Bryan Stork (center) raises his leg during warmups, prior to Thursday's Patriots practice. (Mike Petraglia/

Bryan Stork (center) raises his leg during warmups, prior to Thursday’s Patriots practice. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — The Patriots finally returned to the practice field Thursday for the first of four practices before they leave for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale next Monday.

The full pads practice was inside at Dana-Farber Fieldhouse and the team had perfect attendance. The biggest news of the day was the return of center Bryan Stork, who missed the AFC championship with a knee injury suffered against the Ravens.

Stork was listed on a projected injury report Wednesday as not participating, meaning the team reported that he wouldn’t have practiced if the team had worked out.

Also on the indoor turf was Sealver Siliga (foot). The defensive tackle injured his foot in Sunday’s game, but returned to action against the Colts.

The Seahawks did hold practice on Wednesday and had five players not practicing. Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), Clint Gresham (neck), Michael Bennett (not injury related), JR Sweezy (ankle) and Earl Thomas (shoulder) didn’t practice. Justin Britt (knee) and Richard Sherman (elbow) were full participants.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Bill Belichick addresses the media Thursday on Deflategate. (Mike Petraglia/ -- Bill Belichick wasn't about to take the fall Thursday. Nor should he.



Jimmy Garoppolo says he hasn't heard anything about under-inflated footballs. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo says he hasn’t heard anything about under-inflated footballs. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — When it comes to footballs, Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t sound too fussy.

“I came from Eastern Illinois, where we had about four footballs for the entire year,” the rookie quarterback said before practice on Thursday. “So I’ll use whatever footballs they give me. I’ve used the worst balls you could think of in practice. Wet. Snowy. Muddy. Everything. You get used to all that stuff.

“I’m used to whatever,” he added. “A football is a football. You just have to go out there and throw it.”

Garoppolo, who said he didn’t know anything about manipulating or underinflating footballs, echoed the words of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who said that the footballs get constantly scuffed and worked over during practice in hopes of doing everything possible to get the players ready for every possible circumstance in the game.

“Oh yeah,” he said with a knowing smile. “Yeah — it’s one of those things that when you get in a game and you realize we had way worse in practice. Worse conditions. Worse, whatever it may be. It probably makes the game a little bit easier.”

Garoppolo has a unique challenge this week in that he’s being asked to provide the starting defense with a look that replicates Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. It’s become old hat for Garoppolo., who said he’s looking forward to trying to “get a title active out there” in hopes of giving the New England defense a good look.

“Each week is a different assignment for me. A different quarterback for me. Try and pick up tendencies, things they try and do. And I try and do my best impression of the guy.”

“It’s part of the job. There’s no real trick to it. You just have to put in the time. Put in the effort and have both mentalities ready to go.”

It’s been an interesting year for Garoppolo, who had never been to an NFL game before this season, is now headed for the Super Bowl in his first year in the league.

“Come a long way, huh? It’s pretty crazy,” he laughed. “It’s exciting. A dream come true. Just have to take advantage of it.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss his rehab, Deflategate and also to look ahead to the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

This entire week has been all about Deflategate in the media and there hasn’t been much discussion at all about the actual Super Bowl game. Mayo said it it’s been highly unusual.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mayo. “At the same time I know the guys are focused on Seattle and you know the whole ‘ignore the noise.’ That is what the guys are doing. When you get in between the walls, we’re studying film and trying to move forward.”

The linebacker was asked how he feels about the team being under scrutiny a lot of the time. He acknowledged it happens, but it isn’t something the team thinks about.

“I really don’t know. I don’t what know it is,” he said. “I feel like sometimes the team sometimes gets attacked unfairly, but at the same time really it doesn’t matter, we’re trying to put a good performance on each and every week. I know the guys are really focused on the game and it’s a huge game. We’re not really bothered with all that going on.”

Mayo suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 6 against against the Bills. It’s the second straight year Mayo has suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. He said rehab is going well.

“I’m doing good. Rehab is going well,” Mayo said. “I’m doing good. We’ll keep taking it one day at a time, no setbacks here.”

