|10.23.14 at 3:34 pm ET|
First-year referee Brad Allen will work as the lead official for Patriots-Bears Sunday at Gillette Stadium, according FootballZebras.com.
Allen, who was one of three new hires this offseason, worked as a referee in the ACC for the past nine years, and has also worked as the head official for the 2012 Rose Bowl and the 2014 Sugar Bowl.
“Our first-year officials were all among the best in college football, including Brad Allen, one of our new referees,” said NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino in a statement when Allen was hired. “Brad was an outstanding referee for many years in the ACC and we are excited about having him on the field.”
Here’s a look at who has worked as referees for New England’s games to this point in the season:
Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen
This will be Allen’s first New England. For more on his work as an official, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. And for a complete rundown of this week’s assignments, check out Football Zebras.
|10.23.14 at 3:20 pm ET|
Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, now an NFL analyst for Fox Sports 1, disputed a claim by Chicago GM Phil Emery that Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler ranks among the league’s elite quarterbacks based on his record. In an interview with 87.7 FM The Game in Chicago, Urlacher said that the only thing about Cutler to place him among the game’s top quarterbacks was his paycheck. Cutler is reportedly making $22.5 million in base salary this year with a three-year, $54 million guarantee with potential earnings of $126.7 million over seven years.
“We say it every year, how talented Jay is. But the NFL isn’t a talent contest. It’s a winning contest. You want to win contests. That’s what it comes down to. If your quarterback can’t make plays in critical situations for you to win games, then he’s not getting the job done,” said Urlacher. “Financially, he is one of the elite guys in the NFL. If you look at his contract, he was paid like an elite contract. He just hasn’t produced like an elite quarterback. You look at the other guys — the [Tom] Bradys, the [Peyton] Mannings, the [Aaron] Rodgers, the [Drew] Brees — those guys win every year, even with no one around them. … Rodgers has no offensive line. He wins. Brady has no receivers. He wins. And you look at Jay. He’s got Brandon [Marshall], Alshon [Jeffery], Matt [Forte], this great offensive line, Martellus Bennett, and they can’t seem to put it together, for some reason. I’m not sure if that’s his fault, but for some reason, they just can’t figure it out.”
Cutler has completed 67.3 percent of passes this year (fifth in the NFL among QBs with 200 or more attempts) for 1,866 yards, 14 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 94.4 quarterback rating. He and the Bears play the Patriots this coming Sunday.
|10.23.14 at 1:27 pm ET|
During Thursday’s Middays with MFB show, Christian Fauria discussed how Bill Belichick-coached teams are run and how “inexcusable” it is to miss a practice. Fauria played for Belichick and the Patriots from 2002-05. This comes following a report of Darrelle Revis oversleeping on Tuesday and being told not to come to the facility. To hear the segment, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
“In general, as a rule, if you are late for a practice, which I have never heard of — listen, you only have 16 weeks of a regular season — I don’t know how many practices that is, and it’s not like they practice hard anyway,” Fauria said. “If you miss a practice, that is inexcusable. I can’t excuse that. You just know better, just leave.”
Fauria explained how much Belichick stresses to his teams that being late is something that will not be tolerated.
“Here is what Bill does: ‘If there is a snowstorm and Friday we have practice and tomorrow or there is going to be a lot of rain, there’s going to be flooding in your neighborhood, don’t call me Friday morning telling me you’re going to be late. I’m telling you now, Thursday, that I don’t expect you to be late — and I am telling you there is going to be flooding in your neighborhood. Sleep in a hotel the night before, sleep at a friends house, leave at 1 a.m., make sure you’re here on time. Being late will not be an excuse.’ It’s happened in the past, guys have been late, guys have been sent home,” Fauria explained.
The former Patriots tight end also noted the typical practice schedule, although he noted things may have been different with the Patriots playing last Thursday.
“Special teams meeting would start at 7, maybe 7:30, team meeting 8-8:30ish, but it’s a different week,” he said. “They played on Thursday, had that I guess, bridge version of a bye week and so I don’t know what their schedule was like because usually Tuesday is their day off. Since they had a bye week, maybe they had Monday off or maybe they decided to go in and work out on Monday and Tuesday was officially their Wednesday, I guess. So they get an extra day of practice since they had that bye week.”
|10.23.14 at 11:59 am ET|
Chandler Jones was missing from the start of Patriots practice on Thursday, according to reports.
The defensive end, who was the only player on the active roster not spotted Thursday morning at the workout in the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, will reportedly be sidelined for the next month because of a hip injury he suffered last week against the Jets.
New England continues preparing for a Sunday afternoon date with the Bears at Gillette Stadium.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.23.14 at 8:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — Following the Bears’ 27-14 home loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, much was made of a reported heated locker room incident where Brandon Marshall reportedly called out some of his teammates, including quarterback Jay Cutler.
The players and their coach are putting the incident behind them, calling it a non-issue.
“It’s really no big deal what happened after the game,” running back Matt Forte said on a conference call Wednesday. “Nothing really happened. People yell and scream in the locker room all the time. It just so happens that they heard some stuff. After a loss like that, being our third loss at home, we’re going to have to rally no matter what.”
“I’ve been in NFL locker rooms for 20 years. To me there was nothing there that was at all out of the ordinary or unique, in my opinion,” coach Marc Trestman added. “Players moved on today. That’s really it. That’s really all there is.”
Some of the frustration stems from their performance at home — going winless in three home games so far this season. They have played much better on the road, going 3-1 — their latest a 27-13 win over Atlanta two weeks ago.
“There’s really no secret,” Forte said. “We’ve played solid football when we go win on the road, and at home it’s just changed for some reason. On the road, we’ve taken care of the football pretty well, and our defense has gotten a lot of takeaways. Last week on Sunday, our defense played well enough for us to win the game, but we had too many turnovers. For us to win the game and after this game and the bye week when we start playing some home games, we need to carry that over to our home games, too, and play consistent football where we’re not turning it over.”
The biggest key for the Bears this season has been taking care of the ball. It’s been pretty cut and dry, as when Cutler throws an interception the Bears are 0-4, and when he doesn’t they are 3-0.
“It’s one of the main things we talk about is taking care of the football, protecting the quarterback and establishing the run game,” Forte said. “In the games that we’ve won, we’ve done that. In the games that we’ve lost, we haven’t done it. It’s not a secret formula to winning games or how we play well. We just have to play consistently like when we’ve won the games that we have won.”
|10.22.14 at 10:51 pm ET|
What happened to cornerback Darrelle Revis on Tuesday is apparently becoming clearer.
Initially, there was the report that the veteran had missed practice and was turned away from the facility, Adalius Thomas-style. But on Wednesday night, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reported that Revis overslept, and was told to stay home from practice.
Later on Tuesday, he showed up at the facility, and was reportedly contrite when he spoke with coach Bill Belichick regarding the incident. (One league source indicated to WEEI.com that they were surprised when Revis wasn’t at the facility on Tuesday morning because he’s usually one of the first people in the building.)
Revis was back at practice on Wednesday, and spoke with the media in the locker room afterward. When asked about his Tuesday absence on Wednesday afternoon, Revis brushed off the question.
“[That's] between me and coach. Talk to him about it,” he said.
The initial story of Revis being sent home caused some to compare his situation with the infamous “LateGate” situation in 2009 involving Thomas, Randy Moss, Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess. On a snowy morning, that foursome showed up late to a meeting, and were sent home by Belichick.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|10.22.14 at 7:29 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When Chris Jones blocked Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal attempt last Thursday night, it was the Patriots’ second blocked field goal of the season and now both of those blocked kicks have led to AFC Player of the Week honors as he was named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 7 on Wednesday.
This comes after Chandler Jones was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week when he blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown in Week 2 against Minnesota.
“I wasn’t the only guy in the middle pushing. I just happened to be the one that got my hand up there to block the field goal,” Chris said. “It’s an honor to win it, I guess.”
The team works on it on a daily basis and with two blocked kicks it’s been paying off.
“We work on it almost everyday, actually,” Chris said. “We try and work on every phase of the game and we actually worked on it a little bit today.”
With Chandler reportedly sidelined for about a month with a hip injury, others will need to step in and back an impact on the defensive line.
“We have guys that are stepping up,” Chris said. “This week we have Dominique Easley and Zach Moore — we have those guys stepping up this week and they are doing really well for us.”
“They stepped in and they do their job really well for us,” he added. “They work really hard in practice and watching film. They know their stuff and they do really good things for us.”
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