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Bill Belichick: ‘I don’t have any idea’ how new NFL drug policy impacts Brian Tyms or Brandon Browner

09.16.14 at 3:32 pm ET
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Bill Belichick. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The NFL is about to adopt a new and improved drug policy for its players but Bill Belichick has no idea if and how it impacts two of his currently suspended players.

How this will impact the players and how the NFLPA will guide their players through the new policy is still to be determined, as evidenced when union spokesman George Atallah told the Associated Press Monday that the “drug policies are currently getting finalized.”

League and NFL Players Association attorneys and officials are reviewing the documents and could approve them this week.

One key element is how the changes affect players currently under suspension, including Denver receiver Wes Welker (four games) and Browns receiver Josh Gordon (entire season). Their bans would be reduced, and the union would naturally like to see reductions before Week 3.

The Patriots have two players – defensive back Brandon Browner and wide receiver Brian Tyms – currently under suspension for violation under the old policy. Could Belichick and the Patriots get them back in time for the home opener this weekend against the Raiders? The Patriots coach says he has no idea and is not about to begin guessing.

“Certainly not anything I could share with you because I don’€™t have any idea,” Belichick said in a conference call Tuesday. “I have no knowledge of it at all ‘€“ zero. You’€™d have to talk to the league and other people that are involved with that. The drug policy in the NFL is an extremely confidential and sensitive area. I would say that in most cases, [the media] probably knows more about it than I do and certainly more in advance because of the great sources that [the media has].”

Belichick said he has not been in touch with the NFL to ask for any guidance or hints as to whether the players might be eligible to return.

“We don’€™t have any knowledge, input or really involvement whatsoever in the league’€™s drug policy. Any information that we get comes from wherever it comes from ‘€“ I don’€™t even know where it comes from. I’€™m not even sure exactly how the process works from the other end. I just know that when we receive information, then we act on it as we receive it. It’€™s not anything that I’€™m involved in whatsoever other than being the recipient of the information of suspension or if it’€™s revoked or amended or adjusted or you know, whatever. I’€™m just the recipient of that information.

“I’€™m not in any way, shape or form whatsoever involved in any part of the process. So, whatever happens, when it’€™s announced, when we know about it, then we’€™ll deal with it. Until then, it’€™s 100 percent out of our hands. That’€™s something that you should address with league people and not with an individual club, certainly not our individual club because we have no part in it whatsoever.”

Tyms tweeted his reaction to the pending new drug policy Tuesday morning, an ambiguous message that had three crying emoticons.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Browner, Brian Tyms, George Atallah

Minnesota Governor calls on Vikings to suspend Adrian Peterson

09.16.14 at 1:49 pm ET
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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Tuesday that Vikings running back should be suspended until his child abuse cases have been resolved.

Dayton questioned the team for announcing that Peterson would play in Sunday’s game.

“It is an awful situation,” Dayton said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.

“However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota — and in Minnesota. This has been the team’s only home, and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.”

Meanwhile, Houston television station KHOU reported that Peterson was involved in another case last year involving another 4-year-old son with a different mother. According to the report, the child’s mother filed a report with Child Protection Services but no charges were filed, despite texts in which Peterson allegedly admitted striking the boy while he was in his car seat, leaving the youngster with a scar on his head.

Read More: Adrian Peterson,

Rodney Harrison on MFB: ‘I wouldn’t worry about Tom’ Brady

09.16.14 at 12:21 pm ET
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NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison checked in with Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots’ offensive issues. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Tom Brady appeared on edge after Sunday’s 30-7 victory over the Vikings. Although he did not reveal precisely what made him upset, there has been speculation that he’s frustrated with the offense.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Tom,” Harrison said. “From Tom’s perspective, he hasn’t played like Tom Brady the first couple of weeks of the season. He’s frustrated. Anytime you have a certain expectation of yourself you want to be able to reach it. I think Tom, I think he sees some opportunities that he left out on the field, and it’s one of those things where he’s never satisfied. That’s the thing that makes him great.

“So, I wouldn’t worry about Tom. Tom is very competitive. He’ll work hard, he’ll watch a lot of tape, he’ll get back to where we’re used to seeing Tom, and he’ll be fine.”

Added Harrison: “Just because he has a name — Peyton Manning, all these quarterbacks, they go through struggles. They go through times where their confidence level might not be where it was before. We’re human, we all go through certain situations. But I wouldn’t get too worried about Tom. You look at his history, you look at everything, his work ethic, everything he brings on a daily basis. Tom will work himself out of it.

“It’s two games, they’re 1-1, they know what they did wrong in Miami. That was a game they could have easily won. They come back, they improve in some areas against Minnesota, and that’s what Bill [Belichick] always talks about, he talks about one game at a time. And I don’t think you get too high, too low if you’re the Patriots. You understand the areas in which you need to get better — both as a team and as well as an individual.

“And I think that’s something that, I don’t worry about Brady. There’s other areas I might concern myself with. But when it comes to Tom Brady, I know his work ethic, I know his focus level, and I know he’ll be fine. He hasn’t looked the way we all expect him to look. But it’s two games. And it’s something that the rust eventually wears off, he’s going to gain more confidence in his players and maybe in himself, and he’ll be fine.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Rodney Harrison, Tom Brady,

Fantasy Football: Week 2 waiver wire

09.16.14 at 10:46 am ET
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WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr

Depending on your perspective, it’s a great waiver wire week. There are tons of options that can really make a fantasy impact, especially in the running game. Of course, the reason there are so many options is because we had so many tough injuries last week. I certainly can understand if some of you are in a bit of a mood. You’re not alone.

As I mentioned last week, the players listed below are good pickups in just about any league, and there are plenty of options here. That being said, if you play in deeper leagues, with 12 or more teams, I will be posting my expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn later Tuesday. It will be loaded with options for you big leaguers, and it’s all free. You don’t even need to register. One thing I recommend doing is to follow Rotobahn on Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date on all of our content whether it’s here at WEEI or at Rotobahn.

The ownership percentage is listed for each player. The rate of ownership is based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.

QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins, Washington — 8 percent availability

He’s a nice pickup and he will get at least a handful of starts while Robert Griffin III gets healthy. If Cousins plays to his potential while Griffin is out, he could end up being the quarterback of the future in Washington. Cousins is an add in all leagues as a strong QB2.

Josh McCown, Buccaneers — 29 percent availability

He’s been in control the first two weeks, and as his weapons continue to mature, his numbers should continue to be solid. McCown is an underrated passer. He’s efficient and accurate. You can get by with him at quarterback even in smaller leagues.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars — 4 percent availability

He could be a nice addition, but it’s hard to tell when the Jaguars will make the move to the younger quarterback. If and when Bortles gets the gig, he brings a lot of skills to the table. He’ll get you points with his arm and with his feet as well. If you are searching for fantasy upside at the position, Bortles could be the move.

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Read More: Blake Bortles, Josh McCown, Kirk Cousins, Knile Davis

Poll: Should Tom Brady have spoken out about recent NFL domestic incidents?

09.16.14 at 10:27 am ET
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During his weekly Monday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan, Tom Brady declined to offer his opinion on the NFL controversies involving domestic abuse. Despite the fact that the Patriots played a Vikings team Sunday that was missing Adrian Peterson due to the running back’s indictment on child abuse charges, Brady refused to get caught up in the debate.

“I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control,” Brady said. “I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me.”

Pressed to offer an opinion, Brady said: “I certainly have a lot of personal feelings toward all those things, but it’s just, there’s nothing I can do. If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference. The owners of the league, the commissioner of the league, the teams themselves, the players that are involved, they’re the ones that are speaking on it. It’s not really my responsibility to speak out about those things, because there’s a lot of other people doing the talking.

“I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things. I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can. Those things are happening. I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

Brady has since come under criticism for not at least making a comment denouncing the behavior of Peterson, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald.

What do you think about Brady’s obligation to comment publicly on the matter?

Should Tom Brady have spoken out about the league's domestic abuse issues?

  • No, his focus is on the game, which is where it should be, and the Patriots don't need the distraction (78%, 470 Votes)
  • Yes, he's one of the NFL's most visible players and has an obligation to be a leader (22%, 131 Votes)

Total Voters: 601

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Read More: Tom Brady,

In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

09.16.14 at 8:30 am ET
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Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

Every week, we list the Patriots’€™ “offensive touches,”€ a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. Here’€™s a breakdown of the 2014 New England offense after two games:

RB Stevan Ridley: 35 (33 carries, 2 catches), 1 negative run
RB Shane Vereen: 19 (13 carries, 6 catches)
WR Julian Edelman: 15 (3 carries, 12 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 (8 catches)
RB Brandon Bolden: 7 (6 carries, 1 catch), 1 negative run
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 5 (5 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 3 (3 catches)
TE Tim Wright: 3 (3 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 2 (2 carries), 5 sacks
FB James Develin: 2 (2 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 1 (1 catch)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui 1 (1 catch)

Notes: The Patriots had two negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday — one sack of Brady and a negative run from Bolden. On the season, New England has run 140 plays from scrimmage, and seven of them have gone for negative yardage. (They have not had a kneel-down.) ‘€¦ Against the Vikings, the Patriots ran 60 plays, one of them in no-huddle (1.7 percent). In addition, 10 of their 60 snaps (17 percent) were in shotgun formation. On the season, the Patriots have run 10 plays out of no-huddle (7 percent) and 47 snaps in shotgun (34 percent). By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps.

By way of comparison, here’€™s a look at the Patriots offensive breakdown through the first two games of the 2013 season.

Read More: offensive opportunities,

Tracking opportunities in Patriots passing game

09.16.14 at 7:00 am ET
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Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. Here’€™s a look at the target breakdown after two regular-season games this year.

WR Julian Edelman: 12 catches on 15 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 catches on 17 targets
RB Shane Vereen: 6 catches on 10 targets
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 5 catches on 10 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 3 catches on 6 targets
TE Tim Wright: 3 catches on 4 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 2 catches on 2 targets
FB James Develin: 2 catches on 2 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 1 catch on 3 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 1 catch on 2 targets
TE Michael Hoomananwanui: 1 catch on 1 target
WR Brandon LaFell: 0 catches on 6 targets

Read More: targets,
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