Other http://www.weei.com/taxonomy/term/49/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/www.milb.com/milb/stats/weei/shows-schedules/weei/shows-schedules/network-stations en Xander Bogaerts Player of the Game Interview http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/xander-bogaerts-player-game-interview <!--paging_filter-->Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after he goes 4-5 in the Red Sox 9-4 win over the New York Yankees. Audio red sox Other Wed, 03 Sep 2014 03:13:00 +0000 545446 at http://www.weei.com Wes Welker: ‘I would never knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage’ http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/wes-welker-%E2%80%98i-would-never-knowingly-take-substance-gain-competitive-advan <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://media.weei.com/football/wes-welker.htm" class="r_lapi">Wes Welker</a> issued a statement Tuesday night regarding <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2014/09/02/report-wes-welker-suspended-4-games-for-violating-league-ped-policy/" target="_blank">the news that he faces a four-game suspension for violating the NFL&#8217;s policy</a> on PEDs.</p> <p>&#8216;€œI&#8217;€™m as shocked as everyone at today&#8217;€™s news,&#8217;€ he wrote in an e-mail to The Denver Post. &#8216;€œI want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out. I want any youth football players and all sports fans to know, there are NO shortcuts to success, and nothing but hard work and studying, leads to success.&#8217;€</p> <p>Welker also commented on the NFL&#8217;s drug policy.</p> <p>&#8216;€œI have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that [the drug-policy procedures] are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren&#8217;€™t negatively affected so rashly like this. I have worked my whole life to be the best that I can be, and I have encountered many obstacles over my career, and THIS WILL BE NO DIFFERENT! Thank you for the outpouring of support, and I want Bronco nation to know, that no one and no thing will get in the way of our goal as a team, to bring Mr. Bowlen the trophy he and this great region deserve.&#8217;€</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Wed, 03 Sep 2014 03:05:53 +0000 545391 at http://www.weei.com Why You Should Have Cared About This Red Sox Game: Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and hope for the future http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/why-you-should-have-cared-about-red-sox-game-xander-bogaerts-mookie-betts <!--paging_filter--><p><em>(For the final month of the regular season, &#8216;€œClosing Time&#8217;€ will now be called &#8216;€œWhy You Should Have Cared,&#8217;€ looking beyond the final score &#8212; at a time when losses are arguably more valuable to the Sox than wins (for draft and waiver position) &#8212; for either meaningful signs for 2015 or simple aesthetic considerations.)</em></p> <div id="attachment_88563" style="width: 410px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Betts.Mookie_RedSox_090214_Getty-web.jpg"><img class="wp-image-88563" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Betts.Mookie_RedSox_090214_Getty-web.jpg" alt="Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts collaborated on a historically precocious feat. (Getty Images)" width="400" height="271" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts collaborated on a historically precocious feat. (Getty Images)</p></div> <p>The revisionist fiction is intriguing.</p> <p>What if the <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> had been carried by their rookies rather than weighed down by them? What if <strong>Xander Bogaerts</strong> had remained the elite offensive performer he looked like through the first two months of the year rather than the least productive hitter in the majors over the next two-plus months?</p> <p>That concept seemed tantalizing in the <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a>&#8216; 9-4 win over <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/new-york-yankees.htm">the Yankees</a> on Tuesday night, when Bogaerts and <strong>Mookie Betts</strong> became the first pair of <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> rookies to homer in <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/yankee-stadium.htm">Yankee Stadium</a> since 1952, and the first pair of 21-year-olds in half a century to go deep against New York in a single contest (and just the second duo &#8212; along with <strong>Jim Palmer</strong> and <strong>Curt Blefary</strong> of the Orioles in 1965 &#8212; to do it since at least 1914).</p> <p>Bogaerts set one career high with four hits and matched another with two extra-base hits, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double and homer. It was his first homer since July 29, and just his second three-hit game since the start of June.</p> <p>Betts, meanwhile, had his first big league three-hit game, with singles to both left and right and a long homer to left-center that continued his dazzling performance as the everyday centerfielder with the Sox. In 15 games since his mid-August promotion for that role in the big leagues, he&#8217;s hitting .315/.413/.556 with three homers.</p> <p>The leading role played by the <a href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>&#8216; young core may not have happened this year. But on Tuesday, Betts and Bogaerts offered a reminder of why the team will not turn its back on the potential upside of its young players going forward. The team likely will be more deliberate in how it integrates young players &#8212; and the signing of <strong>Rusney Castillo</strong> offers the team an avenue to allow Betts to spend more of next year in Triple-A &#8212; but the idea of a young, homegrown top-of-the-order hitter and a young, homegrown middle-of-the-order hitter remains a potential foundational strength going forward.</p> <p><strong>OTHER REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT TUESDAY&#8217;S GAME</strong><span id="more-88560"></span></p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Joe Kelly </strong>matched a career-high with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in which he permitted three runs, and continued to show a pitch mix that makes him an intriguing presence for next year&#8217;s rotation. Opponents have struggled to make solid contact against him since the Sox acquired him at the trade deadline for <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/john-lackey.htm">John Lackey</a></strong>, hitting just .203 against the right-hander. While he likely profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter, in flashes, he&#8217;s shown upside that exceeds such a projection given the action on his secondary stuff and his ability to get groundballs in bunches on his heater.