic guy but he’s physical and tough.

Fleming was the swing tackle last year and will be trying to hold off the rookies Garcia and McDermott from taking that job away from him. He’s versatile and can fill in at either left or right tackle, something that is easier said than done.

On the Bubble: LaAdrian Waddle, Conor McDermott, Cole Croston, Andrew Jelks, Max Rich, Jamil Douglas, Chase Farris, Jason King, James Ferentz
The Patriots have plenty of depth at the backup positions and these players are likely to be fighting for reps in training camp and a most likely only one or two slots.

Waddle has been a backup tackle and a blocking tight end but with the depth, at that position, he’ll be pushed hard for a roster spot. McDermott is another intriguing prospect. He’s a guy that the Patriots used a pair of picks to get, albeit in the sixth round of the draft. Would he pass thru waivers if the team tries to stash him on the practice squad? That would seem to be his best bet to make the roster, at least this summer, unless the inevitable injuries occur.

With a lot of bodies in camp, this will be an intriguing group to watch. They’ll have the entire preseason to make a case for sticking, so staying healthy and on the field, will be of primary importance.

Our next primer will have the Patriots defensive line… stay tuned.

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.

Best of Social Media: Week 17 Patriots vs Dolphins

Robert Alvarez
January 5, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

Entering the final week of the 2017 regular season, the New England Patriots needed a win to secure the number one seed in the AFC Playoffs but needed to get past their prior struggles in Miami against the Dolphins, who had won three straight at home against them going back to 2013.

In the first half, it was the Patriots who came out dominating on both sides of the ball as tight end Martellus Bennett scored the first touchdown of the game.

https://twitter.com/giseleofficial/status/815621971954307072

After the Bennett score, wide receiver Michael Floyd found the end zone for the first time as a Patriot and the Patriots found themselves up 14-0 after one quarter of play.

I believe he's in sir look!!! #newseason

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

In the second quarter, kicker Stephen Gostkowski tacked on two field goals to bring the Patriots lead to 20-0 as the time of possession continued to be owned by New England much to the dismay of Ndamukong Suh.

With 28 seconds to go until halftime, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore found Jarvis Landry for a touchdown ending an impressive run by the Patriots defense. 20-7 Patriots at the half.

Getting the ball back to start the third quarter, the Dolphins clawed their way back into the game as Matt Moore found Kenny Stills for another six as it was all of a sudden a six point game.

https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/815647279839211520

It didn’t take long for the Patriots to answer, as wide receiver Julian Edelman recorded the longest touchdown pass of his career courtesy of one of the biggest blocks of the season by Michael Floyd.

https://twitter.com/Edelman11/status/816313169278861312

27-14 Patriots with 6:41 to go in the third quarter.

The Dolphins tried to respond again, but the Patriots defense had other plans inside the red zone.

Now inside the Dolphins 20 following the return, LeGarrette Blount made them pay with his 18th rushing touchdown of the season.

https://twitter.com/chatham58/status/815658414965686272

A two point conversation to Julian Edelman saw the Patriots put the game out of reach at 35-14 with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

At the games conclusion, Brady added another record to his resume.

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Great win boys!! #letsgooo #postseason #pats

A post shared by Chris Hogan (@chrishogan_15) on

https://twitter.com/Mac_BZ/status/815701729241079808

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOz2-gnjHvK/?taken-by=iii_flowers

Monday Daily Rundown 8/22: New England Patriots News and Notes

Ian Logue
August 22, 2016 at 5:00 am ET

Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s news:

Lewis Gets “Cleanup” on His Knee – According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Patriots running back Dion Lewis will have to have a follow-up procedure on his surgically repaired knee, which is going to impact his availability to begin the regular season as he’s expected to begin the year on PUP.

Lewis originally had the surgery in November following his injury, but according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels, the veteran suffered a setback in July prior to the beginning of training camp, which apparently upon further review lead to the decision.

The good news is, he could potentially be available at some point in 2016.  The bad news is, the challenge Jimmy Garoppolo faces over the first four weeks just got a little tougher since Lewis definitely won’t be out there with him to begin the season.

His injury will open up opportunities for players like James White and Tyler Gaffney, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Patriots also explore additional options in the coming weeks as they try and solidify a running back group that will be looking to improve off of a disappointing 2015.

Another Injury for Vollmer – Sebastian Vollmer has had a tough run and it looks like things aren’t getting any better for him to begin 2016.

According to Rapoport, Vollmer’s been dealing with a hip injury that has been the reason he’s been on PUP thus far and it’s not looking good for a return for the veteran right tackle.  Rapoport reports that Vollmer is likely to stay there throughout the season, leading to more uncertainty on the right side, which will likely put Marcus Cannon back in the spotlight again this season.  Cannon has looked better thus far and he has Dante Scarnecchia back to push him, and hopefully he’ll be able to play at a high level because it looks like he’ll probably see extended playing time this season.


Vollmer’s had a tough run the last couple of seasons. (USA TODAY Images)

Mason suffers injury – More bad news up front after a report from the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride that guard Shaq Mason broke his hand, which is another blow to the group that dealt with quite a few injuries in 2015.  Mason’s injury obviously isn’t as significant as Vollmer’s and the odds are good we’ll probably see him at some point, but given the timing of his injury it’s reasonable to think that he may miss time to begin the year with the start of the season just about three weeks away.

Patriots Waive Safety – The Patriots had a transaction on Sunday, with NESN’s Doug Kyed pointing out a tweet from safety Cedric Thompson’s agent, David Canter, that said he’s been released.

The move puts the Patriots roster at 88 with just over a week to go before the team will need to trim down to 75 players by August 30th.  The mandatory league cutdown date when the Patriots will need to be at the 53-man limit to begin 2016 is September 3rd.

Brady Missing From Practice – According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran, Tom Brady missed practice Sunday and is not expected to practice Monday, as the veteran quarterback is reportedly away with excused absences unrelated to his injury prior to the team’s exhibition game against the Bears where he missed the contest due to a freak injury to his thumb.

That was likely a tough one for Brady, who was expected to play in the game and now won’t get the opportunity to step back onto the field in front of the home crowd at Gillette Stadium until after his return from his four game suspension, which won’t be until October 16th against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Patriots Take in a Movie Sunday Night – Bill Belichick spent Sunday night doing a little team-building, with the team taking a trip to the movies as they get set to begin preparations to face the Panthers this week.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the team took in a screening of the movie “Deepwater Horizon” Sunday night, with coaches and players spending some time away from the gridiron in what has seemingly been a pretty productive preseason thus far.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft was spotted meeting Mark Wahlberg prior to the screening, who stars in the film along with Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylon O’Brien and Kate Hudson.

The film will hit theaters on September 30th.

Ninkovich Frustrated With Being Out – Rob Ninkovich had been a steady presence on the Patriots defense over the years, having not missed his last 102 straight regular season games, third best behind the Colts Kendall Langford (128) and the Packers Julius Peppers (128).

But he’ll miss the beginning of 2016 as he recovers from a torn triceps, and the veteran linebacker told CSNNE that it’s been hard being out, but all he can do is try to stay in shape and continue watching film as he works his way back.

“It’s really hard,” he told the website. “I haven’t had to deal with anything like this for a long time. Just trying to work as hard as I can, and just trying to work and do the only thing I know how to do. That’s try to work hard to get back.”

Ninkovich suffered the injury back on August 9th during a joint practice with the Saints but is expected to be back at some point during the 2016 season.

Garoppolo wired for success – The Chicago Tribune had a nice story on Jimmy Garoppolo, looking at the opportunity sitting in front of their local native as he gets set to take the reigns for the Patriots this season.

According to the newspaper, not only was Garoppolo excited for his chance when the news came down that Brady would be dropping his appeal and letting the NFLPA move forward without him, but so was Garoppolo’s family, who gathered with the quarterback for dinner that evening.  His brother, Tony Jr., revealed  said, “It was just smiles around the table” as they celebrated the news.

Garoppolo’s father, Tony Sr. is a union electrician who Tony Jr. said has “never worked a 40-hour week in his life,” with their father being someone who puts in a lot of overtime as he did what it took to take care of his family and that he deserves a lot of credit for the QB’s work ethic.

That hard work has clearly begun to pay off and his family now has plenty to be happy about given how Garoppolo played Thursday night. He finished 16-of-21 for 181 yards and a touchdown and looked very much in command of the offense for much of the night.

He’ll face a different test over the next two weeks as he’ll be on the road playing against a little more of a hostile crowd against both the Panthers this Friday night, followed by the Giants next Thursday, which should be interesting to see how he handles playing outside the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium.

The third game is considered to be the “dress-rehearsal” for the opener, with Garoppolo expected to be the guy who one would believe will start as he tries to build off that performance against the Panthers Friday night.  He’s grown a lot just in these past two weeks, so hopefully we’ll see this week show just how ready he is heading into week 1.

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 Bringing Scarnecchia Back, Great Short-term Move

Steve Balestrieri
February 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm ET

The Patriots have an opening on their coaching staff for an offensive line coach after coach Dave DeGuglielmo’s contract wasn’t renewed after the 2015 season.

DeGuglielmo replaced a legend in Dante Scarnecchia who retired after the 2013 season after a 32-year NFL career, 30 of which where he was a member of the New England Patriots. He spent his final 15 seasons as the Pats OL coach.

Now Mike Reiss from ESPN is reporting that the team is in contract talks with bringing the legend back into the fold at his old position. While fans are rejoicing at the news, perhaps it isn’t the best choice long-term for the team or Scarnecchia. But for the time being, this will work just fine thank you very much.

Granted, no one is a better OL coach for this team than Coach Scar, who filled his retirement time with helping the team scout future offensive linemen and was actively involved with the draft. He was the lead man on the Patriots drafting Bryan Stork and Tre’ Jackson from Florida State, Shaq Mason from Georgia Tech and David Andrews from Georgia.

He knows these players better than anyone, their strengths, weaknesses and how they can be best utilized. Plus, he’s always gotten the very best out of his linemen. One of the enduring images of Coach Scar is watching him run the wind sprints at the beginning of practice during training camp with his players. No one worked harder nor expected …and got more from his players.

So while the short term box is definitely checked, what does this mean long-term?

Scarnecchia who will turn 68 on Valentine’s Day, retired for a reason. He was obviously tired of the grind and at 66 two years ago, was ready to step back and enjoy his time with his family. He remained in contact with the team however and as we mentioned, did the scouting for the Patriots on several members of the current roster.

The only questions really would be, did the two years off recharge his batteries and his desire to return to coaching? Or is Scarnecchia just being a good soldier and is answering the call, running to the sound of the guns as an old war horse is apt to do.

The best case scenario would be to have Scarnecchia work with the team this season and then help them find a suitable long-term offensive line coach, someone familiar with their offense and the players to find what would work best for how they’re currently constructed.

Bill Belichick knows his value, at the time of his retirement, he said, “In an industry of constant change, Dante remained a fixture here for the simple reason that he helped every player reach his highest potential, regardless of who he was, how he was acquired, or how much raw talent he had. In whatever category a coach can be assessed … evaluator, teacher, motivator, problem-solver, disciplinarian, team player, winner … Dante is as good as it gets.”

So for 2016 at least if they can get a deal worked out, the Patriots will have one of the very best position coaches ever, back in the fold. And if they have issues this season on the offensive line, coaching won’t be the reason.

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Patriots Report Card at the Halfway Point of the Season

Steve Balestrieri
November 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET

The New England Patriots sitting at 8-0 and in great position as one of only two undefeated teams in the AFC and one of three in the league. So this is a good time to take stock of the performances so far in 2015 and give a grade and outlook moving forward by position.

Overall the Patriots and Bengals sit alone atop the AFC and if the season ended today would get a first round bye entering the playoffs. In the AFC East, much of the talk that the Patriots would be pushed hard for division by Miami, Buffalo and the Jets hasn’t materialized. The Patriots are a perfect 3-0 in the division having beaten every other team the first time thru the schedule

The Jets are 3+ games back at 5-3, Buffalo is 4-4 and Miami, which was thought to be a playoff contender sits in last place with a 3-5 record. Barring a disaster down the stretch, the Patriots are in great shape to repeat as division champions.

So here is the Report Card for the Patriots position by position starting with the Offense: