|08.02.11 at 10:41 pm ET|
Three more Patriots notes worth passing along on this Tuesday evening:
‘¢ The Patriots will reportedly bring in veteran defensive lineman Raheem Brock for a visit on Tuesday, according to Shalise Manza-Young of The Boston Globe. Brock is a 33-year-old who has spent nine seasons in the league ‘ eight in Indianapolis and one in Seattle. While Brock saw a drop in playing time last year (his first with the Seahawks), he did end the year with a career-best nine sacks. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound Brock is one of two reported veterans who have come in for a look this week ‘ Tommie Harris got a look from the Patriots earlier this week before he signed a deal with the Colts late Tuesday night.
‘¢ The least surprising announcement of the day came when the team announced that veteran left tackle Matt Light had officially re-signed. Light, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth as much as $12 million, was at practice on Tuesday afternoon, chatting with owner Robert Kraft and teammate Logan Mankins. Here’s part of the announcement from the team:
Light has played in 140 games with 138 starts since joining the Patriots as a second round draft pick (48th overall) of the 2001 draft out of Purdue. In his ten seasons with the Patriots, Light has been a part of eight division eight division champions, four conference titles and three Super Bowl crowns. He has helped the New England offense finish in the Top 10 on offense six times, including a streak of four straight seasons in the Top 10. Light has been named a member of the AFC Pro Bowl squad three times (2006, 2007 and 2010).
‘¢ Former Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren has agreed to terms with the Broncos on a two-year, $10 million contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Warren, who was released last last week by New England, missed all last season with a hip injury, but helped the 2003 and 2004 Patriots’ win Super Bowl titles. The 30-year-old Warren is a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder who has played both end spots. His career-best season came in 2006 when he had 84 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
|08.02.11 at 9:18 pm ET|
Safety Jarrad Page, who spent last season with the Patriots, has signed a free agent deal with Philadelphia. Page, 26, was acquired by New England prior to the start of the 2010 season and played in 10 games for the Patriots, starting one. He was slowed for much of the season because of a calf injury.
Page tweeted the following message Tuesday night after the news was first broken by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and the NFL Network:
Wanna say THANK U so much to the fans of New England for taking me in and getting behind me last year. Great fans and great organization. Can’t wait to get to Philly and get back to football. I can feel the love from the fans already. Can’t wait to make em proud!!
|08.02.11 at 8:58 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ According to a tweet from John Clayton of ESPN, the Patriots held a workout with former Browns linebacker Matt Roth on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Roth is a 6-foot-4, 275-pounder out of Iowa who is known as a solid presence against both the run and the pass. He played the majority of the last two seasons in Cleveland after being claimed off waivers in November of 2009. He had 3.5 sacks last year for the Browns after having four and five in 2010 and 2009, respectively.
He has a real familiarity with the responsibilities of an outside linebacker in a Bill Belichick-style 3-4 ‘ since college, Roth has played almost exclusively for former Belichick lieutenants. As a collegian, he was with Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. In the pros, he’s also had stints with in Nick Saban (Miami) and Eric Mangini (Cleveland), which would likely mean an easy transition in New England.
In addtion, it was reported that center Chris Morris had a visit with the Patriots on Tuesday. Morris, 28, is a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder who has been in the league for the last five seasons, four with Oakland and one with Carolina.
|08.02.11 at 8:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ It was an eventful practice session for the Patriots on Tuesday afternoon, their eighth of training camp.
‘¢ The following players were not on the field at the start of the session: Kyle Arrington, Brandon McGowan, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Eric Kettani, Ryan Wendell, Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Nate Solder and Steve Williams. Arrington, McGowan, Faulk, Morris, Light and Mankins all have new contracts, which means they are allowed to be on the field but they can’t practice until Aug. 4.
(However, Light and Mankins strolled on to the field midway through the practice, and the two spent a significant portion of practice watching things with owner Robert Kraft. Given the recent history between Mankins and Kraft, it was interesting to see them together for an extended stretch and appear to have a very friendly conversation.
In addition, the following players were in shorts and sweats: Josh Barrett, Matt Katula, Tracy White, Marcus Cannon, Mike Berry, Brandon Deaderick, Kyle Hix, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace. (White also has a new deal, which means he cannot participate in practice until later this week.)
‘¢ For the first time, rookies Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling were on the field ‘ their deals were done Tuesday morning. They got big reps for much of the day, and did not appear out of their element. At first glance, Dowling certainly appears to be a very physical cornerback, using his size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) to his advantage. Vereen did not stand out in any particular form or fashion, but this was his first day, so I wouldn’t read too much into that. He and fellow rookie running back Stevan Ridley did get some good reps (most of the veteran running backs are still not practicing, with the exception of Danny Woodhead), and Ridley showed an impressive burst when running with the starting offense.
‘¢ As was the case when he was under center in the earlier stages of camp, rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett showed off a strong arm, but appeared to struggle when it came to putting some touch on the ball. He fired rockets at close range to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but there was too much mustard on them and they ended up going incomplete. (Mallett later made a nice pair of connections to tight end Carson Butler.)
‘¢ More special teams work on Tuesday afternoon, and the unquestioned star was punter Zoltan Mesko, who delivered some absolute bombs that ended up going 70 yards or more. Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman and Taylor Price all worked as punt returners, while Pat Chung and Woodhead also got time as punt protectors. It’s incredibly early, but Mesko appears primed for a big season.
‘¢ The combination of Tom Brady and Wes Welker appear to be in midseason form. There were two plays that really illustrated how well the two operate together: One came on a goal-line passing drill where Brady lofted one just out of the reach of Chung ‘ who was in coverage ‘ and dropped it right into Welker’s arms. The second was on a deep ball down the right sidelines to Welker, another ball that just barely beat the defender (in this case, cornerback Jonathan Wilhite) and landed neatly in Welker’s grasp; two perfectly thrown balls.
‘¢ For the quarterbacks, there was the return of the bucket drill ‘ easily the most popular drill in camp for the fans and media ‘ but no one was able to sink it from long distance. (Only Mallett got close, clunking one off the side of the barrel from about 40 yards away.) In other quarterback news, backup Brian Hoyer showed a headiness in a 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills when Patriots coach Bill Belichick was using a blocking pad to distract the quarterbacks. On one occasion, Belichick tossed the pad right at Hoyer and bopped him in the head, but the quarterback was able to maintain his composure and deliver a nice pass to Price.
|08.02.11 at 8:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Beyond the predictable questions about his his questionable past with the Titans and the Redskins, Albert Haynesworth wanted Patriots fans to know one thing when he spoke to reporters for the first time Tuesday afternoon – I won’t try to kill your quarterback anymore. Tom Brady doesn’t have to worry but the other quarterbacks in the league are fair game.
“Yeah, you know what? The first thing, I said ‘Hey Tom, what’s up?’ And he was like, ‘Hey, you’re not going to be hitting me anymore,’ So it’s kind of funny,” Haynesworth said.
Haynesworth has a much better tie to the Patriots on the defensive side of the ball, naturally.
“I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince [Wilfork]. And the funny thing is, when were at the Pro Bowl, I said ‘Man, what if we were on the same team?’ And he said ‘Oh dude, that would be crazy.’ He said, ‘No way that’s going to happen.’ But shoot, two, three years later, here we are.
“That’s going to be scary. It’s going to be scary for other teams.”
Funny Haynesworth uses that description because no doubt that’s how Brady felt in the preseason of 2009 when the Patriots paid a visit to Landover, Md. to battle the Redskins and Mr. Haynesworth.
Brady was making his first appearance back from reconstructive knee surgery in 2008. Haynesworth – in his first game with the Redskins since signing his seven-year, $100 million deal – got a clear path to Brady and crushed him, landing squarely on his shoulder. Brady’s knee would be fine that season in 2009 but he had to deal with an aching throwing shoulder all season. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.02.11 at 4:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ Here are some of the highlights from Albert Haynesworth’s Q&A with the media Tuesday afternoon:
How are things so far? “It’s been all right. I’m still getting my legs back. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the field, so still trying to get that feel out there.”
Do you look at this as a fresh start? “Yeah, of course. It’s a new team. It’s a great organization. I’ve been a fan of this team for a long time, other than when I was playing them, but I always liked the Patriots.”
Have you talked with the Patriots about what your role will be? “I don’t know, just to kill the quarterback.”
How did you find out you were going to New England? “I woke up to a text, 6:30 from my agent and said, ‘We’re going to New England.'”
What was your reaction? “Hell yeah.”
On what he thought of the Patriots: “I’ve always liked coach Belichick, the way he did things, the way the team performed. I’ve came to games when I was in the pros. I came to, I was here when they played the AFC Championship, I want to say they were playing I think San Diego, and I was sitting up in the stands freezing my butt off, I sat there and watched them play. I’ve always been a fan of this team.”
What were those conversations like with Belichick? “Everything is in the past. I’m leaving everything back in Washignton. Right now, I’m just concentrating on being a great football player for this organization.”
You put a pretty good hit on Tom a few years ago: “Yeah, you know what? The first thing, I said, ‘Hey Tom, what’s up?’ and he was like, ‘Hey, you ain’t going to be hitting me anymore.’ Funny.”
Did you know anyone on this team beforehand? “I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince and the funny thing is when we were at the Pro Bowl, I said, ‘Man, what if we were on the same team? That’d be crazy.’ He said, ‘No way that’s going to happen.’ But shoot, look, two or three years later, here we are.”
When you say restore your name, what do you mean by that? “Just, you know, to show that Albert Haynesworth can still play football. That’s how I got a name, I guess, other than the one my family gave to me. That’s what everybody knows me as ‘ Haynesworth, To show everybody that I can still play football.”
Are you willing to play in a 3-4? “I’m willing to attack the quarterback and kill the running back and knock everything back.”
Are you willing to play two-gap? “I don’t care what it is. Whatever gap the ball is in, that’s the gap I want to be in.”
Are you a high-motor player? “High motor? High motor player is like Kyle Vanden Bosch, someone who just runs around non-stop like they have batteries up their behind. But that’s not me.”
What do you respect the most about Belichick and getting the chance to play for him? “Being outside, I don’t know, just the way he handles the team and everything. Now, being inside, it’s very detail oriented. He demands perfection every time. I’ve been on some really good teams with a lot of great players, but I’ve never been in a situation where it’s like perfection every time. And not like, for a person, but for a team.”
Biggest surprise of last few days? “Just being here. The way everybody takes me in like I’m just part of the family already. I met with coach and we’ve had a great conversation and I met with Mr. Kraft and we had a great conversation and Pep. Everything has been great. The players, even some of the fans I’ve ran into, everybody here has been awesome.”
Were you surprised at fan reaction? “No, my best friend, he lives here. I’ve been up here a bunch of times secretly, so I knew kind of how people were here. I remember that one time, I guess I was in Tennessee, and I hit Tom, I guess it was in a preseason game, and landed on his shoulder or something. I got a lot of angry texts from 508 numbers up here, so I knew everybody was cool and loved their team.”
Who’s to blame for not playing in Washington? “Well, just the way they had it, the way they wanted to play it. No deal to me. I knew I could still play, so I got a chance to come here and play football. They’re going to put me on the field here and let me play, and it’s going to be fun.”
Do you have something to prove? “No, forget about that stuff. It’s all in the past. It’s all about now, rewriting my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriot.”
How much responsibility do you take for things that went wrong in Washington? “Well, it’s all got my name on it. It’s just whatever, but I’m just going to leave that in the past, leave that in Washington and have a fresh, new, clean start here in New England.”
What do you say to people who shouldn’t touch you or put you on their team? “I don’t have to worry about that anymore because I’m a New England Patriot.”
|08.02.11 at 2:31 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick ended a wide-ranging press conference by giving tattoo parlors all over New England some bad news. He doesn’t have any tattoos like some other coaches in the AFC East, nor does it sound like he’s getting one anytime soon.
Told that Rex Ryan has a bragged about his tattoo this summer as Jets camp opened, Belichick thought it might be amusing to actually see Ryan prove it.
‘I’d like to see that,’ Belichick said, we presume joking. ‘I’m tattoo-free.’
Then he was asked, in a slightly more serious vein, if he’s seen Ryan’s press conferences in which he’s challenging other NFL teams to step up to the plate and beat the Patriots this season.
“I’ll leave the analysis to the experts,” Belichick said. “Right now, I’m just worried about the challenge we have as a football team. And I think we have a big one as far as where we need to go and how much work we have to do. I’m just focused on that.”
– Also, Belichick said Monday’s day-off for the players was very helpful to his coaching staff.
‘It gave us a chance to reorganize and take stock of what happened in the last week,’ he said.
– Albert Haynesworth, expected to talk to the media following a three-hour practice, was on the practice field and Belichick – while not revealing much – indicated that Haynesworth is making progress. “He’s worked hard and is coming along. He’s got a long way to go. But he’s fine,’ Belichick said.
‘ Belichick raved about Kevin Faulk, who agreed on Saturday to come back for a 13th NFL season with the Pats. Faulk indicated Saturday it was Belichick who was his inspiration to rehab the torn ACL in his right knee.
‘He’s the ultimate team player,” Belchick said. “He takes great pride and professionalism in his job, and he’s a great example for all of us in terms of being a professional, team-oriented, and putting himself secondary to the team goals.’