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09/19/2012 - 2:21pm
Bobby V: Iglesias' confidence not an issue
By: DJ Bean

Bobby Valentine made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Wednesday, with his decision to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias in the middle of an at-bat the biggest topic discussed. The interview ended with Valentine hanging up during a discussion about Joe Maddon's punctuality, with Valentine insisting that Maddon shows up to road games later than he does for home games. 

Asked whether he gave any thought to pinch-hitting for Iglesias before he went to the plate on Sunday, Valentine responded, "Good question, Glenn! I really wish rather than everyone playing all the time, 'I gotcha' here in the media, for them to actually ask an intelligent follow-up question so something like that could be answered. 

"Was there thought given to pinch-hitting for him when he went up to the plate? Let me explain the situation," he continued. "There's two out and [Pedro] Ciriaco's on first base. [Daniel] Nava's my only left-handed pinch-hitter...

09/19/2012 - 1:07pm
Bernard Pollard: 'I'm ready to go'

Ravens defensive back Bernard Pollard, who suffered a rib injury last week against the Eagles, said he’s “ready to go” this week when Baltimore meets the Patriots in a rematch of the AFC title game.

Pollard, who has gained a large measure of infamy for his hits on Rob Gronkowski (in last year’s conference championship contest) and Tom Brady (in the 2008 regular-season opener, a hit that ended the quarterback’s season), said he’s OK to play this time around against New England.

“I’m chilling -- I’m ready to go,” Pollard told reporters on Wednesday. “For me, I know my dogs are going to be ready. We got to be animals out there. We’re going to be ready to play football.”

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09/19/2012 - 1:01pm
Only Hernandez missing, Winslow debuts

FOXBORO -- Not surprisingly, Aaron Hernandez missed practice on Wednesday as the Patriots returned to the practice field in shorts and shells on the grass fields in preparation for the Ravens Sunday night in Baltimore. Hernandez injured his right ankle in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals and is expected to miss several weeks with an ankle sprain. Herandez was the only player on the 53-man roster not spotted on Wednesday at practice. 

Tight end Kellen Winslow was in attendance for his first practice with the Patriots, wearing No. 82. Winslow was signed on Tuesday to take the place of Hernandez. Wide receiver Deion Branch and linebacker Niko Koutouvides also made their returns to the Patriots during practice. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots


09/19/2012 - 1:00pm
Arizona DC: Brady, Pats were tipping plays

Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton said Tuesday they had a pretty good idea of what the Patriots were going to do offensively in last Sunday’s game. 

“We knew that whenever [Aaron] Hernandez was in tight, it was going to be a run, so we had a run check,” Horton told Arizona Sports 620 Tuesday. “But when he got hurt, it screwed that up because they went to three wide receivers. What they did, and we figured out real quick was, whenever Tom Brady was under the center, they were going to run the ball and whenever he was in the shotgun, they were going to pass the ball. We told our players ‘Hey, make the run check if Tom Brady’s under the center. If he’s in the gun, go to the pass check.’

“They handled it beautifully, and so we had dual calls that basically what we were telling them is we know when they’re going to run and pass. So our...

09/19/2012 - 12:51pm
Belichick: 'Football is important' to Gronk

FOXBORO -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday he's not distracted by a story out of New York suggesting Rob Gronkowski was distracted Sunday by thoughts of a female acquaintance. The New York Post reported that Gronkowski was reprimanded by the Patriots earlier this year for posing naked on the cover of ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue" and that former girlfriend and porn star Britney Maclin (a.k.a. BiBi Jones) claims he was distracted by not having her in his life.  

“Gronk told me he dropped those balls bc he was thinking of me! Gotta get back in his life” Maclin tweeted.

Belichick was asked if he had any reaction to the story and if ever had any discussions with Gronkowski about his off-field behavior. 

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