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Patriots practice report for Wednesday

09.15.10 at 4:08 pm ET
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Patriots’ Wednesday injury report

Did Not Participate in Practice
OT Nick Kaczur (back)
CB Terrence Wheatley (foot)

Limited Participation in Practice
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
RB Fred Taylor (toe)

Full Participation in Practice
QB Tom Brady (shoulder)

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Complete Tom Brady Q&A, 9/15

09.15.10 at 2:04 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the full transcript of the Q&A between Tom Brady and the media this morning at Gillette Stadium:

Q: Any shot of you throwing us a bone next week and talking at the podium?
TB: Maybe. With a win, maybe we could do that. I just feel so comfortable in here [locker room].

Q: Can you talk about that intensity and the rivalry this week with the New York Jets?
TB: They’re a great rival for us. [When] we play them, it seems every game comes down to the end. Over the years, there’s been a lot of transition with players and coaches and so forth. They’ve got a good team. They’ve got a very good defense. Last year we didn’t do so well down there, so we’ve got to go down and try to score more than nine points. That’s what we’re thinking about offensively.

Q: Have you spoken to Laurence Maroney and what was your reaction to the trade?
TB: I didn’t get a chance to talk to Laurence yet. That just happened late yesterday. There’s a lot of player movement. Laurence has been a great back here. That’s what happens.
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Edelman back at Pats practice

09.15.10 at 1:50 pm ET
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FOXBORO — In a sign that he may be nearing a return to game action, wide receiver Julian Edelman was in full pads for Patriots practice on Wednesday on the upper practice fields outside Gillette Stadium.

Edelman has been nursing an injured foot. The only absences were OL Nick Kaczur and CB Terrence Wheatley.

The Patriots practiced with music blaring over loud speakers in what could be preparation for Sunday’s crowd noise at a hostile New Meadowlands Stadium.

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Brady gives Patriots fans an earful

09.15.10 at 12:48 pm ET
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[Click here to listen to what Tom Brady had to say about Patriots fans leaving early last Sunday.]

FOXBORO — Listen up you Patriots fans who want to beat the Route 1 traffic and leave a game early. Tom Brady is not happy with you.

The newly-extended quarterback on Wednesday made his feelings known loud and clear about the many empty seats disguised as fans at Gillette Stadium for most of the fourth quarter, when the Patriots raced out to a 38-17 lead in Sunday’s 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The road environment is very different than our very friendly home crowd, who when I looked up, half the stadium was gone when we were up 21 points early fourth quarter, which I wasn’t so happy about,” Brady said. “I don’t think the Jets fans leave early. They’re going to be loud the whole game. Communication is always an issue

Like the dissertation given by Randy Moss after Sunday’s game, Brady’s comments about Patriots fans came unsolicited after being asked about the road environment he expects at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday.

The subject came up when Brady was asked about traveling to the hostile Meadowlands for Sunday’s road opener against the Jets at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
“We work on it a lot in practice, I think we worked on it in training camp quite a bit. Last year we didn’t do a very good job of it and that was painfully obvious to all of us. We have to do a better job of it this year.”

The Patriots lost, 16-9, last year at the Meadowlands and could not reach the end zone.

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Tom Brady is SI’s coverboy this week

09.14.10 at 6:54 pm ET
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As seen here, Tom Brady and Randy Moss grace the cover of the Sept. 20 issue of Sports Illustrated, which is on newsstands Wednesday. It is Brady’s 12th cover, tying him with his boyhood idol, Joe Montana, for the most all-time among football players.


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Pats make Laurence Maroney deal official

09.14.10 at 6:44 pm ET
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The Patriots officially announced the trade of Laurence Maroney to the Broncos. Here’s the full text of the statement issued by the team:

The New England Patriots traded RB Laurence Maroney to the Denver Broncos for undisclosed draft considerations today, pending a physical exam.

Maroney, 5-11, 220 pounds, was originally drafted by New England in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Minnesota. During his four seasons with the Patriots he appeared in 52 regular-season games with 14 starts and seven postseason games with two starts.

Maroney’s regular-season Patriots totals included 2,430 rushing yards on 582 carries with 21 touchdowns. He also added 41 receptions for 1,062 yards receiving. Maroney was inactive for 2010 season–opener vs. Cincinnati.

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Analysis of Laurence Maroney deal

09.14.10 at 4:50 pm ET
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Laurence Maroney's stint with the Patriots came to an end Tuesday when the former first-round pick was dealt to the Broncos. (AP)

Laurence Maroney's stint with the Patriots came to an end Tuesday when the former first-round pick was dealt to the Broncos. (AP)

In his four seasons with the Patriots, few players sparked more debate than Laurence Maroney.

There was no lukewarm feeling toward the running back, who was dealt to Denver for a 2011 draft pick on Tuesday afternoon. Supporters of the first-round pick out of Minnesota were convinced that if he only got the carries, he would be a consistent 1,000-yard presence, while his critics saw a player who danced before he hit the line and shied away from contact.

To be fair, when he was healthy and did get the carries, Maroney — who was in the last year of his rookie contract — gave the New England running game a real bite. He split time with Corey Dillon in 2006 as a rookie, but took over the starters’ role in 2007, and finished with a career-best 835 rushing yards. That season, he had five games where he topped 100 yards, including a 156-yard performance in a December win over the Dolphins and back-to-back 122-yard performances in the playoffs.

But he suffered a shoulder injury in September 2008, and would never reach the same heights with the Patriots. He finished that season on injured reserve, and in 2009, he started out as part of a running back-by-committee, sharing carries with veterans Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris. He was able to break out on occasion, including a season-high 123 yards in an October rout of Tennessee.

However, he was getting fewer and fewer carries as the season went on. The first real sign Maroney was on the outs with the team first popped up last season when Maroney had four bad fumbles, with many of them coming in the red zone (the ones against Indianapolis and Jacksonville were especially ill-timed). It was something new for Maroney, who, to that point, had been pretty good when it came to taking care of the ball — he fumbled just once in his rookie season, didn’t turn the ball over in 2007 and 2008. By the time the end of the season rolled around, Maroney was on the outside looking in. He saw just six total carries over the Patriots final three games, including just one carry in their playoff loss to Baltimore.

This past preseason, it appeared to be more of the same when the Patriots leaned heavily on almost every other member of their running back corps except for Maroney. He got eight carries in the preseason opener against the Saints. He dressed but did not play for the second and third preseason game, and saw limited action in the preseason finale, a clear sign he had slipped down the depth chart In addition, he was an inactive for the season opener against the Bengals last Sunday.

Going forward, the Patriots will rely heavily on Taylor and Morris, two veterans who have struggled to steer clear of injuries. (Both missed sizable chunks of last season because of injury.) Expect more from youngster BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who had been used sparingly as of late because of depth at the position. In addition, it wouldn’t be surprising to see veteran third-down back Kevin Faulk get some more carries in a traditional offensive set.

As for Maroney — who finishes with 2,430 yards in just over four seasons with New England — he will be reunited with former Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who took over the Broncos before the start of last season and brought a few former Patriots with him, including Jabar Gaffney and Lonie Paxton. The Denver backfield has been hit hard by injury since the start of training camp — the Broncos lost LenDale White to a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in the preseason finale, and Knowshon Moreno, who missed the preseason with a hamstring injury, and Correll Buckhalter combined for 65 yards on the ground Sunday for Denver.

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