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Tag:Aaron Hernandez
Posted on: September 5, 2011 10:06 am
 

Report: Randy Moss willing to return to Patriots

Posted by Will Brinson

Randy Moss is, presumably, hanging out somewhere playing shuffleboard watching racecars make left turns. Because that's what retired people do, obviously. However, for all that excitement, Moss would reportedly be willing and/or interested in returning to the NFL ... if it were with the Patriots.

That's according to Chip Fontanazza of the West Virginia MetroNews, who not only interviewed Moss about stuff that doesn't relate to football but managed to pick up anonymous source that said "Moss does regret leaving the New England Patriots and that would most likely be the only team he would play for in the NFL if he would return."

The timing of the information is not just coincidental, but it's logical as well -- ever since Moss announced his retirement from the NFL, he's made it clear how much he respects and adores the New England organization.

It seems pretty unlikely that the Pats will make another run at/with Moss, though. They've certainly known that Moss would return to New England to wrap up his career, and therefore already could have signed him.

Instead, they went out and traded for Chad Ochocinco in order to beef up an already stout -- Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Brandon Tate, Julian Edleman, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski -- group of pass-catchers.

But Ocho's struggled and the Pats recently dumped 2009 third-rounder Tate, so it would be a little foolish to rule anything out, especially as it relates to either Moss or Bill Belichick.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Things stay same: Ochocinco talks, Albert fails

C. Ochocinco meets the media for the first time (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You might have heard something about the Patriots making some pretty interesting moves during free agency in the past few days. For one, they traded two low draft picks to the Bengals for WR Chad Ochocinco. For two, they acquired somewhat-moody, rarely in-shape Albert Haynesworth from the Redskins.

Luckily for you, we’ve got news on each new Patriots player and how they’re handling their new surroundings.

1) Chad Ochocinco met with the New England media today for the first time, and it’s clear the Patriot-ifcation of the outspoken WR has already begun. He said he probably won’t say much to the media going forward, and then afterward, he asked for a group hug (that latter point is very un-Belichickian, by the way).

“I will always be me,” Ochocinco told reporters in quotes distributed by the team. “It has been a part of my game to always be me, but there is a certain way the Patriots do it and it’s easy for me. I’ve always been a chameleon, so I am going to blend in and do it the Patriot way, which is win. ... There is no need for some of the stuff I did before. There’s no need for it.”

I guess that means he won’t be sending opposing DBs little presents in the week before their games, and I guess that means he won’t be celebrating touchdowns in quite the same way. And as WR Wes Welker would advise him, Ochocinco also probably shouldn’t share any good Rex Ryan foot-fetish jokes he’s heard.

Either way, Ochocinco feels recharged.

“It’s hard to maintain a high level of productivity when things are always up and down,” he said, “The thing about this place [is that] it’s consistent. …  There is only so much that I can control and the position that I was in. In Cincinnati I did the best I could to my ability, and I did it in sort of a noisy way and that says a lot for me -- to be able to talk it and still walk it. To be able to come here, regardless of who is in, they get it done here. I call it riding the wave; I am going to enjoy it.”

He’ll enjoy it while wearing his old No. 85.

“This was Mr. [Aaron] Hernandez’s way of greeting me here,” Ochocinco said. “He gave me the number and I didn’t have to pay anything, I just shook his hand and I said, ‘Thank you.’ … I drive a Toyota Prius, so I was going to let him use my Prius on the weekends, and that’s about the best I can do right now. I have some left over McDonald’s coupons since I don’t eat there anymore.”

2) The reports coming out of New England also say that, perhaps not surprisingly, Haynesworth didn’t pass his conditioning test Saturday. Though Belichick didn’t confirm or deny that, he did say Haynesworth isn’t ready to play quite yet.

“There are things we still need to do with Albert for him to be able get on the practice field and when those things are done, he’ll be out there,” Belichick said.

Good to see that Haynesworth has learned from his past mistakes.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 9:44 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Could Ochocinco end up with the Patriots?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In recent years, Bill Belichick's approach to the NFL Draft seems to involve more trading than selecting -- either down or out of the current draft altogether -- but always with the goal of accumulating future considerations. It's not a particularly exciting personnel strategy, although it's difficult to argue with the results. The Patriots have won at least 10 games a year since 2003, three times going 14-2, including last season.

While New England may be relatively quiet on draft weekends, they're generally pretty active in free agency. That hasn't been the case this offseason because of the lockout, but that could change if the owners and players agree on a new collective bargaining agreement in the next 10 days or so.

In anticipation of that eventuality, the Boston Herald takes a look at the Patriots' needs and the soon-to-be free agents who could fill them. First up: wide receivers.

New England's current depth chart includes established veterans with injury histories (Deion Branch, Wes Welker) and unproven, high-upside young guys (Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater, Brandon Tate). It's not quite the uninspiring group of wideouts that were on the team in 2006 (Reche Caldwell led the Patriots with 760 yards receiving that year), but it's not 2007, either (Tom Brady threw 50 touchdowns, 23 to Randy Moss).

Which is why the Herald lists Sidney Rice and Chad Ochocinco as possible free-agent targets. Rice, who had hip surgery last August, played in just six games with the Vikings in 2010. But in 2009, he was one of the league's most explosive players. He's also just 24.

Ochocinco's (mostly off-field) exploits are well documented. He's 33 and not technically a free agent. The Herald explains:
There’s still the popular debate on whether the Patriots need a speed receiver or not. That began when Randy Moss was traded last season and continued in the loss to the Jets. Well, this would certainly provide a solution. Rice has got the speed to stretch the field, and the skills to do a lot more. With the possible exception of Vincent Jackson, he’s the best guy out there. Brady isn’t getting any younger. Why not shoot for the moon? As for Ochocinco, he’s not actually a free agent. But if he’s treating himself like one, why shouldn’t we?
Conventional wisdom says that Ochocinco's best days are behind him, and a team in need of wideouts would be wise to look elsewhere. But this is New England, the place where over-the-hill malcontents go to revive their careers.

Take Corey Dillon and Randy Moss. Dillon rushed for 541 yards in 2003, his last season in Cincinnati. In 2004, he gained 1,635 yards for the Patriots, and he won a Super Bowl. In 2006, Moss had 42 receptions for 533 yards and three touchdowns with Oakland. The next season he caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns in New England. It's not unreasonable to think that Belichick and Brady couldn't keep Ochocinco focused, something Marvin Lewis never managed to do in Cincy.

As for Moss, whose name occasionally comes up as a possible option for the Patriots, his time in New England appears to have passed.

"It’s really hard to imagine [Moss returning to Foxboro], the Herald explains. "It’s one of those 'been there, done that, no sense doing it again' kind of stories. That’s not to say the Pats won’t be looking for a speed guy or another veteran receiver. Rice would help, if they could afford him. Ochocinco has one more year on his contract, but he’s made no secret he wants out of Cincinnati. It appears the Bengals want a divorce, too. With Bill Belichick’s affection for him, Ochocinco may, in fact, find a way to end up in Foxboro. If he behaves and still has some left in the tank, he could be the answer."

Even if the Patriots don't pursue a wide receiver during free agency, the 2011 group of pass catchers will still be plenty dangerous. Not so much because of the wide receivers, but because of the tight ends. As rookies last season, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski were third and fourth on the team in receptions (45 and 42), and they accounted for 33 percent of the team's passing yards. If nothing else, Belichick learned from the 2006 season; if you don't have wideouts, find some tight ends. Tom Brady doesn't much care who he's throwing the ball to just as long as they're open.

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: January 2, 2011 11:48 am
 

Week 17 AFC Inactives

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, those who ARE active: Browns RB Peyton Hillis, Steelers S Troy Polamalu, Ravens TE Todd Heap

And those who are INACTIVE:

A whole mess of Jets starters, including CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB LaDainian Tomlinson and RB Shonn Greene.

A whole mess of Patriots starters, including LB Tully Banta-Cain, WR Deion Branch, TE Aaron Hernandez and WR Wes Welker.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills: He missed three practice this week with a bad knee.

Dan Connolly, G, Patriots: Hasn't been seen since his amazing near-TD kickoff return with a head injury.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals: For a guy who might be playing his last game with Cincinnati, this is a quiet way to go out.

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Posted on: December 26, 2010 11:42 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 12:17 pm
 

Week 16 AFC Inactives

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, those who ARE active: Jaguars WR Mike Sims-Walker, Ravens CB Chris Carr, Jets QB Mark Sanchez (who is starting), Colts RB Joseph Addai, Browns NT Shaun Rogers.

Now, those who are NOT active:

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars:
We figured this was coming, but still, it’s important to note that this is the first time Jones-Drew has missed a game due to injury. Rashad Jennings will take over, and he should be fine today.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots:
The rookie TE who has been so impressive this season didn’t travel with his team to Buffalo, so this isn’t a surprising. Look for Rob Gronkowski to get even more action.

Todd Heap, TE, Ravens:
He's been dealing with a hamstring issue, and after an inconsistent week of practice, he's sitting down today.

Karlos Dansby, LB, Dolphins:
Miami will miss one of its best linebackers, but Dansby is dealing with a toe injury and didn't practice all week.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals:
Apparently, Ochocinco tweeted today that he was inactive. With this guy, though, I would wait until the official inactive list comes out to confirm it.

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 5:20 pm
 

Pats vs. Jets: Monday night Podcast Preview

Posted by Will Brinson

You've waited all day for it, and it's finally here. No, not the freaking Monday night matchup between the Pats and the Jets. I mean the podcast previewing the Monday night matchup between the Pats and the Jets. Guh.

Andy and I break down all the X's and O's of the matchup, including (and especially) what the Jets will do with Darrelle Revis now that Randy Moss is gone from New England. Will he cover Wes Welker? Or will it be Deion Branch stuck on Revis Island? Or will he simply sit all over Aaron Hernandez? We also wonder what the Pats will do from an offensive standpoint, in order to counter the Jets first move of Revis placement.

All in all, it's basically the best 11 minutes of your day -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: December 3, 2010 11:53 pm
 

What will the Jets do with Revis Monday night?

Posted by Andy Benoit

When the Jets and Patriots met back in Week 2, the decision for what to do with Darrelle Revis was simple: stick him on Randy Moss. Revis on Moss meant no vertical passing game for the then-downfield-attack-oriented Patriots.

Obviously, things are different this time around. Revis is still a shutdown corner (he’s been arguably better this season than last season) but the Patriots no longer have their dangerous big-play slouch outside. An offense that was once built around Moss is now built around a consortium of mid-range weapons: Wes WD. Revis (US Presswire)elker, Brandon Tate, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez.

So which one of these four will the Jets glue Revis to Monday night? The name that immediately comes to mind is Welker, New England’s leading receiver. However, so many of Welker’s routes are underneath and drags, which are nearly impossible to take away. Sacrificing your shutdown corner to prevent a bunch of five-to-eight-yard receptions that might not be preventable anyway doesn’t seem worthwhile.
Style-wise, Revis on Tate would make the most sense. But Tate has just 18 receptions on the season. If he’s taken away, there’s no guarantee Tom Brady would even notice.

This leaves Hernandez and Branch. Hernandez is a tight end, though a lithe tight end whom Revis could certainly handle from a size and strength standpoint. But what does New York do when Hernandez leaves the slot and lines up directly beside an offensive tackle? (There’s a reason you don’t see shutdown corners shadow tight ends.)

So does this mean the Jets will put Revis on Branch? He doesn’t quite have his old explosiveness, but the recently-reacquired veteran still leads the Patriots with 61.9 yards per game. Those aren’t Calvin or Andre Johnson numbers, though.

Revis and the Jets aren’t saying what they’ll do. Here’s an idea: instead of having Revis shadow one player (and if they do choose a player, the guess here is they’ll choose Branch), why not move him around? That would make Tom Brady’s job more difficult, particularly in the presnap phase. It would also allow New York more chances to disguise coverages and help prevent the Patriots from getting in the type of aerial rhythm they enjoyed during the second half at Detroit.

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:31 am
 

Hot Routes: Could Devin Hester play quarterback?


Posted by Will Brinson 

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Todd Collins is starting and Caleb Hanie is the backup for the Bears on Sunday, but they also have a super-secret "emergency" plan, and will list someone as a third quarterback in the event that both those guys are sucked into the concussion vacuum that is the Bears' offensive line. "I'll just say without going into that and giving away too much more about our game plan, we have a guy in mind, maybe a couple of guys in mind, if we get down to No. 3," Lovie Smith said. So who is it, you wonder?  Apparently either Devin Hester or Matt Forte, which is actually way scarier than Collins or Hanie -- either/or would play the wildcat the entire game
  • Could Aaron Hernandez lead the Pats in the receiving the rest of the way? Sure -- Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston notes that only 36 percent of the Patriots snaps this season have been in "pure three- or four-receiver packages," whereas they ran nearly 56 percent in those sets last year. In other words, the team was moving towards utilizing their young tight ends even before trading Moss.
  • What one word would you use to describe Danny Amendola? (Note: please don't say "Welker.") Because the rest of the Rams would say stuff like "fiesty," "electric," "quick," "tenacious," and "energetic." David Eckstein is a huge fan, duh.
  • It's 2010 and athletes announce stuff on Twitter, so it should be no surprise that Chad Hall dropped his promotion off the Eagles practice squad vis-a-vis social media.
 
 
 
 
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