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Eagles CB Cary Williams: Patriots ‘are cheaters’

08.01.14 at 6:05 pm ET
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Cary Williams doesn’t like the Patriots.

The Eagles cornerback dropped a “Spygate” reference when speaking with the Philadelphia media on Friday, adding that he believes there is no benefit to the upcoming joint practices between the Patriots and Eagles.

“They are cheaters,” he said.

“I give them all the credit in the world, but one fact remains: They haven’€™t won a Super Bowl since they got caught,” Williams said, referencing the video scandal that engulfed the Patriots in 2007.

Williams was kicked out of the joint practices that were held between the Patriots and Eagles last season in a flap involving wide receiver Aaron Dobson. Williams said there’s no need for Philadelphia to have joint sessions with New England, scheduled to take place in Foxboro from Aug. 12-14.

“To me, it’€™s not benefiting us, because they’€™ve already proven who they are,” said Williams, who also professed a distaste for the Steelers. “That’€™s their history. I don’€™t like them, not only because of that. I just don’€™t like them.”

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Reports: Brady Quinn worked out for Patriots Monday

08.01.14 at 2:15 pm ET
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Brady Quinn worked out for the Patriots on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

The quarterback, who has spent eight seasons in the NFL, is a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder out of Notre Dame. His best year came in 2009 with the Browns, when he started nine games and completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,339 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns and seven picks.

The Patriots currently have three quarterbacks on their roster: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Andrew Perloff of Sports Illustrated was first to report the news.

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Redskins are very excited for joint practices with Patriots

08.01.14 at 1:13 pm ET
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We know that the Redskins have already tried to get their fans excited about the Patriots’ upcoming visit by blasting the news all over their website. Now, they’ve gone a step further and created a T-shirt commemorating the joint practices between Washington and New England. Not sure that we’ve ever seen anything quite like this before.

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Tom Brady faces a defense ‘with an edge’ in practice

08.01.14 at 12:27 am ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots defense answered the bell big time Thursday in the team’s last practice on grass before heading for Richmond and three practices in the heat of Virginia against the Redskins.

The way Tom Brady looks at it, a good physical challenge from a hard-hitting defense is just what the doctor ordered Thursday.

“They are a physical defense,” Brady said of the blue shirts. “I think all of those guys are veterans. They know how to get away with certain plays. Like holding for example ‘€“ it happens every play, so if you look close enough you’€™re going to find holding. There is an edge that you can always push it to.

“If you look at the offensive line, there’€™s holding on every play. That’€™s just the way football is. You’€™ve just got to do it in a way where the refs don’€™t see it and don’€™t call it. But that same thing goes for the defensive backfield. If there is a way to gain leverage on a particular route then you’€™re going to use it. The veterans know how to do it better; they know right where the limit is.”

Holding or not, the Patriots defense, led by Chandler Jones, Vince Wilfork and Rob Ninkovich got the better of the Patriots offensive line on Thursday. One such example came when Jones and Ninkovich came blasting through to stop Stevan Ridley for a loss on a rush inside the 5.

On the outside, it was Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis leaving their mark, including a pick-6 on Brady. But beyond the interception, what impressed Brady was the physical pounding the defense was laying his receivers, forcing them to toughen up during practice. Brady thinks the physical challenges his receivers see in practice can only pay dividends when the games roll around.

“Absolutely, I think that’€™s what defenses do,” Brady said. “We’€™ll go into games and say, look, these guys hold on every play. They grab you, they clutch you, they hold you, but we still have to figure out a way to get open. It’€™s not flag football. Their hands are going to be on you, and the refs, they’€™re only going to call it when you pass the limit of where they think the limit is.

“That’€™s just part of football, and I think the best defenses I’€™ve ever played against ‘€“ they get their hands on you, and they don’€™t let you get into your route, and they disrupt the timing. Our corners, Kyle Arrington, and linebackers in coverage do a great job of that, too. But we’€™ve got to learn to be just as physical. We’€™ve got to learn to push off in the right way and get our leverage because that’€™s how it’€™s going to be when it matters.”

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Read More: 2014 training camp, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots

Fantasy Football: Quarterback rankings

07.31.14 at 3:06 pm ET
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Last week we took a look at the top 50 wide receivers. This week we will get into the signal callers and break them down into tiers as we did with the receivers. Jim Hackett and I will get even deeper into the quarterbacks in our weekly podcast that will be posted tomorrow. I am also pleased to announce that Jim and I will be hosting a new show on WEEI 93.7 called “The Fantasy Football Hour.” Our first episode airs Aug. 10 at 7:30 a.m., and we’ll be on every Sunday throughout the NFL season. If you missed my article on high-value targets, give it a read. It points out some nice value opportunities based on average draft position.

2014 features perhaps the deepest group of fantasy quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. For years, Rotobahn has been preaching patience when drafting passers — and never has that approach been more prudent than it is for this season. There simply is no way you can get shut out at the position. Sure, some outcomes are better than others, but you are not taking a big risk by waiting on a quarterback because, quite simply, they will not be depleted unless you are playing in a league that allows teams to start more than one quarterback.

If you are looking for more information on any particular quarterback or player, go to and check out our top 400. If your player isn’t listed there, you should strongly consider getting him off of your redraft board.

Tier 1 (1)

Peyton Manning, Broncos

Yes, for fantasy purposes he’s all alone. If there is a valid argument for taking an early quarterback, it’s Manning’s scoring gap over second place. Even though I expect a mild statistical regression, there’€™s still Manning and then everybody else. Yes, he lost a very reliable option when Eric Decker signed with the Jets, but the Broncos added Emmanuel Sanders and drafted Cody Latimer. Latimer has a skill set that ultimately could make Denver fans forget about Eric Decker. Check out Latimer’s Rotobahn scouting report if you haven’t already.

Tier 2 (2-3)

Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Drew Brees, Saints

Just about all of Rodgers’ arrows are pointing up. As long as he avoids another season-ending injury, he’s about as safe as it gets as a performer and his receivers are talented and deeply immersed in the Green Bay offense. Brees is the definition of consistency. That’s why he’s an elite option, and that’s why people overdraft him in most leagues. Though he’s showing some signs of age, that should be counter-balanced by the influx of young receivers. We are very high on Kenny Stills, who played 60 percent of the offensive snaps as a rookie, and this year’s first-round selection, Brandin Cooks. This could give Brees the kind of shot in the arm that Manning got from Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in 2012.

Tier 3 (4-7)

Matt Stafford, Lions
Andrew Luck, Colts
Nick Foles, Eagles
Robert Griffin III, Washington

By my math, you have three very secure options at the top of this tier. Stafford, Luck and Foles all are in very good situations and they’re all big strong-armed passers with quality targets. Griffin also has quality targets, and we like new head coach/offensive coordinator Jay Gruden‘s offense in terms of its flexibility. Griffin is the lottery ticket of the group. He is one of the few players who could outscore everybody, but the injury risks are obvious and real. If you do choose to roll the bones on RGIII, you’ll want to back him up with a strong option, ideally from the next tier.

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Tom Brady gets picked by Darrelle Revis and chalks it up to good competition

07.31.14 at 2:28 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What’s a little competition to Tom Brady, even if it comes in training camp?

The Patriots held their third straight day of padded practice Thursday on the grass fields outside Gillette Stadium and it was a big day for the defense.

Darrelle Revis intercepted Brady on a pass over the middle intended for Kenbrell Thompkins as the offense worked on being backed up against their own goal line. Brandon Browner and Devin McCourty broke up a Brady pass intended for Brandon LaFell in the end zone.

“They’€™re both great players, so when you make a mistake, they make you pay, and I think that’€™s the mark of a really good corner,” Brady said of Revis and Browner. “As a quarterback, you’€™re always trying to find the weak link in the defense, and neither of those guys are weak links. Sometimes, we’€™ve got to go after them, [and] we’€™ve got to try to see if we can make a play. But like I said, if you miss a little bit, they end making the play. It’€™s great work for us, and you understand what you’€™re up against.”

It wasn’t just the secondary showing off. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich helped stop Stevan Ridley for a loss on a red zone run inside the 10, causing Devin McCourty and the rest of the defense to celebrate jubilantly.

Brady says its all part of camp.

“There are a lot of competitions out there, so every drill, a coach pits the offense against the defense, and when we review the film at night there’€™s one side that’€™s getting praise and the other side is getting the opposite. You want to be the one who gets praised all the time, but in situations like this, it all kind of balances out. The defense makes a lot of good plays out there and we make our fair share. Hopefully when we play a different opponent, both of us are clicking the way we need to.”

The Patriots will return to practice Friday inside Gillette Stadium for a workout for season ticket holder and residents of South Walpole and Foxboro.

Read More: 2014 training camp, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots

Thursday practice notes: Darrelle Revis shines as Patriots defense asserts itself

07.31.14 at 11:52 am ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots wrapped up their seventh session of training camp and fifth in pads Wednesday. It was a beautiful summer morning, and the workout ran for just over two hours in front of a big crowd on the practice fields behind Gillette. Here are a few quick notes.

Matthew Slater was back on the field in pads, and Josh Boyce was also among those returning to practice. Meanwhile, linebacker Cameron Gordon was not on the field for the first time this summer. In addition, center Bryan Stork, tight end Michael Hoomanwanui, running back Tyler Gaffney and offensive lineman Chris Martin were among those not present.

— The highlight of the morning likely came late in the 11-on-11 drills. With the Patriots offense working at their own 1-yard line, quarterback Tom Brady dropped back and zipped a pass over the middle. Cornerback Darrelle Revis stepped in front of the pass and took it back roughly six yards for the score. The play drew a big cheer from the crowd, as well as the rest of the defense. Later in the same series of drills, the defense bottled up running back Stevan Ridley in a goal-line drill — the defense clearly was fired up.

Marcus Cannon was getting a lot of work at right guard with what appeared to be a reasonable facsimile of the starting offensive line. Last year’s starting right guard Dan Connolly got a lot of work at center, likely giving Ryan Wendell a bit of a rest because Stork wasn’t on the field.

Rob Gronkowski was in pads again but didn’t appear to be involved in any of the 11-on-11 drills. He did get his daily dose of work on the side with Brady, and once again, Revis worked to provide some level of defense on Gronkowski.

— In that same vein, Alfonzo Dennard was again back on the field in pads but didn’t appear to get any work in the 11-on-11 drills.

Julian Edelman and Roy Finch worked as punt returners.

— No fireworks from Brandon Browner, who spent a relatively quiet morning going through drills with the rest of the defensive backs.

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