Devin McCourty joined the show to talk about Aaron Rodgers being the best quarterback they've prepared for, and what he appreciates most about working alongside Darrelle Revis.

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[0:00:59] ... have talked about a lot the challenge of facing a quarterback. Like Aaron Rodgers. What goes into try to get ready for a guy like Rogers who unlike some other quarterbacks in the league. In Picchu ...
[0:01:48] ... dinar completely get through with these quarterbacks so dead. So looking get Aaron Rodgers is this the best quarterback in your estimation that you will have faced all year. Theories try to reform. What. And I would have to play get settled so. Boutros there's just another term challenges and they're so. Our soldiers got to be careful or angle modern and they're. I right so now you said that you know who else you face the mean we can't discount we can't discount. He faced Tom Brady practiced true. Diego where my world forum there are with you isn't the question honestly I really give you object if your ...
[0:03:57] ... that's great little birdie unit. Devin according joining us as you know Aaron Rodgers daddies and throw a lot of ex and his team as well as you guys just don't turn the ball over all ...






Bill Belichick and the Patriots will have their hands full Sunday in Green Bay against the Packers. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick and the Patriots will have their hands full Sunday in Green Bay against the Packers. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It is no secret the Packers are dominant at home this season.

They are a perfect 5-0 on the year and in their last four games they have have routed opponents 66-0 in the first quarter and an improbable 128-9 in the first half.

Coach Bill Belichick was asked what makes it so difficult to win on the road in the NFL, and Belichick responded with a quote from friend, and fellow legendary coach Bobby Knight.

“I think I’€™d go back to Coach [Bobby] Knight’€™s comment of, ‘€˜Winning favors the team that makes the fewest mistakes.’€™ I’€™d start with that,” said Belichick. “I’€™d rather play well and make fewer mistakes and play anywhere than not play well and make a lot of mistakes, put it wherever you want to put it — at home, neutral field. I’€™ll go with Coach Knight on that one.”

The differences between playing at home and on the road are pretty obvious, but playing at the historic Lambeau Field, they will be major factors come Sunday afternoon.

“All the obvious things — schedule, field conditions, crowd noise on offense and when you handle the ball — punt team, field goal team, all those things,” Belichick said. “Those crowd noise situations are just in reverse when you play at home –€“ field conditions and weather, schedule, routine — whatever. It’€™s always a little bit easier when you’€™re familiar with what the norm is. You’€™re into a routine, the home routine. Going on the road, it’€™s always a little bit different. Every team has the same number of home and away games in this league, so it all evens out.”

The Patriots are 3-2 on the road this season and 7-7 the past two seasons, including the postseason, but are coming off an impressive 22-point win in their last road game — two Sunday’s ago against the Colts on Sunday Night Football.

With the Packers getting off to fast starts this season, Belichick was asked if that might change his thought process of always deferring to the second half if they win the opening coin toss, to take the ball and try and get off to a quick start themselves. Belichick didn’t seem like he would be changing his thinking.

“I mean look, they’€™re going to get the ball, we’€™re going to get it. I don’€™t think that’€™s as important as what you do with it when they have or we have it or when it’€™s being kicked,” Belichick said. “It’€™s going to be the execution more than ‘€“ if we have the wind, they’€™re going to have it in the second quarter or vice-versa, whatever it is. I’€™m really more focused on what our execution level is and being able to put ourselves, from a coaching standpoint, strategically in a decent position so that we can be competitive and not be in some bad, bad play that that would just totally get out-schemed on. Hopefully we can do that ‘€“ give the players a chance to play and play well.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots released tight end Xavier Grimble and long snapper Charley Hughlett from the practice squad Friday. Both players were signed to the practice squad on Wednesday. Here’s a portion of the release issued by the team on the moves:

