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07/30/2011 - 12:36pm
Faulk: Belichick 'motivation enough for me'

FOXBORO -- After signing a new contract to return to the Patriots for a 13th season, veteran running back Kevin Faulk said Bill Belichick was the biggest reason he was motivated to rehab his knee following surgery and come back to the team. 

"Honestly speaking, before the lockout started, Bill called me and told me, 'Hey Kevin, I want you on my team in 2011.' That was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab my butt off and get ready for the season, whenever it may be and whenever it may come," Faulk said Saturday at Gillette Stadium. "So, that was pretty much enough for me."

Faulk tore the ACL in his right knee during a Week 2 loss to the Jets last season at the New Meadowlands Stadium. He had reconstructive surgery in October, ending his 2010 season.  Faulk, who turned 35 on June 5, is the longest-tenured Patriot on the roster, entering his 13th season. Last season, Faulk was limited to just two games due to an...

07/30/2011 - 12:02pm
Westmoreland to face live pitching

According to the Providence Journal, Red Sox minor leaguer Ryan Westmoreland is nearing the point where he will be able to face live pitching for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain stem in March 2010. The 21-year-old has been hitting off a machine and taking batting practice for several months, and he has made sufficient strides that the opportunity to face live pitching could be approaching.

“They know I’m ready, and I know I’m ready,” Westmoreland told the Journal. “I’m physically and mentally ready — whether I hit the ball or not — to get in the batter’s box again. To see a pitcher throw a ball at me from 60 feet away is going to be pretty special.”

For more...

07/30/2011 - 11:21am
More subdued Ocho ready to 'rock n'roll'

FOXBORO -- Chad Ochocinco had his smile, talked again about landing in heaven and even gave a group hug at the end after he saw reporters and photographers jostling for position in his post-practice interview. But the star wide receiver said Saturday he is planning on toning it down a lot from his previous days in Cincinnati.

"I’m going to always be me," Ochocinco said. "I’ll always be me. But there’s a certain way that the Patriots do it, and I’ve always been a chameleon, so I’m going to blend in and do it the Patriots way, which is win, you know? I think Bill, we had our talk, and without him having to even say anything, [I know] there’s no need for me to do some of the stuff I did before.”

After finishing his first practice in pads, Ochocinco paid thanks to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick.

"It’s exactly what I thought it was, me being able to come...

07/30/2011 - 9:01am
Mankins signs tender, Faulk, Arrington sign

FOXBORO -- On what is expected to be a busy day in Foxboro - the first full day of practice in pads - the Patriots announced Saturday morning that Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins signed his franchise tag tender, a positive sign that the two sides are working toward a long-term contract. 

Mankins, because it's a new contract, will not practice until Aug. 4, in addition to running back Kevin Faulk and cornerback Kyle Arrington, who also signed new deals on Saturday. 

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


07/29/2011 - 10:32pm
Teams still on Bedard despite brutal start

Mariners left-hander Erik Bedard, in his first start since June 27, retired just four of the 11 batters he faced, permitting three hits and four walks while striking out two before leaving with his team trailing the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-0, a deficit that quickly mushroomed to 8-0 after Bedard exited the game.

The 32-year-old, who had been on the disabled list with a sprained left knee, was charged with five earned runs, just the second time in 16 starts this year (and the first since April 10) that he had been charged with so many runs. It was, in fact, the shortest start of his career. He threw 57 pitches, fewer than half of which (28) were strikes.

While the line score was disastrous, however, Bedard's fastball averaged 91 mph and topped out at 93 mph, consistent with his velocity throughout the season.

One major league source said that the Mariners appeared to be waiting until after this outing before advancing talks with teams. While Bedard...

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