</p> <p>&#8211; Though <strong>Yoenis Cespedes</strong> went 2-for-4, he continued his struggles with balls hit over his head, misplaying a catchable liner by <strong>Martin Prado</strong> into a hit. While such issues had been seen with some regularity at <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/fenway-park.htm">Fenway Park</a> (where the looming specter of the Green Monster has created an insurmountable foe for some left fielders), they&#8217;re now also showing up in some visiting parks. The Sox&#8217; defensive evaluation of Cespedes could play a huge role in how the team decides to proceed with him this winter, at a time when there does appear to be something of a crowd in the outfield.</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Daniel Nava</strong> had his first homer since April 15. He ended a 75-game homerless drought, the fourth-longest by a Sox position player this century (behind <strong>Rey Sanchez</strong>, <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/alex-cora.htm">Alex Cora</a></strong> and <strong>Lou Merloni</strong>).</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Will Middlebrooks</strong> punched out four times in five plate appearances. He&#8217;s struck out in a career-worst 29.6 percent of his plate appearances this year.</p> <p>&#8211; <span class="st"><strong>Tommy Layne </strong>recorded four outs without permitting a run or a hit. The 29-year-old is making a strong case for a big league role in 2015 on the strength of a 0.66 ERA and .156 opponents&#8217; batting average. </span></p> Blog red sox Other Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:37:16 +0000 545336 at http://www.weei.com Patriots Nose Tackle Vince Wilfork with Dale and Holley http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/patriots-nose-tackle-vince-wilfork-dale-and-holley <!--paging_filter-->We check in with Big Vince on a Patriots Monday as the Pats prepare to travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in week one. Audio patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:52:00 +0000 545116 at http://www.weei.com Tedy Bruschi with Dale and Holley http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/tedy-bruschi-dale-and-holley <!--paging_filter-->We check in with Full Tilt TB for a new weekly segment with Tedy, featuring a look at all things Patriots and NFL football. Audio patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:35:00 +0000 544996 at http://www.weei.com Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/head-coach-bill-belichick-dale-and-holley-0 <!--paging_filter-->We check with with the HC of the NEP on a Patriots Monday on a Tuesday as the Pats prep for the Dolphins this coming Sunday. Bill touches on Gronk's desire to play, the departure of Logan Mankins and more. Audio patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:33:00 +0000 545001 at http://www.weei.com Report: Wes Welker suspended 4 games for violating league PED policy http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/report-wes-welker-suspended-4-games-violating-league-ped-policy <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79839" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79839" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Welker_Wes-Broncos-head-13.jpg" alt="Wes Welker" width="150" height="245" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/football/wes-welker.htm">Wes Welker</a></p></div> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm">Broncos</a> wide receiver <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/wes-welker.htm" class="r_lapi">Wes Welker</a> has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league&#8217;s PED policy, according to ESPN&#8217;s Adam Schefter. According to Schefter, the violation was for amphetamines.</p> <p>The 33-year-old Welker, in his second season in Denver, went through the appeal process two weeks ago, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network, and he was apparently notified Tuesday that he lost his appeal.</p> <p>Welker, who has struggled with concussions as of late, had 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns last season with the <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm" class="r_lapi">Broncos</a>.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:04:21 +0000 544991 at http://www.weei.com John Farrell: Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘still a work in progress’ but expected back in big leagues this year http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/john-farrell-jackie-bradley-jr-%E2%80%98still-work-progress%E2%80%99-expected-back-big-le <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_87881" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Bradley_Jr._Jackie-Red-Sox-head-14.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-87881" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Bradley_Jr._Jackie-Red-Sox-head-14.jpg" alt="Jackie Bradley Jr." width="150" height="209" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Jackie Bradley Jr.</p></div> <p>NEW YORK &#8212; The <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">Red Sox</a> added a pair of players to their roster on Tuesday, with right-hander <strong>Anthony Ranaudo</strong> (the scheduled starter for Wednesday) and catcher <strong>Dan Butler</strong> joining <strong>Steven Wright</strong>. But at a time when teams can carry rosters of up to 40 players (as opposed to the standard 25) for the final month of the season, there was a notable omission in the group coming up from Pawtucket to the big leagues.</p> <p>When <strong>Jackie Bradley Jr.</strong> was sent to Triple-A a couple of weeks ago, manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/john-farrell.htm">John Farrell</a></strong> said that his expectation was that the center fielder would be back in the majors at some point in September. That point has yet to arrive. And so, Farrell was asked, has anything altered with regards to the idea of bringing back Bradley?</p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1409631056648_49786" class="yiv6922436135MsoNormal">&#8220;Nothing has changed in that way,&#8221; said Farrell.</p> <p class="yiv6922436135MsoNormal">Still, Bradley has been struggling in Pawtucket. In 14 games since being sent down, he&#8217;s hitting .212 with a .246 OBP and .273 slugging mark with three walks and 18 strikeouts. His ability to make some of the adjustments that the Sox hoped to see has been inconsistent.</p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1409631056648_49796" class="yiv6922436135MsoNormal">&#8220;Jackie was well aware when we sat down and described what needs to be the focal point. I don&#8217;€™t know that has necessarily needs to be repeated right now. The reports have been mixed,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;There have been days as he&#8217;€™s executed between the lines as he&#8217;€™s been working on but it&#8217;€™s still a work in progress.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:41:39 +0000 544926 at http://www.weei.com Attacking Miami heat in September isn’t issue it used to be for Patriots http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/attacking-miami-heat-september-isn%E2%80%99t-issue-it-used-be-patriots <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79860" style="width: 406px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-79860" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/456888265-tom-brady-of-the-new-england-patriots-gettyimages.jpg" alt="Tom Brady and the Patriots have apparently gotten over any sort of early-season issues they've had with playing the Dolphins in Miami. (Getty Images)" width="396" height="594" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://media.weei.com/football/tom-brady.htm" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a> and the Patriots have apparently gotten over any sort of early-season issues they&#8217;ve had with playing the Dolphins in Miami. (Getty Images)</p></div> <p>In the spring, veteran safety <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/devin-mccourty.htm" class="r_lapi">Devin McCourty</a> joked about building a &#8220;big sauna&#8221; at <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/gillette-stadium.htm" class="r_lapi">Gillette Stadium</a> to try and replicate the sweaty conditions they&#8217;ll face when they head south for the regular season opener Sunday against the Dolphins.</p> <p>But in truth, the early-season Florida weather doesn&#8217;t vex the Patriots like it once did &#8212; New England has won its last four early-season meetings in Miami, coming away with victories in September/October games in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011.</p> <p>Patriots coach <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> said Tuesday on a conference call with the media that he actually prefers playing in South Florida early in the season because it&#8217;s easy to prepare, especially coming off some of the occasionally steamy August days in training camp.</p> <p>&#8220;Personally, I would rather play in a warm climate at the beginning of the year than at the end of the year, because at least we&#8217;€™ve been practicing in it,&#8221; he said.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;€™ve had some hot days here at the beginning of the season,&#8221; Belichick added. &#8220;I think you can get a hot day pretty much anywhere. It really comes back to the conditioning of your team. Whether it&#8217;€™s hot or not, it&#8217;€™s the same for both teams and the player&#8217;€™s conditioning level and his ability to perform at a high level is going to be reflected later in the game based on his physical conditioning.&#8221;</p> <p>It&#8217;€™€™s easy to forget now, but not so long ago, the Patriots had serious early-season struggles when faced with the prospect of playing in Miami in August and September. The Dolphins used to be without peer when it came to playing in the South Florida heat early in the season &#8216;€” from 1994 to 2002 Miami won 16 consecutive home games in August and September.</p> <p>In that same stretch, several former Patriots confessed to being befuddled about how to beat the warm temps, and admitted that the whole thing got in their heads. (On one occasion, the Patriots tried to tape garbage bags over the air conditioning systems in the locker room for fear of getting too comfortable at halftime.)</p> <p>It&#8217;s never easy in Miami &#8216;€” the Patriots stumbled late in the 2009 and 2013 seasons against the Dolphins in South Florida &#8216;€” but it appears as though the Patriots are over any early-season phobias with the <a href="http://media.weei.com/basketball/miami-heat.htm" class="r_lapi">Miami heat</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;€™t think this game is going to be decided on the heat or the weather, just like I don&#8217;€™t think the ones at the end of the year are decided by the cold,&#8221; Belichick said. &#8220;It&#8217;€™s a little bit of a factor in the game, but we&#8217;€™re playing a good football team. If we play well, we&#8217;€™ll be competitive and we&#8217;€™ll have a chance. If we don&#8217;€™t play well, it won&#8217;€™t make a difference what the conditions are, we&#8217;€™ll be in a lot of trouble. That&#8217;€™s where most of the emphasis is going to be this week, and where it should be.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:17:25 +0000 544791 at http://www.weei.com Patriots DE Chandler Jones joins MFB, 9-2-14 http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/audio/anonymous/patriots-de-chandler-jones-joins-mfb-9-2-14 <!--paging_filter-->On this Patriots Monday (on a Tuesday) Chandler Jones talks about getting ready for the Miami Dolphins and his upcoming battle with Brandon Albert. The guys also asked about J.J. Watt's 100 million dollar contract. Audio patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:33:00 +0000 544676 at http://www.weei.com Option play: Bill Belichick, Patriots ready for Miami’s new-look offense http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/option-play-bill-belichick-patriots-ready-miami%E2%80%99s-new-look-offense <!--paging_filter--><p>The Patriots will be facing a new offensive coordinator on Sunday, as Bill Lazor is in his first season as OC with the Dolphins. Lazor, who served as the quarterbacks coach in Philly last season, figures to bring a slice of the uptempo style that Chip Kelly and the Eagles delivered last season.</p> <p>So how do you prepare for a new OC when there&#8217;s little meaningful film of his schemes as a coordinator at the NFL level? <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm">Bill Belichick</a> said Tuesday that the Patriots have already tried to get a sense of the new-look Miami offense by taking a look back at the uptempo Philly offense last year.