Blog en Report: Lions DT CJ Mosley fined for personal foul penalty vs. Patriots <!--paging_filter--><p>FOXBORO &#8212; Although Lions offensive lineman Dominic Raiola <a href="">reportedly won&#8217;t be fined</a> for his actions in last Sunday&#8217;s game against the Patriots, one of his teammates is.</p> <p>According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was fined $22,000 for his personal foul late in the game when he hit Patriots long-snapper Danny Aiken illegally after a snap on a field goal attempt, taking a personal foul penalty on the play. LeGarrette Blount recorded his second touchdown of the game on the following play.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href=""></a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>So Lions DT C.J. Mosley was fined for his personal foul vs the Patriots after all, $22k</p> <p>&#8216;€” Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) <a href="">November 26, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8"></script></p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:28:56 +0000 761366 at Report: Ed Hochuli will work as referee for Patriots-Packers <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_84424" style="width: 360px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-84424" src="" alt="Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday's Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)" width="350" height="525" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Ed Hochuli will serve as the lead official for Sunday&#8217;s Patriots-Packers game. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)</p></div> <p>Ed Hochuli will serve as the referee for Sunday&#8217;s Patriots-Packers game, according to</p> <p>Hochuli, known for his physique &#8211;€” as well as his occasional tendency to overexplain situations on the field &#8212; will be working his first New England game of the season. His last Patriots have was the regular-season finale last year against the Bills. Hochuli, who has worked an an NFL official since 1990, has served as the lead referee for two Super Bowls.</p> <p>Here&#8217;€™€™s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.</p> <p><strong>Sept. 7 at Miami:</strong> Walt Anderson &#8216;€“€” 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins &#8216;€“€” 4 penalties, 26 yards)<br /> <strong>Sept. 14 at Minnesota:</strong> Tony Corrente &#8216;€“€” 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings &#8216;€” 7 penalties, 58 yards)<br /> <strong>Sept. 21 vs. Oakland:</strong> Pete Morelli &#8216;€” 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders &#8216;€“€” 6 penalties, 49 yards)<br /> <strong>Sept. 29 at Kansas City:</strong> John Parry &#8216;€“€” 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs &#8216;€“€” 4 penalties, 35 yards)<br /> <strong>Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati:</strong> Jerome Boger &#8216;€” 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals &#8216;€“€” 4 penalties, 37 yards)<br /> <strong>Oct. 12 at Buffalo:</strong> Walt Coleman &#8216;€“€” 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills &#8216;€“€” 8 penalties, 107 yards)<br /> <strong>Oct. 16 vs. Jets:</strong> Bill Leavy &#8216;€“€” 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets &#8216;€“€” 7 penalties, 70 yards)<br /> <strong>Oct. 23 vs. Bears:</strong> Brad Allen &#8216;€“” 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears &#8216;€“€” 5 penalties, 41 yards)<br /> <strong>Nov. 2 vs. Denver:</strong> Walt Anderson &#8216;€” 9 penalties, 71 yards (<a class="r_lapi" href="">Broncos</a> &#8216;€“€” 10 penalties, 72 yards)<br /> <strong>Nov. 16 at Indy:</strong> Pete Morelli &#8216;€” 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts &#8216;€” 4 penalties, 27 yards)<br /> <strong>Nov. 23 vs. Lions:</strong> Tony Corrente &#8212; 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions &#8212; 9 penalties, 54 yards)<br /> <strong>Nov. 30 at Packers:</strong> Ed Hochuli</p> <p>For more on Hochuli&#8217;€™s work as a referee, check out his page at <a href="" target="_blank">Pro Football Reference</a>. For more information on this week&#8217;€™s assignments, click through to the always reliable <a href="" target="_blank">Football Zebras</a>. And for more Patriots news, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:09:30 +0000 761306 at Matthew Slater focused on Green Bay even following contract extension <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79151" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79151" src="" alt="Matthew Slater" width="150" height="202" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="">Matthew Slater</a></p></div> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; In typical <a href="" class="r_lapi">Matthew Slater</a> fashion, even after signing a <a href="">two-year contract extension</a> with the Patriots through the end of the 2016 season, he would rather talk about the Patrots&#8217; next opponent in <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Packers</a>, than himself.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;d love to be able to indulge in that, but we have to focus on playing <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Packers</a> this week,&#8221; Slater said.</p> <p>The special teams specialist did give one comment on his contract, but that was as far as he would go.</p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;t want to get into too much detail about it. I am so thankful for what the lord has done in my life and my career and develop me here as a player and as a man,&#8221; Slater said. &#8220;I am thankful for an opportunity to continue this development &#8212; I am thankful to the coaching staff and coach [<a class="r_lapi" href="">Bill] Belichick</a> and this organization for believing in me and appreciating a player like me, and guys like myself across this team. That being said, the focus here is on us preparing for Green Bay. That is all I am concerned with and I&#8217;d rather talk about that.&#8221;</p> <p>Slater&#8217;s contract was set to expire at the end of the season. Even as strictly a special teamer, Slater has made a huge impact being a three-time <a class="r_lapi" href="">Pro Bowl</a> selection. He also serves as the team&#8217;s player representative.</p> <p>&#8220;It means a lot. It definitely means a lot to me,&#8221; he said of being a member of the Patriots organization. &#8220;I really feel like God has blessed me with a tremendous opportunity and I take a lot of pride and am thankful for the opportunity I&#8217;ve had here to live out a childhood dream.&#8221;</p> <p>Slater is looking forward to Sunday&#8217;s game in Green Bay against a tough Packers team and being able to play at the historic <a class="r_lapi" href="">Lambeau Field</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;Excited about it,&#8221; he said. &#8220;A lot of history there and with Curley Lambeau and everything that this organization stands for. I don&#8217;t think the league would be where it is without a franchise like this so we&#8217;re excited about the challenge. All that being said, we&#8217;re going against one of the best teams in football. That is going to be a big challenge for us and we have to have a good week of preparation and have a good effort on Sunday.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:00:50 +0000 761311 at Darrelle Revis: Aaron Rodgers ‘our biggest test yet’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79987" style="width: 360px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-79987" src="" alt="Darrelle Revis and the Patriots have won seven straight heading into this weekend. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)" width="350" height="477" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> and the Patriots have won seven straight heading into this weekend. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)</p></div> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> wasn&#8217;t about to mince words when it came to <a href="" class="r_lapi">Aaron Rodgers</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;We believe that <a href="" class="r_lapi">Aaron Rodgers</a> is our biggest test yet,&#8221; Revis said of the Green Bay quarterback, who will square off against the Patriots Sunday at <a href="" class="r_lapi">Lambeau Field</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;The guy is awesome,&#8221; added Revis. &#8220;We&#8217;re looking forward to it.&#8221;</p> <p>New England will be looking to slow down a Green Bay offense that has been lights out over the last several weeks. <a href="" class="r_lapi">The Packers</a> are 5-0 at home, and in his five games at Lambeau this year, Rodgers is completing 67 percent of his passes, is averaging 284.8 passing yards per game and has 18 touchdowns and no picks, to go along with a passer rating of 138.1.</p> <p>&#8220;They&#8217;re an impressive team,&#8221; Revis said of <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Packers</a>. &#8220;They&#8217;re tops in every category in the passing game.&#8221;</p> <p>Rodgers leans heavily on the duo of Jordy Nelson and <a href="" class="r_lapi">Randall Cobb</a>. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound Nelson is eighth in the league in catches (68), fifth in targets (106) and receiving yards (1,066) and fourth in touchdown catches (nine). He&#8217;€™s only one of five receivers with at least 100 targets and 1,000 receiving yards, and has 18 catches for 329 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games. Cobb is a 5-foot-10, 192-pounder out of Kentucky who has 58 catches on 79 targets for 837 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns.</p> <p>&#8220;They always get open &#8212; that shows you they understand the game,&#8221; Revis said of the Nelson/Cobb combo. &#8220;They&#8217;re very experienced. They have a lot of chemistry with Rodgers.&#8221;</p> <p>The Patriots have cruised through the first four games of a six-game stretch that many believe would come to define their season, with four straight wins against four straight divisional leaders in Chicago, Denver, Indy and Detroit. But defeating the Packers in Green Bay represents a sizable challenge &#8212; the Packers are unbeaten at home, have averaged 44 points per game and have won their games at home by an average of 27 points per game. That includes two games where they&#8217;ve put up more than 50 points.</p> <p>&#8220;That&#8217;s a part of the NFL, the challenge,&#8221; Revis said. &#8220;It doesn&#8217;t matter what team you play. All 32 teams are good and you have to bring your &#8216;A&#8217; game every Sunday. You have to play elite ball to win. Our schedule has been pretty tough but at the same time, it&#8217;s the schedule. You get challenged, and you have to stand up to the challenge.&#8221;</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:44:26 +0000 761241 at Patriots sign TE Xavier Gimble, LS Charley Hughlett to practice squad <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79059" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img src="" alt="Danny Aiken" width="150" height="226" class="size-full wp-image-79059" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Danny Aiken</p></div> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; The Patriots made two significant additions to their practice squad the day before Thanksgiving. </p> <p>The team signed tight end Xavier Grimble and long snapper Charley Hughlett to the unit. It&#8217;s the second appearance on the practice squad this season for Hughlett, who was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 1 and released two days later. </p> <p>Hughlett provides depth behind current long snapper Danny Aiken, who had one bad snap Sunday and was punished by a cheap shot to the back of the head from Detroit&#8217;s C.J. Mosley on a late field goal attempt. </p> <p>To make room for Grimble and Hughlett, the Patriots released linebacker Deontae Skinner and defensive back Daxton Swanson from the practice squad.</p> <p>Grimble, 22, was originally signed by the <a href="" class="r_lapi">New York Giants</a> as a rookie free agent out of USC on May 15, 2014. The 6-foot-4, 261-pounder, was released by the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Giants</a> on Aug. 26 and signed to the San Francisco practice squad on Sept. 15. He was released from the <a href="" class="r_lapi">49ers</a> practice squad on Nov. 18. In three seasons as USC, Grimble played in 38 games with 22 starts and caught 69 passes for 731 yards and 11 touchdowns.</p> <p>Hughlett, 23, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Dallas Cowboys</a> out of Central Florida on April 30, 2012. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder was released by Dallas on Aug. 27, 2012. He was re-signed by Dallas on Jan. 7, 2013 and released for a second time on May 29, 2013. He was signed by New England on March 19, 2014. After being released by New England in May, Hughlett was signed by Jacksonville on June 19, 2014, before being released on Aug. 25, 2014. Following his release from the New England practice squad, Hughlett spent one week on the Cleveland practice squad.<br /> <span id="more-84410"></span></p> <p>Skinner, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State on May 12, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 26 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1. He was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Sept. 13 and played in seven games with one start, accumulating 10 total tackles and three special teams tackles. He was released on Oct. 29 and signed back to the practice squad on Oct. 31.</p> <p>Swanson, 23, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept 1, 2014 and then released from the practice squad on Sept. 3, 2014 before being re-signed on Sept. 17. He was originally signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 22, 2014. Swanson entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Indianapolis Colts</a> on April 30, 2013, out of Sam Houston State. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder was released by the Colts on Oct. 29, 2013 and was signed to the <a href="" class="r_lapi">San Francisco 49ers</a> practice squad on Nov. 18, 2013. He was released by San Francisco on May 12, 2014.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:29:32 +0000 761246 at Chandler Jones (hip) spotted at Patriots walkthrough <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79007" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79007" src="" alt="Chandler Jones" width="150" height="205" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Chandler Jones</p></div> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; Chandler Jones was spotted at the Patriots walkthrough held Wednesday inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse at <a href="" class="r_lapi">Gillette Stadium</a>. With snow falling outside, the team moved it&#8217;s practice indoors in advance of Sunday&#8217;s game in Green Bay.</p> <p>The media was given limited access to the walkthrough and the players were not wearing jerseys so it was difficult to take a full attendance. A practice report will be released later this afternoon.</p> <p>Long-snapper Charley Hughlett, who was added to the practice squad this morning, was present and was doing work before the session began.</p> <p>It&#8217;s important to note regarding Jones, keep in mind it was a walkthrough and Sealver Siliga (foot) was present at last Wednesday&#8217;s walkthrough, but hasn&#8217;t yet come off of short-term injured reserve designated for return. Nevertheless, it&#8217;s a positive sign considering it was the first time he has been spotted since suffering the hip injury Week 7 against the Jets.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href=""></a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:24:12 +0000 761171 at NBA power and sour rankings: Top 5, bottom 5 <!--paging_filter--><p><em>In the NBA, the worst place to be is the middle of the pack. If you are not contending for a championship or tanking, in my mind, you are not relevant. Because of this, each week I will rank the top five and bottom five teams in the league. The rankings are based entirely on my own observations and opinions, so please feel free to call me names in the comments section.</em></p> <p><strong>THE BEST</strong></p> <p><strong>1. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Warriors</a> (11-2)</strong></p> <p>You&#8217;ve got Draymond Green playing out of his mind, Mo Speights calling <a class="r_lapi" href="">Kendrick Perkins</a> terrible, Steph Curry emerging as a legitimate MVP candidate. I have waited for too long, but now I am making it official. I&#8217;m locking in the Warriors, they officially are one of my five League Pass teams.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Side note: I enjoy everything Kirk Goldsberry does. His charts always have been fascinating, but now he is doing videos. Game over, Internet Basketball Folk, he wins.</p> <p><strong>2. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Raptors</a> (12-2)</strong></p> <p>There is a dearth of productive big men, especially in the Eastern Conference. If Jonas Valanciunas can does <a href="">this</a> night in and night out, the entire league better watch out. The idea of facing the three-headed monster of Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Kyle Lowry</a> in the playoffs is absolutely terrifying.</p> <p><iframe style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden; -webkit-transform: scale(1);" src="" width="600" height="360" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>3. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Grizzlies</a> (12-2)</strong></p> <p>This team is incredibly efficient and very, very boring. Talented frontcourt men Marc Gasol and Z-Bo not only play tough defense, but they pass the ball better than any other big man combo I can remember. I don&#8217;t know if the Grizz can sustain this success, but they certainly have enough gumption and mental toughness. Last week half the team went down with a stomach virus, yet the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Grizzlies</a> didn&#8217;t miss a beat.</p> <p><span id="more-70089"></span></p> <p><strong>4. Trail Blazers (11-3)</strong></p> <p>Rip City has won eight in row. I still have concerns about the bench depth, but if OG <a class="r_lapi" href="">Steve Blake</a> keeps sonning dudes, I may change my mind. Really, Turner? Come on, BRUH!</p> <p><iframe style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden; -webkit-transform: scale(1);" src="" width="600" height="338" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>5. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Wizards</a> (9-4)</strong></p> <p>Is it crazy to think Paul Peirce can singlehandedly teach this young and talented squadron how to win? I certainly don&#8217;t think so. Just listen to the <a href="" target="_blank">Gortatasburg Address</a> and tell me you don&#8217;t believe.</p> <p><strong>THE WORST</strong></p> <p><strong>6. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Knicks</a> (4-11)</strong></p> <p>The Knicks simply don&#8217;t play defense. With Carmelo Anthony on the sideline with back spasms, the only likable thing about the roster is Iman Shumpert&#8217;s ever-expanding flat top.</p> <p><strong>5. Thunder (3-12)</strong></p> <p>With huge players returning from injuries, I expect the Thunder to make a run. Just look at this practice video.</p> <p><iframe class="vine-embed" src="" width="600" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8"></script>Mitch McGary, ladies and gentleman! But seriously, once <a class="r_lapi" href="">Kevin Durant</a> and Bryant Westbrook return, the Thunder can only lose around 20 games if they expect to make the playoffs. They are going to have to dominate the West to make a serious playoff push.</p> <p><strong>4. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Timberwolves</a> (3-9)</strong></p> <p>I&#8217;ve got nothing to say about this boring team, so here is a photo album of <a href=" ">Corey Brewer smiling</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Pistons (3-11)</strong></p> <p>My favorite excerpts from the <a href="">Detroit Pistons drinking game:</a></p> <p>&#8212; Drink for each missed pull-up jumper with more than 14 seconds on the clock</p> <p>&#8212; Drink whenever the camera pans to a disgruntled <a class="r_lapi" href="">Stan Van Gundy</a></p> <p>&#8212; Drink each time Greg Monroe shouts, &#8220;And one!&#8221;</p> <p>&#8212; An additional drink if he didn&#8217;t even make the shot</p> <p>&#8211;<em> Another</em> additional drink if he clearly wasn&#8217;t fouled</p> <p>&#8212; Drink for each Andre Drummond foul</p> <p><strong>2. <a class="r_lapi" href="">Lakers</a> (3-11)</strong></p> <p>Shockingly, the Lakers won two games in a row. Not surprisingly, <a href="">Kobe Bryant doesn&#8217;t respect any of his teammates</a>. The Lakers may have historically the worst defensive team in the history of the NBA, but at least Wesley Johnson made this cool dunk.</p> <p><iframe class="vine-embed" src="" width="600" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><strong>1A. <a class="r_lapi" href="">University of Kentucky</a> (6-0)</strong></p> <p><strong>1B. <a class="r_lapi" href="">76ers</a> (0-14)</strong></p> <p><em>Follow Sam Packard on Twitter <a href="">@SPackGuy</a>.</em></p> Blog celtics Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:21:05 +0000 761231 at Mike Petraglia, Chris Price explain how Pats can keep up with Aaron Rodgers, Packers <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>FOXBORO &#8212;;s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price detail how the Patriots prepare for <a href="" class="r_lapi">Aaron Rodgers</a> and the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Green Bay Packers</a> Sunday at <a href="" class="r_lapi">Lambeau Field</a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:10:34 +0000 761176 at Chris Kelly nears return from upper-body injury <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49969" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-49969" src="" alt="Chris Kelly" width="150" height="239" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Kelly</a></p></div> <p>WILMINGTON &#8212; <a href="" class="r_lapi">Chris Kelly</a> was back practicing with the Bruins Wednesday after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury suffered in last Friday&#8217;s shootout win over the Blue Jackets.</p> <p>Kelly said the injury was not related to last season&#8217;s back issues and was also not a head injury. When asked specifically what it was, he said &#8220;hurt feelings.&#8221;</p> <p>The veteran center also noted that the injury did not occur on a specific play. He hopes to return to the lineup Friday against the Jets.</p> <p>&#8220;I think we thought it was better to be on the cautious side of things,&#8221; Kelly said. &#8220;I think it&#8217;€™s exactly kind of what we thought. So I felt good today and and we&#8217;€™ll see how it feels tomorrow.&#8221;</p> <p>Kelly took contact and centered a fourth line with a rotating cast of wingers in Seth Griffith, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser on Wednesday.</p> <p>For more Bruins news, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Blog bruins Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:04:22 +0000 761156 at Zdeno Chara, David Warsofsky continue skating <!--paging_filter--><p>WILMINGTON &#8211;€” David Warsofsky and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Zdeno Chara</a> continued their respective recoveries Wednesday, skating prior to the Bruins&#8217;€™ practice at Ristuccia Arena.</p> <p>Chara, who is working his way back from a torn PCL, is expected to be out another week-plus. Warsofsky suffered a groin injury earlier in the month and has not played since.</p> Blog bruins Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:27:32 +0000 760931 at Mr. Consistency: TE Tim Wright setting new standard for reliability in Patriots passing game <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_84399" style="width: 360px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-84399" src="" alt="Tim Wright has caught 23 passes on 26 targets this season, the best target rate on the team. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)" width="350" height="525" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Tim Wright has caught 23 passes on 26 targets this season, the best target rate on the team. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)</p></div> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; Tim Wright is in some rarefied air.</p> <p>In his first season with the Patriots, the tight end has proven himself to be an eminently reliable part of the passing game &#8212; he has 23 catches on 26 targets. Even with the understanding that one of the targets was a throwaway by quarterback <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tom Brady</a> (an uncatchable ball), that&#8217;€™s an 88 percent catch rate, the best on the New England roster when it comes to players who have been targeted by Brady at least 20 times.</p> <p>If he continues at his current rate, he&#8217;ll set a new standard for the Patriots. Since 2006, no member of the Patriots who has been targeted at least 20 times has a reception rate of better than 80 percent.</p> <p>Of course, none of this is particularly new for Wright &#8212; last season with the Bucs, he proved equally sure-handed, as he caught 71 percent of the passes (54 receptions on 76 targets) that were thrown his way. But his target numbers this year &#8212; combined with his six receiving touchdowns (second on the team to fellow tight end <a class="r_lapi" href="">Rob Gronkowski</a>), have made him one of the surprise success stories when you&#8217;re talking about the 2014 <a class="r_lapi" href="">Patriots offense</a>.</p> <p>Part of Wright&#8217;s success is rooted in the fact that most teams are solely focused on stopping Gronkowski, and have usually dedicated at least two defenders per play in hopes of trying to slow down the big fella. But it&#8217;s another thing altogether to take advantage of the opportunities when they&#8217;re presented to you, and Wright has done just that.</p> <p>&#8220;Every time we throw to him it&#8217;s a touchdown &#8212; we&#8217;ll try to find him more down there,&#8221; Brady said after Wright&#8217;s two-touchdown performance against the Lions. &#8220;He does a great job in the coverage and finds the open spots.&#8221;</p> <p>While the touchdown ratio is impressive &#8212; more than one-quarter of his catches have resulted in touchdowns &#8212; his work as a reliable target has really distinguished him from the rest of the field. Since 2006 &#8212; when targets were first tallied, on five different occasions, a New England pass catcher who was targeted at least 20 times caught 77 percent of the passes that were thrown in his direction. The latest high-level connection came in 2010 when running back <a class="r_lapi" href="">Danny Woodhead</a> caught 34 of the 44 passes that were thrown his way.</p> <p>Prior to that, veteran running back <a class="r_lapi" href="">Kevin Faulk</a> did it three times: Faulk caught 58 of the 75 passes thrown his way in 2008, while both wide receiver <a class="r_lapi" href="">Wes Welker</a> (112 of 145) and Faulk (47 of 61) hit the 77 percent mark in 2007. And Faulk caught 43 of the 56 passes thrown his way in 2006 to reach the same plateau. (While Welker was targeted more than any other receiver between 2007 and 2012 and was consistently over 70 percent between 2007 and 2011, he never topped the 77 percent mark.)</p> <p>According to Wright, the key to being a good target is simple.</p> <p><span id="more-84398"></span></p> <p>&#8220;The key is just finishing the route and always thinking in the back of your mind that the ball can come to you on every play,&#8221; he said. &#8220;When you prepare like that, you go out there and you play physical and you play strong, you put yourself in a position to receive the ball. When it comes to you, you just have to make the play. That&#8217;s my job description &#8212; to catch the ball, and to block as well. But when the ball is thrown to me, I have to come down with it. That&#8217;s my mentality.&#8221;</p> <p>Wright also added that Brady makes it fairly easy.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s awesome. It&#8217;s awesome &#8212; just a guy who has been doing it for 15 years,&#8221; said Wright, who caught passes from Mike Glennon and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Josh Freeman</a> last year with Tampa. &#8220;It&#8217;s just amazing to see how his tempo is, how he reaches out to his players on the things he sees when you&#8217;re out there running routes and what has been working for him for his whole career. An amazing arm and an amazing leader. It&#8217;s been a fun ride.</p> <p>&#8220;Me coming in just a few months ago and him working with so many other guys, it&#8217;s just a testament to how he can adjust to the people who come in with him and play alongside of him,&#8221; he added. &#8220;He puts the ball in the right place and a good position so you can attack the ball only. He&#8217;s just a great quarterback.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:26:49 +0000 760826 at Ben Cherington on D&C: Yoenis Cespedes ‘in our plans for next year’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_87974" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-87974" src="" alt="Ben Cherington" width="150" height="218" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Ben Cherington</p></div> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis &amp; Callahan on Wednesday to discuss Boston&#8217;€™s most recent offseason acquisitions. To hear the segment, go to the <a href="" target="_blank">Dennis &amp; Callahan audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>With the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>&#8216; signings of Pablo Sandoval and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Hanley Ramirez</a>, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is in a precarious situation. He was acquired in a trade at the non-waiver deadline in July, but he could be on his way out in a trade this offseason because Ramirez is expected to start in his position. Cherington tried to downplay the urgency to move the Cuban outfielder.</p> <p>Said Cherington: &#8220;We acquired him at the deadline in the [<a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon] Lester</a> trade because we felt that was the best deal at the time, we still feel that way. He&#8217;€™s in our plans for next year and his versatility and skill in the outfield and gives us the flexibility, could play any of the three positions. We&#8217;€™ll just see what the rest of the offseason brings. We have a long way to go, and as we get to January, closer to spring training, we&#8217;€™ll know more about who&#8217;€™s here and how it all adds up.&#8221;</p> <p>Pablo Sandoval signed a reported five-year, $95 million contract. With the production he&#8217;€™s had over his career and the fact that two other teams were bidding on the third baseman, Cherington said the final contract fell in line with what he thought it be before Sandoval signed.</p> <p>&#8220;It ended up being about in the neighborhood where we thought,&#8221; Cherington said. &#8220;Again, given his age, his sort of platform and what he&#8217;€™s done in the postseason and everything about him. And then the fact that he&#8217;€™s done it in a major market, he was going to get attention, there was going to be competition and we felt like he would end up in the neighborhood he ended up. It just so happened that the three teams involved in the end were all pretty much in that same neighborhood, and we&#8217;€™re obviously very happy he chose us.&#8221;</p> <p>Before the 2013 <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a> run, the Red Sox landed <a class="r_lapi" href="">Mike Napoli</a> and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Shane Victorino</a> on three-year deals. This time it took two more years to get Sandoval. Cherington said age played a role in the contract differences.</p> <p>Said Cherington: &#8220;First of all, every guy is different, and I think most if not all of the contracts two offseasons ago were with guys past 30. &#8230; In Sandoval&#8217;€™s case he&#8217;€™s 28, so the calculus is a little bit different. &#8230; The other thing is, the market is changing. Every year for every player in baseball, contracts continue to move, the dollars continue to move. So you have to adjust to that. What was valued three years ago is different. Every year we&#8217;€™re trying to build the best team we can and end up finding the players that fit into that plan.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-89726"></span></p> <p>Ramirez has been an infielder his entire career, playing either shortstop or third base since 2006. Coming to the Red Sox, he will play the outfield, which makes some people skeptical. Cherington said Ramirez probably won&#8217;€™t have the new position down pat right away, but he does have the open mind to play there.</p> <p>&#8220;I think it&#8217;€™s really a combination of two things: one is his desire to do it and his openness, the willingness to do it in the context that he had opportunities,&#8221; said Cherington. &#8220;He could&#8217;ve gone places and played the infield. He wanted to do it because he wanted to be here. There&#8217;€™s a desire, there&#8217;€™s a willingness to work at it. He&#8217;€™s already agreed to get down to Fort Myers early, we&#8217;€™ll have a dedicated coach with him. The desire was one part, and the other part is we&#8217;ve known this guy since he was 17. One of the things that has always stood about him is that he picked up things quicker than anyone else did, whether it was learning English or learning baseball or whatever it was. He was a quick study. You take a guy who&#8217;€™s played shortstop at the major league level who&#8217;€™s that kind of athlete and is a quick study and who wants to do it, I feel confident in time he&#8217;€™ll figure out how to be good. He won&#8217;€™t be perfect on day one, we&#8217;€™re not expecting him to be perfect on day one. We know he&#8217;€™ll get the work in, and in time we&#8217;€™re confident he&#8217;€™ll end up being good out there.&#8221;</p> <p>Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p><strong>On if the current situation would be different if <a class="r_lapi" href="">Will Middlebrooks</a> played in winter ball</strong>: &#8220;I wouldn&#8217;t want to ever make sort of conditional decisions like that. &#8230; I don&#8217;€™t think that&#8217;€™s right, I don&#8217;€™t think it&#8217;€™s fair. We talked to Will about that because we felt like there might be some benefit. And that&#8217;€™s a conversation you have to have with a player, player has to make a decision for himself.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On if the Red Sox will acquire a top pitcher via trade or free agency</strong>: &#8220;We really don&#8217;€™t know yet. We are going to add to the rotation. It seems most likely we&#8217;€™ll do that through different means. We may do that through free agency and trades. And where guys slot in and if you want to put guys in the one through five holes, I don&#8217;€™t know No. 2 comes from, where No. 4 comes from, where No. 5 comes from as far as whether its internal or free agency or trade. We&#8217;€™re trying to put the best five together we can and we just don&#8217;€™t know yet where those roles are filled from.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On if the Red Sox will enter the season with a rotation ace</strong>: &#8220;I think we have to build a good rotation, there&#8217;€™s different ways to do that. Of course any team would benefit from having an ace-level performance. More than that, what teams needs is just good pitching, good rotation. There are different ways to do that. The <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> obviously benefit from having a young ace on their team. He really carried them through the postseason. So of course a team benefits from that. The Orioles benefited from having just a really cheap pitching staff and having good pitchers one through 12.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On if Mookie Betts will be with the Red Sox in 2015</strong>: &#8220;He is someone we really value, he&#8217;€™s got a lot going for him. He obviously proved the time he was in the big leagues this year that he&#8217;€™s more than capable of helping a team, it looks like he&#8217;€™s ready. Certainly easy to see him as part of the team next year, but we&#8217;ve just got to get a little deeper into the winter and see how it all lines up.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:13:59 +0000 760821 at Bill Belichick shakes his head and wonders how to stop the ‘great’ Aaron Rodgers <!--paging_filter--><p><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --></p> <div style="display:none"> </div> <p><!--<br /> By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C<br /> found at<br /> --></p> <p><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script></p> <p><object id="myExperience3910810622001" class="BrightcoveExperience"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="width" value="600" /><param name="height" value="360" /><param name="playerID" value="986278206001" /><param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAAFqWQUE~,yUWCxg2gZmYrOpGTQhafYN_BmnRJav2Z" /><param name="isVid" value="true" /><param name="isUI" value="true" /><param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /><param name="@videoPlayer" value="3910810622001" /></object></p> <p><!--<br /> This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon<br /> as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after<br /> the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line.<br /> --><br /> <script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script></p> <p><!-- End of Brightcove Player --></p> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; Usually when <a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> speaks glowingly about the opposing team or a star quarterback like <a href="" class="r_lapi">Peyton Manning</a> or <a href="" class="r_lapi">Andrew Luck</a>, he gives the usual calculated response about their amazing abilities. </p> <p>But on Wednesday, in describing <a href="" class="r_lapi">Aaron Rodgers</a>, Belichick offered up the normal compliments and then just shook his head at the end. </p> <p>Asked to compare his quarterback with Mr. Rodgers, Belichick did crack a smile. </p> <p>&#8220;They both wear 12,&#8221; the coach said. </p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:00:37 +0000 760811 at Wednesday’s Headlines recap: Ex-girlfriend claims Devon Still hasn’t paid child support for cancer-stricken daughter; man speaks out on YouTube about Ferguson, race relations <!--paging_filter--><p>Here are the highlights from Wednesday&#8217;€™s Headlines on Dennis &amp; Callahan with <a class="r_lapi" href="">John Dennis</a> and guest hosts Rob Bradford and Jon Meterparel. To hear the segment, go to the <a href="" target="_blank">Dennis &amp; Callahan audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>&#8212; <a class="r_lapi" href="">Bengals</a> defensive tackle Devon Still&#8217;€™s young daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer, in June. According to the girl&#8217;€™s mother, Channing Smythe, Still has <a href="" target="_blank">not paid his daughter&#8217;€™s child support</a> for the last four months. Still and Smythe split four years ago after their daughter was born.</p> <p>The hosts had a tough time believing that Stills was having that much trouble paying for his daughter, especially after he recently made public appearances with her.</p> <p>Said Bradford: &#8220;Here&#8217;€™s a weird thing about that is that you have this guy who is constantly seen with his daughter. And bringing her to places, doing things, and we see it all of the time. How is that possible, the whole time, without giving any child support? That seems bizarre.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;It seems antithetical,&#8221; replied Dennis. &#8220;If he&#8217;€™s willing to go from Cincinnati to Delaware every week and spend quality time with her, wouldn&#8217;t the easy part be writing a check every month?&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;What, he shows up and she says, &#8216;Hey, where&#8217;€™s my money?&#8217; &#8221; asked Bradford.</p> <p>Said Meterparel: &#8220;That&#8217;€™s what I&#8217;€™m waiting for, where&#8217;€™s the next layer of this story, he&#8217;€™s broke. He&#8217;€™s making $507,000 a year, which isn&#8217;t much by NFL standards. So clearly there might be a disconnect there.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8212; While there have been many protests following the decision to not indict the police officer in the controversial Ferguson case over the shooting of Michael Brown, one African-American man took <a href="" target="_blank">his voice to YouTube</a>. Charles Patrick Furguson spoke his mind about general race relations, the legal system and police relationships with other African-Americans.</p> <p>Most of his thoughts go against the grain about how most people feel about the situation at hand, saying a lot of the issues do not lie with the police but with individual people who give the police a reason to arrest them.</p> <p>The hosts ran a large chunk of the clip and all but applauded the man&#8217;€™s opinions.</p> <p>&#8220;You know what&#8217;€™s amazing about that?&#8221; asked Bradford. &#8220;Everything. If you watch it, it&#8217;€™s clearly not being read off a script.&#8221;</p> <p>Said Dennis: &#8220;There&#8217;€™s no notes, he doesn&#8217;t look down once. That is off the top of his head.&#8221;</p> Blog Dennis & Callahan general Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:48:37 +0000 760806 at Patriots re-sign LS Charley Hughlett to practice squad <!--paging_filter--><p>FOXBORO &#8212; The Patriots have re-signed long snapper Charley Hughlett to the Patriots practice squad, according to his agent.</p> <p>Hughlett was with New England this spring and summer before being cut loose at the end of training camp. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder has been with the Cowboys and Jaguars. As a collegian, he handled all long snapping duties for four seasons at Central Florida.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:36:44 +0000 760801 at