09/01/2009 - 10:41pm
FOXBOROUGH -- They have done everything that’s been asked of them, and it still may not be enough.
Players like wide receiver Terrence Nunn and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis have played well throughout training camp. They have shown coachability, desire and no small measure of talent. And when called upon in game action throughout the first three games of the preseason, they have played well.
08/31/2009 - 11:18pm
FOXBOROUGH -- When he arrived in 1996, pro football in New England wasn’t much more than metal bleachers and dirt parking lots, tiny locker rooms and cold showers. Patriots Place was a gleam in Robert Kraft’s eye, and while the thought of New England playing host to a football dynasty wasn’t laughable, it was a bit of a stretch.
08/30/2009 - 8:28pm
FOXBOROUGH -- The locker now belongs to Roderick Rogers.
It’s no different than the 80 or so other lockers in the Patriots’ locker room -- it’s got the same sharp look, the same compartments for all the valuables, the same spot for the nameplate at the top. The difference, as they say in real estate, is location, location, location. And Rogers, whether he knows it or not, has an important location.
08/27/2009 - 11:12pm
This is it. Friday night in Washington is the third preseason game of the year for the Patriots -- traditionally, it’s the preseason game where the starters play the most. It’s the last chance to see a reasonable facsimile of New England’s starting offense and defense in game action before Opening Night against Buffalo Sept. 14.
All week in Foxborough, it’s felt less like preseason and more like a regular-season week. There’s less big picture stuff and more film work, game-planning and situational football.
08/26/2009 - 9:38pm
FOXBOROUGH -- It’s a simple, three-word phrase that is the overarching theme to everything that Patriots coach Bill Belichick preaches: Do your job.
But when it comes to rookies, the philosophy doesn’t always take the first time around. And when a first-year player doesn’t do his job, he’ll oftentimes try and make up for an error by trying to do his job … as well as the job of a teammate on the following play in an attempt to try and impress the coaches. And that rarely ends well.
08/25/2009 - 6:45pm
FOXBOROUGH -- He can’t help but notice.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has seen the deals signed by the Quarterback Class of 2004 -- six years and $93 million for Philip Rivers, six years and $97 million for Eli Manning and eight years and $102 million for Ben Roethlisberger. Almost $300 million in money to three young quarterbacks who have as many Super Bowl rings as Brady does combined.
08/24/2009 - 10:42pm
FOXBOROUGH -- This week marks the halfway point of the six-week stretch between the start of training camp and the first regular-season game. Based on what we’ve seen so far, here’s my take on how the Patriots’ 53-man roster will look come Opening Night against the Bills.
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Kevin O’Connell, Andrew Walter
08/23/2009 - 8:20pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Randy Moss has had a lot of adjectives attached to his name over the years: selfish, petulant, mercurial, brilliant.
But at the dawn of his third season with the Patriots, he’s picked up another description: mentor. In fact, the 32-year-old Moss has taken a proactive role as an advisor to new and veteran players who might be struggling to learn the New England system, as well as those teammates who want to know the trade secrets of the six-time Pro Bowler.
08/21/2009 - 2:31am
FOXBOROUGH -- No touchdowns, and no consistent offense. Nine penalties. Tom Brady taking some savage hits from opposing defenders.
It was not the sort of night Patriots coach Bill Belichick was hoping for.
08/20/2009 - 12:22am
A regular-season game between Chad Ochocinco’s Bengals and Bill Belichick’s Patriots would bring a torrent of good-natured trash-talking. When these two teams met in 2007, there was a nice back-and-forth between the two -- when the receiver (who was then known as Chad Johnson) asked the Patriots to cover him one-on-one, Belichick responded in kind.
08/18/2009 - 11:19pm
FOXBOROUGH -- At first glance, it would appear that change is in the air at Gillette Stadium.
After playing a 3-4 base defense the last few seasons, the Patriots showed a lot of 4-3 in their preseason opener last Thursday against the Eagles, and were able to get good pressure on a banged-up Philadelphia offensive line, coming away with a pair of sacks in the first half when the starters were in the game.
08/17/2009 - 9:14pm
FOXBOROUGH -- He is now, literally and figuratively, the man in the middle.
All you had to do was watch the preseason opener against the Eagles last week: linebacker Jerod Mayo was in the center of the action in the 4-3. He was the one with the communication system in his helmet, making the calls, running the defense and making sure everyone was exactly where he needed to be. It was heady stuff for a second-year player out of Tennessee.
But then again, Mayo isn’t your average second-year player.
08/16/2009 - 11:28pm
FOXBOROUGH -- This summer, Tedy Bruschi sightings have been few and far between.
08/14/2009 - 2:01am
Tom Brady’s numbers don’t really tell the story.
They were good -- 10-for-15 for 100 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. But that's not why we’re here, right? It’s all about the left knee. And by those standards, it’s all good, especially after 11 months away from the football field.
“I think there’s no place I’d rather be,” Brady said after the game. “That about sums it up.”
08/12/2009 - 8:06pm
In preseason football, wins and losses are incidental. Never was this more deftly illustrated than last season, when the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason -- and 0-16 in the regular season. The lesson? In the preseason, there are far more important things to watch than the scoreboard. To that end, here are five things we’ll be keeping an eye on Thursday night in Philadelphia when the Patriots take the field for the first time in the 2009 preseason.
08/11/2009 - 7:49pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pronounced himself ready to go for Thursday’s preseason contest against the Eagles in Philadelphia, saying he’s “expecting” to see the field for the first time in more than 11 months.
08/10/2009 - 7:18pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Someone’s hearing footsteps.
Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson was back on the practice field Monday morning, his first appearance in training camp since the fourth practice session, back on July 31st. In between his last appearance and Monday, Watson missed 15 practices, a whopping total for anyone not on the physically unable to perform list.
08/09/2009 - 11:43pm
FOXBOROUGH -- They have been liberated.
Linebacker Derrick Burgess and quarterback Andrew Walter are the two latest ex-Raiders to escape football’s version of Shawshank State Prison. Think we’re overstating the situation? Walter showed up last week, a pickup off the wires. Burgess was picked in a trade last Thursday. The first thing Walter told Burgess when the linebacker showed up at Gillette Stadium?
“Congratulations,” said Walter, who was a teammate of Burgess in Oakland from 2005 through 2008.
08/06/2009 - 10:59pm
FOXBOROUGH -- The Derrick Burgess the Patriots acquired Thursday afternoon isn’t the same player who terrorized opposing quarterbacks in 2005 with a league-high 16 sacks. But according to some who’ve spent time watching him the last few seasons, if his talents are used properly, he can still be a pass-rushing force for New England this season.
08/06/2009 - 4:43pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Even for a veteran, trying to pick up the nuances of the Patriots’ defense can be a daunting task.
But in his first training camp in New England, Leigh Bodden has an ace in the hole.
08/04/2009 - 10:34pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Sure, Kevin O’Connell and Brian Hoyer are football players. But they’re also human beings.
So when they heard the news Monday that fellow quarterback Matt Gutierrez had been released to make way for Andrew Walter, they were initially bummed. The Patriots’ quarterbacking fraternity is a small one, and any time there’s a change, there’s a sizable effect on the rest of the signal-callers.
Then, they moved on.
08/03/2009 - 8:16pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Julian Edelman has only been a member of the Patriots for three-plus months, but he sounds like he’s well aware as to how they do things at Gillette Stadium.
Through the spring practices and the first week or so of training camp, the 6-foot, 195-pound Edelman has worked as a receiver and punt and kick returner. A seventh-round pick who played quarterback at Kent State, he knows he can’t afford to focus on doing just one job -- positional flexibility is going to be what lands him on the final 53-man roster.
08/02/2009 - 10:53pm
FOXBOROUGH -- The band could be breaking up.
Patriots’ defensive linemen Vince Wilfork, Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green are all entering into the final year of their contracts -- among the veteran contributors, only Ty Warren is signed beyond the 2009 season (his deal runs through 2013). That means that a large part of the group that has dominated the trenches in the AFC for the better part of the decade could be playing elsewhere next season.
08/02/2009 - 2:35pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Laurence Maroney hears everything.
The running back, sent to enter his fourth season with the Patriots, is well aware of just how he’s perceived by his critics: an injury-ridden bust of a first-round pick; dances too much before he hits the line; not durable enough to stay healthy for a full season.
No matter -- he’s just going to keep on doing what he’s been doing.
07/31/2009 - 8:25pm
FOXBOROUGH -- Despite wild speculation Friday, the only backup quarterback on the New England roster who wore No. 7 all day was Matt Gutierrez.
Rumors -- fueled in part by a series of vague answers from coach Bill Belichick on the topic -- swirled around Gillette Stadium all day Friday that Michael Vick was not only in New England, but working out with the Patriots in what was surely just a prelude to his signing a deal.