</p> <p>&#8220;I would say that they look very similar to the way the Eagles look offensively; different than what Miami looked like last year,&#8221; Belichick said of the Dolphins. &#8220;I&#8217;€™d say it&#8217;€™s quite substantial.&#8221;</p> <p>Substantial might be an understatement. Measured situation-neutral offensive pace &#8211;€” a formula from the site Football Outsiders that eliminates things like two-minute drills and late-game clock-killing situations to get a truer idea of the offense&#8217;€™€™s intentions when it comes to offensive pace &#8211;€” the 2012 Dolphins were ninth overall at one play every 29.23 seconds, and last year, on average, they ran one play every 30.08 seconds, 14th quickest in the NFL.</p> <p>That contrasts with the speed of Philly&#8217;s offense: under Kelly last year, the Eagles were the fastest team in the league, getting off a play once every 23.88 seconds.<br /> <span id="more-79856"></span><br /> According to defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, when it comes to pregame study, it&#8217;s not just going back and look at last year&#8217;s film. Lazor has a long history as an assistant, one that includes stints in Washington and Seattle (both as the quarterbacks coach), as well as OC at the University of Virginia. You have to take all of that into account when you are trying to scout the tendencies of a play-caller you&#8217;re facing for the first time.</p> <p>But when it comes to the comparisons between Philadelphia and Miami, there are a few wrinkles, including the fact that Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill &#8212; a former wide receiver in college &#8212; is &#8220;a lot faster&#8221; than Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, according to Belichick. In addition, there are some subtle changes when it comes to scheme and personnel, including a heavier reliance on things like the read-option.</p> <p>&#8220;Instead of running with the quarterback, there&#8217;€™s some built-in screens and slip screens to wide receivers and things like that. So, that sort of replaces the quarterback keeping the ball on an option to a degree,&#8221; Belichick said of the differences. &#8220;I think that anytime you go up against an option offense, you can say, &#8216;€˜Well, they don&#8217;€™t do this or they do that,&#8217;€™ but we all know that it&#8217;€™s based on the read of the defense. So, if the defense is taking away one thing, it doesn&#8217;€™t necessarily mean they won&#8217;€™t do it, it just means that the defense is lighter on another part of the play and that&#8217;€™s the play that offense has chosen to emphasize or feature based on the look.</p> <p>&#8220;If you get a look that&#8217;€™s fairly consistent then a lot of times you see the same play over and over again and say, &#8216;€˜OK, we&#8217;€™re going to stop that play,&#8217;€™ but as soon as you go to stop that one, then there are other parts of the option play that they see you have that stopped, they&#8217;€™re not even trying to go there.&#8221;</p> <p>In the end, despite the fact that the defensive game plan will change because of Lazor&#8217;s influence, the primary goal remains the same &#8212; stop the quarterback. When it comes to Tannehill, that means contain him as a runner and maintain gap discipline, regardless of he&#8217;s dropping back into the pocket or taking off as a runner.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;€™s a dangerous scrambling quarterback if the receivers are covered and the pass rush doesn&#8217;€™t have him contained,&#8221; Belichick said. &#8220;We&#8217;€™re very aware of him. He has excellent speed. He can run away from most defensive linemen and linebackers. So keeping leverage and containing him is going to be a big part of us being successful against the Dolphins. We&#8217;€™re going to have to do a good job with that. I&#8217;€™m sure if he has a chance to keep it, he&#8217;€™ll keep it. If we take that away, then he&#8217;€™ll do something else. You have to defend everything in option football.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:40:02 +0000 544581 at http://www.weei.com Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels ‘really impressed’ by TE Tim Wright http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/offensive-coordinator-josh-mcdaniels-%E2%80%98really-impressed%E2%80%99-te-tim-wright <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79138" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79138" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/McDaniels_Josh-Patriots-head-14.jpg" alt="Josh McDaniels" width="150" height="227" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://media.weei.com/football/josh-mcdaniels.htm" class="r_lapi">Josh McDaniels</a></p></div> <p>One player who certainly opened some eyes in the preseason finale was newly-acquired tight end Tim Wright. Acquired two days before the fourth preseason game against the <a href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/san-francisco-giants.htm" class="r_lapi">Giants</a> as part of the <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/logan-mankins.htm" class="r_lapi">Logan Mankins</a> trade, he was thrown out there without much seasoning and didn&#8217;t look overwhelmed while playing more than 40 snaps with his new team.</p> <p>Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Tuesday that he was &#8220;really impressed&#8221; with the work of Wright in his preseason debut with New England, which ended with Wright registering four catches for 43 yards.</p> <p>&#8220;We just got him, and he was able to come in here and learn enough to be able to go out there and play for us in a preseason game for fortysomething some snaps or whatever it was,&#8221; McDaniels said of Wright, a Rutgers product who caught 54 passes last season with the Bucs.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;€™s working hard [and] certainly a bright kid, and has some talent that hopefully we can utilize,&#8221; McDaniels added. &#8220;He just seems to fit in good and has a good attitude and work ethic. I&#8217;€™m just excited about seeing what we can do going forward. It&#8217;€™s very early, and we&#8217;€™ve only really had one practice. Hopefully we can build on his start and try to add a little here and there to what he knows of our offensive system and get our guys comfortable working together.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:01:44 +0000 544486 at http://www.weei.com Rodney Harrison: Tom Brady ‘should be able to play for another 10 or 15 years because of the rule changes’ http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/rodney-harrison-tom-brady-%E2%80%98should-be-able-play-another-10-or-15-years-bec <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79850" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79850" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Harrison_Rodney-head.jpg" alt="Rodney Harrison" width="150" height="233" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="http://media.weei.com/football/rodney-harrison.htm" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a></p></div> <p>NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday and said he believes <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/tom-brady.htm" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a> can indeed play another 10 years due in part to the more stringent NFL rules. To hear the interview, go to the <a href="http://media.weei.com/merloni-fauria-and-benz.htm?" target="_blank">MFB audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>Brady has stated in the past that he wants to play as long as possible &#8212; well into his 40s &#8212; and he maintained that approach <a href="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2014/09/02/tom-brady-on-dc-i-dealt-with-whatever-feelings-i-had-last-week-but-ive-moved-on/" target="_blank">during his appearance with Dennis &amp; Callahan on Tuesday morning</a>. Harrison, Brady&#8217;s former teammate, doesn&#8217;t doubt the quarterback.</p> <p>&#8220;Tom Brady is probably talking about him playing until he&#8217;s 45, 50 years old because of the rule changes,&#8221; Harrison said. &#8220;The cornerbacks and the safeties, they can&#8217;t hit you when you come across the middle, they can&#8217;t jam you at the line of scrimmage. So he should be able to play for another 10 or 15 years because of the rule changes.&#8221;</p> <p>Continued Harrison: &#8220;If you watch the preseason, you saw how these officials, if you&#8217;re breathing on a guy heavy, they&#8217;re throwing a flag. They don&#8217;t even give you the benefit of the doubt. They don&#8217;t even give you consideration. If you&#8217;re close to a guy, if you just stare at him too long, they&#8217;re throwing flags all over the place.</p> <p>&#8220;Now, this league was changing because of all the additions of Russell Wilson and [Robert Griffin III] and all these mobile quarterbacks like <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/andrew-luck-stanford.htm" class="r_lapi">Andrew Luck</a>. Statues that are in the pocket like Brady and [<a href="http://media.weei.com/football/peyton-manning.htm" class="r_lapi">Peyton] Manning</a> and <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/joe-flacco.htm" class="r_lapi">Joe Flacco</a>, why wouldn&#8217;t they play &#8212; if they have a good offensive line to protect them, why wouldn&#8217;t they play another 10 years? Because once you grab a guy it&#8217;s a penalty. So I don&#8217;t see why they can&#8217;t be productive for another 8-10 years, especially the way Tom takes care of his body.&#8221;</p> <p>After three weeks of frequent flags, the Patriots&#8217; final preseason game was not a foul-fest. However, Harrison said he doesn&#8217;t believe that&#8217;s a sign that the officials will let up once the regular season gets underway.</p> <p>&#8220;The officials came out and the point of emphasis was the illegal contact and the grabbing and holding of the players. I think they&#8217;re going to enforce it,&#8221; Harrison said. &#8220;I think the first half of the season, I think that&#8217;s going to be a point of emphasis. I think they&#8217;re going to stick with it. The NFL has already come out and said, &#8216;Hey, we&#8217;re not going to back down. We expect the officials, we&#8217;re going to hold them accountable to do the same thing. If it&#8217;s a grab, we don&#8217;t care how many penalties it is in the first quarter, in the first half, call it.&#8217; So I expect a renewed focus on this and I think it&#8217;s something that&#8217;s going to continue.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-79849"></span></p> <p>The stricter rules are being enforced following the Broncos offense&#8217;s inability to overcome a physical Sehawks defense in last season&#8217;s <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/super-bowl.htm" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a>. A similar thing happened when the Patriots manhandled the Colts last decade. Both times, the losing team&#8217;s quarterback was Peyton Manning.</p> <p>&#8220;It can&#8217;t be coincidental,&#8221; Harrison said. &#8220;All of a sudden he&#8217;s in Indy and they change it. Then he goes to Denver now and all of a sudden they change it. It&#8217;s just one of those things. He&#8217;s been a marquee quarterback for a lot of years, and the NFL does not want to see blowouts in the Super Bowl. They want the Super Bowl to be a lot more competitive. And they saw how that defense completely annihilated the <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/denver-broncos.htm" class="r_lapi">Denver Broncos</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;Now, you have to look at tape and [determine] whether that was because they were grabbing, because they were holding, or because of great defense beating great offense. I don&#8217;t know what it is, but it was one of those things where I don&#8217;t think the <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/seattle-seahawks.htm" class="r_lapi">Seattle Seahawks</a> should have been punished, or any other team for playing good physical defense.&#8221;</p> <p>Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> <p><strong>On <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/rob-gronkowski.htm" class="r_lapi">Rob Gronkowski</a> departing from normal Patriots protocol and revealing to the media Monday from the locker room that he&#8217;s ready to go for Sunday&#8217;s game:</strong> &#8220;It&#8217;s one of those things, when you enable a player, you give him the type of money they paid him after two or three years of playing, then you give him the power. He&#8217;s been able to kind of do whatever he wants to do, and there hasn&#8217;t been a lot of backlash or ramifications. So he feels like, hey, he can pretty much get away with anything. But at the same time, I think he&#8217;s probably tired of everywhere he goes to the store, everywhere he goes to the mall, people asking him, &#8216;Hey, are you going to play? What the status?