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Matt Light on The Big Show: ‘I’m coming along’

08.19.11 at 5:04 pm ET
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Patriots tackle Matt Light joined The Big Show Friday afternoon following a 31-14 romp over the Buccaneers in New England’s second preseason contest. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Light opened his training camp this past Saturday due to offseason shoulder surgery, and for that reason did not suit up for either of the Patriots’ exhibitions, but he said that he’s progressing.

“I’€™m coming along pretty good,” he said. “I’€™ve obviously been breaking it in a little slow with this shoulder and trying to make sure that it’€™s 100 percent and ready to roll.”

Light added that while, “It’€™s been an odd year,” he’s impressed by what he’s seen from his teammates along the offensive line.

“The routine’€™s different. Everything’€™s changed. But I think that the tempo at practice, everybody’€™s attention to the little things, the detailed stuff, trying to get into situational football out there at practice and everybody working hard and pretty much on the same page, I’€™ve been pretty impressed with it,” he said. “Some of the young guys have stepped in and they understand the system a lot more than maybe what some people would have thought given the fact that we didn’€™t have the offseason. But they worked hard, they’€™re out there, they’€™re playing well and they’€™re filling spots. Look, it’€™s highly competitive out there. For everyone who’€™s watched practice, you’€™ve seen a lot of plays and a lot of guys working their tails off.”

Here are more highlights from the interview: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Matt Light, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,

Bill Belichick on Albert Haynesworth: ‘He’s day-to-day’

08.19.11 at 4:39 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick described defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth as “day-to-day” in a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. Haynesworth, who has practiced twice with his teammates since he was first acquired in a trade from Washington on July 28, has been kept out of practice since Aug. 3, and has not played in either of New England’s two preseason games. However, Belichick also assured the media that Haynesworth is at Gillette Stadium with the rest of his teammates.

Haynesworth, who is reportedly dealing with a knee issue, has “put in a lot of extra time and a lot of extra effort” since he arrived, according to Belichick.

“I think Albert has been great since he’s been here,’€ Belichick told WEEI last week. ‘€œHe’s worked hard. He’s done more than really what we’ve asked him to do. He’s put in a lot of extra time and a lot of extra effort to get back on the field, to study, to catch up on things from a playbook standpoint that’s he a little behind on.”

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick,

Devin McCourty on D&C: Chad Ochocinco’s work ethic ‘incredible to watch’

08.19.11 at 10:23 am ET
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Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty spoke with Dennis & Callahan Friday morning following the Patriots’€™ 31-14 preseason victory over the Buccaneers Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While McCourty would not grade the Patriots’€™ defense Thursday, he said he liked how quickly the defense asserted itself.

‘€œWe were able to get out there and get a couple of three-and-outs, just to kind of get the offense back on the field and keep them on the field,’€ McCourty said.

McCourty said the key to pass defense was a balance between a strong pass rush and competent defensive backs.

‘€œYou can’€™t have one without the other,’€ McCourty said. ‘€œIf you have a great defensive line that gets to the quarterback fast ‘€¦ then you find out the offense will just say, ‘€˜You know what? We’€™ll just throw quick throws to our receivers. They have bad defensive backs and we’€™ll just attack that way.’€™ And then if you have a bad front and you have a great secondary, quarterbacks have all day to throw the ball. So at the end of the day you still get picked apart, because no one can cover forever.’€

McCourty said this defense is more experienced than last seasons, more familiar with the situational football that ‘€œcoach [Bill] Belichick is big on.’€

‘€œWe have some guys coming back that have a better understanding of what we’€™re going to do on offense,’€ McCourty said.

McCourty also called the work ethic with which Chad Ochocinco has approached his first training camp with the Patriots ‘€œincredible to watch.’€

‘€œOften at practice, you’€™ll see him just talking to himself, trying to stay on top of himself,’€ McCourty said, adding: ‘€œYou can just see how hard he’€™s trying to get it and trying to work at it.’€

McCourty also said Ochocinco’€™s work ethic may be justified by the complexities of the Patriots offense.

‘€œI don’€™t know how hard it is to learn,’€ McCourty said. ‘€œI just know how hard it is to defend.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Chad Ochocinco, Devin McCourty,

Prosecutors accuse Albert Haynesworth’s lawyer of attempting to buy off victim in sexual abuse case

08.19.11 at 8:50 am ET
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Prosecutors in the Albert Haynesworth sexual assault case claim Haynesworth’s attorney has repeatedly tried to buy off the victim.

In a document filed in court Thursday, Prosecutors wrote that on “numerous occasions” Haynesworth’s attorney offered the waitress money to encourage the government to drop the case. The attorney denied the accusation.

“Just not true,” A. Scott Bolden told The Associated Press.

