|10.24.12 at 4:23 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Tom Brady is looking forward to the trip to London. Just not all the other stuff that goes along with it.
For that reason, he says he won’t be taking part in the NFL FanFest in London, despite being included on a list of celebrities who are listed by the NFL as being involved in the Saturday promotion.
“I’m not doing that,” Brady chuckled. “Don’t believe everything you read. Not me, but have fun though.”
Brady is hoping to have his fun during the game, like last time at Wembley, when he threw for 308 yards and three touchdown passes in a 35-7 win over the Buccaneers in 2009.
“Yeah, I am [looking forward to the game],” Brady did say. “It will be fun. It will be a great game. It will be a tough game, but it will be memorable for a lot of reasons. I certainly remember our last trip, so it will be a nice experience for all the players kind of coming together. We’re leaving after practice [Thursday], so hopefully we can go out there and play well. That’s the most important thing.
“Coach [Bill Belichick] does a good job preparing us for stuff like this. But it’s really a road game. We’re leaving a few days early and it’s going the opposite direction, so I think it’s going to be important to get there and kind of get used to the environment a little bit, but we had a good day yesterday at practice. We’ve got to have two more good days and at that point all the physical stuff will be done and just go over there, rest up and try to go out and play well.”
Can chemistry be built on a trip like this where the players are going to be together so long and spending so much time together that you can maybe hash out what’s gone wrong?
“I think there’s definitely an element of that,” Brady said. “Yeah, I think you’re together for extended periods of time, which is always fun. People are away from all their other commitments, certainly. At a home game, there are a lot of commitments that different players have, so when you go away, sometimes it’s really nice for the players to get some rest, to get some extra preparation, that extra time with your coaches. On this particular trip, we have more time than that.”
The Patriots won the game before and after their bye in 2009, which like this year comes after their trip to London.
“Well, the bye week is something that everyone looks forward to just because you get a chance to kind of take a deep [breath],” Brady said. “It’s like the second half of the game. You go in at halftime and you have a chance to reevaluate some things. But that will come and it would feel really good for that two week stretch to feel good about what we’ve done four of the last five weeks. But they’re going to make us earn it. This is a good team that provides a lot of tough challenges and we’ve already lost to two of these NFC teams, which they’ve actually beaten. We know it’s a good football team and we have to go out there and play well.”
|10.24.12 at 12:45 pm ET|
Maybe it speaks to the urgency of the season. Perhaps it has something to do with his toughness. It’s possible it has something to do with the potential gains to be made against the Patriots secondary or maybe he’s just feeling a lot better.
Amendola, who has 32 catches, 395 yards and two TDs, missed the last two games – both losses – and the Rams have gone from 3-2 to 3-4. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was pretty pumped up to see his top target return after suffering a nasty collarbone injury in a 17-3 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 4.
“It would mean a lot,” Bradford said in a conference call from London Wednesday. “Obviously I’ve said it before: a lot of our offense runs through Danny when he’s healthy. You look at the Washington game when he caught 15 balls and everything really started with him. There’s no doubt that we miss him, but I think in the past couple weeks, the guys that have had to step up and make plays because he’s not there, I think they’ve done a great job and I look for them to do the same this week. Everyone has really elevated their game since he went down.”
While attempting a diving catch against Arizona, Amendola dislocated his clavicle, but in a very unusual way. Instead of popping out, the clavicle popped in and came millimeters from puncturing his trachea and aorta, which would have probably killed him. Considering this injury was life-threatening, it’s almost shocking to think he’s back on the practice field just under three weeks later.
“It was really good to see him, obviously,” Bradford added. “Me and him are pretty close; we talked about it last week. He told me that he was going to be out there with us today doing some stuff. I was a little surprised ‘ just from the initial reports, I thought it was going to be quite a bit longer for him to get back on the field. But anytime you get him back out there, I think it just brought a whole spark to the whole group today and just lifted everyone’s spirits a little bit seeing him back out there. Even though he didn’t do a whole lot, just having him on the field really energized our group.”
|10.24.12 at 12:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s a big week for Visanthe Shiancoe. The tight end returned to the practice field on Tuesday for the first time this season. And this weekend, the 32-year-old will be heading to England. The only player on the Patriots’ roster born in Great Britain — Birmingham, to be precise — he’s excited for both.
“I’m excited, man. I’m excited to get out there,” Shiancoe said before practice on Wednesday. “I’ll be even more excited to play. I can’t wait for that.”
Shiancoe, who was placed on injured reserve with designation to return on Sept. 5, returned to practice Tuesday. Per the CBA, under the newly created designation Shiancoe was eligible to return to the practice field following Week 6 action, and is eligible to starting playing in games after Week 8. The team has 21 days to add him to the active roster, or he must be placed on IR for the remainder of the season.
The Patriots signed Shiancoe to a one-year deal in July worth $1.2 million, with $400,000 in guaranteed money and $800,000 in incentives. Shiancoe has been in the league for nine seasons, including the last five with the Vikings. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has 243 catches for 2,677 yards and 27 touchdowns in his NFL career, including 56 catches for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009, his best year as a pro.
|10.23.12 at 10:38 pm ET|
The Patriots technically will be the road team when they face the Rams on Sunday, but they’ve got more than a trip to Missouri on the itinerary.
Sunday’s game, to be played at Wembley Stadium, will mark the second time the Pats have played in London. Their first go at it was a success, as they trounced the Buccaneers, 35-7, in a game in which then-Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson threw three picks.
Stephen Gostkowski didn’t have to kick any field goals in that game, but the Patriots’ five touchdowns kept him busy with extra points. Gostkowski recalls the trip fondly, mainly for the win.
“Well we won, and we beat Tampa pretty good,” he said. “If we go out and beat the Rams pretty good, then we’ll have a really good time.
“I doubt we’ll have too much fun to really enjoy and go sightseeing,” he added. “Maybe take a tour bus, I don’t know. They haven’t told us the schedule yet, so it will be fun if we win and we’ll have a good time.”
Pats safety Steve Gregory doesn’t know whether his hip will allow him to make the trip to London this time around, but if he does it would be his second trip to Wembley. Gregory played against the Saints in London as a member of the Chargers in 2008.
“It was great,” Gregory said of the experience. “We went out there for a full week. We played in Buffalo first and then flew straight out there, but it was great. It was a great experience. I had never been there before, so to see London, the overall experience was amazing.”
Gregory recalls some tell-tale signs that American football wasn’t the main reason for the stadium’s existence.
“Some of the people had all different jerseys on and stuff. I think they were cheering more when guys kicked a field goal than when a regular play went on, but it was fun,” he said. “It was a good time.”
|10.23.12 at 7:27 pm ET|
The Patriots announced that Visanthe Shiancoe, who was placed on injured reserve with designation to return on Sept. 5, returned to practice Tuesday.
Per the CBA, under the newly created designation Shiancoe was eligible to return to the practice field following Week 6 action, and is eligible to starting playing in games after Week 8. The team has 21 days to add him to the active roster, or he must be placed on IR for the remainder of the season.
The Patriots signed Shiancoe to a one-year deal in July worth $1.2 million, with $400,000 in guaranteed money and $800,000 in incentives. The 32-year-old has been in the league for nine seasons, including the last five with the Vikings. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has 243 catches for 2,677 yards and 27 touchdowns in his NFL career, including 56 catches for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2009, his best year as a pro.
|10.23.12 at 5:40 pm ET|
Every week over the course of the regular season, we’ll present a list of 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. Seven weeks into the regular season, here’s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:
RB Stevan Ridley: 141 (135 rushes, 6 catches). 14 negative runs.
RB Danny Woodhead: 60 (46 rushes, 14 catches). 2 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
WR Wes Welker: 54 (0 rushes, 54 catches). 2 negative receptions.
RB Brandon Bolden: 45 (43 rushes, 2 catches). 7 negative runs.
WR Brandon Lloyd: 35 (0 rushes, 35 catches).
TE Rob Gronkowski: 35 (0 rushes, 35 catches).
TE Aaron Hernandez: 18 (1 rush, 17 catches). 1 negative reception
WR Julian Edelman: 14 (2 rushes, 12 catches). 1 negative reception, 1 negative run.
RB Shane Vereen: 12 (10 rushes, 2 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 10 (10 rushes, 0 catches.) 14 sacks and 5 kneel downs.
WR Deion Branch: 5 (0 rushes, 5 catches)
TE Daniel Fells: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
TE Kellen Winslow: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
TOTAL: 433 touches (247 rushes, 186 catches): 29 negative plays, plus 14 sacks.
Running back: 258 touches (234 rushes, 24 catches). 23 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
Wide receiver: 108 touches (2 rushes, 106 catches). 3 negative receptions, 1 negative run.
Tight end: 57 touches (1 rush, 56 catches). 1 negative reception.
Quarterback: 10 touches (10 rushes, 0 catches)
|10.23.12 at 1:59 pm ET|
Through seven weeks, the Patriots have been flagged for 40 penalties (22nd in the league) for a total of 352 yards (18th in the league). Here’s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots this year, not including penalties that were declined or offset:
Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost:
TE Rob Gronkowski: four penalties (two offensive holding, false start, offensive pass interference), 35 yards
CB Devin McCourty: three penalties (defensive holding, two defensive pass interference), 51 yards
Team: three penalties (illegal formation, illegal shift, illegal block above the waist), 20 yards
LB Brandon Spikes: two penalties (defensive holding, unnecessary roughness), 20 yards
CB Ras-I Dowling: two penalties (defensive pass interference, defensive holding), 19 yards
WR Julian Edelman: two penalties (false start, offensive pass interference), 15 yards
OL Donald Thomas: two penalties (false start, offensive holding), 15 yards
ST Niko Koutouvides: two penalties (defensive holding, illegal block above the waist), 14 yards
DL Vince Wilfork: two penalties (encroachment, defensive offsides), 10 yards
LB Jerod Mayo: two penalties (defensive pass interference) 8 yards
S Pat Chung: one penalty (defensive pass interference), 40 yards
S Steve Gregory: one penalty (personal foul), 15 yards
WR Brandon Lloyd: one penalty (offensive pass interference), 10 yards
LB Dont’a Hightower: one penalty (defensive holding), 10 yards
C Ryan Wendell: one penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards
S Tavon Wilson: one penalty (offensive holding’punt return team), 10 yards
ST Nate Ebner: one penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards
QB Tom Brady: one penalty (intentional grounding), 10 yards
CB Kyle Arrington: one penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards
DE Chandler Jones: one penalty (defensive offsides) 5 yards
LS Danny Aiken: one penalty (false start) 5 yards
G Logan Mankins: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
OT Nate Solder: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
OT Sebastian Vollmer: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
CB Alfonzo Dennard: one penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards
TE Aaron Hernandez: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
Most penalized by position:
Cornerback: Seven penalties for 75 yards
Offensive line: Six penalties for 40 yards
Tight end: Five penalties for 40 yards
Specialists (punter, kicker, long snapper, kick/punt units): Five penalties for 39 yards
Linebacker: Five penalties for 33 yards
Wide receiver: Three penalties for 25 yards
Team: Three penalties for 20 yards
Defensive line: Three penalties for 15 yards
Safety: Two penalties for 55 yards
Quarterback: One penalty for 10
Most frequently called penalties on the Patriots:
False start: Eight
Defensive pass interference: Six
Offensive holding: Six
Defensive holding: Six
Defensive offsides: Three
Offensive pass interference: Three
Illegal block above the waist: Two
Unnecessary roughness: One
Intentional grounding: One
Illegal formation: One
Personal foul: One
Illegal shift: One
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