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Bill Belichick on Big Show: Albert Haynesworth could play Saturday

08.22.11 at 6:42 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Glenn Ordway, Michael Holley and Tedy Bruschi on Monday’s edition of The Big Show at Gillette Stadium. The coach said that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who has not been practicing due to injury and is day-to-day, could potentially play in the Patriots’ third preseason game Saturday in Detroit. Despite saying the possibility existed, Belichick hardly made Haynesworth’s playing status for Saturday a sure thing.

“If he’s ready, yeah,” Belichick said when asked if Haynesworth could play Saturday.

Asked whether he was ready, Belichick responded, “Well I don’t know. He’s day-to-day.”

“I can’t [elaborate],” Belichick said when asked for more details. “We’ll go out there tomorrow, and if he’s ready to go, he’ll practice. If he’s not, then he’ll do the other things to get ready to go, and then we’ll try it again on Wednesday.”

Here are some highlights of the interview:

ON IMPORTANCE OF GAME 3 OF PRESEASON: I think are all important. Every game is an opportunity for us to improve and every time we can take a step closer to being ready opening day and ready for the 16 game season that’s progress. I certainly hope we play better than we did in the third preseason game last season.

ON THE KICKOFF RULE CHANGE FROM A COACHING STANDPOINT: There is a lot less information. We’re seeing a lot of touchbacks, so you can evaluate parts of the play, how they get off, their downfield speed, how they avoid the first-line of blockers, but without the return you don’t get to see the whole play. We’ve had a lot of that in practice, so we will try and evaluate that, but it is not the same as getting those plays in the game. You can’t really see those players improve because there is not the number of plays to work with. It is what it is, we will evaluate what we have.

We will just have to go with what we got, but it is not the ideal situation to evaluate from. There have been a lot of players make the team, I can remember showing those tapes after the first couple kickoff practices and say put this guy on the first special teams, and have him on the first kickoff team because of the way he practiced and the way he covers them in the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Vince Wilfork on Big Show: ‘You have to be on your toes at all times with Bill Belichick’

08.22.11 at 6:18 pm ET
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Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork joined The Big Show following practice at Gillette Stadium on Monday afternoon to discuss last Thursday’s second preseason game, his physical condition midway through the preseason schedule, playing defensive line in different schemes, among all other things Patriots related.

Wilfork had no further comment on the allegations that reportedly took place at the University of Miami when he was there.

“I commented a couple of days ago, I am done with that,” he said. “That is all I have to say on it and I am going to move forward from that. I am looking forward to Detroit.”

To hear the entire interview, click here.

Here are the highlights from the interview:

ON LAST THURSDAY’S SECOND PRESEASON GAME: “It looked like peaches and cream, but I think Bill [Belichick] hit it on the head when he said it looked good, but it really wasn’t and then things looked bad and it really wasn’t. You can take the good and the bad out of that game, especially in the first quarter. They had 11 yards rushing, but we still had mental errors, people missed assignments and stuff like that. In preseason you’re going to have that. We went out and wanted to hit the ground running and we did. There were mistakes, but that is why you have the preseason and training camp to work on, look back on film and correct those things. That is what we try to do each week.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Vince Wilfork,

Logan Mankins and the Patriots will be ready for Ndamukong Suh

08.22.11 at 4:33 pm ET
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FOXBORO — No one has to tell Logan Mankins what can happen if you don’t bring your best against the likes of Ndamukong Suh and the Lions defensive line.

Just take a look at what happened to Bengals rookie Andy Dalton in his first game in the NFL.

Two things about this hit: A) Suh didn’t even get credit for a sack (nor did he register one or even a tackle in the game) and B) he was leveled with a $20,000 fine.

Obviously, Tom Brady and the Patriots have been around the block a little longer and with more stability than the Cincinnati offensive line but still, the lesson delivered by Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams of two weeks ago will be taught this week in Foxboro by professor Bill Belichick.

‘€œWell, they’€™ve got good players,” Mankins said before Monday’s practice. “Suh, he’€™s a really good player. Vanden Bosch, Williams, across the board they’€™ve got good players that are strong and play with a good style so it’€™s always a challenge.

“They’re very good across the front. And in our room, our O-line room, we all know we need to make improvements and this will be a good week to see if we made any.”

Suh did manage to sack Brady once last year in New England’s 45-24 win on Thanksgiving Day so Mankins and company will be on guard.

“Not so much stunned, but that’s going to happen when you go against good players, they’re going to get your sometimes, you gotta be ready for it and do the right things and be in the right position or guys with that talent level are going to take advantage of it.”

Right now for Mankins, it’s all about technique as camp closed Saturday and regular practices began Monday.

