Judge Richard Berman issued an order late Tuesday afternoon that stated he “anticipates” the Court will issue a decision on Deflategate “by the end of the week.”

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

Judge Richard Berman issued an order late Tuesday afternoon that stated he “anticipates” the Court will issue a decision on Deflategate “by the end of the week.”

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

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Texans president Bob McNair weighed in on Deflategate Tuesday, saying the reason that the entire affair escalated was because the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, “were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, th

Texans owner Bob McNair had some thoughts on Deflategate Tuesday. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Texans owner Bob McNair had some thoughts on Deflategate Tuesday. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Texans president Bob McNair weighed in on Deflategate Tuesday, saying the reason that the entire affair escalated was because the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, “were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, they didn’t.”

McNair, speaking with Houston’s Mike Meltser, said that if it was Texans defensive lineman JJ Watt in a similar situation, Watt would have been “cooperative” with the investigation.

“If it was JJ Watt I think he would have been cooperative, and it wouldn’t be a question,” McNair said. “I don’t think JJ would destroy his cell phone.”

He added: “Is there anything conclusive there? No, you don’t have any conclusive evidence, but the whole idea is we want to make sure we have a competitive playing field that’s level for everybody. We don’t want people breaking the rules.”

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

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Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick‘s poker face was in midseason form Tuesday as the Patriots held a full pads practice outside Gillette Stadium.

“Ready for September? It’€™s here. Whatever you’€™ve got, go ahead,” Belichick said in opening his press conference.

What the media had was persistent questions about Tom Brady, and whether there might be a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the team. Belichick was asked if he’s concerned that he doesn’t have a starting quarterback and how much confidence he has in Jimmy Garoppolo.

“We’€™re going out to practice today with all the players who will be out there, and that’€™s who we’€™ll work with,” Belichick said, just hours before the 4 p.m. ET cutdown deadline to 75 players.

Is it difficult for Belichick not to know who will be your starter in Week 1?

“Right now, we’€™re practicing with all the players that are out there,” Belichick said. “We have good depth at that position. We have good depth at a lot of positions. Not everybody is out there. The players who aren’€™t out there won’€™t practice, obviously.”

With the uncertainty at quarterback, how does that affect how Belichick practices and prepares?

“We do what we think is best for the team at every position. That’€™s what we’€™ll keep doing,” he quipped.

If he could offer any advice to [Judge Richard Berman] down in New York, what would it be?

“I really am just focused on trying to get our team ready to go. That’€™s my job,” Belichick answered.

Will it be nice to have the Brady issue resolved?

“Right now, we’€™re just focused on going out to practice and working on things we’€™re doing today,” Belichick said.

Tom Brady has played 43 snaps in 12 drives over three preseason games. His only touchdown pass came on an 18-yard strike to Scott Chandler on his 12th and last drive last Friday against Carolina. How does Belichick evaluate the Tom-led offense based on his supporting cast?

“I don’€™t think we really worry too much about who is or who isn’€™t out there,” Belichick said. “It’€™s each individual player doing better at what they’€™re doing, and coach ‘€“ that’€™s all of us. We all need to do a better job in all areas ‘€“ offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff, the players. There’€™s a lot of room for improvement from all of us individually, so if that happens, then collectively there will be improvement, too.”

In non-Brady news, Belichick did note that James Develin is back in Foxboro after weekend surgery to repair a broken tibia in his lower right leg.

“I saw him [Monday], and he’€™s doing well,” Belichick said. “I think he’€™s got a good attitude. I was happy to see him. It’€™s good to see him back here.”

More from Belichick on Tuesday:

Q: Last week you said your goal was to prepare every player to be ready to play on opening day. You said that at some point that will change, but you’€™re not there yet. Has that point arrived yet?

BB: Well, we’€™ve still got a long way to go on that. We don’€™t even have a 53-man roster. We’€™re definitely working on Pittsburgh, but there are a lot of loose ends. I’€™d say there are a lot of loose ends.

Q: What are your thoughts on the summer Dion Lewis has had here?

BB: Good. Dion had a good spring, he had a good offseason program, did a nice job in OTAs. He’€™s learned really all of our offense, all three downs, plus some stuff in the kicking game. Yeah, he’€™s done a good job. He’€™s picked things up well. He’€™s been healthy for the most part other than one week there in training camp. But he’€™s been out, he’€™s gotten a lot of work in and that’€™s been good for a guy who missed the season last year. He’€™s done a good job. I like him.

Q: When you decide whether or not to keep a player, do you look at their injury history or is it a fresh start?

BB: That’€™s a tough one. I think in the end, you’€™ve just got to, as I said before, take all the information, put it in a composite and do what you think is best. We have guys who were hurt in college that haven’€™t been hurt in the NFL. We’€™ve got guys who were never hurt in college that have been hurt in the NFL. So, I think if it’€™s a chronic injury, that’€™s one thing. If it’€™s an injury, those heal, and then they come back and they play. Usually it’€™s not the same thing, but some guys have more issues than others. I don’€™t know. That’€™s a tough one. It’€™s a case-by-case thing where I don’€™t know if there is any right formula to it.

