Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: July 6, 2010 10:32 am
 

How the Pats are replacing Mankins

With Logan Mankins holding out, Patriots right tackle Nick Kaczur has been working at left guard, according to Shalise Manza of the Boston Globe.
N. Kaczur (US Presswire)
This makes perfect sense. Kaczur doesn’t have ideal athleticism or footwork for operating on an island. As a left guard, he wouldn’t begin to offer Mankins’ mobility, but he’d at least provide adequate interior strength for New England’s power-blocking system.
Kaczur playing inside means that promising second-year tackle Sebastian Vollmer gets an opportunity to start at right tackle. Many believe Vollmer is the future at left tackle. The Patriots, however, have no interest in moving Matt Light out of that spot in 2010.

Manza doesn’t believe the offensive line’s tepid game of musical chairs will be much of a problem:

The key in all of this - as has been the case for much of the last decade - is the presence of coach Dante Scarnecchia. The sage Scarnecchia is a maestro at getting his linemen to work together and coaching up players; by now it is safe to assume that if a lineman can't succeed under Scarnecchia's tutelage, he won't succeed anywhere. After all, this is a team that won Super Bowls with players like Brandon Gorin, Tom Ashworth and Mike Compton as starting linemen.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Posted on: July 5, 2010 9:31 pm
 

Tom Brady's frustration in New England

For a quick, rock-solid view of how the Patriots organization operates, what the NFL's uncertain labor negotiations mean for superstar players’ contracts and how it could all be leading Tom Brady to frustration in New England, read Albert Breer’s extra points cT. Brady (US Presswire)olumn.

Brady is reportedly not thrilled with his slow/non-developing contract negotiation. He has spent an unusual amount of time in California (i.e. away from Foxoro) this offseason. Pro Football Talk, adding to Breer’s article, says:

One point of frustration, we're told, comes from the manner in which the team has used Brady's willingness to take less than top dollar in the past as a tool for leveraging others in the organization (players and non-players alike) to do the same.  As we hear it, Brady never intended his decision to provide the franchise with a blueprint for squeezing his colleagues.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 5, 2010 10:38 am
 

Coming back from an ACL tear

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post has a story talking about ACL tears, and he discusses how players like New England WR Wes Welker and Houston TE Owen Daniels will perform this year, the season after injuring their knees.

What’s most interesting about the story is when Bowen – who played seven seasons in the NFL for four teams – talks about his experience in returning from an ACL injury in 2004.

Had the surgery, rehabbed and was back for 2005. But, I would be lying if I sat here and told you everything was great—because it wasn’t. The swelling, the daily maintenance, the pain and the lack of explosion I felt when the knee got tired. And, this was with the best rehab I could get from the Redskins training staff.

Unfortunately, it is natural. It wasn’t until my last season in Buffalo during training camp, the season after that I felt normal. Yes, the tightness was still there—as it is today—but I felt more like an athlete, instead of a player coming off of a major knee injury.


It’s impossible to say how Welker and Daniels will respond to their offseason surgeries. But as Bowen points out: when Welker and Daniels talk about how good their knees feel – and you know they will, because that’s how elite athletes are wired – it might not necessarily be true.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 27, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Bruschi still feels the pull

Don’t expect for former Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi to come out of retirement quite yet, but he did tell the Boston Herald that he still feels the itch to play.

“I guess, I still am describing the itch that is ingrained in my persona,” Bruschi said. “Last year during the playoffs is when I felt it the most, about, ‘I should still be out there.’ … It’s still there, it’s going to take a little while for it to go away.”

Bruschi, now an analyst for ESPN, is a 13-year veteran who made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and was then the comeback player of the year for 2005. He was the unquestioned heartbeat for the Patriots defense during New England’s Super Bowl runs until retiring at the age of 35 after the 2008 season.

So, the Herald asked, how was your first year away from football?

“I didn’t think I’d do so well with it, to tell you the truth,” Bruschi said. "Maybe the analyst thing has helped me because I still watch games with purpose and look at different ways that I can sort of communicate the things that I see to maybe some people that may not see the things that I see. But what’s helped me is the strong relationship I’ve had with my wife at home. We’ve gone through a lot in my 13-year career that it was almost a relief when I finally decided to call it quits so we could move on with our lives.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 24, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Patriots Give Out a Contract Extension

Tom Brady and Logan Mankins are still waiting for new contracts. Their teammate Gary Guyton is not. The Patriots have given the inside linebacker a two-year extension.

The Boston Herald’s Ian Rapoport reports:

"Guyton’s exclusive rights tender was slated to pay him the minimum of $470,000 on a one-year contract. Now what does he get?
A $505,000 salary in 2010 and a $1-million salary in 2011, to go along with a signing bonus of $650,000."

It’s surprising Guyton would jump at this deal. Yes, it’s a pay raise, but he was a starter in 2009. If he starts again this year, which is expected (at least early on), then $1 million in 2011 is a little below market value.

Maybe Guyton has a really smart agent who knows that his client, though fast and explosive on contact, struggles badly in run defense. And maybe Guyton’s agent knows the Patriots just spent a second-round pick on Florida’s Brandon Spikes, putting Guyton’s starting job in jeopardy. Thus, Guyton’s agent was happy with the Pats paying his client like the nickel linebacker he essentially is.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2010 5:40 pm
 

Dillon charged with two misdemeanors

Former NFL RB Corey Dillon – a four-time Pro Bowler who amassed more than 11,000 rushing yards in 10 seasons with the Bengals and the Patriots – has been charged with two misdemeanors pertaining to his April arrest on the suspicion of drunk driving.

As the L.A. Times writes , Dillon later was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, though he was never actually charged. Here’s what the Times wrote about that incident:

Dillon and his wife were arguing over their pending divorce and child custody when she called 911, saying she had been assaulted by her husband, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

(Desiree) Antoine-Dillon alleged that Dillon "poured milk over her head, threw water on her and poured soy sauce on her" during the dispute, according to the filing rejection released Thursday. She also told authorities she suffered "a superficial cut on her thumb."

She later told authorities that her husband never hit her and her injury was not caused by physical contact with Dillon.


In another sign that Dillon might not have been the greatest dude in the world, here’s a story from his playing days. One day, a well-respected, well-established TV sports anchor approached Dillon from behind as he sat on his stool in the locker room.

“Hey Corey,” the newsman asked. “Do you have a minute to talk to us?”

Dillon, without saying a word, raised both arms and flipped him the double-bird.

Said the newsman: “I guess that means ‘no.’”


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 17, 2010 3:06 pm
 

The Unique Case of Gerard Warren

Gerard Warren is running with the first unit in New England. He’s operating as a 3-4 defensive end for the first time in his career. The 325-pound Warren is a fascinating player. He was drafted third overall by the Browns in 2001. He was shipped to Denver in ’05 (around the time when every Browns defensive lineman was showing up in Denver). After two ho-hum seasons, he became a Raider. Now, he’s in New England.

So what’s fascinating? Warren has always shown tantalizing talent (mainly rare burst for a player with his resounding strength), but lazy habits and iffy stamina have put a cap on his output. In short, for a third overall pick, he’s been an underachiever – perhaps even a bust.

Most journeymen underachievers become backups. You might think of Warren as a backup, but he’s actually started all but seven games in his career. Have we ever seen a third overall pick disappoint but still start for an entire decade?

At 31, Warren is still in his prime. He has the right tools to occupy blockers in New England’s power-based 3-4 scheme. Don’t be surprised if we see another 16 starts added to his name in 2010.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @CBSSportsNFL on Twitter

Posted on: June 17, 2010 10:57 am
 

Rookie TE Hernandez Is Becoming a True Patriot

New England’s fourth-round pick out of Florida, tight end Aaron Hernandez, is learning the one skill that all Patriot players must learn: talking to the media without saying anything. Hernandez has been dogged by reports that he failed multiple drug tests for marijuana while in college. He has admitted to failing one test but has been mum on everything else. Wednesday, Hernandez addressed the topic (in Belichick fashion).

“That’s in the past,” Hernandez said. “I’m just worried about the future and the present. I forgot about the past. I just keep grinding and do the best I can for this team.”

Hernandez slipped to the fourth round because of character concerns (he was suspended for a game and parts of another while at Florida; undisclosed reasons). But keep in mind, Belichick is close friends with Urban Meyer. He got the full scoop on the kid before and still comfortable drafting him.

Hernandez is a 6’5”, 250-pound pass-catcher. He’ll work with fellow rookie Rob Gronkowski (as second-rounder) to help fill the hole that was created by Ben Watson’s departure.

--Andy Benoit

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