Sealver Siliga

Sealver Siliga

Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was the only player not spotted at the start of Patriots practice on Saturday, according to reports.

Siliga, who is dealing with what the team is calling a foot injury, has missed practice all week since injuring his foot in last Sunday’s win over the Raiders. With the appearance of a new (unidentified) player at the start of Saturday’s practice and all 10 practice squad players present, it’s reasonable to wonder if Siliga has been placed on short-term injured reserve.

The Patriots continue preparing for Monday’s game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell

One of the things the Patriots have always valued in their offensive linemen is versatility, and this year is no different. New England has been able to run out several offensive linemen who have experience at multiple positions — that has allowed the coaching staff to do some mixing and matching while it tries to find the best combination for an offensive line that’s struggling over the course of the first three games.

The fact that Dan Connolly was limited at practice this week with what the team is calling a foo injury means that rookie Bryan Stork and veteran Ryan Wendell might be doing some shuffling. Stork, who stepped in at center in the late stages of last week’s win over the Raiders, arrives at the NFL level with a peerless resume, having played some guard before moving to the pivot, where he eventually won the Rimington Award last year as college football’s best center. A captain and three-year starter at Florida State, he was a part of last season’s national championship team.

“[He] played obviously in a good program down there, played for a real good coach ‘€“ [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line] Coach [Rick] Trickett,” Belichick said Saturday. “He was strong; he was part of the Florida State workout the day we were there. He’€™s an athletic kid that runs fairly well. He’€™s a smart football player. He’€™s into football.

“He’€™s really a football guy; loves football, works really hard at football. He wants to be a football player and he’€™s dedicated himself to it; all those qualities that you love in any player but especially an offensive linemen. He’€™s got strength; he’€™s got a good frame for a center. He’€™s got good length and height. He played in a good program, he’€™s well coached, pretty good fundamental player. I thought he was as good as any center that we saw this year, the last couple years.”

A rookie center not only has the challenge of getting in sync with the rest of the line, but developing a relationship with the quarterback. But Belichick said Saturday that’s not the biggest challenge.

“I would say the passing game in general I think is the biggest change for the offensive line,” Belichick said when asked about rookie adjustments. “It’€™s more for the center than for the other positions relative to the amount of variables and the communication with the quarterback and then the cadence and actual timing and delivery of the snap and so forth.

“It’€™s not easy. It’€™s not easy to play offensive line in this league and it’€™s not easy to play center and it’€™s not easy to play center as a rookie.”

As for Wendell, he made his bones the last few seasons as the starting center, but at the same time, he does have some experience working at guard. On Saturday, Belichick certainly sounded like he would trust Wendell if he needed to make a move to guard.

“He’€™s played both for us,” Belichick said of Wendell, who has fundamentally been the starting center in New England since 2012. “Ryan’€™s a really smart player. He’€™s one of the smartest players that we have, that we’€™ve had. He really understands everything that we’€™re doing, including all the communication with the quarterback and so forth.”

Belichick acknowledged that the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Wendell is a little undersized for the center position, but is able to make up for it with his intelligence and technique. Belichick credited his pal and Wendell’s former college coach Pat Hill from Fresno State for giving that to him.

“He’s as smart and tough a player as you would want,” Belichick said. “He’€™s a little limited I’€™d say overall with his size and his athletic skill set but he’€™s worked on that. He’€™s very strong in the weight room and he has good playing strength.

“He has good leverage. Part of that is because of his height but he has good leverage. He’€™s a good technique player who was well coached in college with Pat Hill at Fresno [State]. He’€™s certainly improved on that since he’€™s been here. He’€™s a guy that just started [here] but a little better, a little better, a little better and just did everything a little bit better ‘€“ technique, athleticism, quickness, explosion, strength, experience and just kept getting better.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell

One of the things the Patriots have always valued in their offensive linemen is versatility, and this year is no different. New England has been able to run out several offensive linemen who have experience at multiple positions — that has allowed the coaching staff to do some mixing and matching while it tries to find the best combination for an offensive line that’s struggling over the course of the first three games.

The fact that Dan Connolly was limited at practice this week with what the team is calling a foo injury means that rookie Bryan Stork and veteran Ryan Wendell might be doing some shuffling. Stork, who stepped in at center in the late stages of last week’s win over the Raiders, arrives at the NFL level with a peerless resume, having played some guard before moving to the pivot, where he eventually won the Rimington Award last year as college football’s best center. A captain and three-year starter at Florida State, he was a part of last season’s national championship team.

“[He] played obviously in a good program down there, played for a real good coach ‘€“ [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line] Coach [Rick] Trickett,” Belichick said Saturday. “He was strong; he was part of the Florida State workout the day we were there. He’€™s an athletic kid that runs fairly well. He’€™s a smart football player. He’€™s into football.

“He’€™s really a football guy; loves football, works really hard at football. He wants to be a football player and he’€™s dedicated himself to it; all those qualities that you love in any player but especially an offensive linemen. He’€™s got strength; he’€™s got a good frame for a center. He’€™s got good length and height. He played in a good program, he’€™s well coached, pretty good fundamental player. I thought he was as good as any center that we saw this year, the last couple years.”

A rookie center not only has the challenge of getting in sync with the rest of the line, but developing a relationship with the quarterback. But Belichick said Saturday that’s not the biggest challenge.

“I would say the passing game in general I think is the biggest change for the offensive line,” Belichick said when asked about rookie adjustments. “It’€™s more for the center than for the other positions relative to the amount of variables and the communication with the quarterback and then the cadence and actual timing and delivery of the snap and so forth.

“It’€™s not easy. It’€™s not easy to play offensive line in this league and it’€™s not easy to play center and it’€™s not easy to play center as a rookie.”

As for Wendell, he made his bones the last few seasons as the starting center, but at the same time, he does have some experience working at guard. On Saturday, Belichick certainly sounded like he would trust Wendell if he needed to make a move to guard.

“He’€™s played both for us,” Belichick said of Wendell, who has fundamentally been the starting center in New England since 2012. “Ryan’€™s a really smart player. He’€™s one of the smartest players that we have, that we’€™ve had. He really understands everything that we’€™re doing, including all the communication with the quarterback and so forth.”

Belichick acknowledged that the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Wendell is a little undersized for the center position, but is able to make up for it with his intelligence and technique. Belichick credited his pal and Wendell’s former college coach Pat Hill from Fresno State for giving that to him.

“He’s as smart and tough a player as you would want,” Belichick said. “He’€™s a little limited I’€™d say overall with his size and his athletic skill set but he’€™s worked on that. He’€™s very strong in the weight room and he has good playing strength.

“He has good leverage. Part of that is because of his height but he has good leverage. He’€™s a good technique player who was well coached in college with Pat Hill at Fresno. He’€™s certainly improved on that since he’€™s been here. He’€™s a guy that just started [here] but a little better, a little better, a little better and just did everything a little bit better –€“ technique, athleticism, quickness, explosion, strength, experience and just kept getting better.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
We check in with former Patriot and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinnest, who was part of a panel of former players brought in by Roger Goodell this week to help contribute to helping the NFL learn from and grow from the mistakes and controversies it's faced the past month.
We check in with the great 88 Michael Irvin on a Patriots Friday and talk about the Patriots, and all things NFL.


FOXBORO — It’s been a brutal week of criticism for everyone along the Patriots’ offensive line.

Even Tom Brady dropped very subtle hints this week that he needs more time to “make better decisions” and expressed concern that sometimes teams “flatten out” in their improvement and never get above a certain level.

But all of that has done nothing to shake the confidence of one those who has heard the most criticism since the Patriots escapted 16-9 Sunday against the Raiders. Nate Solder figures to once again be the starting left tackle, assigned to slowing down Tamba Hali or Justin Houston. Solder says neither he nor any of his offensive line teammates are in a confidence of crisis.

“I don’t think confidence has been a problem,” Solder insisted Friday after practice. “We’ve been building steadily the whole year and we’re going to continue to do that.

“We’re working hard to fix everything. At this point, it’s just a building process. Things hopefully improve but you never know until game day so we work hard every day to make it better.”

As for slowing Hali or Houston, Solder knows what he’s up against.

Exceptional players, play really hard and make a lot of plays. Huge challenge for us,” Solder said.

Even with the struggles of the offensive line against the Dolphins and Raiders, Solder and Sebastian Vollmer appear to be fairly secure at the left and right tackle spots, respectively. It’s the interior line where the Patriots might decide to shake things up, especially with veteran center Ryan Wendell not appearing on the injury report.

After struggling through the first three games of the season, the Patriots offensive line is looking forward to showing that it can perform at a higher level when it takes the field Monday night in Kansas City.

If the Patriots decide to shake up the offensive line, such as starting rookie Bryan Stork at center, moving Dan Connolly to right guard or even swapping out left guard Marcus Cannon, they’ll be doing do in one of the most hostile environments in football – Arrowhead Stadium. But Solder, who played in the Big 12 at Colorado, says he’s not overly concerned.

“I imagine the crowd will get into it at some point but our main opponent is the Chiefs so that’s what we’re really focused on.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was again the only Patriots player missing from practice on Friday, as the team released its second formal participation report of the week, leading up to their game Monday night in Kansas City. Siliga injured his foot in the first half Sunday against the Raiders and did not return.

Sealver Siliga addresses reporters at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Sealver Siliga addresses reporters at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was again the only Patriots player missing from practice on Friday, as the team released its second formal participation report of the week, leading up to their game Monday night in Kansas City. Siliga injured his foot in the first half Sunday against the Raiders and did not return. The formal availability list doesn’t come out until Saturday, 48 hours before the game, but it would appear highly unlikely Siliga is available. The team signed defensive lineman Ben Bass to the practice squad on Friday for added roster depth.

There were no changes to the Patriots practice participation report Friday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) and linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) remain on the list were officially limited once again.

The news of the day came on the Kansas City side, where running back Joe McKnight, who had six catches for 64 yards in the win over Miami, missed practice Friday and was ruled out for Monday night. McKnight saw action in Miami after Jamaal Charles missed the game with a high-ankle sprain. Charles practice again on a limited basis but would appear ready to return to action against the Patriots.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated Thursday that he believes the running back will be ready to play Monday night against the Patriots.

“Yeah, I think so,” Reid said Thursday when asked if Charles would practice this week and play on Monday. “He’s going to practice. We’ll see how he does.”

Additionally for the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry is nursing an ankle injury and did not practice for a second straight day.

Here’s the complete report:

Did not participate
DT Sealver Siliga (ankle)

Limited
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
OL Dan Connolly (knee)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
S Don Jones (hamstring)

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Ben Bass is back with the Patriots.

The Patriots announced Friday that they signed the 24-year-old defensive lineman to the practice squad while released offensive lineman Chris Martin from the practice squad to make room. Bass was at Patriots practice on Friday, wearing No. 93 while Martin was not spotted at practice.

FOXBORO — Ben Bass is back with the Patriots.

The Patriots announced Friday that they signed the 24-year-old defensive lineman to the practice squad while released offensive lineman Chris Martin from the practice squad to make room. Bass was at Patriots practice on Friday, wearing No. 93 while Martin was not spotted at practice.

Bass was initially acquired by the Patriots in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for DB Justin Green on Aug. 15, 2014. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 26. He originally joined the Cowboys in 2012 as a rookie free agent out of Texas A&M on May 14, 2012, and spent most of the 2012 season on the Cowboys’€™ practice squad before being activated to the 53-man roster on Nov. 13, 2013.

Bass appeared in two games as a rookie before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 1, 2012. He went to training camp with the Cowboys in 2013 but was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the regular season.

Martin, 24, was originally signed by Houston as a rookie free agent out of Central Florida on May 16, 2014. The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder, was released by Houston on May 27 and signed by the Patriots on June 23, 2014. Martin was released on Aug. 30 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia