|09.19.14 at 2:19 pm ET|
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, who missed Thursday practice as he became a father for the third time, made his weekly appearance with Middays with MFB on Friday to preview Sunday’s home opener against the Raiders.
The Raiders come in at 0-2, but Mayo said the Patriots aren’t overlooking them.
“This is the third game of the season. Some teams are 0-2, but it really doesn’t describe how a team is,” Mayo said. “This is a veteran-led team. They have a of older guys, a lot guys who know how to play football in this league and have won a lot of games. So we’re not overlooking Oakland at all. Obviously we’re excited to open up here at Gillette. Hopefully it’s a good game.”
Derek Carr is the only rookie quarterback starting this season, and the second-round pick from Fresno State has shown some promise.
Said Mayo: “He has a huge arm. He’s also very mobile. He’ll get outside the pocket. A lot of people don’t talk too much about his athleticism, but this guy can run. He can make all the throws. And he seems like he’s a smart guy. They’re obviously not trying to do too much with him, being a rookie, but at the same time, he can make all the throws and make all the plays. It will be a challenge for us up front trying to get pressure on him as well, and in the back covering these receivers.”
Fellow linebacker Dont’a Hightower is off to a strong start this season.
“Ever since I came into the league, he’s always been a student of the game. He’s always studying,” Mayo said.”I think it starts in the classroom. This guy’s asking questions, asking questions, asking the right questions. And it’s translating over to the field. He’s a very big, athletic guy that can run, and he can do a lot of different things for us. He’s a versatile player. Whatever the coaches ask him to do, he’s willing to do, and he’s been helping us these first couple of weeks.”
The Patriots defense dominated the Vikings on Sunday after allowing a touchdown on the first series, helping New England to a 30-7 victory.
“Obviously the score says it all. We were excited about that. We were able to get after him early in the game. I think it’s all about winning first down, getting those long-yardage situations — second-and-10, third-and-8 — and then letting those guys pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. It was exciting to see last week. We’re on to Oakland now, and we have to continue to build on that.”
|09.19.14 at 1:17 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to talk about commissioner Roger Goodell, who is scheduled to break his silence and address the media in a press conference Friday afternoon. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
“This is essentially him coming out to defend the league, to admit wrongdoing, because I think everybody would agree that the league just got this wrong along the way,” Schefter said. “There are so many layers to this and so many levels to it that the league just messed up. And they’re going to have to own it. And we’ve heard the owners say, ‘Oh, we want to make it right, we want to get it right.’ And I’m sure you’re going to hear Roger Goodell utter a similar message. But I would think and hope that you would expect more from Roger Goodell. He’s the leader of the NFL. He’s making $44 million a year. He’s the most important man arguably in all of sports. Somebody with that power, with that responsibility, should have an incredible message to deliver today. We’ll see what that is.”
Schefter said he isn’t sure what Goodell will be allowed to say based on the legality of the situation, but he’s hopeful the commissioner is forthcoming.
“I think Roger Goodell has to be as transparent as possible. Period,” Schefter said. “Now, there may be certain legal limits as to what he can say about Robert Mueller’s investigation or whatever it may be. But I think it’s in everyone’s best interests for Roger Goodell to be as transparent and as honest as possible.”
Regarding the possibility that Goodell punishes himself for the league’s mishandling of the recent issues, Schefter said that’s unlikely.
“I think there’s a disconnect between the public perception of Roger Goodell and the ownership’s feelings on Roger Goodell,” Schefter said. “I think the public, by and large, disapproves of the job he’s done, has lost respect for his leadership skills and abilities, questions his credibility, and has less faith in him than it’s ever had. I think we all could agree with that, that’s the universal public feeling — not universal, the majority of the public.
“I think ownership still believes that Roger Goodell has done a great job. He procured a tremendous CBA for the owners. He’s got television contracts that are lucrative beyond words. He got labor peace. He brought stability and profitability to the NFL. And so the owners, by and large, are very happy with Roger Goodell. Now, I think, and I’ve spoken to some who are curious to see what Robert Mueller’s investigation turns up. And should it turn up that he lied, which is going to be difficult to prove, I think, but should it somehow be proven, then he’s going to be out of office.