Earlier in the week, Bolden filed a document in court claiming that Ramon Davis, the security guard at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., who said he witnessed the incident in mid-February was paid $50,000 for his testimony. Davis said in an affidavit that he was paid $50,000, but he also said the man who paid him never mentioned testifying or the victim’s name.

Though Davis said he thought the money was for testimony, Haynesworth’s prosecutors want the allegations excluded because they were speculative only.

A grand jury indicted Haynesworth on April 26 on a charge of misdemeanor assault stemming from an alleged incident at the W Hotel in which Haynesworth was accused of fondling a waitress as she cleared the table, including sliding a credit card inside her bra.

Read More: A. Scott Bolden, Albert Haynesworth, Jessica Gresko, Ramon Davis

Postgame notes from the Patriots win over Tampa Bay

08.19.11 at 2:52 am ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some quick notes in the wake of New England’s 31-14 win over Tampa Bay Thursday night:

‘€¢The Patriots are 2-0 to start the preseason for the second straight year following the 31-14 win against Tampa Bay.

‘€¢The Patriots win was just their second in nine preseason games against the Buccaneers. The Patriots are now 2-7 against the Buccaneers in the preseason. The Patriots are 5-2 against Tampa Bay in the regular season.

‘€¢The Patriots starting units made their preseason debut after most of the starting units did not play in the first preseason game vs. Jacksonville.

‘€¢QB Tom Brady made his 2011 preseason debut and led the Patriots on three scoring drives in his first three series, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez and an 8-yard touchdown pass to WR Chad Ochocinco to culminate the first two drives.

‘€¢Brady played the entire first half and helped the Patriots take a 28-0 lead. He finished the game 11-of-19 for 118 yards with two touchdown passes.

‘€¢Newly acquired WR Chad Ochocino made his Patriots debut and was in the starting lineup in a three wide receiver set. His first reception as a Patriot was an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the first quarter.

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Read More: 2011 training camp,

Bill Belichick really loves the work ethic of Jerod Mayo

08.19.11 at 1:04 am ET
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You hear it all the time from coaches at every level. Work your tail off in practice and in the offseason, and the rewards will come.

Clearly, Bill Belichick believes that Jerod Mayo gets it.

In Thursday night’s 31-14 walkover against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, Mayo had about as dominating a game as a linebacker can have in the preseason. He racked up five tackles – three solo – two sacks, two passes defended and three hits on the quarterback. That’s called being a force.

It was also clear that Mayo, who began at the strong side (SAM) outside linebacker spot, took full advantage of the Patriots four-man front completely dismantling an overmatched Tampa Bay offensive line. Showing his versatility, he then moved back to his more customary inside (MIKE) linebacker position as the game moved on.

With Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love dominating the interior and Andre Carter getting it done on the opposite side, Mayo was able to take advantage of the gaps on the edge and up the middle, occasionally on the blitz and other times just on a great rush.

‘€œI’€™m not sure how many times he blitzed,” Belichick said afterward. “But Jerod’€™s a good player. He really does everything pretty well. There’€™s not a lot of weak points in his game. He’€™s worked hard on his blitzing, his man coverage, his tackling, his pass defense, his run defense. He works hard at everything. I’€™m happy for whatever success he has because he works as hard as anybody to earn it.’€

That’s not to say everything was perfect, despite holding the Bucs scoreless in the first half as the Patriots were nearly perfect again on third-down defense.

‘€œWe’€™ll take a look at it on film,” Belichick said. “We had trouble chasing these fast quarterbacks. So, it looked like we made a few plays.”

Mayo can’t do everything but he’s working toward it.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots, nfl

Patriots suffer an injury and other scares in win over Bucs

08.18.11 at 11:58 pm ET
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The Patriots’ second preseason game, a 31-14 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa, had many symptoms of an exhibition. Many starters didn’t play past the first half, rookies got significant time and looked like rookies in the process, and the offense likely got away with some things that wouldn’t happen as easily in the regular season. The game also featured another thing commonly associated with the preseason: injury concerns.

By the end of the night, the fact that 17th overall pick Nate Solder landed funny on quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter was an afterthought, as was the fact that Chad Ochocinco took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Tampa rookie Mason Foster in the first quarter. A lower-body injury to safety Bret Lockett suffered on the Pats‘ first punt of the game forced the third-year player to leave the game as he was carted off the field.

In the final minutes of the game, the Pats had their final scare of the night when they saw their second instance of helmet-to-helmet contact. Running back Danny Woodhead was the victim as he chased down Jock Sanders on a fourth-quarter punt and was rocked by Devin Holland.

Woodhead, who had 63 rushing yards in the first half on five carries, was slow and appeared dizzy as he got back on his feet following the play. His teammates surrounded him and held him to ensure he wouldn’t lose his balance. Though the running back did not return to the game, he could be seen sitting on the bench with his helmet off, talking to coaches and teammates, suggesting a concussion was not suffered on the play.

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