“For offensive lineman, the main thing is technique,” he said. “And when you’re out there and your feet are jumping around and your hands aren’t hitting where you want them to, that’s something you need to get corrected or it’s going to catch up with you down the road.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, Corey Williams, detroit lions

Edelman, Price and Dowling back in full pads for Patriots

08.22.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling and wide receiver Taylor Price returned to practice today as the Patriots worked out in full pads on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. Dowling had been out since Aug. 3 while Price was banged up during the preseason opener against the Jaguars on Aug. 11. Joining Dowling and Price in full pads were Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate and James Sanders, all of whom have been dinged up at some point over the course of the preseason.

Meanwhile, the following players were missing from the start of Patriots practice Monday afternoon: Stevan Ridley, Leigh Bodden, Shane Vereen, Josh Barrett, Malcolm Williams, Eric Kettani, Jeff Tarpinian, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Brandon Deaderick, Lee Smith, Albert Haynesworth, Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace and Mike Wright. In addition, the following players were in shorts: Kevin Faulk, Danny Woodhead and Gary Guyton.

Read More: 2011 training camp, practice report,

Vince Wilfork has ‘moved on’ from Nevin Shapiro scandal

08.22.11 at 1:37 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Speaking publicly for the first time since last week’s Yahoo.com story implicated him in the Nevin Shapiro scandal, accusing him of accepting $50,000 in a lump sum payment during his junior season at the University of Miami, Vince Wilfork said he has moved on and is focused on football and the Detroit Lions this week.

“It’s tough,” Wilfork said before heading out to practice at Gillette Stadium on Monday. “I released a statement a couple of days ago and that’s where I’m at with it. I have moved forward. I’m done with that situation and I’m just focused on my football career. One thing I don’t want to do is be a distraction to this team, to this organization. I won’t be that. My teammates stuck behind me 100 percent. My family, the organization. I’ve moved forward. I’m definitely towards the Detroit Lions now and it feels good to be around a great group of guys, it feels real good.”

After the story broke last Tuesday, Wilfork gave his initial response via his twitter page:

I am aware of the report that has claims that involve me while at the U. While the NCAA and the U conduct their investigations [my wife] and I believe that it is not appropriate for us to comment.

Read More: football, Miami Hurricanes, Mike Babcock, Nevin Shapiro

Devin McCourty ready for the challenges that await

08.22.11 at 1:36 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” After one of the finest rookie seasons in Patriots’ history, cornerback Devin McCourty knows that the challenges will be even greater entering his second season.

Many believe that the biggest adjustment for an NFL player is not the move from college to the pros, but going from his first season in the league to his second. With the arrival of a sophomore season, teams have a book on each and every player ‘€” status as an unknown commodity is a thing of the past. There’s no sneaking up on anyone, especially for someone like McCourty who, as a rookie, started every game, made 82 tackles and ended the season with seven interceptions. (His seven interceptions in 2010 are the second-most by a Patriots rookie and were tied for second in the NFL in 2010.)

“There’ll be more challenges [this year],” McCourty acknowledged before practice on Monday afternoon. “I think the biggest thing [coach Bill Belichick] tries to remind you is to be focused and not really think as a second-year player or a veteran. Kind of lean more toward thinking you’re a rookie. You still have a lot to learn. I think that’s the biggest message he gives you ‘€” just continue to try and learn and do the things you did well last year and kind of fix the things you didn’t do well last year.

“I don’t think you can come back and be the same player, I think you can either get better or get worse, so my focus is just trying to get better as a player.”

This coming from a player who was selected to his first Pro Bowl, becoming the fourth Patriots player to be selected as a rookie. In addition, he was named to the Associated Press All-Pro Second Team. Where can the improvements come from? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty, pat chung,

Dan Koppen on M&M: ‘We know what’s expected of us’

08.22.11 at 12:43 pm ET
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Dan Koppen spoke with Mut & Merloni Monday afternoon. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Koppen said the key to the Patriots’€™ offensive success in the preseason so far is that ‘€œwe’€™ve got a veteran core here, and we know what’€™s expected of us.’€

‘€œWhen we go out on the field, our job is to score,’€ Koppen said. ‘€œDoesn’€™t matter if it’€™s preseason or regular season.’€

Koppen was pleased with Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy‘€™s comments concerning the Patriots’€™ quick offense in their preseason game.

‘€œWe want to play fast, we want to play at our pace,’€ Koppen said. ‘€œIf we can get the defense feeling like that more on a consistent basis coming up, hopefully we’€™re winning some games.’€

Koppen also said it was unlikely any Patriot would ever make comments like that.

Koppen said with the Patriots, ‘€œThere’€™s no difference between how we evaluate regular preseason games and regular season games.’€

As for how playing actual football instead of just practicing felt, Koppen said, ‘€œIt’€™s nice to hit someone else in a different colored uniform.’€

Koppen said the team’€™s focus right now is on the Lions and Saturday’€™s third preseason game, especially elite pass rusher Ndamukong Suh.

‘€œIt will be a great challenge for us,’€ Koppen said. ‘€œReally, another step in our quest.’€

Read More: Dan Koppen, detroit lions, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh
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