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Rob Gronkowski plans for bye week: ‘Watch movies, massages, get treatment, chill’

09.30.15 at 4:12 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots are off this weekend as they have the Week 4 bye week with them and the Titans being the earliest of any other team. The group is feeling good, as they are 3-0 and have scored 119 points through the first three games, a franchise record.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski was asked how he will spend his weekend off, as the team won’t practice Thursday-Sunday.

“Watch movies, massages, get treatment, chill,” Gronkowski said at his locker after practice Wednesday.

Having the bye week in Week 4 now means the team will have 13 straight weeks of games between now and the end of the regular-season. Gronkowski said with the team going for two months straight since training camp opened, it is a welcomed weekend off.

“It’s not really that early,” he said. “I mean we’ve been through training camp, a couple games now. We’ve been going for about two months now. Just get off your legs, get some rest and come back flying once we get back next week.”

“I mean, whenever you get the bye week you have to take the positives out of it,” he added. “Early, later, it doesn’t really matter. At any time in the season you could always use some rest and your body can heal up just the bumps and bruises and everything.”

Once Gronkowski and the Patriots get back Monday, they will begin preparing for the Cowboys. He said he would check out some of the Cowboys game this weekend and get a jump start towards the game Oct. 11 in Dallas.

“Isn’t it nice to get off from work once in awhile? It’s always good,” Gronkowski joked. “Always good to get your mind refreshed and your mind off football a little bit just for a few days and then come back fresh, prepared and ready to go.”

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Tom Brady on early-season success: ‘The Super Bowl isn’t played in Week 1′

09.30.15 at 2:36 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady can read a schedule. He can also read a calendar. Before taking off for his bye week, the Patriots quarterback made it clear Wednesday that, while it’s great to be 3-0, there’s a lot that can change, good and bad, over the course of 16 regular season games.

“It’s a long season, so you try to do it over the course of a year as opposed to, you know, the Super Bowl isn’t played in Week 1,” Brady said, offering proof of his perspective on the hot start. “Even though you’d love to be in mid-season form at that time, it doesn’t always happen that way. So you’ve just got to believe in what you’re doing, believe in your process, and I think that we’ve been pretty consistent here for a long time based on what our OTAs are, training camp. It’s not like one year it’s different from the next, but I think you gain trust in what you’re doing based on the past results that we’ve had that, OK, we’re on the right track.”

Certainly, in setting a franchise record with 119 points in the first three games, Brady and the Patriots offense would appear to be on that right track. Despite not earning offensive player of the week honors in any of the first three wins, Brady has been the best offensive player in the AFC to start the season, while he and Aaron Rodgers have arguably been the two best offensive players in the NFL. Brady has completed 72.2 percent of his passes, thrown for over 1,100 yards (no other QB has 1,000), fired nine touchdowns and hasn’t been intercepted. Only Rodgers is better with 10 TDs without an interception.

But Brady knows that Bill Belichick is always looking for improvement. On Wednesday, Belichick noted that the offense has been taking too many penalties, many of which have come on illegal formation calls.

“This is how we’re going to be coached,” Brady added. “This is the expectations we have for what a practice should look like. Regardless of who’s in there, this is the level that we need to get to if we want to be able to compete on a week-by-week basis against really good football teams. We’re going to be challenged throughout the whole season. Every game has its different challenges. There are different matchups. There are different, you know, just situations in the game that come up that everyone has to be prepared for. And obviously the more veteran players you have at certain positions, the easier that may be or may appear to be. Sometimes it’s maybe a bit more challenging.”

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Penalties up across league, but not when it comes to Patriots

09.30.15 at 1:25 pm ET
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Bill Belichick and the Patriots have cut down on penalties this year. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick and the Patriots have cut down on penalties this year. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Over the first three weeks across the league, things are pretty ugly when it comes to penalties.

Through the first three weeks, there were 730 accepted penalties. That’s the highest total in league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. (The previous high through three games was 716, set in 2005.) Overall, the most penalties came in Week 2, when teams accepted 298 penalties in those games, the most during a single week in NFL history. (The Patriots and Bills did their part to add to the total that week — they combined for 25 penalties for 259 yards.)

Oakland (33), Tampa Bay (33), Buffalo (30), Green Bay (28) and Indy (27) are the top five most penalized teams in the league over the course of the first three games. In terms of yardage, Buffalo (293), Chicago (274), Tampa Bay (271), New Orleans (243) and Baltimore (240) make up the top five. In terms of penalties, offensive holding (154), false start (119), defensive holding (57), unnecessary roughness (46) and defensive pass interference (42) are the top five most frequent calls. And Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen, Washington tight end Jake Reed, Chicago tackle Vlad Ducasse and Pittsburgh offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum are all tied for the league lead in penalties with five each.

Week 2 aside, while penalties across the league are up, penalties against the Patriots over the first three games are down when compared to last year. Over the first three weeks of the regular season, the Patriots have been whistled for 22 penalties for 213 yards, a significant drop-off from last year ‘€” through three games in 2014, the Patriots were flagged for 30 penalties (third-most in the league) for a total of 322 yards (most in the NFL). Rob Gronkowski and David Andrews have been called for the most penalties (three each), while the offensive line has been whistled for seven penalties (a team-high when sorted by position). In addition, offensive holding (five penalties) has been the most frequently called penalty on the Patriots.

For some historical context, prior to last season, the Patriots have always been one of the least-penalized teams in the league. Through three weeks in 2013, the Patriots were flagged for 13 penalties (25th in the league) for a total of 116 yards (27th in the league). And through the first three games of 2012, New England was hit with 21 penalties (15th in the league) for a total of 163 yards (20th in the league).

“We always try to play penalty-free,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said when asked about the flags on Wednesday morning. “We haven’t had very many on defense, we had quite a few in our first two games in the kicking game, played penalty free last week, and then we’ve had too many on offense.”

To Belichick’s point, when stacked against the first three games last year, the Patriots have been able to cut down on defensive penalties. Part of that is likely because the points of emphasis that had an impact in the game in 2014 probably aren’t being as emphasized as heavily this time around, at least as it relates to New England. But at the same time, there’s been a slight spike in offensive and special teams flags for the Patriots when compared to the start of last year.

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Ryan Wendell (illness) still missing from Patriots practice

09.30.15 at 12:32 pm ET
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Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell

FOXBORO — With the rainy conditions outside and their next two games being indoors, the Patriots held practice inside the Empower Field House Wednesday, their only practice of the bye week, as the team will get Thursday-Sunday off.

The only player missing from practice was offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, who remains out with an illness. He has yet to play a game this season.

Players wearing black jersey’s to signify practice players of the week last week were: tight end Asante Cleveland, cornerback Justin Coleman, defensive tackle Khyri Thornton, wide receiver Keshawn Martin, safety Tavon Wilson and linebacker Darius Fleming.

New linebacker Jon Bostic was wearing No. 58 and Fleming has switched to No. 48.

With it being a bye week, there will be no practice report released today.

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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Patriots bye, Tom Brady and perfection hype

09.30.15 at 12:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price talk about what the 3-0 Patriots expect to accomplish during their bye week, areas of improvement, what Tom Brady has accomplished so far and the early talk of perfection and comparisons to 2007 only three games into the season.

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Rex Ryan: Patriots, Tom Brady ‘clearly trying to embarrass us’ in Week 2

09.30.15 at 12:08 pm ET
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Rex Ryan won’t let it go.

The Bills coach, asked about Buffalo’s next opponent — the Giants and Eli Manning — said he liked the fact New York beat Tom Brady and the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl because he was “not all the way over the Brady butt-kicking he did against us.”

Ryan then doubled-back to recall the 40-32 loss in Week 2 he and the Bills suffered against the Patriots, a game where Brady threw for 466 yards in the win.

“Our emotions got the better of us,” Ryan told reporters. “But I loved how we battled back when a team was clearly trying to embarrass us.”

Ryan and the Bills next face the Patriots in Week 11 in Foxboro.

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Jerod Mayo on OM&F: ‘We really don’t’ listen to media criticism

09.30.15 at 11:23 am ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday with the team riding high at 3-0 as it heads into its bye week. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

One year ago the Patriots were 2-2 and coming off a humiliating loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City. They then proceeded to turn things around in a big way, finishing 12-4 and winning the fifth Super Bowl of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.

Mayo said the players never let the negativity from fans and media affect them in 2014.

“We really don’t [listen to the media],” Mayo said. “That’s one thing we really don’t even talk about. It’s all about the guys in that room and the guys in the building. That’s where our focus is on.”

Mayo said he’ll use the bye week to get his house in order.

“You always try to make the bye week as productive as possible,” he said. “Get all the off-the-field stuff out of the way as far as stacking up your mail and returning all your calls and things like that so you can focus and finish the season well. Like you said, it’s early in the year, but at the same time we’re focused on [Week 5 opponent] Dallas and getting the New England Patriots better.”

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