Despite being placed on injured reserve, Mayo has still remained part of the team, showing up at the facility everyday, watching film and helping out the linebackers. He has even been on the sidelines during the playoffs, something unusual for a Bill Belichick coached team, to have a player on injured reserve on the sidelines.

“I just tried to keep the guys calm. I know it’s a long game and sometimes things don’t go your way,” said Mayo of what he did in the Baltimore game. “I try and keep everybody calm and obviously I can see things from the sideline that you can’t really see on the field. It’s difficult to see the entire field when you’re out there looking at certain keys. I can see a lot of things on the sideline and I just try to rely some of the things that I see to the guys.”

Mayo is proud of what Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins have done in his absence on the field.

“I feel like every week those guys are getting better,” he said. “[Hightower] is doing a great job as far as lining everyone up and going out there and controlling the defensive line and the coverage. Jamie [Collins] is a great athlete that can make a lot of plays. The interception last week and the play the week before with the forced fumble even though that got called back. Talented individuals, I am so proud and happy for them. Hopefully it continues to this week.”

As for his future in New England, Mayo has a contract through the end of the 2017 season, but has a cap hit of $10.6 million next season. With that as the case, there’s a chance the team will look to restructure his deal.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Mayo said of his future. “I am taking it one day at a time just like anything else. Right now my focus is on the Seahawks. I am just trying to help the guys and when we reach that point we’ll deal with it then.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Friend of the show Jerod Mayo joins the guys to talk about Christian's past drops, the growth of Collins and Hightower, and the rest of the Patriots defense.

[0:00:04] ... three from Peter McGuire won it talks in hockey but we're talking Super Bowl right now with the Seahawks and patriots a lot going on strutting down obviously but. Now the chance for up for us ...
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[0:05:08] ... Adams Richards always key but is it even more so with this Super Bowl game against the Seahawks. To contain the run given how important marsh colleges to their office. Definitely you know and then also ...

Mike Florio joins the guys to break down the Bill Belichick press conference and the rest of the Deflate-Gate controversy.

[0:00:44] ... it's reported five you'll hear it after dale holiday. Demands the Maloney Christian Fauria particularly move that the vote 13 fourth solo. And it has got our shot understand that they did it on purpose to ...
[0:01:25] ... I I don't know that. The NFL is gonna buy that if Tom Brady says I didn't know whether any rules against how little there there had to be in a football and with that we ...
[0:02:20] ... at Talladega that happen always to make it Mike is that. If Tom Brady comes out just falls on the sorts analysts school for Phelan told tickle open air out whatever is pleads ignorance and just takes the blame. In 08 Tom Brady may be it's fine if Bill Belichick takes the blame to maybe get suspended maybe a first round pick second time offenders ...
[0:03:24] ... said my number one job is protecting the integrity of the game Troy Vincent the executive VP of football operations on my radio show PF do you live earlier this week saying this is about the ...

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been fined $20,000 for an obscene gesture in the NFC championship game after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Schefter also adds the NFL is considering fining him “significantly more” than the $50,000 they fined him the last two seasons for not speaking to the media — something the running back didn’t do Sunday.

On Wednesday, Richard Sherman joked he would give Lynch lessons on how to handle media day.

“We’€™re going to have a course later on this week. Going into media day, we’€™re going to have a good discussion about do’€™s and don’€™ts of media day — me and Marshawn,” he said.

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable


FOXBORO — Bill Belichick said Thursday morning that he had “no knowledge” of the news regarding the under-inflated footballs, and was “shocked” to hear that news that there was an issue with air pressure regarding the footballs in the AFC title game.

Belichick spoke for almost 10 minutes with the media on Thursday morning, making a statement about what he knew regarding the situation before taking a handful of questions, and adding that he has “no explanation” for what happened.

“I really can’t think of anything I would have done differently,” said the coach.

Belichick deferred most questions, adding that when it came to the matter of the league investigation, he said, “I can’t comment on what [the league] is doing. That’s something you should talk to them about.”

When it came to the level of Tom Brady‘s involvement in the situation, Belichick indicated that the quarterback could better address those issues.

“Tom’s personal preferences on his footballs are something he can talk about in much better detail,” Belichick added.

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Was Bill Belichick sending a message by having Tom Brady throw the ball late in Sunday's blowout?</p>
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