Patriots Insider Tom E Curran previews Pats-Packers
Michael Irvin discusses the coaching of Bill Belichick, Rodgers vs. Brady and the Thanksgiving games.

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[0:08:52] ... a question you're seeing great quarterbacks to play with a great quarterback. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Peripheral who has the edge in second while trying to stop well. Ordered its market stop letter to the dark tunnel. Old ...





It didn’t take long for Don Jones to find a new home.

After the Patriots released Jones on Friday morning, he was claimed by the Dolphins off waivers this afternoon, according to the NFL transaction wire. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates.

It didn’t take long for Don Jones to find a new home.

After the Patriots released Jones on Friday morning, he was claimed by the Dolphins off waivers this afternoon, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Jones played in nine of the 11 games so far this season and recorded seven special teams tackles. Coach Bill Belichick said there was a “possibility” he could return to the Patriots practice squad, but that cannot happen now that he was claimed by Miami.

“That would be a possibility and there are other players that are in consideration based on our team and what other players are available,” Belichick said Friday. “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.”

Jones returns to the Dolphins, the team that drafted him in 2013. The Patriots claimed Jones prior to Week 1 this season, the same week they were taking on the Dolphins.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — After being listed as out on the Friday injury report for the last four weeks, Chandler Jones is officially listed as questionable with a hip injury for Sunday’s game against the Packers. Jones practiced all three days this week, although on a limited basis.

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — After being listed as out on the Friday injury report for the last four weeks, Chandler Jones is officially listed as questionable with a hip injury for Sunday’s game against the Packers. Jones practiced all three days this week, although on a limited basis. He hasn’t played since Week 7.

Jones is one of eight Patriots players listed as questionable for the game. Long-snapper Danny Aiken (concussion) is one of them, although it is a good sign that Charley Hughlett was released from the practice squad on Friday. Brandon LaFell (shoulder), Dominique Easley (knee) and Shane Vereen (ankle) are all questionable, as well.

Linebacker Chris White was the lone Patriot to miss practice Friday and he is questionable with an ankle injury. Nate Ebner (finger) was removed from the injury report.

Tom Brady (ankle) and Julian Edelman (thigh) are both probable.

Here is the complete injury report:

Questionable

LS Danny Aiken (concussion), limited participation
OL Dan Connolly (ankle), limited participation
DL Dominique Easley (knee), limited participation
OL Cameron Fleming (ankle/finger), limited participation
DE Chandler Jones (hip), limited participation
WE Brandon LaFell (shoulder), limited participation
RB Shane Vereen (ankle), limited participation
LB Chris White (ankle), did not participate

Probable

QB Tom Brady (ankle), full participation
OL Marcus Cannon (hip), limited participation
WR Julian Edelman (thigh), full participation

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Aaron Dobson

Aaron Dobson

FOXBORO — Even though second-year wide receiver Aaron Dobson hasn’t been active for a game since Week 6 against Buffalo, he apparently has been performing in practice as he was wearing a black jersey at Friday’s practice signifying he was a practice player for the week leading up to the Lions game last Sunday.

Dobson has only been active for three of the 11 games so far this season, and has been inactive for the last five. He has three catches for 38 yards on the year. Brian Tyms has seemed to jump him on the depth chart, as he has been active for six straight games.

The Marshall product had 37 receptions for 519 yards and four touchdowns last season as a rookie, but did have offseason foot surgery, which limited his offseason activity.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Devin McCourty has yet to be hit with a penalty this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty has yet to be hit with a penalty this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Among the several notable things worth mentioning about the season safety Devin McCourty is enjoying is the fact that he’s the only Patriots player on either side of the ball who has played at least 700 snaps who has yet to be flagged for a penalty.

McCourty has played 711 snaps this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and has yet to be penalized. He’s only one of a handful of New England regulars who has yet to be penalized this season, a group that includes veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (no flags in 584 snaps) and running back Shane Vereen (no penalties in 439 snaps).

“I don’t even know if it’s a good thing — I should probably have some,” he said with a sheepish smile this week. “But I don’t know. There are different things they ask me to do in this defense — sometimes, I’m in the middle of the field and I’m not in man-to-man coverage, and that probably takes away some of the chances. I think when you’re playing safety, and you’re just focused so much on the quarterback and playing the ball, that takes away some penalties.

“But I have no straight answer — I didn’t know that,” he added with a grin. “I didn’t come prepared to answer that question.”

Ina year where flags are up across the league, the idea that someone could play as much as McCourty and not have drawn a flag is impressive. However, to McCourty’s point, there are several safeties across the league who have played 700-plus snaps this season and have yet to be flagged — McCourty is part of a group that includes Seattle’s Earl Thomas, San Francisco’s Antoine Bethea, Cleveland’s Donte Whitner and Denver’s Rahim Moore.

In a year where the Patriots have occasionally struggled with penalties, McCourty acknowledged it’s a point of emphasis for the team as a while moving forward.

“I think that’s really the focus for us now as a unit — just making sure we have less penalties as a group,” he said. “That gives us a better chance to win football games.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
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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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