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Alfonzo Dennard gets another year of probation, extra 30 days in jail, extra 100 hours community service

12.05.13 at 3:16 pm ET
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Alfonzo Dennard was given another year of probation, 30 extra days of jail time and an extra 100 hours of community service Thursday by a Nebraska judge for violating terms of his probation for assaulting a police officer outside of a Lincoln, Neb., bar in April 2012. Dennard, who will not have to serve jail time until after the season, was sentenced in March to two years of probation and a suspended 30-day jail sentence in March 2014.

On Sept.’€‰16, Dennard acknowledged violating the terms of his two-year probation. He faced a maximum of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Dennard was arrested July 11 for suspicion of driving under the influence and straddling the lane lines in Lincoln. That led to the probation revocation hearing in which a judge accepted his responsibility of guilt. In a worst-case scenario, Dennard could have been immediately jailed after Thursday’s sentencing but that didn’t happen.

Judge Stephanie Stacy also added a no-alcohol provision to his sentence and added 30 days to his jail sentence, which begins on March 31. The total jail time is now 60 days, which could be reduced to 38 days with good behavior. The judge could have revoked Dennard’s probation as the prosecution was seeking but she chose instead to modify the terms of probation.

Dennard was not at Patriots practice on Thursday in order to attend Thursday’s hearing. Dennard is not completely out of the woods as a separate DUI sentencing is scheduled for Friday at the same time, also at Lancaster County Court.

However. Dennard’€™s lawyer, Alan Stoler, told the Boston Herald Wednesday that Dennard filed a request for a continuance to delay the DUI sentencing until after the NFL season.

 

Dennard has completed more than 65 hours of probation work since September and could finish the remainder of his 100 hours by the end of the season, even though he has two years to complete the terms.

According to the Herald, Dennard’€™s hours have included time working with the Foxboro Police Department, the Boys & Girls Club and some youth speaking engagements to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Dennard is required to appear on Friday to formally enter a plea, and Stoler said Dennard is still undecided if he’€™ll plead guilty or not guilty.

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, DUI, New England Patriots, nfl

Shane Vereen on Stevan Ridley: ‘We’re there when he needs us’

12.05.13 at 2:47 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Shane Vereen has the back of teammate Stevan Ridley.

Both running backs came into the league in 2011. Both have battled issues at one point or another. Injuries limited Vereen to just five games in his rookie season of 2011 while a broken wrist in the season opener forced him to miss eight games this season.

But now it’s Ridley who is struggling to find the field. Ridley has lost all four of his fumbles this season and was benched for the game in Houston on Sunday. After Ridley declined to speak with reporters on Thursday, Vereen moments later came to his defense.

“Everybody goes through their ups and downs, and when you’re down, you need teammates, you need friends to help bring you back to where you should be and start playing with confidence again,” Vereen said. “Stevan is a great player. We’re there when he needs us. But he knows what he has to do and we fully expect him to do that.”

While Vereen is fourth in rushing yardage behind Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, he is the No. 1 receiver among the running backs corps with 28 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.

“We’ve definitely got work to do, but we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good situation, but there’s room to improve,” Vereen said. “We need to improve if we want to continue playing.”

Ridley also said on Thursday that he feels good and the wrist injury is no longer an issue, despite still wearing a brace for games.

“I haven’t had any problems with it, haven’t had any issues with it,” Vereen said. “Really, there’s not too much thought about it at all.”

Read More: New England Patriots, nfl, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price preview Patriots-Browns Sunday at Gillette

12.05.13 at 2:30 pm ET
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Read More: Chris Price, Cleveland Browns, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots

Patriots practice Thursday: Brandon Spikes returns, Alfonzo Dennard, Aaron Dobson, Marcus Cannon absent

12.05.13 at 11:28 am ET
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FOXBORO — Linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday for what was likely a “maintenance” rest day.

The hard-hitting run-stopping linebacker was on Wednesday’s injury report for a “non-injury related” issue, though he has been dealing with a sore knee for several weeks, as indicated on previous injury reports.

Three other players were absent, including Alfonzo Dennard, who left the team to deal with a court appearance in Nebraska.

Two other Patriots were absent due to injury as rookie receiver Aaron Dobson continues to nurse a foot injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game in Houston. Dobson played just 36 of 87 snaps against the Broncos on Nov. 24 before showing up on the injury report last week. The team re-signed Austin Collie Thursday morning for wide receiver depth.

Marcus Cannon injured his ankle against the Broncos in the first half against the Broncos and was replaced by Will Svitek for the remainder of the game. Cannon was not active last Sunday against Houston, marking the first game he has missed this season.

For the second straight day, the team worked out in sweats and shells on the lower practice fields and will practice again on Friday in preparation for the Browns this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, nfl

Alfonzo Dennard due in court in Nebraska

12.05.13 at 11:11 am ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Alfonzo Dennard was not at Patriots practice on Thursday. Instead, he was headed for a court appearance in Nebraska.

A probation sentencing in Lancaster District Court is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET while a DUI sentencing is scheduled for Friday at the same time, also at Lancaster County Court.

However. Dennard’€™s lawyer, Alan Stoler, told the Boston Herald Wednesday that Dennard filed a request for a continuance to delay the DUI sentencing until after the NFL season.

Stoler is hoping Dennard’€™s compliance with his probation terms would be enough to convince the judge to grant the continuance. Stoler told the Herald that Dennard has completed more than 65 hours of probation work since September and could finish the remainder of his 100 hours by the end of the season, even though he has two years to complete the terms.

According to the Herald, Dennard’€™s hours have included time working with the Foxboro Police Department, the Boys & Girls Club and some youth speaking engagements to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Meanwhile, Dennard should find out Thursday if he is granted the continuance. Dennard is required to appear on Friday to formally enter a plea, and Stoler said Dennard is still undecided if he’€™ll plead guilty or not guilty.

On Sept.’€‰16, Dennard acknowledged violating the terms of his two-year probation. He faces a maximum of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine, which was his same potential fate for being found guilty in February of assaulting a police officer outside of a Lincoln, Neb., bar in April 2012. Dennard was sentenced in March to two years of probation and a suspended 30-day jail sentence in March 2014.

However, Dennard was arrested July 11 for suspicion of driving under the influence and straddling the lane lines in Lincoln. That led to the probation revocation hearing in which a judge accepted his responsibility of guilt. In a worst-case scenario, Dennard could get thrown in jail after today’€™s sentencing.

The outcome of Dennard’€™s DUI case is unrelated to his probation revocation.

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Lincoln, Nebraska Cornhuskers, New England Patriots

Patriots re-sign WR Austin Collie

12.05.13 at 10:35 am ET
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FOXBORO — With a foot problem plaguing Aaron Dobson, the Patriots have brought back a somewhat familiar face for depth in the receiving corps.

The Patriots Thursday re-signed Austin Collie. The 28-year-old was originally signed by the Patriots on Oct. 3 and then released on Nov. 5. Collie played in four games and was released during the bye week. He caught three passes for 34 yards, including two key receptions against the Saints in the last-minute 30-27 win on Oct. 13.

Collie is in his fifth NFL season after spending four seasons with Indianapolis (2009-12). The 6-foot, 204-pounder originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (127th overall) of the Colts out of Brigham Young in 2009. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 2, 2013, but was released by the 49ers on Aug. 31.

Collie has played in 46 NFL games with 17 starts and has registered 176 receptions for 1,879 yards and 16 touchdowns. He played in four games with one start for the Patriots and registered three receptions for 34 yards.

Read More: Aaron Dobson, austin collie, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots

Tom Brady on playing 60 good minutes: ‘We’ve got to start doing that at some point’

12.04.13 at 6:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady knows the potential of these Patriots. He also knows it’s about time they start showing it for a whole game.

This weekend presents that opportunity as the 4-8 Cleveland Browns come calling at Gillette Stadium for a showdown with the 9-3 Patriots, who with a win, can clinch a playoff spot and possibly a division title.

With so much on the line, the Patriots do not want to come out and begin the game like they did last Sunday in Houston against the two-win Texans. They trailed 10-0 early and 17-7 at halftime.

“I know, We’€™ve started slow too many times this year, and it’€™s hard to keep playing from behind,” Brady said. “I think we talk about it; we’€™re trying to get better at it. There’€™s no magic formula, just like there’€™s really no magic formula to what we’€™re doing in the second half. It’€™s just really the execution needs to be a lot better at the start of the game, and really we’€™ve got to have great execution for the entire game.

“That’€™s the most important thing. We’€™ve played some really good teams, really good defenses that have put a lot of pressure on us, so it’€™s hard sometimes to play 60 good minutes of football, but we’€™ve got to start doing that at some point. We’€™ve had some ups and downs, but we’€™ve got to put together a good game.”

Brady was also asked if he had heard about or seen the video of Cleveland back-up QB Alex Tanney, who is splitting reps in practice while Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden are cleared for activity but not practice. In the video, Tanney is the “Minnesota Fats” of football, turning every pass into a trick shot.

“I haven’€™t seen it,” Brady admitted. “I will look it up. I remember the kicking . That was pretty good. I saw that one.”

Brady was advised that the video is a “must see.”

“All right, I’€™ll check it out,” Brady said.

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Read More: Alex Tanney, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, nfl
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