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Patriots downgrade Jonathan Wilhite, Myron Pryor and Mike Wright to out for Sunday’s game

12.11.10 at 8:26 pm ET
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As expected, on Saturday night the Patriots downgraded three players to out for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago ‘€” cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, as well as defensive linemen Myron Pryor and Mike Wright. All three have been hampered by injury issues over the last few weeks, with Wilhite dealing with a hip problem, Pryor with a back issue and Wright with a concussion he suffered late last month against the Colts.

Read More: Jonathan Wilhite, Mike Wright, Myron Pryor,

Report: Spikes’ positive test due to ADD medicine

12.11.10 at 12:52 pm ET
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Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes‘ positive test for performance enhancers was due to amphetamines in a medicine designed to fight attention deficit disorder, according to a report from Comcast New England. Spikes, who was suspended for the rest of the regular season because of the infraction, issued a statement through the team about what happened on Friday. “The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me. I understand the league’€™s ruling and apologize to my teammates, the fans and the Patriots organization for this mistake.”

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Robert Kraft on D&C: ‘I like where we are’

12.11.10 at 11:52 am ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about the team, its future prospects, the status of Logan Mankins and his view of the labor issues in the league.

Optimism is running high around the Patriots, but Kraft has always advocated taking the long view. ‘€œI look at the glass as three quarters full,’€ he joked. ‘€œEvery year our objective is to win the division. I’€™m really excited about where we are right now. I also think back to the [2001] season where we were 5-5 after 10 games and then we won nine straight games in that 01 season and wound up winning the Super Bowl. There’€™s still a lot of things that can happen so we have to stay cool and take it one game at a time.’€

Here are more highlights from the interview:

How important was the Jets game?

The stakes were so high in terms of winning that game versus what it meant for us. If we had lost that, we would have been swept in our division series by the Jets. Our only chance at the playoffs probably would have been being a wild card. Now our fans hopefully have a chance of hosting none if not two games at Gillette. That’€™s a big, big swing. We just got to keep it going the next few weeks.

Are you optimistic about keeping Logan Mankins?

First of all, Logan, we’€™ve always known is a great player. Since he’€™s been on the team he hasn’€™t missed a game. He’€™s started every game that he’€™s been here. Him coming in the way it did it just made a statement about what he’€™s about at the core. He’€™s happy to be here. I know we’€™re very happy that he’€™s here. I hope and believe he’€™ll be here for the long term.

One thing I’€™ve learned is in business transactions if we get the media involved in adjudicating or participating in the negotiation, sometimes the facts don’€™t come out the right way. We try to do our negotiations in private. That’€™s what we’€™ll do here. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft, Logan Mankins, NFL labor situation

Peter King on D&H: The Patriots are ‘the best team in football’

12.11.10 at 11:43 am ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined the Dale & Holley show for his weekly visit to talk about all things NFL including the downfall of Josh McDaniels, whether the Jets should be worried about Mark Sanchez and how hard it is to vote for receivers for the Hall of Fame.

King said that the Patriots win over the Jets solidified their place as the top team in the league, and also reinforced concern about Sanchez. “The one lesson I take from that game,” King said. “Sanchez really worries me [now].”

About the Patriots, King said, “They’€™re the best team in football right now. With all due respect to Atlanta and Green Bay and whoever else, Chicago, I don’€™t know how you watch them in recent weeks [physically handle] the Steelers. I’€™ve been so, so impressed by them, especially this past week. I’€™m ripping Sanchez but the Patriots had something to do with that too. I just think they’€™re rounding into the kind of shape you need to be rounding into in December.”

More highlights from the interview are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cris Carter, Josh McDaniels, Mark Sanchez, Peter King

How cold will it be Sunday? Bill Belichick says look at the scoreboard

12.10.10 at 5:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What’s a chilly breeze in mid-December on the frozen shores of Lake Michigan? No big deal to Bill Belichick. After all, he’s been there, done that.

On Sunday, Jan. 5, 1986, the 15-1 Bears hosted the Giants on the artificial turf of the old Soldier Field, which allowed much more wind to blow in off Lake Michigan than the current model. It was 18 degrees with a wind of 16 miles an hour, making it feel like 3 above.

The game started in the sunshine at 11:30 a.m. CT. The wind that day was a much bigger deal than the cold as a gust came up and caused Giants punter Sean Landeta to whiff on a punt that Shaun Gayle returned five yards for a TD and the 21-0 rout of the Giants, with Belichick in his first season as defensive coordinator.

“I don’€™t think we played our best game,” Belichick recalled Friday. “The Bears were a good football team, no doubt about it. We had a good drive going early in the game [and] fumbled the ball. We didn’€™t play good on defense, gave up a couple of touchdowns, [and] had the bad field position play on the punt.

“We just weren’€™t as good as they were that day. We had some opportunities and didn’€™t take advantage of those opportunities that we had and they made more plays than we did.”

Whether it was the sun or the numb feeling of the losing to the team that would eventually storm to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots, Belichick said Friday that game at Soldier Field wasn’t the worst game he’s been through.

“Honestly, I didn’€™t think it was that bad,” Belichick said. “It’€™s cold at the end when you’€™re getting beat 21-0. It could be 70 degrees and feel cold then. I didn’€™t think it was [bad]. It was cold, but I didn’€™t think it was that bad.”

This time around, the game won’t begin until 3:15 p.m. CT. Game-time temperatures are expected to hover around 17 degrees but a wind gusting up to 30 MPH could make it feel like 20-30 below.

Wes Welker was joking around that he puts himself in the freezer before cold games.

“If I wear sleeves, you know it’s cold,” Welker said. “I’m not saying I’m not going to but if I do, it’s for my health. Snow is never that bad. If it’s a snow game, I’m all for the snow.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Chicago Bears, cold

Analyzing the loss of Brandon Spikes

12.10.10 at 5:06 pm ET
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The loss of Brandon Spikes for the final four regular-season games of 2010 will leave the inside linebacker spot a little thinner than the Patriots might like, but will open up more playing time for both Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher.

Spikes, who was second on the team in tackles through the first 12 games of his rookie season, won the starting job early in the season, and had started eight games to this point in the year, with 71 tackles, good for second on the team. Primarily a first- and second-down player for the Patriots through the first three-quarters of the 2010 season, he was replaced on third downs and passing situations by Guyton, who was the starter for the duration of the 2009 season on the inside next to Jerod Mayo.

Now, Guyton figures to move into the spot full-time over the course of the next four games while Spikes is on the sidelines. In addition, Fletcher, who has started to come on nicely over the last few weeks, will move up on the depth chart and likely see more time as a result of the decision on Spikes. Tracy White ‘€” who is more of a special teams player ‘€” could also be called on in a pinch to provide some depth at the inside linebacker spot.

On another note, the ownership cannot be happy with Spikes, as this is the second time the rookie out of Florida has put the organization in a bad light ‘€” earlier this year, it was discovered he was involved in a explicit sex tape that turned up on the Internet.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton,

Bears rule out LB Piso Tinoisamoa vs. Patriots

12.10.10 at 4:42 pm ET
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The Bears have ruled linebacker Piso Tinoisamoa out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Here’s their complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
LB Piso Tinoisamoa (knee) Out

Full Participation
LB Nick Roach (back) Questionable

Read More: Piso Tinoisamoa,
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