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Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga signs with Patriots

10.22.13 at 7:25 pm ET
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Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga has apparently agreed to a deal with the Patriots. The 23-year-old Tweeted from his personal account Tuesday evening with news of the agreement.

The 6-foot-2, 325-pounder out of Utah was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 by the Niners, but released prior to the start of the season. Shortly after that, he was picked up by the Broncos and added to their practice squad. He played one game in 2012 with Denver, and was dealt to the Seahawks this past August, and spent time on their practice squad this past season.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots’ skill position players

10.22.13 at 4:44 pm ET
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Every week over the course of the regular season, we’€™ll present a list of the Patriots’€™ ‘€œoffensive touches,’€ a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. Seven weeks into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2013:

RB Stevan Ridley: 84 (78 rushes, 6 catches), 8 negative rushes, 1 negative reception, 1 fumble lost
RB LeGarrette Blount: 54 (54 rushes, 0 catches), 6 negative plays, 1 fumble lost
WR Julian Edelman: 48 (2 rushes, 46 catches)
RB Brandon Bolden: 42 (27 rushes, 15 catches), 2 negative runs, 1 negative reception
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 23 (0 rushes, 23 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 22 (0 rushes, 22 catches), 1 negative reception
RB Shane Vereen: 21 (14 rushes, 7 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 19 (19 rushes, 0 catches), 19 sacks, 10 kneeldowns, 2 fumbles lost
WR Danny Amendola: 17 (1 rush, 16 catches), 1 negative reception
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 (0 rushes, 8 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 8 (0 rushes, 8 catches)
WR Austin Collie: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
RB Leon Washington: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)
TE Matthew Mulligan: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
WR Josh Boyce: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)

Some offensive notes: The Patriots ran 70 plays on Sunday against the Jets, and 44 of them were in shotgun, a rate of 63 percent. That’s a season-high for shotgun totals for New England — their previous high was 55 percent against the Bengals. To this point in the season, the Patriots have been in shotgun formation on 234 of their 500 offensive snaps, a rate of 47 percent. (Last year through seven games, the Patriots were in the shotgun 49 percent of the time.) ‘€¦ Against the Jets, the Patriots were in no-huddle for 11 of their 70 snaps, a rate of 16 percent and a significant drop off from the 53 percent rate they posted the week before against the Saints. On the year, the Patriots have operated in a no-huddle on 72 of their 500 plays from scrimmage — 14 percent of the time. ‘€¦ New England has run 500 offensive plays this year in seven games. Not counting kneeldowns, 38 have been for negative yardage. Of the 70 plays on Sunday against the Jets, five went for negative yardage ‘€” four sacks of Brady and a negative reception for Ridley. ‘€¦ Through seven games last year, the Patriots had run 547 plays and gained 3,053 total net yards, an average of 5.6 yards per play. Through seven games this year, it’s 500 plays, 2,388 total net yards, an average of 4.8 yards per play. … For more comparisons, check out what the offensive looked like through seven games last year.

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Bill Belichick: Jets were ‘using the play’ themselves on field goal attempt

10.22.13 at 4:19 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick may want to move on from Sunday’s overtime loss to the Jets, but he hinted Tuesday during his conference call with reporters that he’s still a little ticked off by how the “pushing rule” was enforced.

Sunday’€™s game ended in controversy, as the Patriots were called for breaking the NFL’€™s new ‘€œpushing rule’€ while Jets kicker Nick Folk attempted a 56-yard field goal to win the game in overtime. Folk missed that kick but Chris Jones was called for pushing Will Svitek into the Jets offensive line. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike call was made giving the Jets a new series of downs.

Four plays later, Folk took advantage and connected on a 42-yard attempt, giving New York the 30-27 win.

Following the game, various reports surfaced that Jets coach Rex Ryan had tipped off the officials that the Patriots have used this push technique.

Belichick was asked if it bothers him that there’€™s a report that the Jets tipped the officials off about the push play.

“Well, I mean, since they were using the play themselves I don’€™t even know about all that,” Belichick said. “But basically, we’€™re just moving on here.”

It would appear Belichick was referencing Stephen Gostkowski‘s 44-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining that sent the game to overtime.

Replays of Gostkowski’s kick show Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples lined up to the left of teammate Muhammad Wilkerson, looped behind Wilkerson, and his right arm then pressed up against Wilkerson’s back as he then pushed Wilkerson, who then fell over snapper Danny Aiken and guard Logan Mankins.

No penalty was called on Gostkowski’s kick.

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What the return of Andre Carter means for Patriots

10.22.13 at 2:07 pm ET
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Three thoughts on the return of Andre Carter to New England:

1. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has long made a habit of collecting veteran defensive linemen and using them to coach up and mentor some of the younger players at the position. It was a tradition that started with the addition of Anthony Pleasant and Bobby Hamilton in 2001 and continued with Keith Traylor and Carter in 2011. (It’s a policy that’s had mixed results — while Pleasant, Traylor and Carter played important roles as mentors for Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork, Albert Haynesworth was also a veteran lineman who came to New England at a similar stage of his career. Him, not so much.)

As a result — without Wilfork in the lineup for the rest of the year and Tommy Kelly facing an uncertain future because of a knee injury — it’s reasonable to think that Carter has been added to a positional grouping as a mentor for younger defensive ends like Michael Buchanan, Jake Bequette and Chandler Jones, as well as the rest of a defensive line that features rookies like Joe Vellano and Chris Jones and second-year player Marcus Forston. He’s a smart guy who commands respect in the locker room, and will be welcomed with open arms by a team that has lost some significant leadership on the defensive side of the ball.

2. You have to figure he still has a little something left in the tank. He shouldn’t be expected to instantly step in and be an every-down presence for New England, but if the Patriots can have him work as a rotational pass rusher, monitor his snaps and use him appropriately, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t have an occasional impact at defensive end.

3. While he did have some positional versatility earlier in his career, Carter is not a defensive tackle, so he should not be expected to step in and instantly provide depth and support in the trenches. What he does do is give you some ability to shift some guys around and utilize some of the versatile players they do have along that defensive front seven. Chandler Jones has spent some time this season working occasionally at defensive tackle, and Carter could provide an edge presence when Jones is kicked inside. (The Patriots previously have been using Buchanan on the edge in those situations.) There’s also the possibility — however remote — that the Patriots could consider occasionally moving the smart and versatile Rob Ninkovich from his defensive end spot to outside linebacker (a position he’s played before) and have Carter take some of those snaps at defensive end in his place. That would allow Ninkovich to provide depth at a linebacker spot that is still looking to rebound from losing Jerod Mayo for the season. Carter’s arrival opens up some new possibilities that the Patriots didn’t have before.

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Fantasy Football: Week 8 waiver wire

10.22.13 at 11:26 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 8 waiver wire. Thankfully, Week 7 is over. There was a lot of action and injuries this past weekend. And, with all the byes we’€™ll be seeing over the next two weeks, there will be a lot of competition on the waiver wire and in free agent bidding. We’€™ve got you covered. As usual, if you play in large formats and are looking for a deeper selection of talent, you can check out my expanded waive wire over at I’€™ll be back on Friday with the Week 8 starts and sits plus my weekly podcast with Jim Hackett.


Terrelle Pryor, Raiders 

He’€™s healthy now and coming off his bye week. If you are hurting at QB, Pryor can help you as a strong matchup play on most weeks. The Raiders have underrated weapons in the passing game, and Pryor gets points with his feet as well as his arm. It’€™s no fluke, and he is still available in 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Jake Locker, Titans

He’€™s playing better than he’€™s played as a pro, and if he can get his hip back to full health, he may be a fantasy asset down the stretch. His schedule lightens up nicely, though he does have his bye this week. Locker is still out there in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Josh McCown, Bears

It appears that Bears starter Jay Cutler will miss a month or more with a groin injury. McCown becomes a guy to roster in large formats with 12 teams or more. He may not be special, but he’€™s got a good team around him and a quarterback guru as a head coach. McCown is available in almost all leagues.

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Report: Veteran DE Andre Carter will sign with Patriots on Tuesday

10.22.13 at 11:20 am ET
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Veteran defensive end Andre Carter will re-sign with the Patriots on Tuesday, according to ESPN. Carter, who spent the 2011 season with New England, is a 34-year-old who has also played for the Niners, Redskins and Raiders over the course of his career.

Carter had 10 sacks in 14 games in his one season with the Patriots. However, a quad injury late in the season cut his year short, and had to watch from the sidelines as the team reached the Super Bowl. There was mutual interest between him and the Patriots about a possible reunion in 2012, but the two sides couldn’€™t make it work and he landed in Oakland. A 6-foot-4, 260-pounder, he has 78.5 career sacks over the course of his career.

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Adam Schefter on D&C: ‘I don’t believe’ Jets coach Rex Ryan alerted refs to Patriots’ push move

10.22.13 at 11:08 am ET
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the Patriots’ Week 7 loss to the Jets, as well as other news from around the NFL.

Sunday’s game ended in controversy, as the Patriots were called for breaking the NFL’s new “pushing rule” while Jets kicker Nick Folk attempted a 56-yard field goal to win the game in overtime.

The call against New England gave Folk the chance to attempt an easier 42-yard field goal, which he subsequently made, giving New York the 30-27 win.

Following the game, rumors spread that Jets coach Rex Ryan had tipped off the officials that the Patriots have used this push technique.

However, Schefter said that he doesn’t believe that was the case.

“Nope, I don’t believe that. I mean, I’m not going to tell you that that’s not the case, I don’t believe that,” Schefter said. There aren’t many people who know the rules better than Bill Belichick, and I think that he went through these drills in camp this summer, and taught these guys, at that point, certain things that you could do. I think there seemed to be some sort of discrepancy about what was in the rulebook and what was being called on the field.

“If you heard Belichick yesterday during the press conference, he excused the player, he put it on him that that’s what we taught during training camp, and that’s what I sense happened. That’s my read into it. … Let me say this, if Rob Ryan had indeed alerted Rex Ryan to that fact as you guys believe or sense, my guess is that Rex wouldn’t have saved it, he would have used it earlier.”

Tom Brady has gone through one of the roughest seasons of his career, as he has posted a 55.4 completion percentage with just eight touchdowns in seven games.

“I don’t know if [people] think [Brady’s] losing it. I mean, we’re talking about one of the greatest players who’s ever played the game, period,” Schefter said. “Now, he’s not as bad as people are saying, and he’s not as good as people are saying. But I will say this: What I have heard about him this season is that he has not been overly sharp, he has not made great decisions, he has not been Brady-like in delivering the ball. … He has been off.

“He has not been the same. It has not been the same and I don’t know why. … To me, there still are few quarterbacks in the league that I’d rather have, and I don’t think he’s losing it. I just think it’s one of those years where, again, you see the talent that surrounds people and how it affects them.”

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