WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the latest development at Patriots training camp. Chris says Darrelle Revis has looked great, and that his impact on the defense is actually being underplayed nationally.

[0:00:50] ... defense -- look like he's fitting in very naturally we talked to Tommy Kelly after practice the veteran defense attack we -- what can -- bring to this team that maybe they didn't have before is ...
[0:01:27] ... and for good reason in the National Football League. But picking off Tom Brady. Do you think that's important for Burrell in his confidence coming in -- New England in this first year yeah I do and I think he said the other day it was interesting he said look there's some butterflies here. Some a new guy I'm coming into this team -- you know this is the -- -- my first practice is only because good impressed with my teammates -- do think. That there is something to that I I don't think that he's not confident but I do think that that helps with his overall acclimation process to this defense. I had a chance to talk to Ty Law on Monday he is obviously going into the patriots. Hall of fame on Friday here at Gillette Stadium more specifically the hall at patriot place. The -- off -- actually was asked about one Darrelle Revis they went to the same high school western. Pennsylvania Alec put a high school and Ty Law obviously went there many years before Darrelle Revis but they stay in close contact. And -- Lott told us yeah he did recommend coming to New England because Bill Belichick will give you freedom. That he won't give other players and entire law admitted to us essentially. Bill Belichick does treat players differently especially when you have the skill set and you are the star caliber player that Darrelle Revis is. ...
[0:04:55] ... I practiced and picked off one other note none other than that Tom Brady was a nice. Sit pattern needed -- -- march but it was Logan Ryan reading Tom Brady. Off the snap and a good sign. For number 26 as the as we've said -- fights for a spot also. Aaron ...
[0:05:56] ... today that's certainly figures to have huge role on this team and Bill Belichick spoke about him at length. On Tuesday morning with Ryan when -- a senator and he said that look I know that ...






Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard

FOXBORO — After not practicing with the Patriots for the first four days of training camp and being on the PUP list, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard practiced with the Patriots on Tuesday morning, albeit on a limited basis. He was in pads with the team for the first time since the end of last season as the 24-year-old was recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

The University of Nebraska product, who has played two seasons and 23 games in the NFL, was limited as he participated in one-on-one drills, but not 7-on-7s or 11-on-11s. Once practice really got going with an emphasis on physical drills, Dennard was off to the side doing sprints and other agility work with a strength and conditioning coach.

Regardless of how much he participated, it was a good sign to have him back on the field.

“It’s good because we all know he is a good player,” safety Duron Harmon said. “I am more worried about him being healthy. He’s a good player, so anytime you get a good player back it’s good.”

It is a crowded Patriots secondary with a number of skilled players battling for playing time. The group includes newcomers Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, who are highly skilled players but are new to the team, so it will take some time for the group as a whole to to jell as one cohesive unit. Getting Dennard back on the field certainly helps that advancement.

“It’s a work in progress,” Harmon said. “We’re just getting better each and every day. We’re dealing with new people so we have to feel out each other, know where they are going to be at and when they are going to be there. Like I said, it is a work in progress, something that we have to continue to get better at each and every day.”

Unlike past years when the team has been forced to use wide receivers Julian Edelman and Troy Brown in the secondary, this year’s team has a lot of depth at the position, meaning the Patriots do not need to think about rushing Dennard back and can take their time with getting him back to full strength.

Dennard has showcased his skills on the field with four career interceptions and 16 career starts, which could give him the upper hand over a few other members of the secondary when it comes to playing time. With Browner suspended for the first four games of the season, Dennard, if healthy, could have the inside track to starting on the opposite side of Revis at cornerback in the first quarter of the season.

Even though the cornerback didn’t come close to any physical action Tuesday, it was a big step in the right direction as the members of the Patriots secondary continue to get to know one another with the hope of being one of the best secondaries in the league.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tommy Kelly is back for a second season with the Patriots. (AP)

Tommy Kelly is back for a second season with the Patriots. (AP)

FOXBORO — Tommy Kelly knows that at this point in the process, it’s all about trust.

The 33-year-old defensive tackle, who suffered a season-ending knee injury just five games into the 2013 season, is back in pads for the first time since he went down last October against the Bengals. But he acknowledged after Tuesday morning’s session at Gillette that when it comes to getting all the way back, he needs to prove himself again in the eyes of his coaches and teammates.

“To me, it’s all about gaining their trust. Getting that trust back,” he said. “That’s the only thing I would try and do — just assure Bill (Belichick) and assure (head trainer Jim Whalen), ‘Baby, I’m ready to go.’ They want to do it the way they want to do it, and I’m going to do it exactly the way they want to do it with no problem.

“You have to gain their trust back. I have to get to the point where (Jerod) Mayo knows, if he calls a certain call, I’m going to be where I need to be. Or if (defensive coordinator) Matt (Patricia) is going to make a call or Bill, you know what I’m saying? That’s all I’ve been trying to do — just go out there and just practice as hard as I can and show them I don’t have any restrictions on nothing. I can do anything you need me to do. But it’s a process, and I’m going to do the process.”

Of course, Kelly has some experience in this area. In 2007, he suffered another serious knee injury that limited him to seven games. He said Tuesday he knows what’s it’s been like to travel to that “dark place” where an athlete can start to let doubt creep in. But to this point in his rehab, while he understands that’s it’s been to take it too slow than too fast, he said every step in his return has been “positive” when it comes to creating an optimal outcome for his return.

“At the end of the day, (the team is) looking out for your best interest,” he said. “But you know, I’€™m a vet ‘€“ I want to get out on the field. I’€™m the type of guy that I can’€™t roll out of bed and my game’€™s going to be great. I have to go out there every day and work on my hands, work on my get-out, work on my explosion, read my keys, so I’€™m the type of guy, I love practice.”

As for the traditional rehab process, it will occasionally involve two steps forward and a step back. But Kelly said he doesn’t have time for that.

“Oh noooooo ‘€“ we don’€™t plan on taking any steps back, baby,” he said. “We’€™re planning on taking one, two, three steps forward.

“But at the same time, I’€™m just trying to get Bill’€™s trust, get Matty P’€™s trust, get Mayo’€™s trust, get (Vince Wilfork‘s) trust (and) get back in that good position.”

Kelly doesn’t seem to have any fears about regaining his old spot in the lineup. While he wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s secure with his standing on the roster — “Here, you can’t be secure with anything,” he said with a smile — he did say he’s confident about returning to his old form.

“I believe in myself a whole lot and I know what I can do, so I don’t really worry about (competition),” he said. “I know if I can just go out there and be Tommy and play hard as I can, I’ll be fine. I just try and go out there and get better and better and push myself.

When the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder first signed with the Patriots last offseason, he welcomed the chance to get out of Oakland and play for a team that had a genuine shot to go deep into January. (In his nine seasons with the Raiders, he had never played on a team that had finished better than .500, let alone reached the postseason.)

But now, that desire to win has been compounded by the wish to show people that he can still be the same sort of disruptive presence he showed himself to be at the start of the 2013 season, when he had 2.5 sacks and six quarterback hits in limited action.

“I’ve never been a weak link in my career, and I’m not going to start being a weak link,” he said. “So I’ve been working my tail off every day and rehabbing on the side with my conditioning to make sure when it’s time for me to get out there, they see the same player when I left against Cincinnati — a better player. I’m not trying to come back and be the player that I was. I’m trying to come back and be a better player than I was.

“This is a very hard team to make, so if you don’t go out there and put it on the line every day, you ain’t going to be here. Simple as that.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots just wrapped up their fifth training camp session of the summer and third practice in pads Tuesday morning on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. After taking Monday off, New England held a session that ran for roughly two hours in warm temperatures. Here are a few quick notes:

– Former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was in attendance, and stopped to talk with coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady before the start of practice. Owner Robert Kraft strolled out to watch practice 45 into the session.

– The following players were not in pads with the rest of the team: tight end Michael Hoomanawwanui, offensive lineman Dan Connolly, linebacker Deontae Skinner, offensive lineman Chris Martin, defensive lineman Dominque Easley and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon.

– The biggest names to return were cornerback Alfonzo Dennard and cornerback Daxton Swanson. Dennard appeared limited, and didn’t spend any time in the 7-on-7s or 11-on-11s, working off to the side once practice really got started.

– The rest of the players were working out off to the side: Gallon, Dobson, Easley, Slater and Skinner. (Their session included some time on the bike.)

– It appeared that Marcus Cannon got the bulk of the work in place of Connolly at the guard spot.

– There was some great theater in a series of one-on-one drills between wide receivers and defensive backs. Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell engaged in a nice one-on-one matchup in a goal-line passing drill that was won by LaFell. Later on, Kenbrell Thompkins had his defender beat, but a miscommunication with the quarterback left everyone confused. Shortly after that, Darrelle Revis had a TERRIFIC pass breakup on a ball for Thompkins, reaching in and knocking the ball away at the last minute.

Then, Edelman had a great catch, despite the fact that Kyle Arrington knocked into him in the air — Edelman came down with the ball and his feet inbounds on a really nice play. Logan Ryan got some revenge shortly after that for the defensive backs when he stepped in front of a Brady ball for Edelman.

– No 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 work for Rob Gronkowski, but he was working extensively in the team drills. He also spent time in what has become fairly regular routine, working with Brady off to the side. There was one great scene where Brady was throwing to Gronkowski, with Revis working in coverage — arguably the three of the four most important players on the roster working as a group.

– In one-on-ones between the offensive linemen and defensive linemen, for the most part, the defense appeared to be ahead of the offense, with Will Smith and Chandler Jones appearing to get the best of their offensive line counterparts.

– In a series of passing drills just over an hour into the workout, Edelman beat Revis on a long ball. Then, Brady connected on a GREAT deep ball for LaFell, splitting Malcolm Butler and Nate Ebner in coverage. It was the best play of the camp for LaFell, who wrestled the ball away from the defensive backs, and set off a celebration on offense.

– In kick return drills, Josh Boyce again got a ton of reps, along with LaFell and Shane Vereen.

– In one-on-one drills where players started on their backs (one with the ball) and then flipped over and had to square off, Devin McCourty made a really nice play to strip Roy Finch of the ball. Edelman slipped past Browner, drawing ohhhs and ahhs from the crowd. And Rob Ninkovich had a nice takedown of James White.

– In a safety drill where defenders were tracking a ball thrown over their heads, Patrick Chung got conked in the head, Jose Canseco-style, when he couldn’t find the ball in the air.

– In 7-on-7 passing drills at the end of practice, Vereen dropped a pass from Brady in the corner of the end zone, but Edelman and Thompkins caught a couple of crisply-delivered passes from the quarterback.

– At the end of the workout, Travis Hawkins had a really impressive pick of a Jimmy Garoppolo deep pass.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Ty Law (24) makes the game-changing interception and returns for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVI. (AP)

Ty Law (24) makes the game-changing interception and returns for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVI. (AP)

FOXBORO — Ty Law and Darrelle Revis go way back. They both hail from the small, football-rich town of Aliquippa, Penn., the same town that has produced an extraordinary number of athletes.

Just in recent football lore alone, there’s been defensive tackle Sean Gilbert, Law and Revis. In past years, Mike Ditka and Tony Dorsett also hail from the Western Pennsylvania town. In basketball, there’s the late, great “Pistol” Pete Maravich and in baseball, pitcher Doc Medich.

