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Patriots announce Dr. Thomas Gill stepping down as team medical director

04.10.14 at 2:14 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday that Dr. Thomas Gill will “end his tenure as medical director with the team” because he’s stepping down as the chief of sports medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Sports Medicine to focus on his private practice.

According to the team, Dr. Matt Provencher will take over Gill’s role.

Here’s the complete statement from the team on the move.

“After well over a decade of service with the New England Patriots, Dr. Thomas Gill has stepped down as the chief of sports medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Sports Medicine to focus on his private practice which will subsequently end his tenure as medical director with the team. We have always had the chief of sports medicine at MGH serve as the team’€™s medical director and will continue to work with MGH to provide those services. We greatly appreciate the many years of dedicated service and innovation that Dr. Gill provided our team and wish him well in the future. We will continue to work with MGH Sports Medicine to provide our medical services and look forward to receiving the level of care and expertise that MGH has been providing the New England Patriots since our team’€™s inception. Dr. Matt Provencher is the new chief of sports medicine at MGH and will become the team’€™s new medical director.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: LSU RB Jeremy Hill

04.10.14 at 9:17 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

JEREMY HILL

Position: Running back

School: LSU

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 233 pounds

Achievements: 2013 AP first-team All-SEC, 2013 coaches second-team All-SEC

What he brings: Hill isn’t a back who will amaze you with his speed, but he is a big, physical player who hits the line and churns his legs. His big frame, effective vision and deceptive cutting ability make him a battering ram who punishes defenders. His 4.66 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine was not great, elevating concerns about his speed. Analysts note that Hill has a tendency to lose his balance, and there are concerns about his tendency to carry the ball with one hand.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: Hill, 21, spent three seasons at LSU, playing two after redshirting his first year. He ran for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013, and 755 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. In the 2014 Outback Bowl Hill ran for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns and was named MVP after the Tigers beat Iowa. … Hill comes with some baggage. He was charged with a misdemeanor battery for an April 2013 incident in which he was videotaped striking a man outside a bar. Hill pleaded guilty and was charged with community service and paying the man’€™s medical expenses. While a senior at high school in Baton Rouge, La., Hill pleaded guilty to forcing an underage girl into performing a sexual act.

Related articles:

Profootballtalk.com: LSU’s Jeremy Hill owning up to his past for NFL teams

CBSSports: Star tailback Jeremy Hill is back at LSU, but don’t blame Les Miles

Video: Here are Hill’€™s 2013 highlights against Florida.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Jeremy Hill,

Four incredibly early thoughts on Patriots 2014 preseason schedule

04.09.14 at 3:43 pm ET
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The Patriots unveiled their 2014 preseason schedule on Wednesday afternoon. While the specific dates and times have yet to be announced for all four games, here are four thoughts on how things shape up at this point:

— The Patriots have held joint practices at least twice a year three of the last four years (the lockout in 2011 prevented scheduling those types of get-togethers that season), and so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see joint practice scheduled with the Eagles prior to their Week 2 game in Foxboro. Pals Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly worked together in Philly prior to last year’s preseason opener, and so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see then run it back again this summer.

— The matchup with the Redskins will be the first preseason contest for New England against Washington since 2009 when Albert Haynesworth fell on Tom Brady, crunching the quarterback’s shoulder. This time around, the Week 1 will feature the most high-profile offseason additions on either side of the ball — Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson against New England cornerback Darrelle Revis.

— The third game of the preseason is always the one where the starters will go extra minutes, and provide the best chance to see how the No. 1 offense and defense look with the regular season looming. This time around, that will be against the Panthers in Foxboro. The Carolina offense has lost a lot this offseason, and that third game should be a good measuring stick to see if it will be able to replicate the success it had in 2013, despite losing so many offensive options around quarterback Cam Newton. (Also, if the NFL had a sense of humor, it would assign Clete Blakeman to work the game.)

— It wouldn’t be the last weekend of the preseason if the Patriots and Giants didn’t play. This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Patriots and Giants will meet in the preseason, and the 24th preseason meeting in all between the two teams. Last year, the Patriots beat the Giants, 28-20 — the game was marked as Tim Tebow‘s last game in New England. He played the entire second half, and went 6-for-11 for 91 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to rookie wide receiver Quentin Sims.

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Pats will face Eagles, Panthers, Redskins and Giants in 2014 preseason

04.09.14 at 3:23 pm ET
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The NFL unveiled the 2014 preseason schedule on Wednesday, and the Patriots will host the Eagles (Week 2) and Panthers (Week 3), while traveling to face the Redskins (Week 1) and Giants (Aug. 28, Week 4). Specific dates and times for all four games will be announced shortly.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Brandon Spikes takes shot at Patriots, equates his time in New England to slavery

04.09.14 at 2:49 pm ET
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Former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes took some shots at his old team on Twitter Wednesday.

Spikes, who signed with the Bills as a free agent, started with some relatively good-natured trash talk about playing the Patriots twice in 2014.

 
He then followed up with this one, a not-so-veiled shot at his four seasons in New England.

 
The occasionally controversial linebacker then spent his time blocking Patriots fans who — presumably — took issue with the comments. For what it’s worth, the last time Buffalo swept the season series with New England was 1999.

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Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents

04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie

Can Patriots’ past preseason slate tell us what might be in store this summer?

04.09.14 at 12:52 pm ET
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With the Patriots preseason schedule set to be released Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., here’s a look at the last 10 preseason slates for New England.

2004: vs. Philadelphia, at Cincinnati, at Carolina, vs. Jacksonville
2005: at Cincinnati, vs. New Orleans, at Green Bay, vs. N.Y. Giants
2006: at Atlanta, vs. Arizona, vs. Washington, at N.Y. Giants
2007: at Tampa Bay, vs. Tennessee, at Carolina, vs. N.Y. Giants
2008: vs. Baltimore, at Tampa Bay, vs. Philadelphia, at N.Y. Giants
2009: at Philadelphia, vs. Cincinnati, at Washington, vs. N.Y. Giants
2010: vs. New Orleans (joint practices), at Atlanta (joint practices), vs. St. Louis, at N.Y. Giants
2011: vs. Jacksonville, at Tampa Bay. at Detroit, vs. N.Y. Giants
2012: vs. New Orleans (joint practices), vs. Philadelphia, at Tampa Bay (joint practices), at N.Y. Giants
2013: at Philadelphia (joint practices), vs. Tampa Bay (joint practices), at Detroit, vs. N.Y. Giants.

Based on this, we can reasonable assume a couple of things when it comes to the 2014 preseason schedule.

— The Patriots will likely their preseason slate at MetLife Stadium against the Giants. New England has faced the Giants nine straight years in the preseason finale, alternating between games in Foxboro and North Jersey. This year, it figures to be a trip to Jersey.

— There will be a series of joint practices with a Bill Belichick ally. Maybe another visit with either the Falcons, Saints or Eagles?

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