“But it’s one thing to say that he’s going to be out of office and it’s going to be proven that way, and it’s another thing to actually go do it. I am skeptical that they’ll be able to find that evidence or prove it, that he blatantly lied. Now, in the bylaws of the NFL constitution it talks about having the best interests of the league at heart and reflecting positively, and I think we all could debate whether or not that’s happened over the last few months.
“But I don’t see Roger Goodell saying, ‘And because we missed the Ray Rice decision I’m going to find me four game checks,’ or, ‘suspend me for two weeks,’ or whatever it may be, because ownership believes in him.”
|09.19.14 at 12:19 pm ET|
For a second straight day, the Patriots had perfect attendance at practice Friday.
Three players were wearing black jerseys, signifying their achievement as practice players of the week. Practice squad running back Jonas Gray, practice squad linebacker Ja’Gared Davis and defensive lineman Joe Vellano were all wearing their black jerseys on Friday as the team worked out in sweats and shells.
Ten players were listed as limited from Thursday’s practice, including Don Jones, who is nursing a hamstring injury. Julian Edelman (back), Rob Gronkowski (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh) were also listed as limited Thursday but were out on the field practicing again Friday.
The Patriots are continuing preparation for their home opener this weekend against the Raiders.
|09.19.14 at 11:22 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 3 starts and sits. Between injuries, suspensions, deactivations and the like, the average fantasy football GM’s head is spinning. I know mine is. As always, I will avoid the easy calls. I’m not here to tell you what to do with players you’d never consider benching.
I’ll be back Sunday morning with my partner in crime, Jim Hackett, for another Fantasy Football Hour. Check it out! We’re on air from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on 93.7 FM. If you sleep in, you can listen right here on WEEI.com. In addition, I’ll be here, as always, with a chat on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Head on over if you have any lineup questions.
If you are looking for info on players not listed in this article, go to Rotobahn and check out my full Lineup Rankings. I’ll be updating them over the weekend, as always. And, to keep track of all things fantasy football at both Rotobahn and WEEI, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I always tweet links to new articles.
He’ll shine in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. Wilson’s an underrated fantasy QB and he’ll give you some touchdowns this week. He’s playable in all formats.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers at Cardinals
Kaepernick’s always a solid play and should get it done this weekend in a tough divisional matchup. Yes, he has some injuries to his tight ends, but San Francisco has more offensive depth than in the past. Start Kaepernick if you normally would.
Kirk Cousins, Washington at Eagles
He’s not an ideal option because he’s got injuries to his tight ends and receivers, but he’ll also be playing in a high-scoring game and his team will not be in close-it-out mode at the end. Washington is far more likely to be throwing the football in the fourth quarter. Cousins can help you in deep formats.
Joe Flacco, Ravens at Browns
He’s playing decent football, but the Browns are looking tough at home and can take his receivers away for much of the game. Flacco is playable, but this is a week to look for other options if you can.
Derek Carr, Raiders at Patriots
It may be tempting to start him in a deep league because he’ll be throwing a lot and playing from behind, but I hate playing rookie quarterbacks against Bill Belichick defenses. I’d avoid doing so if possible.
|09.19.14 at 11:02 am ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss league news, including the domestic abuse problem. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice, among others, have dominated the headlines the last couple of weeks because of their domestic abuse cases and the league’s reaction. Harrison said the few players who have done bad things off the field have overshadowed the good people in the league.
“It’s really unfortunate because you have five or six guys involved in these domestic disputes,” Harrison said. “It’s really sickening because you have some of these guys doing positive stuff across the league. Unfortunately four or five guys take away the body of work that everyone else is doing. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. There’s never a room or space to hit a woman, to lay your hands on a child like that. It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the victims. It’s heartbreaking because these young men are putting their careers on the line, their reputations, everything they worked for. It’s sad. I feel bad for everyone.”
