FOXBORO — Just how tough are the Ravens and what did Bill Belichick say in remembrance of Pearl Harbor Wednesday in Foxboro? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss inside Gillette Stadium.

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WEEI

FOXBORO — Following Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending back injury, it has changed the Patriots’ odds to win the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

FOXBORO — Following Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending back injury, it has changed the Patriots’ odds to win the Super Bowl.

According to Bovada, the Patriots remain the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but have higher odds than prior to the injury news. New England currently has 3/1 odds to win the Super Bowl, which is up from 12/5 odds before the Gronkowski injury news. Dallas has the second-best odds at 7/2.

Like last week, Tom Brady has the third-best odds to win NFL MVP at 15/2, which is tied with Matthew Stafford. Ezekiel Elliot has the best odds at 12/5, while Derek Carr is second at 7/1. Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson follow Brady at 10/1 odds, so it will surely come down to the final four weeks of the season.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski is up for a NFL award.

Gronkowski is the Patriots’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the league’s most prestigious awards.

“We’re proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL’s best on and off the field,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts.”

The winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — On the 75th anniversary of the attack that changed the course of history forever, Bill Belichick took time to recall his naval roots and the lessons learned from Pearl Harbor, lessons that he continues to impart on his team to this day.

LeGarrette Blount is nearing the second 1,000 yard season of his career. (Getty Images)

LeGarrette Blount is nearing the second 1,000 yard season of his career. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Since 2000, the Patriots have had four running backs top 1,000 yards.

Corey Dillon — 1,635 (2004)
Stevan Ridley — 1,263 (2012)
Antowain Smith — 1,157 (2001)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis — 1,008 (2010)

LeGarrette Blount should be the fifth one sooner sooner rather than later. While he and the rest of the New England running game face a sizable challenge this week against the best run defense in the league in Baltimore, the fact that Blount is at 957 after 12 games means that if he stays healthy, he’s a lock to hit 1,000 for the second time in his career. (He had 1,007 as a rookie with the Bucs in 2010.)

In this pass-first era, the 1,000-yard mark is still an important milestone for any back, let alone one that just turned 30 this week.

“It means a lot, because there aren’t a lot of running backs who can rush for 1,000 yards in this league,” Blount said of the opportunity to reach 1,000 yards. “That goes out to all my offensive linemen and all of my tight ends and my receivers blocking on the perimeter. Tom [Brady] lead blocking when I reverse field. It goes out to all those guys. They work their tails off. They work their butt off every day. They work their butt off all week to continue to perform. I get all the notoriety for it, but it starts with those guys, for sure.”

“He’s run well for us. He’s made a lot of tough yards. He’s also made some big plays for us, has ripped off some big, explosive plays. He’s been out there every week,” Bill Belichick said of the 30-year-old Blount. “He’s had a solid year for us, no doubt about it.”

On Tuesday, Belichick was asked if there was any historical comparison he can think of when it came to Blount’s hammer strength and surprising speed. While he alluded to the skill set presented by Dillon and Ottis Anderson, in the end, he said Blount is a fairly unique back.

“I don’t know if there’s a lot of guys really that I would compare him to right off the bat,” Belichick said of Blount. “You see him making some tough runs and running guys over and then you see him hurdling guys like in the Miami game and you see an open-field run like he had last week against the Rams where he kind of, you know, spun the safety around and ran by him. So he’s got a good combination of moves and style.

“It’s not all one thing. He’s effective. He’s got an effective stiff-arm. He can be elusive, he can be powerful. And he’s got good run vision. It’s hard to find another guy like him.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
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Bill Belichick spoke at length about Pearl Harbor Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — On the 75th anniversary of the attack that changed the course of history forever, Bill Belichick took time to recall his naval roots and the lessons learned from Pearl Harbor, lessons that he continues to impart on his team to this day.

“It’s a pretty big day in our history, certainly in naval history,” Belichick said. “For me, the lesson on Pearl Harbor and for us as a team and individually I would say, is not what happened on Dec. 7, although that was a lesson there, but the response and what the response was from our nation, from our military, from our civilians, from our population to battle the world on two fronts and win both of them.

“What this country did under [Franklin] Roosevelt’s leadership as well as the multiple military leaders and to go fight in Europe and go fight in Southeast Asia and Japan in response to what happened on December 7, 1941 is pretty impressive.”

Belichick’s father, Steve, served in the Navy in World War II, something that greatly influenced the younger Belichick when he was growing up. Steve Belichick would return from his service and spend a lifetime working as an assistant football coach at the Naval Academy.

“I remember my dad talking a lot about that, and when it happened, when he found out and then when he went into the Navy and went to Great Lakes and eventually went to Europe and eventually went to Okinawa,” Belichick continued. “It was a tough time for this country but it was a great example of the patriotism of citizens, men, women, fighting together, pulling together and being victorious in a lot of different ways.

“It’s special, special day, one we hope we don’t have to see again. Tough day for the Navy but they responded, they bounced back. The Battle of Midway was really a huge turning point. Had that not gone the way it did, I don’t know. Probably been a longer fight.”

Belichick also noted the work of filmmaker Rhode Island filmmaker Tim Gray, a former sportscaster who has earned a reputation as one of the most respected historians and chroniclers of World War II.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Ed Hochuli will work as the referee for Monday’s Ravens-Patriots game.

Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday's Patriots-Ravens game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday’s Patriots-Ravens game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ed Hochuli will work as the referee for Monday’s Ravens-Patriots game.

Maybe the most famous official in the league, the pumped-up Hochuli is given to over-explanations and increased on-air time. The 65-year-old has been an NFL referee since 1999 — this will be his first New England game of the season. He worked three Patriots games last year, including the AFC title game against the Broncos in Denver.

Here’s a look at who has worked as the referee for each New England regular-season game this year and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined:

Sept. 11 at Arizona: Tony Corrente — 8 penalties, 69 yards (Cardinals — 6 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 18 vs. Miami: Craig Wrolstad — 7 penalties, 65 yards (Dolphins — 5 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 22 vs. Houston: Walt Coleman — 3 penalties, 15 yards (Texans — 6 penalties, 43 yards)
Oct. 2 vs. Buffalo: Pete Morelli — 9 penalties, 74 yards (Bills — 6 penalties, 60 yards)
Oct. 9 at Cleveland: Bill Vinovich — 5 penalties, 61 yards (Browns — 5 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Cincinnati: Ronald Torbert — 6 penalties, 55 yards (Bengals — 7 penalties, 46 yards)
Oct. 23 at Pittsburgh: Craig Wrolstad — 4 penalties, 40 yards (Steelers — 10 penalties, 85 yards)
Oct. 30 at Buffalo: John Parry — 10 penalties, 116 yards (Bills — 12 penalties, 84 yards)
Nov. 13 vs. Seattle: Gene Steratore — 7 penalties, 61 yards (Seahawks — 8 penalties, 60 yards)
Nov. 20 at San Francisco: Jeff Triplette — 5 penalties, 40 yards (Niners — 10 penalties, 68 yards)
Nov. 27 at New York Jets: Brad Allen — 2 penalties, 15 yards (Jets — 6 penalties, 66 yards)
Dec. 4 vs. Los Angeles: Jerome Boger — 8 penalties, 46 yards (Rams — 4 penalties, 30 yards)

For more on Hochuli work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Another AFC weekly award for the Patriots.

Following his 4-for-4 performance on Sunday against the Rams, Stephen Gostkowski was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week. Of his four field goals, three of which were from 40 yards or longer.