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Martellus Bennett doesn’t buy into hype that surrounds third preseason game

08.24.16 at 1:40 pm ET
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Martellus Bennett meets the media Wednesday afternoon. ( photo)

Martellus Bennett meets the media Wednesday afternoon. ( photo)

FOXBORO — Martellus Bennett doesn’t buy into the fact that there’s more at stake in the third preseason game. For the veteran tight end, it’s simply another chance to work on his craft.

Bennett, who met the media for the first time Wednesday after an extended break from reporters, said the idea of the third preseason game being the game for starters to get a last chance at some work before the start of the regular season is a bit overrated.

All my snaps are full speed. I don’t slow down. I just go full speed. It’s just a regular game for me,” he said when asked about the third preseason game. “It’s just like the same, whether it’s regular season or preseason. The same.

“I put my pants on the same way. I put my shoes on the same way. Tie them the same way. The same gloves, the same face mask.”

For Bennett, the game reps aren’t necessarily more important than the practice reps.

“For me, it’s the same as practice. Just different color uniforms,” he said when asked about the difference between the two. “Just like taking what you’ve done on the practice field and doing it against somebody else that’s not the guy you see all the time. It’s just fun. It’s just football.”

Bennett has had an excellent camp and preseason, but still considers this stage of the summer another part of “the journey” that is the NFL season.

“I feel OK. I’m getting closer to where I want to be,” he said. “It’s a journey [and] I’m just enjoying the ride right now, and constantly working on my craft and constantly looking for different ways to get better and learn even more details of the offense. It’s a growing process, like anything else in life.

“There’s no part of my game that’s good. That’s the thing about football — you can play it all your life and you’ll never become the best at it. It’s just about constantly growing,” he added. “Everything could be better. Just every single thing.”

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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price detail Bryan Stork release, Jimmy Garoppolo reaction and Martellus Bennett

08.24.16 at 1:34 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo reacted to Bryan Stork’s release Wednesday, Nate Washington was released and Martellus Bennett spoke up for the first time in a while in the Patriots’ locker room. WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price have your update from Foxboro.

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Broncos DE Derek Wolfe: My favorite NFL player to tackle is Tom Brady

08.24.16 at 1:29 pm ET
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Broncos DE Derek Wolfe sacked Tom Brady once in the regular season and once in the postseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Broncos DE Derek Wolfe sacked Tom Brady once in the regular season and once in the postseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Broncos and Patriots have had some good battles over the last few seasons and the teams don’t exactly love one another.

On a recent Barstool Sports episode of “The Life” Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was asked who his favorite player in the NFL is to tackle.

“Tom Brady, duh,” Wolfe said. “I just don’t like quarterbacks in general. I have a lot of respect for them, don’t get me wrong, but I like competing against the best, so in my mind I have to hate you. Sorry.”

Wolfe sacked Brady once in the regular season matchup last season and also again in the AFC championship game.

There was also a story last offseason where Wolfe told Brady he wanted to “eat his kids.” Wolfe cleared that story up as well.

“OK, so there is a story behind that,” he said. “That was not directed at Tom Brady. That was actually a whole different team. It was the Chargers. It was Philip Rivers. We were going back and forth the whole game and I said some things I should’ve had said probably, but I was pissed off. T.J. was misspoken when he said I said that about Tom Brady. It was not Tom Brady. Sorry, Tom for the misunderstanding.”

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Source: Patriots release veteran WR Nate Washington

08.24.16 at 10:03 am ET
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Nate Washington

Nate Washington

The Patriots have released wide receiver Nate Washington, according to a league source.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder out of Ohio’s Tiffin University was signed by the Patriots in March as a veteran free agent. He has been in the league 11 seasons, six of them with the Titans, four with the Steelers and one with the Texans. The 32-year-old has 458 career catches for 6,954 yards and 44 touchdowns. He had the best season of his career in 2011 with Tennessee, when he finished with 74 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.

Washington struggled to stay on the field consistently over the course of the summer and was faced with serious competition at the back end of the receiver depth chart.

Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net first reported the news.

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Patriots reportedly set to release C Bryan Stork

08.24.16 at 9:24 am ET
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Bryan Stork

Bryan Stork

The Patriots are set to release center Bryan Stork, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 25-year-old Stork was a fourth-round pick out of Florida State in 2014 and had a terrific start to his NFL career, helping stabilize the New England offensive line at a key point that season. He played very well through that stretch, so well that we gave the 6-foot-4, 314-pounder our Franchise Rookie of the Year award that season.

But an inability to stay on the field because of injury over the last year-plus — he played in only eight games in 2015 — and the ascension of undrafted free agent David Andrews combined to leave Stork on the outs.

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Bill Belichick faces ‘$64,000 question’ on personnel decisions in next 2 weeks

08.23.16 at 5:59 pm ET
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Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.57.15 PM

Bill Belichick addresses reporters about the pending roster decisions in the weeks before the season opener Sept. 11. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — It’s a balancing act that Bill Belichick has, for the most part, mastered over his 17 years in Foxboro.

Weighing current production against potential. Weighing established veterans against younger, cheaper talent. Deciding between proven performance and future gain.

On Wall Street, it’s the stock market every day. In Foxboro, and around the NFL, the futures business can be just as dicey. And this is the busiest and riskiest time of the year. Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio have begun to trim the roster down in an effort to reach the 75-player limit for Aug. 30 and the final 53-man limit for Sept. 3.

The Patriots must decide between the proven commodity of Donald Brown and the unknown in D.J. Foster. They must get more reps for Jonathan Jones, Justin Coleman and Cre’Von LeBlanc to see how to best round out their secondary. There are very subtle battles going on at the back end of the roster (as Chris Price noted) and those battles need exposure in games for coaches to reach difficult decisions.

The Patriots are still in an enviable position of having elite talent at the top end and trying to round out their roster with quality depth. But that job has become all the more crucial with the losses of Sebastian Vollmer (hip) and Dion Lewis (knee) and the possible downtime with players like Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich and Shaq Mason.

Belichick was asked Tuesday how difficult it is, this time of year, trying to decide whether or not to keep a player that the team may want to work with in the future or cut him at the risk of that player landing with another team.

“That’s the $64,000 question. That’s what it is. It’s been like that since the day I got into this league,” Belichick said. “From all of the personnel meetings I’ve ever been in it’s a [matter of] a player who’s more experienced [and] more ready to help the team now, versus a player that’s not as ready now but at some point you think the pendulum will swing in his favor. Will you do that? Can you do that? What are the consequences of making that move? What are the consequences of not making that move? How likely, as you said, is it that you could keep both players in some capacity? That’s what it’s about, trying to balance now with later.

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Tom Brady hasn’t thought about what he’ll do during Deflategate suspension

08.23.16 at 3:53 pm ET
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Tom Brady didn't have much to offer on what he will do during his Deflategate suspension. (Mike Petraglia/

Tom Brady didn’t have much to offer on what he will do during his Deflategate suspension. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — With Tom Brady suspended the first four games of the season because of Deflategate, many have speculated what he will do during those weeks as he isn’t allowed to be at the Gillette Stadium facility, or have any contact with his teammates.

Some have thought he might call former teammates Randy Moss and Wes Welker to work out with him to keep him in as close to game shape as possible.

On Tuesday Brady was asked directly what he will do during that time and the quarterback said he hadn’t really thought about it.

“I haven’t put much thought into it,” Brady said. “It’s been busy, obviously with the practices and so forth. We’ve still got a couple important weeks for this training and for this phase of the season. I want to put all my effort and thoughts into this week and next week, try to go out and play in a couple good preseason games, see if I can get some of that game action and then deal with that when it comes.”

After Sept. 3, eight days before the season opener, Brady will leave Gillette Stadium and not be back until Oct. 3, six days before the team’s Oct. 9 game in Cleveland.

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