So when Law knew that Revis would be a free agent in the offseason, the two talked and Law was pretty sure that New England would step up to the plate and offer him a deal. Law was also sure he could get more money – and years – elsewhere.

“Sometimes, learning from experience, I think he made an incredible decision to not go and take the money and have a chance to win because winning are the things that are going to be remembered for a long, long time when you get a chance to win a championship. So yeah, I’m glad he made the decision to come here and not go get the money,” Law said.

“I don’t want to say if I was influential or not, because it was ultimately his decision. I just had an opinion. I had to learn even from some of my own decisions I made. Sometimes, when you’re in the heat of battle, I didn’t have a mentor. The only person that I could depend on was me and make the decisions so some decisions I made were great and some decisions I made were not so great. If I can instill that and just tell him what I’ve been through, and same thing with my son, live and learn through me and take my mistakes and use those as a lesson as well. I think Darrelle ultimately did what was best for him but coming here was a great decision and I encouraged that.”

Revis agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal. Prove yourself in New England and millions more will follow. Of course, when Law left after the 2004 season, he had already proven himself to the tune of three Super Bowl titles. But the Patriots couldn’t afford his $12.5 million cap hit for the 2005 season and was released.

Law signed with the Jets for the 2005 season and had a career-high 10 interceptions and was the only Jet voted into the Pro Bowl. Law was released by the Jets after only one season as the Jets were a projected $26 million over the salary cap for 2006. Law was due to make $7.6 million for 2006. In came the Chiefs, who signed him to a five-year deal worth $30 million. He only saw two seasons in KC before being released, eventually playing one more time for the Jets and finishing in Denver in 2009.

Law and Revis have talked and joked about all of this before, as Revis is already working on his third team, himself.

“I talk to him very often, especially that he’s up here now. We live in the same community down in Florida. We train together. I’m there for Darrelle as much as possible. When he comes here, he comes by the house and we sit out in the back and talk because it goes beyond football with us. We’re from the same [town] and we can relate to each other on a different level other than just football.

“We’ve been through the same hardships, we’ve seen the same things, we played the same positions. It’s just been a great friendship, a great bond and I’m just here for him if he needs me. There are things from a football perspective that I can talk to him that big Uncle Sean [Gilbert] can’t because he was not a cornerback. He can talk about the NFL experiences and guide him in the right way in that aspect. But playing the cornerback position is different so we can definitely talk football on a different level. But it’s not all about that. Sometimes it’s just about life and growing up and maturing and winning.”

Law believes this much: if the Patriots stay healthy on defense, something woefully missing last season, they will be back in the big game in Glendale, Ariz.

“I think that was one of the weaker links in the defense for the last few years but now you’ve strengthened that five times with Darrelle Revis, and now you have [Brandon] Browner there and you think of Ninkovich getting another year of experience,” Law said Monday. “And with Wilfork, you have the different type of leadership. Chandler Jones with another year of experience. So, it’s going to be amazing what these guys can do and I think the key is to stay healthy. You can have all the talent in the world but if you can’t stay out there on the field, you’re going to be hurting your team.

“If these guys can stay healthy and the offense can continue putting up the numbers consistently the way they’ve been doing, and you’ve got Tom Brady leading the pack and you can protect him, good things are going to happen. They shored up the secondary and I think if they had had better secondary play, they would’ve had a championship last year.”

Fans have been wishing for a shutdown corner like Law ever since he left. Now, Law says, they finally have him.

“They got him now,” Law said. “I really do believe [they have another shut down corner]. People tend to remind you that you were a pretty good player. I look at it as I did my job, tried to do the best I could as a player. I think being an analyst now, looking at the team, that’s what they need, a marquis cornerback.

“They had one in Aqib Talib but it just wasn’t enough for whatever reason because I think he was a great cornerback but Darrelle is special. He’s a different level so when you look at the secondary now, look at another [No.] 24 out there and he’s that elite of a cornerback and football player, you can really see these guys getting over the hump again and bringing back home the trophy where I think it belong. We always strived to be champions and we were fortunate enough to achieve that three times.

“It’s been a long time. It’s high standards around here, high expectations so now I think they have some pieces to the puzzle so hopefully they can put it all together. But it feels good to still be mentioned as part of those championship teams. Some of the fans are so loyal. They let you know how much they appreciate it when I was playing and what I was able to do for the team.”

As for Law, he provided some insight to his likely Friday afternoon speech when he stands up in his new bright red jacket and addresses the crowd as the newest member of the Patriots Hall of Fame.

“This is always going to be home for me,” Law said. “I keep a home here. I’m here. I’m home. I will never have a home in Denver. I will never have a home in Kansas City. I will never have a home in New York. Those were pitstops as far as I’m concerned and I had some great experiences there as well for what it was worth. This is where I’m going down [in history] now and you guys helped me go down in history as one of the all-time greats to play in a Patriots uniform. This is home and I’m happy and hopefully, I can still do my job if I’m being an analyst. Deep down inside I have to be critical but I’m [rooting] for the Patriots every time.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Patriots announced Monday they have claimed rookie running back Tyler Gaffney off waivers from Carolina and released veteran linebacker Josh Hull. Here’s a portion of the release from the team on the moves.

The Patriots announced Monday they have claimed rookie running back Tyler Gaffney off waivers from Carolina and released veteran linebacker Josh Hull. Here’s a portion of the release from the team on the moves.

Gaffney, 23, was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft (204th overall) out of Stanford. He was injured in training camp and was released by the Panthers on July 27. The 6-foot, 220-pounder, had a productive senior season in 2013, starting in all 14 games and finishing with 330 rushing attempts for 1,709 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. Gaffney played as a true in 2009 and then took the 2012 season off to play professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system, before returning to college football for the 2013 season.

Hull, 27, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the St. Louis Rams (2010-12) and the Washington Redskins (2013), who was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on April 24. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder was originally drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round (254th overall) out of Penn State in 2010. He was released by St. Louis at the end of training camp in 2013 and signed with Washington as a free agent on Oct. 15, 2013. Hull has played in 39 NFL games with one start and has registered 25 total tackles. Last season with the Rams, Hull played in 11 games and finished with 14 total tackles.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Leave it to the Jets to make a Patriots off-day still worth paying attention to the NFL.

Calvin Pace, here getting to Tom Brady, says the Jets have the best defense in the NFL. (AP)

Calvin Pace, here getting to Tom Brady, says the Jets have the best defense in the NFL. (AP)

Leave it to the Jets to make a Patriots off-day still worth paying attention to the NFL.

Jets linebacker Calvin Pace says his team’s defense is not only improved for 2014, he insists it’s the best defense in football, not the defending champion Seahawks, not the vastly improved Patriots or Broncos or the young and hungry Bengals. The Jets.

‘€œ[Compared to] the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S’€”, man, we’€™re the best,’€ Pace told the New York Daily News. ‘€œYou ask anybody around the league, we’€™re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year.’€

Why would Pace make such a statement? He believes the basis of such confidence lies in his head coach Rex Ryan.

‘€œThere’€™s a certain type of aggression when we come [play you]. You know we’€™re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’€™t want to see that,’€ he said. ‘€œThey want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’€™re going to be. I’€™ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.’€

Pace is hardly the first Jet to pop off this summer. After all he’s learning from the best. Ryan has already labeled David Harris the most underrated linebacker in the NFL and Ryan describing himself as ‘€œa great coach” while corner Dee Milliner says he’s the best corner in the NFL.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

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FOXBORO — The common thinking is that Darrelle Revis is going to be the next Ty Law, if not better.

Even Law admitted Monday – after getting fitted for his Patriots Hall of Fame jacket for this Friday’s ceremony – that Revis is what fans have been longing for.