&#8217; Maybe he just called them up and said, &#8216;Hey, this is my last and final statement about my injury. I want to just make this statement and move past it.&#8217;</p> <p>&#8220;But in that situation, being in that locker room, that&#8217;s one of the things you just can&#8217;t do. It&#8217;s really not up to the media. Your job as a player is to get healthy, and when you&#8217;re called upon and you have to get on that field and perform, that&#8217;s what you&#8217;re supposed to do. And that&#8217;s one of the things that guys in our locker room have never done. Christian Fauria, he knows about that. We didn&#8217;t call attention to ourselves. It wasn&#8217;t about us, it was always about the team. So it will be pretty interesting what happens.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;ll you this: Coming off an ACL injury before, I know guys will physically go at his knees. He needs to be very careful, because he&#8217;s a big, big target coming across that middle. And those smaller safeties and defensive backs, they&#8217;re not going to hit him up in the chest, they&#8217;re going to be aiming at that knee.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On which positions on the Patriots are most concerning:</strong> &#8220;When you look at the offensive line, it&#8217;s got to be some questions [about] the depth of the offensive line. Anytime you get rid of a guy like <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/logan-mankins.htm" class="r_lapi">Logan Mankins</a> &#8212; and maybe he&#8217;s not the same pass protector that he once was, but obviously the best offensive lineman. The inconsistency of <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/nate-solder.htm" class="r_lapi">Nate Solder</a> and those guys &#8212; you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and I just don&#8217;t understand how you can make yourself a better offensive line by getting rid of the guy that&#8217;s been the staple of the offensive line for so many years. But that&#8217;s not my decision. That&#8217;s part of it, they have to move forward.</p> <p>&#8220;When I look at it, I look at the depth at the wide receiver position. Still a lot of unproven guys. <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/danny-amendola.htm" class="r_lapi">Danny Amendola</a>, he has to prove that he can stay healthy. Some of those young guys, they have to step up. Brandon LaFell, he was brought in here to make a difference, let&#8217;s see if he shows up.</p> <p>&#8220;I also think the depth at the linebacker position.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On the Patriots&#8217; outlook:</strong> &#8220;It&#8217;s one of those things, you look at the quarterback position, and Tom, he&#8217;s been absolutely fantastic throughout his career. I think when you surround that with some guys coming back off injuries on the defense, you add a couple of pieces here and there, and I think you would have to put them along with the Denver Broncos as the two favorites in the AFC.</p> <p>&#8220;[<a href="http://media.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm" class="r_lapi">Bill] Belichick</a> &#8212; we haven&#8217;t even talked about Belichick and his ability to coach and get those guys playing. Every year there&#8217;s always a couple of guys that kind of stand out and that you don&#8217;t really expect great performances from. I think every year you&#8217;ll find a guy like that. I look for <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/devin-mccourty.htm" class="r_lapi">Devin McCourty</a> to step up and become more a leader. But the addition of <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/darrelle-revis.htm" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> and [Brandon] Browner when he comes back off his suspension, that&#8217;s going to be huge.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On which team should provide the biggest challenge in the AFC East:</strong> &#8220;The one team is the Jets. The Jets, with <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/rex-ryan.htm" class="r_lapi">Rex Ryan</a>, he&#8217;s not afraid of Bill and Tom. He&#8217;s always going to put a good defensive game plan. It comes down, for them, the play of Geno Smith. He has to play well. He has to perform on a consistent basis. He either plays great or he plays terrible. They need to find some type of in between, not so extreme, with Geno. If they can get good, consistent quarterback play &#8212; I know they have <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/michael-vick.htm" class="r_lapi">Michael Vick</a> backing him up, and who knows what happens with that situation. But they&#8217;re always going to have a good defense and they&#8217;re always going to compete. So if I had to pick one team, it would be the Jets.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:46:13 +0000 544471 at http://www.weei.com Red Sox minor league roundup: Next wave of Red Sox prospects makes its mark; Manuel Margot’s breakout stretch http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/red-sox-minor-league-roundup-next-wave-red-sox-prospects-makes-its-mark-m <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Rusney Castillo</strong> may have been the recognizable name in the Rookie Level <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/gulf-coast-league.htm">Gulf Coast League</a> championship game. But there may come a day when he&#8217;s the footnote rather than the headliner.</p> <div id="attachment_88554" style="width: 360px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/090214_guerra.jpg"><img class="wp-image-88554" src="http://fullcount.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/090214_guerra.jpg" alt="Shortstop Javier Guerra launched a homer in the GCL Red Sox' championship victory on Monday. (WEEI.com)" width="350" height="515" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Shortstop Javier Guerra launched a homer in the GCL <a href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>&#8216; championship victory on Monday. (WEEI.com)</p></div> <p>After all, Castillo &#8212; who went 0-for-3 with a walk, two groundouts and a flyout &#8212; batted in front of <strong>Javier Guerra</strong>, an attention-grabbing shortstop who looks the part of a big league defender and whose unusual pop for his position was evident in the homer he smoked to right, his lone hit in a 1-for-4 day that also included a walk. Batting behind Guerra was the Sox&#8217; top pure hitting prospect in years, <strong>Rafael Devers</strong>, who went 1-for-5 as the final note of a year that saw him lead both his DSL and GCL teams in homers at the age of 17. Devers was hitting in front of first-rounder <strong>Michael Chavis</strong>, who launched a two-run homer to left, a final display of what became a regular display of precocious extra-base power that started in August as an 18-year-old making his pro debut.</p> <p>Behind Chavis was second baseman <strong>Victor Acosta</strong>, a slight player whose strong wrists allow him to generate unlikely pop. Outfielder <strong>Luis Alexander Basabe</strong>, a 17-year-old with speed and athleticism as well as an approach that proved surprisingly advanced this year, permitting him to move from the DSL to the GCL, went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. Left fielder <strong>Trenton Kemp</strong>, an 18-year-old who was taken in the 15th round for his intriguing power/speed combination, went 2-for-5 to wrap up an 8-for-17 postseason that included a homer. The lineup was rounded out by a huge player with huge power potential in <strong>Josh Ockimey</strong> and an 18-year-old catcher (<strong>Devon Fisher</strong>) who helped navigate through a number of wins.</p> <p>It will be years before some clarity is achieved with that group of prospects, before it is known whether Devers and Chavis and Guerra emerge as potential stars or regulars or what-happened-to&#8217;€¦ busts. But for now, between a DSL team that is competing for a championship and a GCL team that won one with an 8-1 victory over the GCL Yankees on Monday, there&#8217;s burgeoning strength in the lower levels of the Red Sox system, the likes of which hasn&#8217;t been seen in years. There is now a very distinctive wave behind the current upper levels wave, with potential high-impact players such as Devers (a potential middle-of-the-order masher at third base), Guerra (who draws uniform raves from team personnel) and Chavis (potential middle-of-the-order power at second, third or even in left) leading the charge, and some outfielders with big upside like <strong>Yoan Aybar</strong> in the DSL and Basabe and Kemp in the GCL.</p> <p>Castillo will make his mark in the big leagues this year. But in five or 10 years, it&#8217;s possible that he will prove something other than the most important player to have taken the field in the GCL Sox&#8217; championship victory on Monday.</p> <p><a href="http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&amp;t=g_box&amp;gid=2014_09_01_rsxrok_yanrok_1" target="_blank">Here&#8217;s the box score</a>.</p> <p>A brief look at the rest of the action in the Red Sox system:</p> <p><strong>TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">RED SOX</a>: 3-1 LOSS VS. ROCHESTER (TWINS)</strong><span id="more-88542"></span></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2014_09_01_rocaaa_pawaaa_1&amp;t=g_box&amp;did=milb&amp;sid=t533" target="_blank">BOX</a>)</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Blake Swihart</strong> went 1-for-3, wrapping up the season on a 5-for-14 note that improved his Triple-A line to .261/.282/.377 in 18 games. There were flashes of offensive impact even as there were markers to suggest that the 22-year-old was very much amidst a rocky transition to a higher level. Foremost, his two walks and 15 punchouts suggested that advanced pitchers could get him to chase pitches out of the zone. Swihart&#8217;s at-bat management early next year, then, will become a key marker of his ability to sustain his reputation as perhaps the top two-way catching prospect in the game.</p> <p>&#8211; Shortstop <strong>Deven Marrero</strong> went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, and in his final two games of the regular season, he was 0-for-7 with four punchouts. The 24-year-old hit .210/.260/.285 in 50 games with the PawSox after hitting .291/.371/.433 in Double-A. He had 12 walks and 37 punchouts with the PawSox, or more than three strikeouts per walk, nearly double his rate of 1.7 strikeouts per walk in Portland.</p> <p><strong>DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-0 LOSS VS. HARRISBURG (NATIONALS)</strong></p> <p>(<a href="http://portland.seadogs.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2014_09_01_haraax_prtaax_1&amp;t=g_box&amp;did=milb&amp;sid=t546" target="_blank">BOX</a>)</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Sean Coyle</strong> went 1-for-3 with a double and walk. While he matched his 2013 total of 13 homers, some in the Sox organization felt that the more significant stat was that Coyle nearly doubled his doubles total of a year ago, going from 12 (in 60 games) in 2013 to 23 in 97 contests in 2014. The doubles suggested a player who was looking to let his power play with a solid approach rather than selling out with a max-effort swing in order to try to clear the fences. After he hit .241/.321/.513 in High-A last year, Coyle hit .295/.371/.512 in Portland this season.</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Carson Blair</strong> went 2-for-3 with a double, closing out the year with a .266/.387/.481 line that included marks of .288/.394/.525 in 17 games following the 24-year-old&#8217;s promotion to Double-A. While those marks all represented career bests, perhaps the most significant milestone for Blair was playing in 84 games, nearly double his prior career high of 44 contests. For the first time since being drafted in 2008, he was on the field enough to show the ability to open up a potential path forward to the big leagues.</p> <p><strong>HIGH-A SALEM <a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/boston-red-sox.htm">RED SOX</a>: 7-6 LOSS AT WILMINGTON (ROYALS)</strong></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2014_09_01_salafa_wilafa_1&amp;t=g_box&amp;did=milb&amp;sid=t414" target="_blank">BOX</a>)</p> <p>&#8211; Outfielder <strong>Manuel Margot</strong> went 2-for-5 with a double while driving in a pair of runs. The tools 19-year-old wrapped up his 16-game regular season stint with Salem with a .340/.364/.560 line with seven extra-base hits in 16 games. In 29 games from August 1 through the end of the year, Margot had 15 extra-base hits. He hadn&#8217;t exceeded eight extra-base hits in any prior month. The regularity with which Margot impacted the ball offered the first sustained glimpse of the teenager as a potential game-changer since he started playing in the States. Between Greenville and Salem from August 1 through the end of the season, Margot hit .396/.431/.632 with four homers and 10 steals (albeit with seven caught stealings also in the mix). Those kinds of offensive numbers &#8212; particularly when accounting for the dual attributes of power and speed &#8212; at a premium position underscore why Margot has asserted himself as one of the Sox&#8217; top 10 prospects, and perhaps as a candidate for the top five.</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Carlos Asuaje</strong> went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The extra-base hit seemed a fitting conclusion to a season that saw the 22-year-old collect 65 extra-base knocks in 129 games &#8212; or roughly one in every two games he played this year. He hit .310/.393/.533 with 15 homers on the year while showing enough positional versatility &#8212; second, third, short, left &#8212; to give him a number of pathways to the big leagues. While his offensive performance in Greenville wasn&#8217;t sufficient to label him a prospect given his age (22), size (he&#8217;s 5-foot-9) and a home park that is a favorable offensive environment, his sustained excellence in Salem (.323/.398/.516) coupled with the fact that he hits left-handed &#8212; a rarity for the infield positions he plays &#8212; have forced evaluators to take notice.</p> <p><strong>SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 6-4 LOSS VS. LEXINGTON (ROYALS)</strong></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=t428&amp;gid=2014_09_01_lexafx_capafx_1&amp;cid=428&amp;t=g_box" target="_blank">BOX</a>)</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Sam Travis</strong> went 2-for-5 with a double, closing out his first pro summer with an impressive .316/.351/.467 line that included seven homers and 25 extra-base hits in 67 games, including a .290/.330/.495 line in Greenville. Travis, who just turned 21 last week, has a chance to emerge quickly as the sort of corner infield bat with plus power that is ill-represented in the upper levels of the Red Sox system.</p> <p>&#8211; Second baseman <strong>Wendell Rijo</strong> went 2-for-4 with a walk and a steal to close out a strong overall age 18 performance. Rijo showed a solid offensive approach in hitting .254/.348/.416 with nine homers and 42 extra-base hits along with 16 steals in 22 attempts. He has the skill set of an above-average offensive second baseman (though his glove lags behind his bat right now, with his 21 errors at second telling part of that story) with a chance to be a No. 2 or No. 6 hitter in the big leagues.</p> <p><strong>SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 9-8 LOSS AT CONNECTICUT (TIGERS)</strong></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=t558&amp;gid=2014_09_01_lowasx_conasx_1&amp;cid=558&amp;t=g_box" target="_blank">BOX</a>)</p> <p>&#8211; Third baseman <strong>Jordan Betts</strong> slammed his 10th homer of his debut summer, going 2-for-5. The 18th-rounder out of Duke hit .269/.333/.479 with 29 extra-base hits in 64 games. Though his strikeout rate (he fanned 76 times) raises questions about his ability to hit against advanced pitching, his raw power grades as clearly above-average should he define an approach that can permit him to get to it with regularity. He became the first Spinners player with 10 or more homers since <strong>Luis Sumoza</strong> in 2008.</p> <p>&#8211; Right-hander <b>Kevin McAvoy</b>, the Sox&#8217; fourth-round pick this year, fired three scoreless innings to run his scoreless innings streak to 18 to close out his first pro summer. The sinkerballer recorded six of his nine outs on the ground, struck out one and allowed three hits to close out his summer with a 1.91 ERA, 23 strikeouts and just three walks in 28 1/3 innings.</p> <p>&#8211; Shortstop <strong>Mauricio Dubon</strong> went 1-for-4 with a single and sac fly. The 20-year-old finished second in the New York-Penn League with a .320 average, along with a .337 OBP and .395 slugging mark.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/baseball/dominican-summer-league.htm">DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE</a> RED SOX: 8-1 DEFICIT (SUSPENDED, 8TH INNING) VS. DSL RANGERS (GAME 2, BEST-OF-FIVE DSL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES, UP 1-0)</strong></p> Blog red sox Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:13:09 +0000 544371 at http://www.weei.com Bill Belichick on Rob Gronkowski’s playing status: ‘We’ll have to make decision that’s best for team’ http://www.weei.com/sports/feed/blog/anonymous/bill-belichick-rob-gronkowski%E2%80%99s-playing-status-%E2%80%98we%E2%80%99ll-have-make-decision- <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79069" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79069" src="http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Belichick_Bill-Patriots-head-14.jpg" alt="Bill Belichick" width="150" height="220" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm">Bill Belichick</a></p></div> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="http://media.weei.com/football/rob-gronkowski.htm">Rob Gronkowski</a> pronounced himself ready to play on Monday, but in a conference call with the media Tuesday afternoon, Patriots coach <a href="http://media.weei.com/football/bill-belichick.htm" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> sounded hesitant when it came to giving a thumbs up on the playing status of the tight end.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m glad that Rob&#8217;s optimistic about his situation,&#8221; Belichick said. &#8220;We&#8217;ll go through the week of practice and take a look at everything, everybody, and see where everybody&#8217;s at and try to do what we feel like is best for the team.</p> <p>&#8220;With all due respect to Rob &#8212; I&#8217;m glad he feels the way he does &#8212; but, in the end, we&#8217;ll have to make the decision we feel like is best for the team and we&#8217;ll do that as we go through the week.&#8221;</p> <p>Gronkowski said he was &#8220;super excited&#8221; Monday, and proclaimed himself &#8220;good to go.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;€œJust seeing my teammates grind all week,&#8221; he added. &#8220;Go back out there with them, get in the huddle, break the huddle with them. It&#8217;€™s going to be an honor to be out there with my teammates. Super pumped, super excited and just preparing for the game.</p> <p>&#8220;€œI feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it.&#8221;</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="http://www.weei.com/teams/patriots/home" target="_blank">weei.com/patriots</a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:02:47 +0000 544366 at http://www.weei.com