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Falcons release practice schedule for dates with Patriots

06.23.10 at 1:36 pm ET
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The Falcons have released some detailed information regarding their combined practices with the Patriots this August.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday the two teams will hold three total practices together in Flowery Branch, Ga. The first will occur on Tuesday, Aug, 17 from 8:30 to 10:55 a.m. (open to the public), while the second will take place later that same afternoon from 3:45 to 5:35 p.m. (open to the public). The third practice between the two will happen the following morning from 10:15 a.m. to 11:35 a.m., and will be closed to the public. That all leads up to the Thursday night game at the Georgia Dome, which will kick off at 8 p.m.

The Patriots will also hold join practices with the Saints in Foxboro the days leading up to their preseason game at Gillette Stadium. That specific information has yet to be released.

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Get ready for the return of Pat Patriot

06.22.10 at 1:27 am ET
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Look for the return of Pat Patriot in a limited role in 2010.

It looks like the Patriots’ are going to break out the vintage threads on at least two occasions in 2010.

The team Tweeted Monday that it’ll wear the throwbacks for the Halloween game at home against the Vikings on Oct. 31. In addition, it’s believed New England will also wear them on the road, possibly for the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. (UPDATE: Tuesday, 10:22 am: The Patriots confirmed that they will also wear the throwbacks for the Lions game.)

These are going to be different than the old AFL unis the team wore in 2009 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the American Football League. Instead, these will be the same red and white uniforms the team wore in the 1970s and 1980s. (Incidentally, the last time the Patriots wore that style of throwback was for a Thanksgiving Day clash against the Lions in Detroit in 2002.)

Reports also indicate the Patriots have ditched the silver “alternate” jerseys. For what it’s worth, still no word on whatever happened to the blue shirt/blue pants combination the Patriots also rocked for two games back in 2002. Perhaps the back-to-back losses had something to do with why those were gone so quickly. (A uniform the esteemed Paul Lukas of “Uniwatch” fame described as a “misbegotten freak” of a look.)

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Report: Ex-Pats RB Dillon will face two misdemeanor charges for DUI

06.21.10 at 4:09 pm ET
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Former Patriots running back Corey Dillon, who was arrested twice in the last thee months, will reportedly have assault charges against his wife dropped, but will still apparently face two misdemeanors — one for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced Monday it will charge Dillon with a pair of misdemeanors in connection with an April arrest for drunk-driving.

While awaiting charges in the drunk driving case, Dillon was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, but prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against him, saying there was insufficient evidence to show that his wife, Desiree Antoine-Dillon, was injured.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Times that Dillon and his wife were arguing over their pending divorce and child custody when she called 911, saying she had been assaulted by her husband. According to reports, Antoine-Dillon alleged Dillon “poured milk over her head, threw water on her and poured soy sauce on her” during the dispute. She also told authorities she suffered “a superficial cut on her thumb.”
However, she later told authorities that her husband never hit her and her injury was not caused by physical contact with Dillon, and also indicated she didn’t want to press charges.

Dillon spent three seasons (2004-06) with the Patriots, rushing for 3,180 yards and 37 touchdowns. He set a franchise record, rushing for 1,635 yards in 2004. A four-time Pro Bowler, Dillon was a second-round pick (43rd overall) of the Bengals out of the University of Washington in 1997. In all, Dillon rushed for 11,241 yards and 82 touchdowns during a 10-year career that included stops in Cincinnati and New England.

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Wilfork stays true to his Florida roots

06.21.10 at 3:45 pm ET
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Vince Wilfork is Florida through and through. (AP)

Vince Wilfork has got Florida in his bones. The Sunshine State native grew up in Florida, went to Santaluces High School in Lantana, Fla. and played his college ball at the University of Miami. (In fact, when he was considering other options before he returned to sign a long-term deal with the Patriots, he hinted that he’d love to return to Florida.)

So when he returned home recently to watch the 2010 Heath Evans 7-on-7 tournament (an affair put together by the former Patriots fullback which drew plenty of Evans’ former teammates — for more on the outcome, click here), who’s better to beat the drum about the state of football in Florida than Wilfork? In an interview with SoFLAfootball.com, the Patriots nose tackle talked a lot about players who caught his eye, the importance of academics, and vast amount of talent in the Sunshine State.

One answer that stood out was Wilfork’s advice for younger players struggling to get their academics in order.

“Grades are worth everything,” Wilfork said. “I had to sit out six months because I didn’t have them and that was one of the hardest times of my life. If you don’t have them in order, get them in order now. Get your test grades and get all that good stuff. Football will take care of itself. After football, you need something to fall back on and that’s where having some education behind you and being able to go into these big schools. I hope a lot of these guys listen to me because I’ve been through that and I don’t want to wish it on anyone.”

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Patriots tix on sale at noon today

06.21.10 at 10:47 am ET
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We’ve tweeted about this a couple of times already, but another reminder won’t hurt — Patriots’ single-game tickets go on sale today at noon. Tickets can only be purchased via ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Only Visa cards or debit cards will be accepted, and tickets will NOT be sold at the Patriots box office at Gillette Stadium.

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O’Brien and O’Shea: No OC? No problem

06.20.10 at 1:10 am ET
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We all know they’ll be no coordinators for the Patriots in 2010. While we didn’t get a chance to ask de facto defensive coordinators Matt Patricia and Pepper Johnson what they think about it during the recently concluded minicamp, we did get a chance to talk to two offensive coaches — quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien and wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea — what they thought of the set-up and how things were coming along.

The Patriots didn’t have an offensive coordinator last season, and without an OC, several different people were involved in play calling: O’Brien, coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and director of player personnel Nick Caserio all acknowledged they had a some sort of role in the process in 2009.

While O’Brien appeared to take a lead role with the offense in 2009 — and is likely to have the same sway over the offense so far this year — he said to look for more of the same type of collaboration in 2010.

“I’m coaching the quarterbacks, and it’s a collaborative effort with the other assistants — Dante, Ivan, Brian, Chad, Brian Flores, and obviously Bill,” O’Brien said. “We all work together and just try to determine what we have out there offensively and go to practice every day, try to accomplish certain goals every day, and that’s what we try to do. So, [my] role hasn’t changed.”

While Belichick has said on multiple occasions he’s not a big believer in titles, he does believe in the long-held maxim that everyone sees when they walk in the front door at Gillette Stadium: Do your job. To that point, O’Shea said one of the reasons that it works is because everyone has a clearly defined role.

“Each one of us has a certain role that we’re asked. It’s clearly defined within our building,” O’Shea said. “We just come out here and do the best job we can coaching up the guys we have. We work real well with each other within that role. I’m very happy to be a great offensive staff I think we have here with the other guys.

“I don’t know if it’s unique or not. That’s the system that’s in place now. It’s a great system. We’re here to do our job, and do the job we’re asked to do.”

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Seymour signs franchise tag with Raiders

06.19.10 at 3:46 pm ET
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Richard Seymour, who completed his first season with the Raiders after being traded by the Patriots just before the start of the season, signed a $12.4 million franchise tag with the Raiders, the team revealed on its website Saturday. Oakland placed the tag on the defensive lineman in February, making him unable to negotiate with any other team.

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