It Is What It Is
NEED TO KNOW
Follow WEEI.com football writer Christopher Price at twitter.com/cpriceNFL. In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI.
A WEEI.com Patriots Blog Mohegan Sun
WEEI.com Blog Network

Rating the Roster, Training Camp Edition (Part 7)

07.29.10 at 12:53 am ET
By   |   Comments
Patriots Football

Guess who gets the top spot in our countdown? (AP)

Here’s the seventh and final segment of our training camp edition of “Rating the Roster,” which looks at our picks for spots 1 through 17.

As we previously explained, we settled on these rankings (check out the previous entries here) by considering a combination of factors, including overall ability, positional versatility, expectations, contract situation and place on the depth chart. We also looked at what might be best described as intangibles — loosely defined as a mixture of clubhouse character and willingness to work. In all, it helped us determine the overall value of each player within the Patriots system.

This section is highlighted by the elite members of the roster — the sort of players who represent the very foundation of the franchise. These are the guy who, if they were lost for an extended stretch, would force Bill Belichick and the rest of the franchise to make some hard personnel decisions.

17. Defensive lineman Mike Wright: The single most versatile defensive lineman the Patriots have, Wright has improved greatly over the last couple of seasons. He’s still not the kind of player you want starting all 16 games, but the fact he can serve as a spot starter and a situational player in a pinch at any one of the three down linemen positions makes him very valuable in New England’s defensive scheme.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2010 training camp, Rating the Roster, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Statement from Pats on signing of McCourty and release of Crable

07.28.10 at 4:48 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Here’s the complete announcement from the Patriots on today’s signing of Devin McCourty and the release of Shawn Crable:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today the signing of first-round draft choice CB Devin McCourty. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In addition, the team announced that they have released LB Shawn Crable.

Read the rest of this entry »

Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Analysis of the release of Shawn Crable

07.28.10 at 4:40 pm ET
By   |   Comments
Patriots Rookie Camp Football

Shawn Crable was cut loose by the Patriots on Wednesday. (AP)

The release of outside linebacker Shawn Crable brings to an end one of the least eventful careers in Patriots’ history.

The Michigan product was taken in the third round of the 2008 draft, and was thought to be a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in New England’s system — at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he was in the mold of the Willie McGinest-style pass-rusher. The numbers certainly made it look like the Patriots were getting someone who could get after the quarterback — as a collegian, Crable had 16 sacks and finished seventh in school history with 43 stops for losses of 163 yards.

But the lanky Crable was hobbled by a series of injuries in his two years in New England that prevented him from taking a single meaningful snap. Shin and groin injuries landed him on season-ending injured reserve in both 2008 and 2009. (As a rookie, he was inactive for the first eight games before being placed on injured reserve in 2008, and last season, he was placed on injured reserve in 2009.)

This spring, he was a full participant in practices, and expressed frustration he was unable to get on the field.

“When your mind is saying you can do something and your body is not reacting to it, it’s a frustrating deal,” he said. “But I got in the training room this year, worked with Mike [Woicik] and them, focused on my body, keeping me healthy so I can get out there and perform this year.

“You doubt yourself then you start getting confident. You take a couple steps forward then you take a couple steps back,” he added. “You’ve just got to start with the end in mind, keep progressing. I had a lot of people talking to me telling me it’ll be all right if we just keep working at it. I feel like we’re getting there.”

In that same session with reporters, Crable expressed optimism that he could make a difference, saying he was “glad to be out there working with the guys and stuff like that instead of watching.” But when word of his assignment to the PUP list earlier this week was revealed, it signaled the death knell for Crable’s career with the Patriots.

Read More: Shawn Crable, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Rating the Roster, Training Camp Edition (Part 6)

07.28.10 at 9:56 am ET
By   |   Comments
Draft Patriots McCourty Football

Devin McCourty kicks off this section of "Rating the Roster." (AP)

Here’s part six of our training camp edition of “Rating the Roster,” which looks at the 21st through the 30th spots.

As we previously explained, we settled on these rankings (check out the previous entries here) by considering a combination of factors, including overall ability, positional versatility, expectations, contract situation and place on the depth chart. We also looked at what might be best described as intangibles — loosely defined as a mixture of clubhouse character and willingness to work. In all, it helped us determine the overall value of each player within the Patriots system.

This grouping is highlighted not by stars but by a handful of starters — both youngsters and veterans — players who will almost certainly be counted on to play a pivotal role in the success or failure of the 2010 Patriots.

30. Cornerback Devin McCourty: The first-round pick will likely open his rookie season as an extra corner — he got the majority of snaps in spring practice with the second team — but his real contributions in his first season will almost certainly come on special teams, where he made his bones as a collegian. The 5-foot-10, 193-pound McCourty averaged 25.4 yards on kickoff returns at Rutgers, and had a 98-yard kickoff return, third-longest in his school’s history. He was working as a return man in the spring, and with the kick return spot something of an unknown quantity since the departure of Ellis Hobbs III before the 2009 season, McCourty should get every opportunity to see reps there as well in the preseason.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2010 training camp, Rating the Roster, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Pats, McCourty reportedly agree to terms

07.28.10 at 8:07 am ET
By   |   Comments
Patriots Camp Football

Devin McCourty was the 12th and final member of the Patriots' draft class to agree to a deal. (AP)

The Patriots have agreed to terms with first-round pick Devin McCourty, according to his agent Andy Simms.

McCourty, the 27th overall pick in the draft, was the final member of the Patriots’ 12-man draft class to come to terms. The Rutgers product, who is the second first-round pick to agree to a deal (Dallas’ Dez Bryant is the other) has reportedly signed a five-year deal.

The cornerback developed a reputation as one of the most electric special teams players in the nation last season with the Scarlet Knights. The 5-foot-10, 193-pounder averaged 25.4 yards on kickoff returns at Rutgers, and had a 98-yard kickoff return, third-longest in his school’s history.

“He’s fast. He’s tough. He is a good four-down football player, first, second, third and fourth,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick shortly after New England selected McCourty. “In the kicking game, he’s certainly one of the top guys in the draft in that area.”

Read More: Devin McCourty, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Pats make it official, announce signing of Spikes

07.27.10 at 3:16 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Moments ago, the Patriots officially announced the signing of second-round draft pick Brandon Spikes. Here’s the full text of the press release issued by the team:
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It

Rating the Roster, Training Camp Edition (Part 5)

07.27.10 at 1:32 pm ET
By   |   Comments
hernandez_aaron_08miami_02_casey-746662

Aaron Hernandez kicks off the latest edition of "Rating the Roster." (AP)

Here’s part five of our training camp edition of “Rating the Roster,” which looks at the 31st through the 40th spots spots on the roster. (Nos. 41 through 50 is here and Nos. 51 through 60 can be found here. In addition, No. 61 through 70 is here and No. 71 through No. 82 is here.)

As we previously explained, we settled on these rankings by considering a combination of factors, including overall ability, positional versatility, expectations, contract situation and place on the depth chart. We also looked at what might be best described as intangibles — loosely defined as a mixture of clubhouse character and willingness to work. In all, it helped us determine the overall value of each player within the Patriots system.

In this section, some of the younger, higher draft picks come into focus. Almost all of them will be asked to step forward and make an impact on this team — will they be able to contribute?

40. Tight end Aaron Hernandez: The Florida product was moved around like a chess piece through spring practices — he spent almost as much time split out as he did lined up alongside a tackle. He had some usual rookie stumbles, but he spent a sizable chunk of time with first offense, and based on how he looked this spring, the 6-foot-1, 245-pounder could get the bulks of the reps with the first team offense this summer. As long as he (and for his part, Rob Gronkowski) can show he can get separation, it just might signal the return of the tight end as a regular part of the New England passing game. (That is, as long as he remembers what Christian Fauria told me about how to survive as a tight end in the New England offense: “The more plays you make, the more touches you’re going to see,” Fauria said. “The more plays you make, the more consistent you are, the more they will get you the ball. Are you a guy they can count on? They’ll figure it out quickly, and if you aren’t, they’ll get rid of you.”)
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2010 training camp, Rating the Roster, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Latest on Twitter
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify