More optimism from the Patriots and their quarterback situation.

More optimism from the Patriots and their quarterback situation.

New England is “all but certain” to have Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett for this Sunday’s game against the Bills, and if “[one] or both” were not available for Sunday, it would be an “upset,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter notes that the team did not have any quarterbacks in for workouts this week, as well as the fact that both Garoppolo and Brissett were on the practice field on Tuesday.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — It’s been three weeks of regular season games with the new kickoff rules where touchbacks go out to the 25-yard line, not the 20-yard line, and it’s apparent it’s changed the Patriots’ approach.

Stephen Gostkowski and the Patriots have fared well with the new kickoff rule. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Stephen Gostkowski and the Patriots have fared well with the new kickoff rule. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — It’s been three weeks of regular season games with the new kickoff rules where touchbacks go out to the 25-yard line, not the 20-yard line, and it’s apparent it’s changed the Patriots’ approach.

In the first three games of last season, Stephen Gostkowski had 18 touchbacks in 24 attempts (75 percent). In the first three games this season, he has 12 touchbacks in 18 attempts (66 percent). While it’s only a nine percent difference, it’s worth noting the Patriots have been involved in two blowout games (up 31-3 over Miami and beat Houston 27-0), so the numbers might have been even more different if those games were more competitive.

“It’s still three weeks in, it’s hard to get a feel for it. I just do what I am told,” Gostkowski said. “There are some times where I don’t kick a touchback and I am trying to. There are times when I try and kick a touchback and I don’t. It’s not all as calculated as people may think. To give five free extra yards without making them earn it, we have a lot of guys that work too hard to just give away that kind of field position. We’re happy with the start we’ve had with that unit. We have to continue to keep making plays. We’re excited we can help the team any way we can.”

When Gostkowski doesn’t blast a kick as far as he can deep into the end zone, it seems he has opted for a pop-up type kick trying to have the returner catch it inside the 10-yard line on the right side of the field, which allows the coverage team to get down the field in a hurry to hopefully stop him before he gets to the 20-yard line.

“It’s always a mystery, man,” Gostkowski said. “We’re a week-to-week team. I just do what the coaches tell me to do. I try and it do it my best.”

Gostkowski said there hasn’t been much adjustment to his preparation with the increased number of pop-up kicks as it isn’t a dramatic change.

“You still have to kick it 65 yards, it’s not like I am swinging a pitching wedge,” he said. “You have to be a little more precise with what you’re doing where in the past few years you might just kick it as far as you can. There’s a little adjustment, but we’re not re-inventing the wheel here.”

So while it’s just been three games, the Patriots opponents following kickoffs have had their average starting point be the 21-yard line, including two fumbles, so Gostkowski and the special teams unit have done its job.

“I’d say we’ve fared pretty well so far, but we have a lot work to keep going,” Gostkowski said. “Those guys are good covering kicks, I just have to put them in a position to make plays.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Bill Belichick was mic’d up for last Thursday’s win over the Texans, and the results will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.”

Bill Belichick was mic’d up for last Thursday’s win over the Texans, and the results will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.”

Belichick has a longstanding appreciation for “NFL Films” — when he’s collaborated with them in the past, it has produced many memorable moments. With New England’s dramatic 27-0 shutout of the Texans, along with the fact that it was the first game back at Gillette for veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and the first career start for rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, it promises to be an entertaining show.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

LeGarrette Blount leads the NFL in rushing. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)FOXBORO -- Prior to the start of the 2016 season, there were some who speculated that running back LeGarrette Blount was done.



FOXBORO — It looks like the Patriots won’t have to bring in another quarterback after all.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

FOXBORO — It looks like the Patriots won’t have to bring in another quarterback after all.

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (right shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (right thumb) were present at the start of Patriots practice on Tuesday. Brissett had his right thumb taped and Garoppolo didn’t show any sign of a brace on his shoulder, but the team was in full pads.

The media only got to see stretching, so there was no sign of either throwing a football.

All Patriots players were present, including new defensive lineman John Hughes and new practice squad wide receiver Da’Ron Brown, who were both officially signed on Tuesday morning.

After missing the last two games, Dont’a Hightower was present, which could be a good sign for his availability on Sunday.

Tight end A.J. Derby wore a black jersey signifying he was the Patriots’ practice player of the week last week. He may have played the role of the scout team quarterback, given the Patriots’ uncertainty with their own quarterback position.

The team will release their first practice report of the week on Wednesday.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

EXCLUSIVE: Naked Tom Brady sure seems to be enjoying his #Deflategate suspension https://t.co/R1dN8mXlX8 pic.twitter.com/hWQVazGwI8