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Report: Pete Morelli will work as lead official for Patriots-Colts

11.13.14 at 3:21 pm ET
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Pete Morelli will work his second Patriots game of the year on Sunday. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Pete Morelli will work his second Patriots game of the year on Sunday. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Pete Morelli has been assigned to work the Sunday night game between the Patriots and Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to Sunday will mark the second Patriots game of the season for Morelli, a veteran official who also served as the lead referee for the Raiders-Patriots game at Gillette on Sept, 21.

Here’s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.

Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli

For more on Morelli’s work as an official, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. And for all of this week’s officiating assignments, check out Football Zebras.

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Colts fans still hate the Patriots, New England ‘public enemy number one’

11.13.14 at 2:04 pm ET
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If you thought a few years without Peyton Manning has changed the Colts’ fan base thoughts of the Patriots, you were wrong. The Colts fans still have a strong dislike for the Patriots after they have won four straight games, including last year’s playoff game over their former division-rival.

“I think people are looking at it and trying to make it into [Andrew] Luck vs. [Tom] Brady, but here guys, the hatred for the Patriots has never gone away,” said Derek Schultz of WNDE on with Middays with MFB on Thursday. “I think in New England it is one of those things where it was more Brady vs. [Peyton] Manning than it was Pats vs. Colts, here it has always been not only anti-Brady, but anti-Patriots. You can’t go around this town and say the word Patriots without people scoundering and hissing at you. They are 10 times what the Knicks were 20 years ago with Reggie Miller vs. Knicks heyday and that is how big the rivalry is here. This still here locally is the biggest game of the year since this has turned into an annual matchup, and since the Colts don’t have a relevant division rival in the AFC South, this is public enemy number one.”

Following seeing those remarks about Colts fans, who do Patriots fans hate the most? Is it the division-rival Jets? The Broncos for their recent dominance? Do fans still have something against the Colts, or do fans still think back to the two Super Bowl losses?

What team do Patriots fans hate the most?

  • Jets (57%, 522 Votes)
  • Giants (20%, 184 Votes)
  • Broncos (17%, 159 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 43 Votes)
  • Colts (1%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 922

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Read More: Andrew Luck, Derek Schultz, Indianpolis Colts, New England Patriots

Tom Brady sends good wishes to former backups Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer via Facebook

11.13.14 at 1:48 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gave a Throwback Thursday shoutout to two of his former backups — Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer — who are slated to meet this weekend when the Texans face the Browns.

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Dominique Easley (knee) returns to Patriots practice, only Chandler Jones (hip) missing

11.13.14 at 12:10 pm ET
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Dominique Easley

Dominique Easley

FOXBORO — Dominique Easley returned to Patriots practice on Thursday inside the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, according to reports. Easley had missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices due to a knee issue. His return Thursday is a good sign that he could be ready to suit up when the Patriots take on the Colts Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. Thursday’s workout was in sweats and shells.

Easley was seen working with trainers at the last practice before the Patriots’ bye week last Wednesday, and has been listed on the injury report for most of the season with a knee injury. There were a pair of crutches by his locker on Tuesday but he was seen walking with no limp through the locker room during media availability.

The only player absent Thursday was Chandler Jones, who has missed the last month since injuring his hip against the Jets on Oct. 16.

Thursday marked the second straight day the Patriots practiced in the bubble as they try to simulate game conditions for Sunday night on the fast track indoors.

After missing Tuesday’s practice with strep throat (per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald), Brandon LaFell was again on hand at practice Thursday for a second straight day.

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Read More: chandler jones, Dominique Easley, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski and Matthew Slater among top Pro Bowl vote-getters

11.13.14 at 8:30 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski leads all tight ends in Pro Bowl voting. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski leads all tight ends in Pro Bowl voting. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With the first wave of voting complete, three members of the Patriots lead Pro Bowl voting at their respective positions.

Rob Gronkowski leads voting among tight ends with 166,066 votes, while kicker Stephen Gostkowski (67,814 votes) and special teamer Matthew Slater (36,679 votes) are also currently leading their groupings.

As for quarterback Tom Brady, he’s fourth among quarterbacks with 254,807, behind only Peyton Manning (359,598), Andrew Luck (284,575), Aaron Rodgers (280,394). He’s fifth overall, as he’s just nudged out by running back DeMarco Murray (263,097).

Despite the fact that Brady is near the top of the voting totals, don’t expect him to make it, even if the Patriots are able to play. The quarterback has been voted to the Pro Bowl in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, but the last time he actually went to the Pro Bowl was 2004.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 25 in Arizona the week before the Super Bowl.

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Tom Brady ‘doesn’t have time’ for Julian Edelman’s Kent State highlights

11.13.14 at 6:00 am ET
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Tom Brady and Julian Edelman share a close bond, but Brady won't watch Edelman's college highlights. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman share a close bond, but Brady won’t watch Edelman’s college highlights. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s no secret Tom Brady and Julian Edelman share a close bond.

But when it comes to Brady looking at Edelman’s college highlights from Kent State from when he was a quarterback, the 37-year-old Brady doesn’t have any time for that.

“I tell him probably three times a day,” Edelman said. “I try to get him to sit and look on my phone at the highlight film, but he usually doesn’€™t have time for my little videos. He’€™s a busy guy I guess. That’€™s what happens when you’€™re married with three kids and being a quarterback.”

Edelman was Kent State’s quarterback for three seasons, passing for just under 5,000 yards, but also was a very good runner — rushing for 2,483 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Brady has made a few plays with feet this season — saying on multiple occasions it is something he’s worked on — and while it may not be what the quarterback is known for, he’s been able to get the job done when he’s had to.

“If he gets to get around and scramble and get his eyes down field it’€™s always kind of cool because that’€™s how explosion plays happen,” Edelman said. “TB, he’€™s been working hard on all that stuff, but hopefully he just stays right where he has to and doesn’€™t get out there too much.”

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Chuck Pagano thinks Rob Gronkowski makes Patriots ‘more of a nightmare’

11.12.14 at 8:58 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski could be a scary sight for the Colts Sunday night. (Mike Petraglia/

Rob Gronkowski could be a scary sight for the Colts Sunday night. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick won’t admit it. Tom Brady will just smile in gratitude. And Rob Gronkowski certainly won’t acknowledge it. But the best tight end in football is a nightmare matchup for any opponent, especially one that has had difficulty defending much-lesser tight ends this season.

But Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was more than willing to detail just what kind of problem Gronkowski presents for his Colts this Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Tom’€™s spreading the ball around, but Rob’€™s a matchup nightmare,” Pagano said. “It’€™s all hands on deck to try to make sure that that guy doesn’€™t wreck a game. You see everybody trying to do that, but he finds a way to make unbelievable plays. He’€™s a great player and they’€™ve got a bunch of them, a bunch of skill guys that are making great plays.”

How big a game could Gronkowski have? Consider tight end Julius Thomas caught three touchdowns – in the second quarter – of Denver’s 31-24 win on opening night. The next week, Philly’s Zach Ertz had four catches for 87 yards. Against the Steelers in Week 8, Heath Miller had seven catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

What is Gronk expecting?

“They’re a very good team and we have to prepare to our max and we have to be ready for the game,” Gronkowski said, keeping everything cautiously vague. “We have to come out and perform to our best because, if not, they’re a very good team and we could struggle easily versus them if we’re not going out there prepared. You have to be ready and go out and be prepared.

“They’ve got a lot of good skill players, good linebackers, safeties, corners and you just have to be prepared for anything at any time. You never know what you’re going to get so you have to be prepared and expect anything.”

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Read More: Chuck Pagano, Gronk, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots
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