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09/07/2012 - 11:37am
Patriots remove Waters' nameplate

FOXBORO -- Earlier this week, the Patriots assigned No. 54 to rookie Dont'a Hightower, a number that had previously belonged to holdout Brian Waters. On Friday, there was yet another indication that the Pro Bowl right guard may not be returning to New England even though he is signed through this season. 

The Patriots removed the nameplate from his locker, leaving it blank. The only items in his locker are his shoulder pads and his team sweats, which still bear his old number on the front. 

Waters was originally excused for personal reasons from OTAs and minicamp in the spring but was placed on the reserve/did not report list when he failed to show for training camp. Waters was signed just a week before the 2011 season and didn't play until making his debut for the Patriots in the season opener. He signed a two-year deal that included a $2.25 million cap hit for the Patriots this season and a base salary of $1.4 million, which he will...

09/07/2012 - 11:21am
Vereen only player missing Pats practice

FOXBORO -- Shane Vereen again was the only Patriots player missing from practice in shorts and shells on the upper grass training fields Friday outside Gillette Stadium. 

The running back has missed practice this week with a foot injury suffered in the third preseason game at Tampa Bay on Aug. 24. 

It was very hot and humid on the field Friday, mirroring the conditions the Patriots likely will face in Nashville on Sunday in their season-opener against the Titans. Sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s are forecast for the 1 p.m. kickoff. 

The Patriots will leave Saturday for Tennessee.

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is.


09/07/2012 - 11:07am
Millar: Bobby V's 'integrity' challenged

MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the latest Red Sox drama with manager Bobby Valentine.

Valentine had a confrontational interview on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon. Host Glenn Ordway opened the interview by asking if Valentine had checked out, and Valentine responded by saying he would have punched Ordway in the mouth if the two were in the same room, although Valentine then said, "Ha, ha."

"I think it's a tired question immediately," Millar said. "It was a tired question. You challenge the man. Let's take a step back for a second and be Bobby Valentine. I think that was the first instance -- other than the knee-jerk reaction that Bobby Valentine is already like, his whole act is kind of been worn out now in Boston -- I think the question, you challenge the man. He answered it I think in 90 percent of the way that every other man would have answered it. If I...

09/07/2012 - 10:09am
Lombardi on D&C: Jets, Bills .500 teams

NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi, during his weekly Friday morning appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, looked at the situation in the AFC East, where the Patriots appear to be clear favorites over the Jets, Bills and Dolphins.

While the Patriots failed to impress in the preseason, going 1-3, the Jets were worse, scoring just 31 points and going 0-4. The Bills and Dolphins also lost all four of their preseason games. While preseason records don't mean much, there are signs that the rest of the division has issues.

"I don't think the Jets are as bad as they've looked in the preseason," Lombardi said. "Certainly, I don't think they can win playing the Bo Schembechler-Woody Hayes game that they've decided to play. Running the football in the National Football League is really a time element in the sense of this: The Patriots need to run the ball more effectively to control the pace of the game. But their passing game is going...

09/07/2012 - 7:37am
Hernandez: '12 Pats have 'more of an edge'

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez made the first of his weekly appearances on WEEI sister station WAAF Friday morning on The Hill-Man Morning Show.

Although the Patriots went just 1-3 in the preseason and didn't impress much on offense, Hernandez said he isn't concerned heading into Sunday's regular-season opener against the Titans.

"I definitely feel confident," he said. "In the preseason they do a lot of the basics. You never really do much of the offense and stuff like that. So, I feel like we're definitely ready for the season."

The Patriots are coming off a loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, but Hernandez said the team doesn't spend time rehashing it.

"You've got to move on, or else you'll be stuck in the past forever," he said. "Hopefully we get there this year and have a different outcome."

However, Hernandez admitted the loss has given the Patriots some inspiration.

...

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