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Peter King on D&H: The Patriots are ‘the best team in football’

12.11.10 at 11:43 am ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined the Dale & Holley show for his weekly visit to talk about all things NFL including the downfall of Josh McDaniels, whether the Jets should be worried about Mark Sanchez and how hard it is to vote for receivers for the Hall of Fame.

King said that the Patriots win over the Jets solidified their place as the top team in the league, and also reinforced concern about Sanchez. “The one lesson I take from that game,” King said. “Sanchez really worries me [now].”

About the Patriots, King said, “They’€™re the best team in football right now. With all due respect to Atlanta and Green Bay and whoever else, Chicago, I don’€™t know how you watch them in recent weeks [physically handle] the Steelers. I’€™ve been so, so impressed by them, especially this past week. I’€™m ripping Sanchez but the Patriots had something to do with that too. I just think they’€™re rounding into the kind of shape you need to be rounding into in December.”

More highlights from the interview are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cris Carter, Josh McDaniels, Mark Sanchez, Peter King

How cold will it be Sunday? Bill Belichick says look at the scoreboard

12.10.10 at 5:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What’s a chilly breeze in mid-December on the frozen shores of Lake Michigan? No big deal to Bill Belichick. After all, he’s been there, done that.

On Sunday, Jan. 5, 1986, the 15-1 Bears hosted the Giants on the artificial turf of the old Soldier Field, which allowed much more wind to blow in off Lake Michigan than the current model. It was 18 degrees with a wind of 16 miles an hour, making it feel like 3 above.

The game started in the sunshine at 11:30 a.m. CT. The wind that day was a much bigger deal than the cold as a gust came up and caused Giants punter Sean Landeta to whiff on a punt that Shaun Gayle returned five yards for a TD and the 21-0 rout of the Giants, with Belichick in his first season as defensive coordinator.

“I don’€™t think we played our best game,” Belichick recalled Friday. “The Bears were a good football team, no doubt about it. We had a good drive going early in the game [and] fumbled the ball. We didn’€™t play good on defense, gave up a couple of touchdowns, [and] had the bad field position play on the punt.

“We just weren’€™t as good as they were that day. We had some opportunities and didn’€™t take advantage of those opportunities that we had and they made more plays than we did.”

Whether it was the sun or the numb feeling of the losing to the team that would eventually storm to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots, Belichick said Friday that game at Soldier Field wasn’t the worst game he’s been through.

“Honestly, I didn’€™t think it was that bad,” Belichick said. “It’€™s cold at the end when you’€™re getting beat 21-0. It could be 70 degrees and feel cold then. I didn’€™t think it was [bad]. It was cold, but I didn’€™t think it was that bad.”

This time around, the game won’t begin until 3:15 p.m. CT. Game-time temperatures are expected to hover around 17 degrees but a wind gusting up to 30 MPH could make it feel like 20-30 below.

Wes Welker was joking around that he puts himself in the freezer before cold games.

“If I wear sleeves, you know it’s cold,” Welker said. “I’m not saying I’m not going to but if I do, it’s for my health. Snow is never that bad. If it’s a snow game, I’m all for the snow.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Chicago Bears, cold

Analyzing the loss of Brandon Spikes

12.10.10 at 5:06 pm ET
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The loss of Brandon Spikes for the final four regular-season games of 2010 will leave the inside linebacker spot a little thinner than the Patriots might like, but will open up more playing time for both Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher.

Spikes, who was second on the team in tackles through the first 12 games of his rookie season, won the starting job early in the season, and had started eight games to this point in the year, with 71 tackles, good for second on the team. Primarily a first- and second-down player for the Patriots through the first three-quarters of the 2010 season, he was replaced on third downs and passing situations by Guyton, who was the starter for the duration of the 2009 season on the inside next to Jerod Mayo.

Now, Guyton figures to move into the spot full-time over the course of the next four games while Spikes is on the sidelines. In addition, Fletcher, who has started to come on nicely over the last few weeks, will move up on the depth chart and likely see more time as a result of the decision on Spikes. Tracy White ‘€” who is more of a special teams player ‘€” could also be called on in a pinch to provide some depth at the inside linebacker spot.

On another note, the ownership cannot be happy with Spikes, as this is the second time the rookie out of Florida has put the organization in a bad light ‘€” earlier this year, it was discovered he was involved in a explicit sex tape that turned up on the Internet.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton,

Bears rule out LB Piso Tinoisamoa vs. Patriots

12.10.10 at 4:42 pm ET
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The Bears have ruled linebacker Piso Tinoisamoa out for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Here’s their complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
LB Piso Tinoisamoa (knee) Out

Full Participation
LB Nick Roach (back) Questionable

Read More: Piso Tinoisamoa,

Patriots Injury report

12.10.10 at 4:35 pm ET
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The Patriots have three players who did not participate in Friday’s practice who have been ruled as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. Here’s the complete injury report:

Did Not Participate
NT Myron Pryor (back) Questionable
CB Jonathan Wilhite (hip) Questionable
DL Mike Wright (concussion) Questionable

Limited Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot) Probable

Read More: Jonathan Wilhite, Mike Wright, Myron Pryor,

Source: Brandon Spikes suspended 4 games for banned substance

12.10.10 at 4:10 pm ET
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According to a league source, Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes has been suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’€™s banned substance rule. The suspension was first reported by the Boston Herald.

Spikes reportedly will not appeal the suspension and hopes to return for the playoffs. Spikes’€™ suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Patriots’€™ active roster on Monday, Jan. 3 following the team’€™s final regular season game on Jan. 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Spikes is eligible to participate in all playoff games.

Spikes issued a statement through the team on the incident: ‘€œI’€™ve been contacted by the NFL and informed that I will be suspended four games for the detection of an illegal substance in a drug test. The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me. I understand the league’€™s ruling and apologize to my teammates, the fans and the Patriots organization for this mistake.’€

The Patriots selected Spikes with the 62nd overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft after his four-year career at Florida. Spikes is currently fourth on the team with 61 tackles this season. This is the second incident this season that has brought unwanted attention on Spikes ‘€” earlier this year, it was discovered that he was involved in a sex tape.

Read More: Brandon Spikes,

Pats practice: Brandon Spikes misses again

12.10.10 at 12:14 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes was again missing from the open portion of Patriots practice on Friday as the team held its final outdoor practice on a cold and blustery Gillette Stadium field in sweats and shells.

Spikes also missed Thursday’s practice and the team said the absence was “not injury” related. Safety Patrick Chung returned to practice on Friday after also missing with a non-injury related issue. Also missing Friday were defensive linemen Mike Wright (concussion) and Myron Pryor (back) and defensive back Jonathan Wilhite (hip).

Newcomer Chevis Jackson – wearing No. 41 – was in attendance and took part in practice. Jackson, who turns 25 Saturday, was brought in for depth in the secondary with the lingering injury to Wilhite.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Chevis Jackson, Chicago Bears, injury report
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