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


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WEEI.com’s Patriots writer Chris Price previews the Week 4 Monday Night Football match-up between the Patriots and Chiefs. Find out the keys to the game as well as Chris’ score prediction.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

FOXBORO — For a third straight day, defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was the only member of the 53-man roster not present at the start of practice as the Patriots worked out in sweats and shells Friday on the upper grass fields.

Siliga injured the foot in the first half on Sunday against the Raiders and did not return.