|12.03.14 at 6:09 pm ET|
Bill Leavy has been assigned to work as the referee for Sunday night’s Patriots-Chargers game, according to FootballZebras.com.
This marks the second New England game of the year for Leavy and his view — he was previously the lead official for the Nov. 16 game in Foxboro between the Patriots and Jets.
Leavy gained a small measure of infamy for his performance in Super Bowl XL (which he later apologized for). He was also part of a minor flap last weekend when Cincy head coach Marvin Lewis threw an illegal challenge flag at the end of the Bucs-Bengals game in hopes of drawing Leavy’s attention to the fact that Tampa had 12 men on the field.
Leavy has worked in the league as an official since 1995, and was promoted to referee in 2001.
Here’s a look at who has worked as the lead official for each New England game this year, and the corresponding penalties for each game, not counting the flags that were offset or declined.
Sept. 7 at Miami: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 100 yards (Dolphins — 4 penalties, 26 yards)
Sept. 14 at Minnesota: Tony Corrente — 15 penalties, 163 yards (Vikings — 7 penalties, 58 yards)
Sept. 21 vs. Oakland: Pete Morelli — 6 penalties, 59 yards (Raiders — 6 penalties, 49 yards)
Sept. 29 at Kansas City: John Parry — 3 penalties, 30 yards (Chiefs — 4 penalties, 35 yards)
Oct. 5 vs. Cincinnati: Jerome Boger — 12 penalties, 114 yards (Bengals — 4 penalties, 37 yards)
Oct. 12 at Buffalo: Walt Coleman — 9 penalties, 60 yards (Bills — 8 penalties, 107 yards)
Oct. 16 vs. Jets: Bill Leavy — 9 penalties, 64 yards (Jets — 7 penalties, 70 yards)
Oct. 23 vs. Bears: Brad Allen — 7 penalties, 38 yards (Bears — 5 penalties, 41 yards)
Nov. 2 vs. Denver: Walt Anderson — 9 penalties, 71 yards (Broncos — 10 penalties, 72 yards)
Nov. 16 at Indy: Pete Morelli — 5 penalties, 53 yards (Colts — 4 penalties, 27 yards)
Nov. 23 vs. Lions: Tony Corrente — 11 penalties, 89 yards (Lions — 9 penalties, 54 yards)
Nov. 30 at Packers: Ed Hochuli — 4 penalties, 25 yards (Packers — 4 penalties, 22 yards)
Dec. 7 at Chargers: Bill Leavy
For more on Leavy’s work as a referee, check out his page at Pro Football Reference. For more information on this week’s assignments, click through to the always reliable Football Zebras. And for more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|12.03.14 at 4:37 pm ET|
Patriots fans can stop worrying about whether Josh McDaniels will be distracted by the Florida head coaching job.
A source tells FOX Sports that the Gators are closing in on a deal with Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain to take over for the ousted Will Muschamp starting in 2015. Muschamp went just 10-13 in the last two seasons in Gainesville. Yahoo! Sports first reported that the school and McElwain were closing in on an agreement on Tuesday.
This would be a return to the SEC for the 52-year-old McElwain, who spent four seasons on Nick Saban‘s staff at Alabama as the offensive coordinator. He has spent the past three seasons revitalizing the Rams program, going 4-8 in his first season to 8-6 in 2013 to this year’s 10-2 mark. One of those 10 wins was a 24-21 come-from-behind victory over Boston College on Sept. 27 at Alumni Stadium.
Florida AD Jeremy Foley has publicly listed several requirements for Muschamp’s replacement, saying his next coach had to have high integrity, character and needed to be a fit at Florida. This is the second straight season McDaniels’ name came up in rumors about a head coaching vacancy. Last January, he interviewed with the Cleveland Browns to replace Rob Chudzinski and was considered a leading candidate before turning them down.
Florida was rumored to be interested in speaking with McDaniels but nothing ever materialized.
McElwain’s pro-style offense has led the Rams to eye-opening numbers this season. They are No. 3 in the nation in passing efficiency, No. 7 in passing offense and No. 7 in third down offense. The Gators struggled badly on offense in the Muschamp era, which included quarterback Tyler Murphy in 2013 before he transferred to Boston College this season.
|12.03.14 at 2:48 pm ET|
By our math, Brady had an average of 2.21 seconds to throw from snap-to-release in Sunday’s game. As always, it’s worth nothing with these numbers that sometimes they are game plan based, with quick wide receiver screens and other factors, but the 2.21 seconds is low for Brady’s standards this season, particularly during the seven-game win streak.
In Weeks 2-4, the quarterback averaged 2.1 seconds from snap-to-release by our numbers, including a season-low 1.96 seconds against Kansas City. By contrast, against the Jets in Week 7 the quarterback had a season-high 2.58 seconds and then 2.41 seconds a few weeks later against the Colts. The increased time to throw is both a product of the offensive line’s play stepping up, as well as Brady’s ability to move in the pocket and create more time on his own.
The individual plays themselves, opposed to the average against the Packers get even lower. Brady only had eight plays all game where he had more than 2.6 seconds to throw, including only two in the second half. The Patriots had three passing plays of 20 yards or more, and on those plays he had 3.5, 3.51, 2.75 seconds respectively.
“We got behind early, but we fought back and we hung in there all game,” Brady said on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning. “Finally, we had the opportunity to go ahead and we just couldn’t do it. We were kind of trying to climb the mountain all day and we were right at the top, and we had an opportunity to get there, and we kind of let it flounder away. I think that was the real frustrating thing for all of us. … These sit with you for a little bit and you have to move on and move past them. You have to focus your energy on the next opponent because it doesn’t get any easier for us.”
|12.03.14 at 2:37 pm ET|
Stevan Ridley recently underwent knee surgery after a season-ending injury in an October loss to Buffalo, but it looks like the running back is up and around. He posted this video to Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.
|12.03.14 at 1:43 pm ET|
As the Patriots are in San Diego preparing for Sunday’s game with the Chargers, the team departed with three openings on its practice squad. They filled out the practice squad on Wednesday by signing three players — cornerbacks Daxton Swanson and Justin Green, as well as linebacker Deontae Skinner.
Here is a portion of the release from the team:
Green was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 1, 2014 after being traded from New England to Dallas on Aug. 15, 2014 for defensive tackle Ben Bass. Skinner and Swanson were released from the New England practice squad on Nov. 26.
Green, 23, originally signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Illinois on July 21, 2013, and was released at the end of training camp before being re-signed to the practice squad. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder played in two regular-season games with the Patriots last year after spending most of the season on the practice squad.
Skinner, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State on May 12, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 26 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1. He was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Sept. 13 and played in seven games with one start, accumulating 10 total tackles and three special teams tackles. He was released on Oct. 29 and signed back to the practice squad on Oct. 31.
Swanson, 23, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept 1, 2014 and then released from the practice squad on Sept. 3, 2014 before being re-signed on Sept. 17. He was originally signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 22, 2014. Swanson entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Indianapolis Colts on April 30, 2013, out of Sam Houston State. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder was released by the Colts on Oct. 29, 2013 and was signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Nov. 18, 2013. He was released by San Francisco on May 12, 2014.
|12.03.14 at 10:22 am ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver and current Huffington Post writer Donte’ Stallworth joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss various topics around the NFL, including the latest on the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Since Rice won his appeal with the league in late November and was allowed to return to football, it has been a mystery whether a team will sign the running back to play again.
“I think he’ll get a second chance,” said Stallworth, who himself got a second chance in the NFL after being suspended for the 2009 season due to his DUI manslaughter conviction. “I think there will be something out there that will give him a second chance. He made a horrible decision and he’s acknowledged it. It’s something similar to my situation, I think that he’s got a lot of work to do, and he knows that. Naturally, he wants to get back to playing football. He’s a really good player, still young. He’ll be turning 28 I think next month. … He’s still young, he’s still got some juice left in his tank, and I think he’s ready to get back and prove to society that he deserves a second chance as well.”
Peterson is suspended for the rest of this season, but Stallworth said he believes Peterson will return to the league at some point in the future.
Said Stallworth: “I think it’s going to take some time. The NFL and obviously the players, but the NFL as whole has taken some hits this year with the domestic violence cases and some other issues. I think at the end of the day, I can’t speak personally to Adrian Peterson‘s case because I don’t know him personally, but I do know Ray and his wife. And I know that they’re working to get back to trying their best to live a normal life as a family, as a couple, as mother and father and husband and wife. Ray’s a good man. And I say that without caution because of something of one instance that he did in his life doesn’t make him a horrible person. But he did make a horrible decision and I think he acknowledges that and he understands that it was a horrible decision. He was always a model citizen in Baltimore, that one of the things that he was always praised for in the community.
“He’s got a little ways to go to earn back the trust of the community and earn back the trust of the NFL fans. And if he gets the trust of an NFL team, then he’ll be playing.”
|12.03.14 at 9:44 am ET|
Thanks to DailyMVP, even a telemarketer named Gary can feel like Tom Brady. This video shows a certain future Hall of Fame quarterback trash talking for the daily fantasy sports site, DailyMVP.com.
Love that hair, Tom, er Gary.
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