FOXBORO — It seemed like a pretty harmless question to Rams coach Jeff Fisher on Wednesday’s conference call, but his response may indicate why the coach is one of the most losing coaches in NFL history.

Fisher was asked his thoughts on the Patriots’ running backs now that they have had Dion Lewis back for two days.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher had some trouble naming Patriots running backs on Wednesday. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

Rams coach Jeff Fisher had some trouble naming Patriots running backs on Wednesday. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — It seemed like a pretty harmless question to Rams coach Jeff Fisher on Wednesday’s conference call, but his response may indicate why the coach is one of the most losing coaches in NFL history.

Fisher was asked his thoughts on the Patriots’ running backs now that they have had Dion Lewis back for two days.

“Well, they’re all different,” Fisher said. “I have a place in my heart for LeGarrette [Blount], because I gave him a start [with Tennessee], and I have great respect for him. He’s a big back, and he’s hard to get down. And as they rotate through, different guys play in different situations, and they do a good job with it. He knows where the ball’s going to go, and the guys are very, very disciplined.

“I’ve been impressed with Brandon and what he’s done out of the backfield. You’ve got to deal with him, in addition to Danny. You’ve got playmakers all around, so we have to play sound defense.”

Brandon? Yes, Brandon Bolden is a running back, but he’s primarily a special teams player and has just one carry all year. And Danny? Fisher should know Danny Amendola is a receiver, so maybe he still thinks Danny Woodhead is on the Patriots.

Regardless, not a good look for a head coach who is playing the Patriots in four days.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett

FOXBORO — There were two quarterbacks at practice on Wednesday, but one of them wasn’t Tom Brady.

Jacoby Brissett joined Jimmy Garoppolo at practice, which means the rookie has come off injured reserve and now the Patriots have 21 days to activate him to the roster or else he reverts back to injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

The new NFL rules say teams can pick one player on injured reserve to bring back during the year, but besides Brissett the team has no real options as Sebastian Vollmer, Greg Scruggs and Jonathan Freeny have no chance of returning.

Brissett injured his thumb Week 3 against the Texans, but played Week 4 against the Bills before getting surgery the week after. He’s been around the team much of the year, even going on road trips, which is something Bill Belichick doesn’t typically do with players.

It’s possible Brissett never gets added to the roster and is just an extra body at practice the next three weeks with Brady dealing with his knee injury.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — There were a lot of big names missing from Patriots practice on Wednesday.

Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Richards were all missing from the session held on the lower fields behind Gillette Stadium. Brady has been dealing with a knee injury and Gronkowski left Sunday’s game with a back injury.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

FOXBORO — There were a lot of big names missing from Patriots practice on Wednesday.

Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Richards were all missing from the session held on the lower fields behind Gillette Stadium. Brady has been dealing with a knee injury and Gronkowski left Sunday’s game with a back injury.

Edelman has been limited in most practices this year because of his foot and Richards injured his foot in Sunday’s game, but was able to return.

Martellus Bennett was present, but he rode the stationary bike the entire 15 minutes the media was present. Also, Matthew Slater returned to practice after missing all of last week because of a foot injury suffered against the 49ers.

After being released earlier in the week, DJ Foster returned to the practice squad as Glenn Gronkowski was released.

The first injury report of the week will come out later in the day.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

One oddsmaker now says Tom Brady is third in race for NFL MVP honors.

One oddsmaker now says Tom Brady is third in race for NFL MVP honors.

Bovada announced Wednesday that Brady — who had led the pack for the last couple of weeks — currently has the third-best odds to win MVP. He trails Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott (3/1) and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan (7/2). Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott (6/1) and Oakland quarterback Derek Carr (8/1) round out the top five.

Bovada is a little kinder to the Patriots as a whole, as they still have New England with the best odds to win the Super Bowl at 12/5. (Good odds, but off a little from last week, when New England was at 9/4.) The Cowboys (4/1), Seahawks (15/2), Raiders (10/1) and Steelers (12/1) round out top five.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Marcus Cannon said Wednesday he feels “blessed” to have received a contract extension from the Patriots.

Right tackle Marcus Cannon landed a new deal from the Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Right tackle Marcus Cannon landed a new deal from the Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Marcus Cannon said Wednesday he feels “blessed” to have received a contract extension from the Patriots.

“It doesn’t validate anything,” the right tackle said of the new five-year deal he agreed to earlier in the week, a contract that could keep him in New England for the rest of his career. “I still have to come out here and do things better. There are still things I need to work on.

“But like I was saying, I’m very thankful of the opportunity they’ve given me. I’m very blessed.”

The 6-foot-5, 363-pound Cannon is in his sixth season with the Patriots, and while he struggled at times over the course of his career in New England, it appears that the stability that comes with only playing right tackle has agreed with him. The 28-year-old, who has bounced up and down the offensive line over the course of his career, has been the right tackle since the start of the season, and has done well.

“Marcus is having a good season. He’s been a good player for us,” said Bill Belichick. “Marcus has always done a solid job for us whenever he’s played. I’m glad we have him going forward. He works hard. A quiet kid but he’s very dependable, team oriented. He’s done a good job for us in the running game and the passing game. He’s been a good player.”

There are two other possible reasons behind his improvement: one, he was reunited with Dante Scarnecchia, who returned to work as the offensive line coach this past season. And two, it looks like he dropped some weight, and is lighter on his feet. That helps out when it comes to footwork and technique, especially when it comes to defeating pass rushers off the edge.

“Just changed some stuff here and there,” Cannon said when asked about his weight loss. “We have a great strength and conditioning coach; he helped a lot. Just put some good people in my corner. He helped me be the best I can be.”

When it comes to Scarnecchia, he said the return of the veteran coach has been “great” when it comes to his professional development.

“Just doing everything that he tells us to do as an offensive line and trying to get better every day,” he said. “I just love playing with the guys in this unit. Come in every day, work together. We leave together. We’re a tight-knit group.”

In the end, Cannon said the contract doesn’t necessarily provide validation for he level of work he’s put in over the last few years. But he won’t deny that there’s a sense of comfort that comes with the possibility of him being able to finish his career in New England.

“I’m always trying to get better. There are things I have to work on still. Small things, big things. I’m never just happy with where I’m at,” he said. “[But] I’m thankful they’ve given me this opportunity, and they trust me enough to re-sign me.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — When the opposing punter is their best player do the Patriots really have anything to fear this Sunday against the Rams? Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable preview from inside Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
WEEI