The recent domestic violence cases in the league have made some wonder whether these issues are only known because of modern technology. Many believe incidents like the ones occurring lately have been happening for years throughout the league.
Said Harrison: “I think with the emergence of social media and cameras, there’s a chance of it getting out a lot more. Back when I played, when I first came into the league, things would happen and you would hear conversations in the locker room. Players would say certain things about what’s going on at home. Some guys would say, ‘Hey, man, you shouldn’t be in that situation. Hey, man, you should walk away.’ Obviously with the social media thing everything comes front and center with the public.”
Callahan was surprised Harrison did not have fiery comments regarding the NFL’s problems this week during the pregame show on “Sunday Night Football.”
“People want me to say something controversial, people want me to say something they can take and run with,” Harrison replied. “I’m a football analyst. Yes, I have to analyze certain situations that go on. And I’ve done that. I’ve talked about this. I just told the guys, ‘Hey, let’s just talk football. There are a lot of great things going on in the football world.’ ”
|09.19.14 at 10:56 am ET|
FOXBORO — Without technology, most in today’s society would be lost. Without Dan Famosi, Bill Belichick would be lost when it comes to preparing his team in today’s NFL. That’s what the Patriots coach admitted Friday when heaping praise on the Patriots IT guru.
“We’ve had to adjust to new methods of technology, teaching, apps and different things we’re not familiar with that our players are that will help them,” Belichick said.”I think the apps are certainly convenient. Guys can be getting treatment in the training room and watching iPad. It’s a lot easier than when I came into the league when you had to take a projector and a roll of film home and watch it. Now everybody has that. They have the access to it where before they had to take our film and put it on VHS, not that any of our players would know what a VHS is.
“They would pop it in their TV and watch it. That’s what we had to work with. We progressively worked through those stages and now we’re into another stage. It’s been very educational for me and I’d say I’ve learned on a lot of our IT people, like Dan Famosi. He’s done a tremendous job in coordinating all of this. Also, our coaches who have, in some cases, have used it with other teams or organizations they’ve been with. It’s been brought to our attention this is how another team is doing it and then one of our coaches or scouts will then go and find out how somebody else is doing it and see how we can apply it to us.”
Starting in the preseason and now in the regular season, the Patriots coaching staff has started to use Microsoft Surface tablets [pictured] on the sidelines. That’s a move Belichick would never consider if he didn’t feel his staff was prepared for going into games.
And before a play is called on Sunday, Famosi is the guy Belichick turns to if he needs a play, team or player on film processed on his tablet device for distribution to the team or even his coaching staff.
“Dan’s really been the guy for us who has taken all that stuff to the level that we’re at and just daily handling all the moron coaches like me who can’t turn it one or can’t get from one view to another to our players, the compatibility and accessibility of all the information,” Belichick said. “There’s a ton of information, and being able to access and utilize it is the key to doing that. We spend a lot of time on it and the organization is committed to it but on a daily, hands-on basis, he does a tremendous job.
“You think about people like Paul [Brown], Vince Lombardi, Sid Gillman in a picture, I think of them next to a projector with a film running. I have still a lot of films in my personal possession. I don’t even know if I have anything to watch them on. It’s been obviously a huge change. Film technology and teaching and being able to do cut-ups and I do something and I can share with somebody else.”
|09.19.14 at 1:11 am ET|
With the events of the last two weeks, it’s now become stop-the-presses news when an NFL star shows up on TMZ.
But the latest “bombshell” involving a member of the Patriots turned out to be harmless, when the news outlet tracked down one of Tom Brady‘s old construction bosses.
In the wake of Brady releasing his college resume via Facebook Thursday, TMZ apparently found one of his old employers, Dudlar & Sons Inc., where he spent the summer of 1997 doing manual labor in Michigan. The boss, Frank Dudlar, told TMZ that Brady was a model employee, despite the fact that he had long hair and “was a real skinny kid.”
“He’d scrape concrete curbs with a push broom and shovel,” Dudlar told TMZ. “Brady was the hardest worker that I’ve ever had. I remember my son Gunnar came in one day and said, ‘That Brady kid’s a worker.’ ”
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