|09.04.14 at 11:08 am ET|
During his Wednesday press conference in Foxboro, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about former teammate and close friend Wes Welker, who was suspended four games by the league for violating the league’s PED policy.
There have been reports that Welker took a recreational drug while attending the Kentucky Derby in May, and that’s what prompted the positive test. Welker, who has denied the accusation, was spotted spending time with Brady that day.
When asked Wednesday if he saw Welker take anything, Brady let out a big laugh and said, “I’ve got no comment on that, no.”
Do you think Tom Brady knows more about Wes Welker's alleged drug use?
- Yes, he has to be aware of what Welker was doing (50%, 199 Votes)
- No, just because they're friends doesn't mean Welker couldn't hide something from him (50%, 196 Votes)
Total Voters: 395
|09.03.14 at 10:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Going into last season much of the talk surrounding the Patriots offense was how would the chemistry between Tom Brady and the wide receivers be, as without Rob Gronkowski to open the season, Brady was missing 87 percent of his pass completions from 2012.
This year it is an entirely different tune, as Brady returns 97 percent of his pass completions from 2013 with the only departures being Austin Collie, Matthew Mulligan and LeGarrette Blount.
With a year under their belts, Brady and his receiving core have much more continuity than they did a year ago, just because of the pure amount of time they have spent on the field working with one another.
“The more we’re on the same page, the better we’re going to be,” Brady said. “Offensive football is about anticipation and about having a lot of trust and confidence in one another. I think we built on that. We’re always going to make mistakes out there because football is really not a game of perfect, but we’re going to try to do it as perfectly as we can. Every week, you hope it’s good enough to win the game.
“I hope we’re at a better place than we were last year because we started pretty fresh last year. We certainly have some new players, some new additions who are doing different things. Different guys are playing some different spots. But everyone’s kind of got to find a role for themselves, and then we go out there and let it rip and see where we’re at. And if it doesn’t work, then we reevaluate, and if it works, then we keep doing it.”
Receiver Julian Edelman has spent the most time out of any wide out working with Brady as he’s been his quarterback for all five of his seasons in the league. Edelman says the biggest key for building chemistry with Brady, and any quarterback for that matter, is consistency.
“To earn any quarterbacks trust, not just Tom’s you have to be consistent and that is going out there in drills — little things, routes, routes on air drills, 7-on-7s, 1-on-1s — showing him that you can consistently do your job and that is getting open and catching the ball,” Edelman said.
Building chemistry with a quarterback doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of time and hard work goes into it, which is something Edelman has noticed from his fellow wide receivers — second-year players Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, veteran Danny Amendola and especially Brandon LaFell, the lone newcomer to the group after being signed by the Patriots this past March.
|09.03.14 at 7:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Now that the dust has settled and Logan Mankins is officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots offensive line has moved on and begun life without the former captain and nine-year member of the team.
Dan Connolly was named an offensive captain Wednesday for the first time in his nine years in the league, but he knows he can’t individually take over for what Mankins left, as it is going to take a group effort.
“I think as a whole offensive line we have a good group of guys,” Connolly said. “We didn’t just follow one guy. Yes, [Mankins] was our leader, but we all take it upon ourselves to kind of take over that role and I guess they’ve elected my as an offensive captain. It’s an honor. Everybody has to do their part to get ready for the game.”
The 32-year-old’s story is unique as he played in just two games in his first two seasons in the league with the Jaguars and then joined the Patriots’ practice squad for two more seasons before appearing in four games during the 2009 season. Over the past four years, Connolly has started in 54 of 57 games. Even with that, entering this year, he was looked at by some as a possible cut because of his $3 million salary as a lineman at age 32.
Seeing first-hand how his perseverance paid off, naturally he can be looked up to by some of the younger players on the team.
“Everything’s been worthwhile the entire way — just having a job,” Connolly said. “Right now, it’s a great honor but we have a game this week so I’m going to put all my focus into that.”
While it remains to be seen exactly where Connolly will play on the line this coming week — he’s played center as well as right and left guard over the course of his career — he’s already speaking like a Patriot captain would.
“We each individually need to do our job and we know our opponent that is in front of us and we each need to go out there, prepare and play tough,” he said.
|09.03.14 at 6:30 pm ET|
The Patriots waived defensive tackles Kelcy Quarles and Bruce Gaston and released practice squad long snapper Charley Hughlett on Wednesday, according to ESPN.
Quarles was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Sunday, while Gaston was acquired after being released by the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Hughlett was picked up after the team released long snapper Danny Aiken as part of their final cuts.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|09.03.14 at 5:55 pm ET|
Perhaps the biggest reason for this optimism is that the Patriots have one of the best quarterbacks in history running an offense that’s been in place, essentially since he and Bill Belichick arrived in 2000.
Toss in the familiarity with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the weapons of Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen, and one can see there are plenty of options and answers on offense. Quite simply, if something isn’t working right out of the gate in a game, Brady has and will switch gears without hesitation.
Take away the deep ball, and he’ll look for Gronk down the seam or go to Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley to loosen things up at the line of scrimmage. Play off the line of scrimmage and you’ve got Edelman, Danny Amendola and Gronkowski and now Tim Wright doing damage underneath and in open areas.
So if one phase of the game plan meant to catch the opponent off guard, Brady says he and the staff move quickly onto another. And on Wednesday, he gave some interesting insight as to how he and McDaniels move on.
“Pretty quickly. Part of the advantage of experience is you don’t have to wait until the next day to figure out how to make a correction versus a particular look or front or coverage or blitz or something like that. We have enough inventory in our offense to immediately move on to the next thing over the course of maybe a play for Josh, maybe a series for me when we go over there and get a chance to talk about what they’re doing and how they’re trying to defend us. There is always some uncertainty on opening day because they’ve been preparing for us a long time, we’ve been preparing for them a long time,” Brady said.
“Hopefully we’re doing a lot of things that they’re not working on this week, but that’s kind of the advantage of opening day. And vice versa, there’s an advantage for them. How that all evens out, we’ll see. Ultimately, it comes down to the fundamentals, and we work really hard on fundamentals because if the guy is open and I can’t hit it, it’s bad. If they can’t cover us, that’s bad for them.
|09.03.14 at 5:41 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski (knee) was one of four Patriots who were limited at practice on Wednesday, as New England continues preparations for the regular-season opener against the Dolphins in Miami.
Gronkowski, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Browns last December, has been working his way back over the course of the spring and summer. He proclaimed himself good to go on Monday but Patriots coach Bill Belichick pumped the brakes, saying that he was “glad that Rob’s optimistic about his situation,” but that the team will make the ultimate decision on his playing status.
Here’s a look at the complete report:
DE Michael Buchanan (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
DT Chris Jones (ankle)
DT Sealver Siliga (hand)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|09.03.14 at 5:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the 2014 season opener for the New England Patriots as they travel to South Florida on Sunday to take on the Miami Dolphins. Petraglia and Price talk about what head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady had to say about their 15th season in the NFL together and what it means for the Patriots’ chances of having another very successful season and getting the season off on the right foot.
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