Q: Dominique Easley has battled back since suffering two knee injuries in college. How hard has he worked, and what kind of example has he set for the younger guys on the team?

BB: I mean, look, almost everybody who has played this game has had to deal with something somewhere along the line. He’€™s done a good job and he’€™s played well this training camp. That’€™s been good, but I think if you go to pretty much every guy in the locker room, everybody has had something somewhere along the line. Unfortunately, that’€™s part of high competitive athletics. Everybody is pushing themselves to the limits and sometimes there’€™s a setback.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Julian Edelman has been sidelined since early in camp with an ankle issue. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman has never played in a preseason finale in his six years in the NFL. Expect that total to hit seven this week. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Even for hardcore football fans, the final preseason game can be a bit of a slog. But when it comes to finding hints as to who might be on the bubble and who might have already secured a roster spot, there are a few things to look for, including whether or not a player simply gets into the game.

In the last six years, the only players who were held out of the fourth preseason game and did not survive the final cut were quarterback Andrew Walter (2009), safety Brandon McGowan (who ended up going on season-ending IR), offensive lineman Nick Kaczur (2010), offensive lineman Matt Kopa (2012) and defensive end Justin Francis (2013). Last summer, quarterback Ryan Mallett, offensive lineman Chris Martin and defensive lineman Joe Vellano all took DNPs in the preseason finale, and none were on the 53-man roster for the opener. (For the record, Martin and Vellano ended up on the practice squad, while Mallett was dealt to the Texans on Aug. 31.)

Bottom line? If you’re a veteran who doesn’t play in the preseason finale, chances are pretty good that you’ve made the final 53-man roster.

Of course, if you’re a veteran who finds himself playing deep into the final preseason game, it can be an indication that you’re not long for Foxboro. Adrian Wilson, John Lynch and Tim Tebow are all recent examples of a veteran playing healthy snaps late in the preseason finale, only to be cut days later.

There are always exceptions to the rule — last year, veteran Brandon Browner was on the field in the fourth preseason game, but that was more of an instance of a newcomer needing as many snaps as possible as quickly as possible. (Browner was facing a four-game ban to start the regular season, and so the idea of getting him as many reps as possible as quickly as possible went into the thought process in that instance.) That could be the case this time around, as veteran receiver Reggie Wayne might be interested in getting as many game reps as possible before the start of the regular season.

But more often than not, it’s a chance for veterans to take the night off. Don’t expect to see the likes of Julian Edelman, who has skipped every preseason finale since he entered the league in 2009. (It’€™s the longest such streak on the roster. Even quarterback Tom Brady played in the fourth preseason games in 2010 and 2011.)

Of course, a solid performance by a youngster over the course of the summer, capped off by a nice showing in the preseason finale, can be enough to keep you around. Last summer, Malcolm Butler got the start in the fourth preseason game, and while it wasn’t the only thing that allowed him to win a job on the roster, another good showing certainly didn’t hurt his chances.

Ultimately, when it comes to the back end of the roster, the race to land a spot on the final 53 is always going on.

“I think we still have a lot of decisions to make,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday, just over two days removed from the 2015 preseason finale against the Giants. “There are a lot of decisions that we still need to make. What will affect those decisions, I don’t know — a practice, a game, other circumstances that right now maybe aren’t even in play. Maybe something will happen over the next few days that right now we’re not taking into consideration, but we will have to.

“And again, 53-man spots are one thing, practice squad spots are another thing. You’€™re talking about going from 75 to 53 plus eight; maybe there is an injured player in there somewhere? It’s really not that many … It’s not as big as it seems, I’ll put it that way.”

In the end, whether or not a player makes it through to the final 53-man roster will depend on more than whether or not they’ll suit up for one preseason game. But history tells us that when it comes to players who might be on the bubble, their status on Thursday will provide a big sizable hint as to what their future in Foxboro might hold.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

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FOXBORO — The mood inside the Patriots locker room before Tuesday’s practice was all business.

FOXBORO — The mood inside the Patriots locker room before Tuesday’s practice was all business.

Every player reiterated the essence of the motto “Ignore The Noise.” There would be no distraction based on the uncertainty of a pending decision from Richard Berman on the four-game suspension of Tom Brady.

No where was this focus more on display than from the man who will step in and fill Brady’s shoes, if for whatever reason, Brady is not ready for primetime Sept. 10 against the Steelers.

“We’re going about our business as usual,” Garoppolo said in his usual laid back style. “[We’€™re] just getting ready for the next game against the Giants, taking it day by day, and just going about our business.”

Garoppolo has taken 158 snaps in three preseason games, in addition to lots of first team reps, as was the case on Monday, when Brady was in New York City attending yet another settlement hearing in front of Judge Berman.

“It was good. Whenever you get the chance to get the added reps, or whatever it may be with the first team, it’€™s always a positive,” Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo was asked if he was ready to start the opener against the Steelers if needed. His answer redirected the focus to the here-and-now.

“We’ll approach that when we get there,” he said. “We’ve got a little ways to go still, so next Thursday we’ll figure it out.

“Going back to OTAs, everything, you’ve got to come into this, whether you’€™re a starter, backup, you’ve got to have the starter mentality. You never know when your number is going to get called.”

Garopppolo insisted Tuesday that he feels he’s had enough time with the first team, not just in game situations but in practice as well.

“Coach [Belichick] does a great job of mixing guys in ‘€“ first, second, third or whatever it may be ‘€“ so you play with a bunch of guys,” Garoppolo said. “You get used to all the different guys, their style and what not, and you’ve just got to make the best of it really.”

Here are more takeaways from Garoppolo on Tuesday:

Q: Have you been preparing for these [preseason] games like you would a regular season game?

JG: Every game we go into, we want to compete the best that we can, play to the best of our ability. We don’t want to overlook any one game. We go in with the same mindset that we always do.

Q: How long does it take to get the other guys’€™ styles and tendencies down?

JG: It’s a different circumstance for each guy. Every receiver is different, every back, getting used to the line, it’€™s all just different, so I guess it just depends on the guy really.

Q: How important was it for you to bounce back from a rough start early during Friday’s game?

JG: You just have to have mental toughness, really. It’s never going to be a perfect game. We all want it to be but, that’€™s football for you. As a quarterback you’ve got to stay levelheaded ‘€“ you can’t get too high, can’t get too low ‘€“ and just go about the business.

Q: Is that something that only comes with more reps?

JG: Yeah, that’€™s just part of the position, I guess. The mental toughness is something that we try to have a lot of here. It’s very important and we take pride in it.

Q: How have you dealt with the uncertainty of your role throughout the spring and summer?

JG: [I’m] just going about my business as always. Whether I’m the starter, backup, whatever it may be, I’m preparing like the starter and I’ve got to be ready for Week 1.

Q: How much preparation work have you done for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

JG: We don’t want to overlook the Giants. It’s the last preseason game, but we still want to go out there and compete to the best of our ability and have a good game Thursday.

Q: Is there a mix of preparation between the two upcoming opponents, or do you not turn ahead until this week is finished?

JG: When the coaches tell me, we’ll turn it.

Q: And they haven’t told you yet?

JG: No.

Q: Why is it such a big deal to keep your focus on the Giants?

JG: It’s kind of just a mentality thing. We’re all competitors at the end of the day. You don’t want to go out there and just not compete. That’s probably the biggest part of it.

Q: How tough can it be to ignore the noise?

JG: We’re here so long every day. I honestly don’t really get a chance to watch any TV or anything, so that definitely helps. I don’t know; it’€™s kind of just a mentality thing. You’ve just got to go about your business as you always do. You can’t control it anyways, so why worry about it?

Q: Is all the attention you’ve received thus far going to help you going forward?

JG: Yeah, no question. All this stuff ‘€“ I think I said it last week ‘€“ it comes with the job, so you’ve got to get used to it and have fun with it, really.

Q: Is the job fun?

JG: Oh yeah, playing quarterback in the NFL ‘€“ how could it not be?

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — With a decision pending any moment from federal judge Richard Berman, Tom Brady returned to full pads practice for the Patr

FOXBORO — With a decision pending any moment from federal judge Richard Berman, Tom Brady returned to full pads practice for the Patriots Tuesday on a steamy afternoon on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium.

Quarterbacks Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Lindley were all in attendance as the Patriots continued their preparations for the New York Giants this Thursday night in the preseason finale at Gillette Stadium.

Among those missing from practice Tuesday were offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Marcus Cannon and Chris Barker. Fullback James Develin was also missing and is headed for the injured reserve list, which would end his season unless he were designated for return.

Receiver Brandon LaFell (PUP), defensive back Darryl Roberts, defensive lineman Chris Jones and linebacker Dane Fletcher were also absent Tuesday, as the team held practice hours before the 4 p.m. ET deadline to cut the roster down to 75 players. In all, eight players on the current 79-man roster were not spotted on Tuesday.

The Patriots made five moves on Monday that brought it down to 79.

Players, coaches and team staff will stick around for the annual Patriots team gala inside Gillette Stadium that will raise money for the Patriots Charity Foundation.

DraftKings Kick off this football season with the biggest fantasy football contest ever on DraftKings! Prizes worth $10 million are up for grabs, including $2 million for first AND $1 million for second! PLAY IN THE WEEK 1 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia