Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined the Dale & Holley show on Monday with Steve DeOssie filling in for Michael Holley for his weekly interview touching on a number of subjects, including the quarterback situation in Thursday’€™s final preseason game, the releasing of a few veteran players on Monday and some of the league’€™s rule changes put in place during the preseason.

To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley Audio on Demand page.

Belichick confirmed rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start in Thursday’€™s preseason finale against the Giants and play a fair chunk of the game. He’€™s played in all three preseason games thus far, but will get his first extended work.

“I think in this case it is just an experience that he needs to go through to feel like he is going to start the game –€“ he is going to be in the game for every situation — second down, third down, goal line, red area, two-minute, whatever it is, he needs to be prepared for everything and handle whatever comes up,”€ Belichick said. “€œThis is also a week that he will have to deal with the media, deal with the production meeting before the game — I’€™m sure the fans will have a lot of insults for him when he walks on the field, it’€™s an away game — it’€™s all the things that a quarterback eventually will do as a starting quarterback.

“Whenever that happens, I have no idea, but whenever it does at least he will have done it once before. I think there is something to be learned here. Ryan [Mallett] has been here 3 ½ years and Tom [Brady] has done it a couple hundred times, so this is an opportunity for Jimmy to get that experience and I am sure he will learn from it.”

The Patriots released veteran defensive linemen Will Smith and Tommy Kelly, linebacker James Anderson along with rookie tight end Justin Jones on Monday. Releasing players ahead of Tuesday’€™s deadline to get the roster down to 75 players could give them a better chance of hitching on with another team in the league.

“€œI think that does help them a little bit from that standpoint,” said Belichick. “I think some of those players probably wouldn’€™t have had a big role in this week’€™s game anyway. We wanted to make sure we got a good look at some of the younger players that we do want to see that maybe have played a little bit less. In any case, we did what we felt like we needed to do and what is best for the team. The guys that are here will get their opportunity and some of them didn’€™t play much last week and they will play more this week. We’€™ll see how it goes.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On the new league rule changes (extra-points in the first two week of the preseason and height of the field goal posts): “€œI did like what we did in the preseason, at least the first two games — it made it more of a competitive play and more of a 94-95 percent play instead of a 99.9 percent play or whatever it was. I thought that was better and I thought the play where [Stephen] Gostskowski hit the upright in the Philadelphia game also showed the extension of the uprights. That was very similar to the kick we had last year in the Miami game, in Miami, where it looked like it went right over the goal post and was ruled no good — this one went over the goalpost and bounced in so at least we had a definition of whether the kick was good or not. I think that was an improvement because the kickers are getting a lot of height on the ball, so that was good.”

On the linebackers playing with the green-dot in last Friday’€™s game: “€œOverall not bad because first of all we didn’€™t practice against Carolina like we did Washington and Philadelphia so what we got in the game we had a different type of preparation than we did the previous week so I thought that Steve Beauharnais and James Morris both did a good job as far as making the calls, making some adjustments, communication on the field ‘€“ but, of course there were a few things that needed to be fixed and we didn’€™t do perfectly. Overall, I thought they did a solid job — it was a good opportunity — of course [Dont'€™a Hightower] didn’€™t play and I thought Jamie Collins did a really good job of taking over part of that role too in terms of handling the defense from the inside linebacker position and not only playing well, but helping the players around him play aggressively and make sure they were in the right position.”

On Monday’€™s practice being held outside in warm weather and how it helps them for Week 1 in Miami: “€œWe’€™ll take it. It’€™s hot and it’€™s tough, but we need it. I thought the guys responded and worked hard today. I thought it was one of our better practices of the whole camp. Give them a lot of credit, they knew what it was going to be and pushed through it. It was good.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable


FOXBORO — Brian Tyms has done everything he can to make the right impression this summer with the Patriots.

The third-year wide receiver has caught touchdown passes, gotten open on third down routes and caught passes in traffic.

But he knows he has to make an extra-special impression since he will be suspended for the first four games of the NFL season – if he’s on an NFL roster – for taking Adderall last year and breaking the league’s PED policy. Despite being diagnosed with ADHD, Tyms was suspended in April and every team knew the terms with bringing the talented Tyms into camp.

The Patriots were particularly interested and brought him in. Now, Tyms is set to play his fourth straight preseason game Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, trying to convince the Patriots he is worth keeping around.

“I’m just excited to play, get a lot more opportunities, get to go out there one more time with my teammates before I have to serve this ridiculous suspension,” Tyms said Monday. “That’s all I can say. I’m really excited, man. I’m ready to go.”

What’s very obvious is how grateful he is to the Patriots for becoming the fourth NFL team to take a chance on him, joining the 49ers, Dolphins and Browns, where he played for Patriots executive Michael Lombardi last year, when Lombardi was in Cleveland. He’s been a happy camper in Foxboro this summer.

“Oh absolutely,” Tyms said. “They gave me a chance to show them what I could do and consistently keep coming back to me, no matter what quarterback I’m in with. And I really appreciate everybody for that.”

And the Patriots must appreciate the nine catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Only Julian Edelman has more catches (10) and no one on the Patriots has more yards this preseason. Tyms feels he’s made the most of his chance so far in three games.

“For the most part, yeah,” Tyms said. “But I also left a lot of plays out there, messed up on some plays where I feel like I’ve gone over my notes and thought I was prepared for it. I have to do a better job of reading coverages, especially the last game. There’s always work to be done but I feel for the most part I’ve done pretty well.”

Tyms, undrafted out of Florida A&M in 2012, knows he’ll be fighting for his job to the very end of the 53-man cut.

“That’s been my approach since I came into the NFL,” Tyms said. “I was a free agent, came from a small school, didn’t have a lot of experience in football so there’s always doubters. I’m always at the bottom of the totem pole so coming from the bottom is not really a problem for me. I approach every day, even in practice, I have something to prove. I’m very competitive.”

Tyms said the locker room has been remarkably relaxed considering it’s the biggest week of the year for those on the backend of NFL rosters trying to win a job.

“You really couldn’t tell if you chill in here for a minute,” Tyms said. “Everybody is kind of like a family-like thing in there. Everybody’s still doing the same stuff. If somebody happens to get called up [for cuts], it’s all love. It’s not the end of the world when you get cut. I’ve been cut three times.

“It’s not the end of the world. It’s just that God has a different plan for you. You never know. You could be back in the same place that cut you. There’s always different reasons. It’s a business. But around this locker room, no, no one is really talking about it.”

Tyms was asked if he’ll get any sleep this week.

“Maybe but I don’t know,” he laughed. “It’s difficult to say. With preseason and with my situation, I’m always to push myself so I don’t sleep a lot. I’m really trying to catch up because there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve missed in OTAs and a lot of film that I’ve missed that I catch up to.

“You want every [chance] to work. That’s why you go out there and work hard. Everybody who’s in this locker room works their butt off, no matter if they get two reps or they get 80. Everybody works hard and it’s the NFL, it’s a tough business out here. Of course, I want it to work [out].”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the decision to make Jimmy Garoppolo the starting quarterback this Thursday night against the New York Giants in the Patriots’ preseason finale, and what it means for the future of Ryan Mallett in New England.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.

[0:00:00] ... Welcome inside Gillette Stadium everybody my name is Mike for trial had joined as always by patriots expert columnist for WEEI dot com Christopher price. Later ...
[0:00:30] ... starting quarterback. Jimmy -- below that announcement was made. I hear inside Gillette Stadium word got around the problem would indeed be the starter -- over Ryan mallet Tom Brady will not play. So what do you make of Jimmy drop below getting the starting -- again on Thursday night against the ...
[0:03:26] ... what is the difference between starting. And coming in in relief of Tom Brady he said really there isn't any you have to be prepared whenever your number is called obviously Ryan -- got that one ...
[0:04:40] ... over the weekend. Obviously on Sunday news being made that defensive lineman Tommy Kelly and Will Smith couple of veterans on the roster Will Smith brought in in the offseason to add some depth. Really frankly didn't show that much maybe not all his own doing not his all his own fault. But he didn't show a lot and also. There is three cuts made what did you make of all the cuts over the week. The biggest and most surprising to mine mine was Tommy Kelly I thought Tommy Kelly showed very well over the course of the offseason. They brought him in hearings -- good locker room guy and they had ...






FOXBORO — The Patriots were in full pads for their Monday afternoon practice session and saw a handful of players return to the field, including defensive lineman Sealver Siliga, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer and linebacker Cameron Gordon.

FOXBORO — The Patriots were in full pads for their Monday afternoon practice session and saw a handful of players return to the field, including defensive lineman Sealver Siliga, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer and linebacker Cameron Gordon.

The following players were not spotted at the start of practice: defensive lineman Chris Jones, defensive tackle Ben Bass, running back Tyler Gaffney and offensive lineman Chris Martin.

The Patriots continue preparation for the final preseason game of the year, set for Thursday against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots made four roster cuts on Monday, in advance of Tuesday’s deadline to get the roster down to 75 players.

Three of the players are veterans, in linebacker James Anderson and defensive linemen Tommy Kelly and Will Smith, while rookie tight end Justin Jones was also released.

Jones, 22, originally signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of East Carolina on May 12, 2014. He was released on Aug. 10 and then re-signed on Aug. 18. Jones was a three-year starter and finished his career with 52 receptions for 598 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 6-foot-8, 277-pounder was not eligible to play last season. As a junior in 2012, he played in 13 games with five starts and caught 25 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns.

Anderson, 30, is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2006-12) and the Chicago Bears (2013) who signed with the Patriots as a free agent on June 4, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick of Carolina out of Virginia Tech in 2006.

He was released by Carolina on March 12, 2013, and was signed by Chicago as a free agent on March 24, 2013. Anderson has played in 110 NFL games with 69 starts and has registered 556 total tackles, 12 sacks, three interceptions, 23 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries.

Kelly, 33, is a veteran of 10 NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders (2004-12) and the Patriots (2013). He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Raiders out of Mississippi State in 2004. Kelly was released by Oakland on March 27, 2013, and signed with the Patriots as a free agent on April 10, 2013.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder has played in 134 NFL games with 122 starts and has registered 442 total tackles, 36.5 sacks, one interception, 15 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his career. Last season, Kelly was limited to five games due to a knee injury, finishing with 23 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.

The 33-year-old Smith is a veteran of 10 NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2004-13) after joining the team as a first round draft pick (18th overall) out of Ohio State in 2004. The 6-foot-3, 282-pounder was released by the Saints on Feb. 12, 2014, and was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 5, 2014.

Smith has played in 139 NFL games with 120 starts and has accumulated 457 total tackles, 67.5 sacks, 25 passes defensed, two interceptions, 20 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. He has started in eight postseason games and added 22 total tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Smith spent the entire 2013 season on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered during training camp.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Jimmmy Garoppolo is pumped up about getting his first NFL start in the Patriots preseason finale this Thursday night against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

FOXBORO — Jimmmy Garoppolo is pumped up about getting his first NFL start in the Patriots preseason finale this Thursday night against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

“I’m excited about it,” Garoppolo said in front of his locker Monday after being tabbed the starter by Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “It’s a good opportunity to get out there and get some quality reps. It’s going to be fun.

“I came in with mindset that I’m going to practice and study as if I was the starter. If you want to be a successful player in this league, you have to take the mental reps, the physical reps and take advantage of your opportunities.”

Garoppolo has thrown four touchdown passes in the first three preseason games, including at least one in each of the contests. He said Monday that he’s been able to get into a rhythm with his offensive teammates.

“Just get in a rhythm with the offense,” Garoppolo said. “I have a great group of guys around me who have really made my job a lot easier. So, just week in and week out, just improve and if you do that, it’s makes your job a lot easier.

“You always want to come in with a good attitude and thinking that you’re going to succeed in everything. Having that mindset really helped out a lot.”

Garoppolo said he still has a healthy perspective on his role with the team, as he is battling with Ryan Mallett to be Tom Brady‘s back-up.

“I’m still a rookie so I have a have a long way to go and a lot to learn still,” Garoppolo said. “That playbook is pretty thick so it’s just one of those things that if you keep learning, day in and day out, then you’re on the right track.”

“That’s just part of being a rookie. Each day if you keep improving and learning the system that much more, things will just gradually slow down for you.”

Garoppolo believes his early success, including throwing the only touchdown pass in a 23-6 loss to the Redskins in the preseason opener helped his early development.

“That doesn’t hurt. That was definitely a big building block, going from there,” he said. “It’s one of those things. You’re going to have your ups and downs as a rookie. That’s just part of the game. You have to keep gradually improving, day in and day out, and if you do that as a rookie, that’s all you can ask for.”

Garoppolo said at this point he’s not concerned with being the starter, just improving.

“No. It’s the opportunity that matters. As long as you get an opportunity to take advantage of that and just showcase what you can do with the players around you, that’s all you can ask for.

“Just the way he carries himself around the team, in meetings and everything. He really brings the best out in the guys around him. If you can do that, that’s the best thing a quarterback can do, I think.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones and wide receiver Julian Edelman stopped by the WEEI studio at Gillette Stadium on Monday for a visit with Middays with MFB’s Christian Fauria and guest host Danny Picard. To hear the interviews, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Patriots are coming off a strong effort in their third preseason game, a rout of the Panthers. But Bill Belichick is known for not allowing the team to accentuate the positives very long.

“Coach is very consistent with his coaching. He’s going to coach you the same way if we win or if we lose. And that’s what makes him such a great coach,” Jones said. “He’s going to pick out the things we did wrong, and he’s going to tell you about the things you did right. A lot of that is being a professional athlete — you know when you did good or you did bad. You’ve been playing the sport for this long, you know.”

Many people look at the third preseason game as the most important, but Jones insists that he doesn’t value one more than another.

“See, I don’t look at it that way,” he said. “A lot of different people look at it differently. I take every game seriously, like it will be the last game of the season. I know some people say, ‘It’s just preseason,’ but this is an opportunity for our team to go out there and get better week in and week out. I’m excited. I’m excited for this team to go forth into Week 1.

“As far as the preseason games, some people call it the dress rehearsal, but I take every game seriously.”

Neither play knew what to expect in terms of participation in the final preseason game against the Giants.

“Around here they keep you on your toes with everything,” Edelman said. “They don’t tell you how long you’re going to play, this, that. It’s like everything’s a test. Every week you don’t know how much you’re going to be playing, this, that, and you kind of have to just prepare every day, every week, even in the preseason you’re going to be playing a lot. Because they might say you’re not playing one week or something, and they throw you in there at the last minute, probably just to try to get a test of your mental toughness or something like that. That’s huge over here with the situational and the mental aspect of the game.”

Edelman, coming off a 105-catch season last year, acknowledged he’s reached a new comfort level with Tom Brady, but he’s wary of what can happen once the real games begin.

“Yeah, it’s probably the most confident I’ve ever been. With that said, it’s a lot different circumstances from the years in the past with how things are going and how things are now,” he said. “We’ve had some good plays and we’ve had some bad plays. There’s a lot of things that we have to work on that will get exposed in the regular season. We still have a week, two weeks, to try to get that done.

“When we go out there — we’ve got the Giants this week, we play Miami, a divisional game, first game of the year. Things always on opening day, as Christian can second, it doesn’t always go the same way, everyone’s kind of new, there’s always a crazy play here or something’s going on, it’s the start of the season. So you’ve really got to get ready for those situations and being able to adjust like that.”

With the ever-intense Brady at quarterback, Edelman knows no Patriots players can get in a comfort zone.

“It seems like each and every year I’ve played with him that he’s always a little more motivated the next year,” Edelman said of the QB. “That’s just kind of the guy he is. What’s his favorite game? It’s the next game. That’s just the competitor in Tom. He plays with that chip on his shoulder. … That’s really how he is. We’ll be playing a corn-hole game in the locker room and this guy is trying to win and is the most competitive guy over a gentleman’s best. That’s Tom. He wants to go out and he wants to do the best he can every time. That’s what a leader does. It becomes contagious and it makes other guys want to do the same thing.”

In a recent ESPN poll of NFL players, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was tabbed as the individual players would least like to get into a fistfight with, followed by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

“I should be [on the list],” said a surprised Jones. “I’m [MMA star] Jon ‘Bones’ Jones‘ brother. What?”

Asked which players he would want to avoid, Jones said: “There’s some glass-eaters out there. I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t fight them. That’s just not in me to say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to fight that guy.’ But there’s a few tough guys out there. … I like J.J. Watt. He’s tough. He’s a glass-eater. I’ll call him a glass-eater.”

Said Edelman: “Definitely Logan Mankins. Straight cattle-rancher. He should be like throwing hay [bales]. He’s quiet, he’s strong, he’s nasty. He’s nasty and tenacious. … It’s fun to watch.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar