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Patriots re-sign Marcus Forston, Justin Green to practice squad

11.28.13 at 12:06 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday they have re-signed defensive lineman Marcus Forston and defensive back Justin Green to the practice squad. Both players were released by the Patriots on Tuesday.

Forston, 24, was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Oct. 12, the day before the New Orleans game. He has played in three games as a reserve and registered three total tackles. Forston was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 10, 2012 out of Miami. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder made the 53-man roster of training camp as a rookie but was released early in the season and brought back to the practice squad, where he spent the majority of the season. He eventually re-joined the 53-man roster prior to the AFC Championship Game but was inactive for the contest. Forston made his NFL debut as a defensive reserve at Baltimore on Sept. 23, 2012. He went to training camp with the Patriots this past summer but was released on Aug. 31 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1.

Green, 22, was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Saturday, Nov. 23, and played on defense and special teams in the victory over Denver last Sunday night. He originally was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Illinois on July 21. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder began his college career at Illinois as a running back before moving to the secondary for his final three seasons. He made 29 starts over his final three seasons, registering 76 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Green was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1.

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Tom Brady: ‘Right now is when we say football season starts’

11.27.13 at 4:40 pm ET
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FOXBORO — In the NFL, Thanksgiving not only means turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and a tripleheader of football. It also signals the real start of separation season, when the elite teams really start to distance themselves from the rest of the pack when it comes to the race to the postseason.

Quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday that while everything the Patriots have accomplished to this point is nice — the 8-3 mark and first place in the AFC East — the work to ultimately get you to where you want to be starts this week.

“Right now is when we say football season starts,” he said. “The mental toughness, the discipline, the attitude, the work ethic, this is when it starts to show up. Those are intangibles that you don’€™t really see in September and August when things are fresh and everyone is hopeful.

“Now you really see where you’€™re at and you see how you match up against other teams. You see where their mental toughness is at. You see if they’€™re going to cash in, you see how hard they’€™re going to play. I think the mark of our team is we’€™ve always tried to make that something that we’€™ve always felt is a real strength of ours. We have to go out there and prove it and earn it.”

This week, that process includes a game against the Texans, a team that has lost its last nine games to fall to 2-9 on the season. Despite the record — tied for the worst mark in the league through the first 11 games of the season — Brady was quick to remind the media that Houston still possesses the best pass defense in the league, and “probably [has] the best front we’ve faced all season.”

“We’€™re not even concerned about the record,” said Brady, who was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. “You look at what they can do defensively and the kind of playmakers they have. They’€™re the highest rated defense against the pass and one of the highest, if not the highest rated defense in the league. Defensively, they’€™re playing pretty good. They have probably the best front we’€™ve faced all season and good linebackers and some playmakers in the secondary. We have a big challenge.

“Like I said, anything that’€™s happened for them this season doesn’€™t matter and anything that’€™s happened for us makes no difference either. They’€™ve lost some close games, we’€™ve pulled out some close games. I think that’€™s the big difference. It could just as easily go the other way. We’€™ve found ways to win and we have to try to find a way to win this week.”

Brad added: “We were in here today, we had a good practice, and that’€™s a good way to start. Our whole season is ahead of us. I think that’€™s the most important thing — no one really cares what’€™s been done to this point. We have to go out there and try to finally play good for 60 minutes, if we can get to that.”

Here are some more highlights of Brady’s Wednesday afternoon press conference:

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Patriots Wednesday injury report: Aaron Dobson misses practice with foot injury

11.27.13 at 4:19 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson missed Wednesday’s indoors practice with a foot injury. He played just 36 of 90 offensive snaps on Sunday night and was not spotted during media availability on Wednesday.

Also missing Wednesday were Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) and Marcus Cannon (ankle). Hoomanawanui missed last week and the game against the Broncos after injuring his knee against Carolina on Nov. 18 while Cannon injured his ankle last Sunday night in the first half. He was replaced by Will Svitek and did not return.

Seven players were officially listed as limited on Wednesday. The Patriots (8-3) play in Houston on Sunday afternoon.

Here is Wednesday’s complete report:

Did Not Practice
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee)
WR Aaron Dobson (foot)
RT Marcus Cannon (ankle)

Limited Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (groin)
CB Marquice Cole (shin)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (knee)
S Steve Gregory (finger)
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring)
CB Aqib Talib (hip)
LB Chris White (back)

Full Participation
WR Danny Amendola (groin)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
WR Matthew Slater (wrist)
LB Brandon Spikes (knee)
RB Shane Vereen (wrist)

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Patriots announce additions of DT Sealver Siliga and TE D.J. Williams to 53-man roster

11.27.13 at 4:04 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots made a number of roster moves Wednesday afternoon, adding defensive tackle Sealver Siliga to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, signing TE D.J. Williams to the 53-man roster and rookie tackle Patrick Ford to the practice squad.

Siliga, 23, was signed by the Patriots to the practice squad on Oct. 23. He has spent time with San Francisco, Denver and Seattle since joining the NFL as a rookie free agent with the 49ers in 2011 out of Utah. The 6-foot-2, 325-pounder, was released by the 49ers at the end of his first training camp and was then signed to the Denver practice squad. He began the 2012 season on the Denver practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in September. He played in one game for Denver in 2012. Siliga was traded by Denver to Seattle in training camp this past summer and spent part of the year on the Seahawks practice squad before being released on Oct. 4.

Williams, 25, played in seven games with one start for Jacksonville this season before being released by the Jaguars on Nov. 4. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder originally entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (101st overall) by Green Bay out of Arkansas in 2011. Williams was waived by Green Bay on Aug. 31, 2013, and claimed off waivers and awarded to Jacksonville on Sept. 1. He has played in 33 NFL games with three starts and has nine receptions for 70 yards.

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Bill Belichick: ‘You’ve got to love Thanksgiving’

11.27.13 at 12:42 pm ET
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FOXBORO — For Bill Belichick, it’s pumpkin pie or nothing.

Asked Wednesday about his Thanksgiving dining habits, the coach didn’t sound picky when it came to the main dish (“Whatever is on the plate — I haven’€™t turned down a lot of food in my Thanksgiving lifetime”), but made it clear what his dessert of choice is.

“I make sure to leave room for pumpkin pie,” he said. “I don’€™t want to fill up on everything and not be able to eat that pie.”

The coach, who was in a relaxed mood when he met the media on Wednesday, had the chance to reflect on Thanksgiving, football and family — particularly, the chance to catch some high school football.

“It’€™s a great part of the whole holiday and the whole weekend,” he said. “I grew up with that. Thanksgiving was always a big football weekend for me because our high school always had a Thanksgiving day game with a big rival: Annapolis-Severna Park. That was a big one there. Then the Army-Navy was always the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Growing up, you just, that was like the key point in the year.

“I coached Detroit for a couple years and had the Thanksgiving Day game there. You could really see what a big part of the community that Thanksgiving Day game was and what it brought there.”

Belichick said it went to the next level when he arrived in New England in 1996 and his son Stephen played little league football.

“Of course, growing up here, our kids played football and had those same kind of experiences on Thanksgiving ‘€“ Thanksgiving day games and that weekend and all that,” he said. “It’€™s a part of the New England culture, life, Massachusetts. I think it’€™s good. It’€™s good for families. It’€™s good for the excitement of the game. It’€™s good for the sport. It’€™s a good, wholesome thing. Turkey dinner, football ‘€“ it’€™s a great holiday. You’€™ve got to love Thanksgiving. Three games now instead of two. Got the big Nantucket-Martha’€™s Vineyard clash. That’€™s always a monster game too.”

Here are some other highlights from Belichick’s Wednesday morning Q&A with the media.
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Texans coach Gary Kubiak: Patriots ‘priming to make a run for a championship’

11.27.13 at 12:26 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Gary Kubiak is impressed, but not all that surprised.

The Texans coach has been around the league for 30 years — as a backup quarterback with the Broncos, an assistant coach and coordinator in Denver, and now as a head coach with Houston. And he’s seen this from the Patriots before.

“I just see them playing better and better each week,” Kubiak said of New England, who will travel to Houston for a date with the Texans on Sunday. “They’€™ve obviously got some guys back and [are] getting back to full strength. What they did in the second half last week is, you know, just phenomenal. Their leadership with Bill [Belichick] and Tom [Brady] has been consistent for so many years.

“I see a team priming itself to make a run for a championship. They have a lot of great players and their coaches on that staff are absolutely tremendous and I see them getting in position to go make that run that they usually make. So, I am very impressed.”

To Kubiak’s point, the Patriots offense is only now starting to come together, as tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Shane Vereen and wide receiver Danny Amendola have been on the field at the same time for two games (Carolina and Denver). As a result, New England has averaged 34 points per game in its last four contests, three of them wins. Add their presence to the already impressive group of offensive options in Stevan Ridley and Julian Edelman — all led by Brady — and you have a lot to deal with if you’re the Texans.

“There are just so many things that they are good at,” Kubiak said. “I mean, they throw the ball as well as anybody in the game. They can line up and run it extremely well too. As they work through some guys being out, it was impressive to watch them work through that.
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Aaron Dobson, Michael Hoomanawanui and Marcus Cannon missing at start of Patriots practice

11.27.13 at 11:49 am ET
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FOXBORO — Receiver Aaron Dobson, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon were all missing from the start of Patriots practice on Wednesday, which was held inside the practice bubble in sweats and shells because of inclement conditions.

Hoomanawanui is dealing with the effects of a knee injury he suffered in the wake of the loss to the Panthers earlier this month, while Cannon left the game last Sunday against the Broncos with an ankle injury. It’s unclear why Dobson wasn’t present, but it is worth noting that the rookie was limited in action Sunday against Denver — according to Pro Football Focus, he played 37 of a possible 88 offensive snaps, one of his lowest totals of the season.

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