Grimble, 22, was originally signed by the New York Giants as a rookie free agent out of USC on May 15, 2014. The 6-foot-4, 261-pounder, was released by the Giants on Aug. 26 and signed to the San Francisco practice squad on Sept. 15. He was released from the 49ers practice squad on Nov. 18. In three seasons as USC, Grimble played in 38 games with 22 starts and caught 69 passes for 731 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Hughlett, 23, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Dallas Cowboys out of Central Florida on April 30, 2012. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder was released by Dallas on Aug. 27, 2012. He was re-signed by Dallas on Jan. 7, 2013 and released for a second time on May 29, 2013. He was signed by New England on March 19, 2014. After being released by New England in May, Hughlett was signed by Jacksonville on June 19, 2014, before being released on Aug. 25, 2014. Following his release from the New England practice squad, Hughlett spent one week on the Cleveland practice squad.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots held practice outside in the cold on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium Friday in advance of Sunday’s game in Green Bay against the Packers. Practice was in full pads.

Sealver Siliga

Sealver Siliga

FOXBORO — The Patriots held practice outside in the cold on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium Friday in advance of Sunday’s game in Green Bay against the Packers. Practice was in full pads.

The only player missing at the session was linebacker Chris White, who was added to the injury report on Thursday with an ankle injury, and was limited. Defensive end Chandler Jones (hip) practiced for a third straight day.

Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was present at the start of practice, and with it being a full-padded practice and not a walkthrough, his 21-day window to be activated to the active roster has started. He was on short-term injured reserve designated for return after suffering a foot injury Week 3 against the Raiders.

The Patriots have one open roster spot on the 53-man roster with Don Jones’ release earlier in the day. That spot could go to Siliga, but this was the first full-padded practice he’s been spotted at since suffering the injury. The team has two spots open on its practice squad and one on the active roster.

Long-snapper Danny Aiken (concussion) was present and Charley Hughlett was released from the practice squad earlier in the day, so it seems likely Aiken will be ready to go on Sunday.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones didn’t practice at all since his Week 7 hip injury against the Jets, until this week when Jones has practiced both Wednesday and Thursday, on a limited basis.

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones didn’t practice at all since his Week 7 hip injury against the Jets, until this week when Jones has practiced both Wednesday and Thursday, on a limited basis.

Coach Bill Belichick didn’t give any insight on his recovery process or a timetable for a return, just that it’s a day-by-day thing.

“We just take it day-by-day-by-day-by-day,” Belichick said. “I know you guys don’€™t want to hear that, but that’€™s what it is. I’€™m not going to sit here and make something up. Each day we go out there and the player does what he can do and we evaluate it.”

Added Belichick: “There’€™s no leapfrog where you jump like four or five steps in the process. Each day, what the medical department says, he goes out there and does a little bit more than he did the day before and feels good and there’€™s no setbacks then we bump it up to the next level. If he doesn’€™t, then we stay the same or maybe back it down for a day and try again. … That’€™s just normal rehab for every player. I mean, the rehab is different but the process is really the same.”

In seven games this season Jones has 4.5 sacks. There have been varying reports on the just how long Jones will be out. When he was first injured, the Boston Globe reported he would be out about a month, but the Boston Herald later added there was concern he would miss the entire rest of the season.

While it’s highly unlikely Jones plays this week, or even next week in San Diego, him practicing is a very encouraging sign for him to make a return at some point this regular-season.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Special teams player Don Jones was offocially released by the Patriots on Friday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Special teams player Don Jones was officially released by the Patriots on Friday. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — In a surprising move, the Patriots released core special teams player Don Jones officially on Friday. They did not make a corresponding move.

Jones has played in nine of the 11 games so far this season and has seven special teams tackles on the year. Bill Belichick agreed Jones has made contributions, but in typical Belichick fashion he said the move was, “what was best for the football team.”

“We did what we felt like was best for the football team,” said Belichick. “I don’t disagree with anything you said, I think he has that production, but in the end we are going to do what is best for the team.”

Belichick confirmed if Jones does clear waivers he has practice squad eligibility and there is a chance he could return to New England, but there are other factors that come into play as well.

“He’s practice squad eligible, he is one of the exceptions,” he said. “That would be a possibility and there are other players that are in consideration based on our team and what other players are available. We’ve made a couple of practice squad transactions, we’ve made them over the course of the year, so again we’ll try and manage it the best that we can. I would say there is a lot of things that go into that — part of it is what we have, part of it is guys who are available, part of it is what players are available. It’s all part of it. It will probably going to be constantly in some type of transition throughout the course of the year like it usually is.”

With an open spot on the 53-man roster, a position to keep an eye on long-snapper. Danny Aiken suffered a concussion in last Sunday’s game against the Lions and the team added long-snapper Charley Hughlett to the practice squad on Wednesday. If Aiken cannot go Sunday, it is very likely Hughlett would be added to the roster, with Jones now creating an open spot. They do not have a backup long-snapper on the active roster as Rob Ninkovich would serve as the emergency player.

The coach spoke of the value each player on the roster has and that can change from week-to-week, which sometimes creates a revolving door with the 52nd and 53rd players on the roster.

“I just told you what the decision is based on, it’s what it’s based on,” said Belichick. “Every player has value. Some players have more than others. We have to decide which have the most value for the team at that particular point in time or that point in the season. That’s what we’ll do. The player definitely has value. There’s a lot of players on our team that do have value, they cannot all be on the team. We have to pick the ones that we think have the most value for the team at that point in time and it changes over the course of the year just like it does for other teams.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr

Welcome to the Week 13 starts and sits! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, and I really hope that none of you started Tony Romo. It’s money time for a lot of us, and I have some suggestions below as I always do. Full Week 13 lineup rankings have been posted at Rotobahn. So, if you want my take on players not listed here, check them out.

Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon every Sunday.

If you want to keep track of all my fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh content.

QUARTERBACK

Start

Eli Manning, Giants at Jaguars

This is not a hard call. The Giants may be out of it, but they still are trying to get their new offense perfected, and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. has breathed some life into things. I expect starting-caliber numbers from Manning in Week 13.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Jets

I still have some trust issues with Tannehill, but he has a lot going for him in this game. The Jets defense may not be awful, but you clearly throw to beat them. That will help Tannehill, as will his improved cast of receivers, led by rookie Jarvis Landry, who has given him the go-to option he’s lacked since taking over the job back in 2012. The Jets also will be susceptible to deep threat Mike Wallace, as they have issues on the back end. I see fantasy success for Tannehill on Monday night.

Zach Mettenberger, Titans at Texans

He’s not an option to consider for most of you. Having said that, if you need help in a deep format, Mettenberger has proven worthy of consideration. He’s an interesting case in that his college skill talent was better than his NFL skill talent. The rookie played at LSU and his outside weapons were Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. He also had Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue in his backfield. Not bad, right? The plus in this is that Mettenberger has a natural inclination to trust his receivers, and that’s probably rooted in playing with Beckham and Landry — who both make ridiculous catches with stunning regularity. The point of my long-winded explanation is that Mettenberger has a weapon in Justin Hunter, and the key to unlocking him is trust, because he’s a receiver who is never really covered due to his size advantage and leaping ability. This is a quarterback-receiver relationship that could go either way over the long haul, but if things click, they could click in a major way. This is a connection to watch over the rest of 2014, and Mettenberger is a player to consider in 14-team leagues.

Sit

Brian Hoyer, Browns at Bills

Be careful with Hoyer this week. He’s a viable option in 12-team leagues, but Buffalo is a tough place to play right now, and the Bills are going to be fired up after recent events. Hoyer is not likely to have a big game and would be a must-bench without the return of Josh Gordon. Hoyer’s schedule improves significantly going forward, but this is a week to use another option if you can.

RUNNING BACK

Start

Jeremy Hill, Bengals at Buccaneers

We have a bit of a LSU theme going today, and Hill fits right into it. He’s looked very good since Gio Bernard went down, and he has established himself as a force with Bernard active, as we saw last week. Both of these backs have lead-back ability, but this is going to be a time share. It’s also going to be one of the most talented backfields in the NFL. Hill is a solid RB2 play in all leagues this week at Tampa.

Tre Mason, Rams vs. Raiders

I wonder if the Rams learned their lesson last week? In Week 11, the Rams rode Mason to an unexpected win over the Broncos. Last week, they used the rookie as the lead back again, but they went away from the run with the game on the line and the offense on the doorstep. The result was a game-ending interception. A handoff to Mason probably wins the game and certainly would have preserved the chance for a game-tying field goal. The conspiracy theorist inside me wondered if the Rams’ 2015 draft position had anything to do with the call. Of course, with OC Brian Schottenheimer (ex-Jets OC) calling the plays, it might have been perceived as the best chance to win. This is a B-movie I have watched many times before. My gut says that they go back to Mason in a big way this week. Keep him active as an RB2.

Dan Herron, Colts vs. Washington

Last week I told you to stash “Boom” Herron because he’s a good back and because we had doubts about just how much the Colts would use Trent Richardson in the wake of Ahmad Bradshaw‘s season-ending injury. Well, Herron is at worst in a time share, and he potentially is the lead back if he continues to play well. In PPR formats Herron is worth playing right now, and he’s viable in 12-team standard leagues, too. I see him catching five-plus passes this week against Washington.

Sit

Jonas Gray, Patriots at Packers

As much as I would like to say that last week’s benching was just a one-week thing, the acquisition of LeGarrette Blount says that Gray is at best a role player going forward. Keep him on benches for now.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start

Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers vs. Bengals

Some folks are a bit down on him, but I think you should stick with Jackson this week for a few reasons. First, he is healthier than he’s been all year. Second, teams are starting to clamp down on rookie Mike Evans and that will make Jackson that much more dangerous. He’s easily a WR3 in small leagues this week against the Bengals.

DeSean Jackson, Washington at Colts

It’s been a while since he did anything positive, and I am sure there are some folks who are thinking about benching Jackson. I’d re-think that. Jackson had some of his better games when Robert Griffin wasn’t at the helm, and with Colt McCoy starting this week, I like Jackson’s chances of stepping up and posting good numbers — perhaps even WR1 numbers. He’s a good start in all formats.

Martavis Bryant, Steelers vs. Saints

Bryant is a fringe starter in smaller formats, but he should be locked in if you play in a 12-team league. This is because of Bryant’s upside and red zone prowess. Ben Roethlisberger looks for him when they get close to the end zone, and that’s a good time to be a target. Keep the impressive rookie active.

Sit

Eric Decker, Jets vs. Dolphins

You might consider him in large formats, but the Jets offense is scary unpredictable right now, and with Geno Smith back at the helm, a meltdown certainly is possible. Keeping Decker’s near lost season away from your big game is sound strategy.

TIGHT END

Start

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings vs. Panthers

He got things going last week and was involved as a receiver. I expect the trend to continue this week, and Rudolph is a nice option in all leagues if you need a tight end. If he takes the next step in Week 13, he could be back to lock-starter status by Week 14.

Tim Wright, Patriots at Packers

This is a very interesting player for fantasy purposes in that Wright’s pattern as a Patriot is to be very good or completely nonexistent. The thing is, he’s been trending toward the prior as of late. In fact, since he posted a fantasy bagel in Week 4, he’s had five good games to only two disappearing acts. To me, this makes Wright a pretty good fantasy option in 12-team leagues and above this week. The Patriots will need every scrap of offense they can find, and they will be using the A-team in the red zone. I think Wright is on that team at this point, so use him if you have a need. I am also very interested to see how much Wright’s role grows going forward. Along with Blount, he is one of the players who could take them over the top offensively because of his ability to create mismatches.

Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Broncos

Starter Anthony Fasano is nursing a sore knee that could keep him out of action this week. Even if Fasano plays, he could be on a snap count. This makes Kelce more appealing than normal and a viable fantasy play in all formats, especially 12-team leagues and above.

Sit

Jordan Reed, Washington at Colts

I simply do not trust him to finish the game right now. I like Reed’s talent a lot, but between the concussions and the hamstring woes, I am avoiding him at this crucial stage of the season.

Blog Author: 
Peter Davidson

The Patriots have waived safety Don Jones, according to the NFL transaction wire.  He was a key contributor to special teams this season and there is no word of a corresponding move. It is unknown why Jones was waived.

The second-year player has been active for nine of the 11 games this season. The move was first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates.