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Mike Petraglia talks Jacoby Brissett, Chris Long, Barkevious Mingo

08.28.16 at 7:38 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Does Bill Parcells still keep in touch with Jacoby Brissett? Will Brissett start Thursday night against the Giants? And what does Chris Long think of the added talent on defense in Barkevious Mingo? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia has your Sunday report from Foxboro.

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Jacoby Brissett might start Thursday but admits his game still ‘a work in progress’

08.28.16 at 4:59 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Coming off a perfect 9-for-9 effort Friday night in Charlotte, rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett says he’s ready for whatever assignment he’s given this Thursday at MetLife Stadium in the preseason finale against the Giants.

Brissett threw for 83 yards and a 12-yard TD pass to DeAndre Carter over the middle.

Just how comfortable did Brissett feel?

“It’s a work in progress,” Brissett said Sunday afternoon after watching film. “Just trying to get better each day, step out there and learn from everything that happens in the game and practice.”

Bill Belichick left open the possibility of Brissett starting Thursday night, possibly playing the entire game. If that pans out, will Brissett change his approach or mindset heading in?

“No, not at all. You prepare every week as if you’re starting and go out there and make sure you’re on the same level as the guys on the field,” Brissett said.

As for the 9-for-9 efffort, “A good day but a lot of improvement to make a lot of things to get better at,” Brissett said.

There’s no question Friday lifted the confidence level of Brissett.

“Definitely, with progress and time, playing more, practicing more so you get more familiar with things that we’re doing. It’s still an ongoing process of learning and getting better,” he said.

But where does the most learning need to take place? For Brissett, it’s the playbook.

“Still learning it. I think every day until I leave here, I’ll still be learning something about it,” Brissett said. “Just battling each day and tackle new points and learn new things every day. Definitely but you see some of the things that you messed up on and could’ve done better. That’s the main thing you really take away from that situation.

“Every day is something new. You know that going into it but you actually see it and you’re like, ‘Alight, I understand.’ You never finish learning.”

His mentor, ex-NFL coach Bill Parcells has kept in touch with Brissett.

“Here and there,” Brissett said, adding that much of what the former coach told him has come to pass in the NFL so far. “A lot of it but he’s not the head coach here so you’ve got to listen to what your coach says, either if it’s good or bad. You do what you’re told to do.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Jacoby Brissett, New England Patriots

Robert Kraft issues statement on passing of former Patriots offensive lineman Bill Lenkaitis

08.28.16 at 2:39 pm ET
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The Patriots have issued a statement from owner Robert Kraft on passing of former New England offensive lineman Bill Lenkaitis, who played for the team from 1971-1981.

“Bill centered one of the greatest offensive lines, not just in franchise history, but in NFL history. In 1976, he helped propel the Patriots to an 11-3 record and our first NFL playoff berth. Two years later, the offensive line powered the Patriots to our first NFL division title, while setting the NFL rushing record. As a season ticket holder during his playing days, I was a fan of the player he was on the field. But, in my 22 years of ownership, I became an even bigger fan of the person he was off the field. He was a big man with an even bigger personality and a huge heart. As a Patriots alumnus, he remained active in our communities and regularly volunteered to support out Foundation’s many initiatives. He was a great Patriots ambassador and he will be missed. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.” 

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What can history tell us when it comes to how Bill Belichick assigns QB reps in preseason finale?

08.28.16 at 12:16 pm ET
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How should the Patriots split the QB reps Thursday against the Giants? (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

How should the Patriots split the QB reps Thursday against the Giants? (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady has played in just four preseason finales since he took over as the starting quarterback:

2015: DNP
2014: DNP
2013: DNP
2012: DNP
2011: 5-for-9, 116 yards, 15 snaps vs. Giants
2010: 4-for-8, 51 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 13 snaps vs. Giants
2009: DNP
2008: DNP
2007: DNP
2006: DNP
2005: DNP
2004: DNP
2003: 8-for-10, 63 yards, 1 TD, 12 snaps vs. Bears
2002: 7-for-10, 59 yards, 20 snaps vs. Redskins

In a usual year, this would be the type of game where Brady and backup Jimmy Garoppolo would sit for almost all of the evening while the third-stringer would go just about wire-to-wire. (Last year, Ryan Lindley played the whole game against the Giants.) But this isn’t you’re usual preseason. As a result, expect the workload for Garoppolo to resemble Brady’s 2010 and 2011 outings against the Giants — anywhere between 12 to 15 snaps or two series, whichever comes first, before yielding to Jacoby Brissett for the rest of the evening.

To add some context to the discussion, Garoppolo has played in one preseason finale while with the Patriots. That came as a rookie in 2014 — he played all 69 offensive snaps against the Giants and went 22-for-42 for 284 yards, with one touchdown, one interception and three sacks.

Read More: Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,

Former Patriots OL Bryan Stork ready to play for Redskins

08.27.16 at 10:46 pm ET
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It looks like Bryan Stork is still interesting in playing football.

The former Patriots offensive lineman, who had apparently been pondering retirement following a trade from New England to Washington earlier this week, said Saturday he was ready to suit up for the Redskins.

Stork was dealt from the Patriots to Washington for a conditional seventh-round pick. The former Florida State center was a fourth-round selector of New England in 2014, and played the last two seasons with the Patriots.

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Who will start at QB for Patriots in preseason finale against Giants?

08.27.16 at 7:59 pm ET
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Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett could all see some time Thursday against the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett could all see some time Thursday against the Giants. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

After spending last week wondering how Bill Belichick was going to divide the quarterback reps in the third preseason game against the Panthers, it looks like we’re all going to be asking the same question this week for the preseason finale against the Giants.

On a conference call with the media Saturday, Belichick said there are several things at play when it comes to making his decision: It’s the last chance for Tom Brady to get game reps until he starts his suspension. The game also represents one more opportunity for Jimmy Garoppolo to get fully ready for the regular-season opener. And the hope that Jacoby Brissett can continue to build on an impressive performance Friday against the Panthers. All have to figure into the game plan for Thursday’s clash with New York.

“We want to get Jimmy ready for the Arizona game,” Belichick said. “Tom isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them.

“We could play all three quarterbacks a lot [against the Giants] and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t. We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another.”

In the end, Belichick said “there’s no perfect solution.”

“They all need to get ready for different things,” Belichick said of the quarterbacks. “What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again.

“So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady

Bill Belichick on Jonathan Freeny: ‘He always does things right’

08.27.16 at 7:36 pm ET
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Jonathan Freeny

Jonathan Freeny

Hours after it was revealed linebacker Jonathan Freeny received a two-year extension, Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke very highly of the work that the 27-year-old has put in over the last year-plus to become a “very dependable player” for New England.

“He is able to do a lot of different roles for us,” Belichick said on a Saturday afternoon conference call. “He can play inside and outside on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He’s been very valuable for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size.

“A four-phase special teams player and one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training; he always does things right. He works hard, doesn’t say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think all of the other players — everybody in the organization looks up to him.”

The linebacker/special teamer played in 13 games last year with New England with 50 tackles (27 solo), one sack and one pass defensed.

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