Apparently the Patriots made the right move not bringing back LeGarrette Blount.

The Patriots’ second-leading rusher of 2013 was arrested Tuesday afternoon, along with fellow Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell, for possession of marijuana after Steelers practice.

Apparently the Patriots made the right move not bringing back LeGarrette Blount.

The Patriots leading rusher of 2013 was arrested Tuesday afternoon, along with fellow Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell, for possession of marijuana after Steelers practice.

According to the Ross Police Department, Pittsburgh’s top two tailbacks were in a car together and stopped by police. Detectives say a motorcycle officer smelled marijuana smoke coming from the car and pulled it over. Police found a container of approximately 20 grams of pot in the vehicle.

Both Bell and Blount are expected to be charged with possession of marijuana. Bell is also expected to be charged with driving under the influence. An unidentified female in the car is also expected to be charged with possession of marijuana. Authorities also say all three persons in the car admitted the marijuana belonged to all of them.

Blount signed with the Steelers this offseason after rushing for 772 yards and seven touchdowns on 153 carries last season in New England, a performance that earned him a two-year, $3.85 million dollar deal in the Steel City. Blount signed a one-year deal in May 2013 with the Patriots for $680,000.

As Bell, the Steelers took their lead feature back in the second round of the 2013 draft, and he won the starting job as a rookie, totaling 244 carries for 860 yards and eight touchdowns in ’13.

The case will go forward, and likely be resolved, before the NFL steps in and decides on possible discipline for Bell and Blount.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Kenbrell Thompkins

Kenbrell Thompkins

FOXBORO — For second-year wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, he could be riding high following his touchdown catch in last Friday’€™s second preseason game against the Eagles and then the high praise he received from Tom Brady following the game.

But, that isn’€™t the attitude Thompkins has — as he doesn’€™t look too much into things such as that.

“I see Tom everyday. It doesn’€™t make me feel any different — that’€™s my quarterback, we have other quarterbacks as well and we all learn,”€ Thompkins said. “We’€™re all teammates and we try and push each other to try and get better.”

The wide receiver position is one of the most competitive on the team as besides sure locks Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, there is Thompkins, Brandon LaFell, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Brian Tyms. Of that bunch, it is likely the team will carry five on their final 53-man roster, so the competition is heating up for the final two preseason games.

Thompkins may have an inside track to one of those spots as besides the confidence from Brady, he showed flashes in his rookie season when he caught 70 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns, including the thrilling game-winner against the Saints. Even with all that going for him, Thompkins is just worried about controlling the things he can control.

“I’€™m out there trying to do the best I can and doing the best for my team trying to be on top of things I need to be on top of,”€ said Thompkins.

With the third preseason game this Friday against Carolina, many say the third preseason game is a dress rehearsal for the regular season. For Thompkins, like how he views everything else, he is just treating it like any other game.

“€œI think we all come in each and everyday making sure we’€™re all on top of our game,” he said. “I can’€™t speak for anyone else, but I don’€™t think there is any pressure. It’€™s another football game, another week of practice and another week to get better.”

€Thompkins did admit he is looking forward to the regular season, but is still treating the rest of the preseason like he treats most other things — focusing on the task at hand and not looking too far into things.

“It’€™s pretty exciting,” Thompkins said. “In the preseason we have a lot of these games to see where we are right now and the regular season is approaching, but we’€™re trying to focus on Carolina now. When the regular season and Game 1 comes we’€™ll prepare for that week and let things take care of themselves.”€

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Tom Brady knows what everyone else does about preseason game No. 3 – it’s the real dress rehearsal for the regular season opener on Sept. 7 in South Florida.

Brady_Tom-Patriots-8-20-14

Tom Brady looks forward to preseason game No. 3 vs. Carolina, a dress rehearsal of sorts for him and the Patriots offense. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Tom Brady knows what everyone else does about preseason game No. 3 – it’s the real dress rehearsal for the regular season opener on Sept. 7 in South Florida.

And Brady will be going up against a very physical and aggressive Panthers team that is thinking along the same lines when the Patriots and Carolina square off Friday night at Gillette Stadium.

For that reason, Brady and his offensive mates have done a lot of game-planning off tape from their game last November in Charlotte and Carolina’s first two preseason games to be ready for what’s ahead Friday.

“We’€™ve done a bunch of that, and it’€™s a good game to really gauge where we’€™re at because we’€™re playing a really good team, a great defense ‘€“ one that we played last year and really struggled with at times,” Brady said, referencing the 24-20 loss to the Panthers on the controversial no-call involving Luke Kuechly and Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. “So, this will tell us where we’€™re at. We’€™ve got to go out there and execute really well in order to move the ball down the field. They’€™ve got some of the best linebackers, a very good secondary and one of the best pass rushes in the league. It’€™s a good challenge, and I think the guys are excited. This is big week that we’€™ve tried to make some improvements, and we’€™ll see if it pays off.”

As WEEI.com’s Chris Price has referenced before, this is the game where Brady usually sees up to 50 snaps over a full half of play, sometimes bleeding into the third quarter. Game conditioning is also a big factor to look for Friday as Brady runs his offense through various tempos, including traditional huddle, no-huddle, hurry-up, two-minute and red zone.

“Coach [Bill Belichick] always does a great job of trying to keep us in great condition, so we do a lot of running in practice, a lot of post-practice running,” Brady said Wednesday. “But you’€™ve got to get out there and play, get your mind working and get into the situations and concentrate for extended periods of time. And certainly we’€™re going to be asked to do four quarters of that in three weeks. We’€™ve got to go out and see where we’€™re at, and hopefully we’€™re in good enough condition to play a half. Hopefully, we can play a lot more than that, but it’€™ll be good to see where we’€™re at.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Aaron Dobson has been battling his own health. Now he can begin the battle for his job.

Dobson suffered a stress fracture during his rookie season of 2013 and never fully recovered, eventually having surgery on the foot in March and missing OTAs and minicamp.

Aaron Dobson speaks to reporters Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Aaron Dobson speaks to reporters Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Aaron Dobson has been battling his own health. Now he can begin the battle for his job.

Dobson suffered a stress fracture during his rookie season of 2013 and never fully recovered, eventually having surgery on the foot in March and missing OTAs and minicamp.

In the time he spent healing from his surgery and trying to get back up to full speed, the received watched as other downfield threats such as Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell passed him on the depth chart, taking valuable reps in practice and the first two preseason games.

Now, since returning this week to practice, he can begin the task of winning back a job that was his before his foot issues.

“Definitely, competition is always a good thing, just all of us being out there, pushing each other, holding each other accountable,” Dobson said. “Competition is good. It’s going to bring the best out of us.

“It’s feels good just to be out there, just practicing and running around a little bit, catching the ball. It just feels good to be back into it.”

When he stayed on the field last year, he was a legitimate downfield threat for Tom Brady, arguably his best. Dobson caught 37 passes for 519 yards, four touchdowns and a 14.0 yards per catch average. To get back to that point, Dobson knows he has to get back into game shape.

“It’s just going to take repetition, just me getting used to catching his balls, him getting used to throwing me the ball again so it’s just going to take repetition,” Dobson said of Brady. “That’s all it’s going to take.

“I’m feeling good. I’ve definitely got a little bit to go. I haven’t been out there in a while. Getting my wind back up is definitely a thing I need to do.”

If Dobson can get on the field Friday against the Panthers, that would be a good start.

“It’s a big part,” Dobson said. “Definitely practice is not the same as a game so I just feel like you have to get both, in practice and in a game, to [get] where you want to be.

“I feel like I’m doing well. How it was this week, I felt good. I caught the ball well so I feel like I’m doing well. I just have to keep progressing. I’m excited just to get back out there as soon as I can, just get back out there with my teammates and get back in the game plan.”

Dobson played through the pain after initially hurting his foot in Week 12 against the Broncos last season. He reinjured it in Week 17 against the Buffalo Bills and eventually returned in the AFC Championship Game before having surgery in March. That’s when the Patriots signed Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins was given new life in the offensive structure.

“Competition is competition,” Dobson repeated. “Competition brings the best out in you. You definitely don’t want it to be easy or anything handed to you. It’s all fun out there. We’re all teammates out there, trying to push each other.

“I feel like mentally I stayed in there. Like OTAs, all that beginning of training camp, when I wasn’t practicing, I stayed in there with mental reps, just doing everything I can to stay ahead of the game.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

FOXBORO — Cornerback Brandon Browner has kept a low profile since joining the Patriots last March — but when he has spoken out — he’€™s had nothing but praise for his new organization.

“It’€™s a professional locker room, professional atmosphere. You never know what you’€™re getting into until you get there, but I’€™ve been enjoying every second of it,”€ Browner said.

The 30-year-old played three seasons in Seattle — including winning last year’€™s Super Bowl — before signing a three-year, $16.8 million dollar contract this past offseason. Coming from the famous Legion of Boom secondary with the Seahawks, Browner is enjoying his time with his new teammates in the Patriots secondary.

“I’€™m having fun,”€ Browner said. “€œWe have a close-knit group with the safeties and corners. That’€™s a good thing to have — we all get along. There is a lot of talent back here. We’€™re just trying to build on practices a day at a time and get better than we were yesterday.”

Browner is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’€™s drug policy, so the team will need to find someone to fill in at corner. But, with how versatile a number of the players in the secondary are — as well as having good depth — it shouldn’€™t be an issue.

“A lot of versatility, we have great backups as well,”€ said Browner. “€œWe have a lot of depth here at the cornerback spot and our safeties have range — guys like Devin [McCourty], he has range over the top of us. We have good guys that can play man-to-man, but at the same time we’€™re far from we want to be. We want to be hitting on all cylinders closer to playoff time. We have to go out there and win Week 1, Week 2 –€“ we can’€™t look too far ahead. Just build on each practice, one practice at a time.”€

A major focus this season is obviously the new emphasis of illegal contact and defensive holding. McCourty talked at length on Tuesday about how important technique will be this season and Browner echoed him on Wednesday.

“That is the key to the game at the cornerback spot. They always say the game is a game of inches so you have to be technique-sound out there in order to make plays to not get beat and not get the penalties,”€ Browner said.

Browner, 6-foot-4, is known for being a physical cornerback, so there will undoubtedly be some adjustments to his game. He, like most other people in the game, are not huge fans of the increase in penalties, but knows he will need to adjust because at the end of the day a crucial penalty could play a major role at a critical point in the season.

“They said they would emphasize on the holding and the illegal contact down the field so it was something to prepare for,” Browner said. “Hopefully in the regular season they don’€™t call as many, but if they do we just have to take emphasis on getting our hands in the right place to reduce the penalties. Those things can cost you a big game somewhere in the season.”€

For now though, Browner and the rest of the secondary aren’t looking too far ahead as their main focus is facing off against the Panthers Friday night in the third preseason game of the year.

“We’€™re making good progress, but there is still a lot to go,” he said. “We’€™ll take it a practice at a time.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — It’s looking like Sebastian Vollmer won’t be in the lineup for the team’s most significant preseason game.