|04.09.14 at 3:43 pm ET|
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.
|04.09.14 at 3:23 pm ET|
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.
|04.09.14 at 2:49 pm ET|
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.
‘ BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014
‘ BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014
He then followed up with this one, a not-so-veiled shot at his four seasons in New England.
4 years a slave
‘ BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014
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.
|04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
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.
|04.09.14 at 12:52 pm ET|
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?
|04.09.14 at 9:52 am ET|
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 in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Offensive tackle
School: Ohio State
Weight: 309 pounds
Achievements: 2013 first-team All-American (ESPN.com), 2013 second-team All-American (Walter Camp, Sports illustrated, FWAA)
What he brings: Mewhort is a versatile player with strong leadership ability that led to him being named a captain by both his teammates and his coach. He showed his durability by starting the final 39 games of his college career (spanning three seasons). Analysts note that he plays high at times, leaving him vulnerable to bull rushes.
Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3
Notes: Mewhort was part of an offensive line that was part of 24 consecutive victories between 2012 and ’13 and broke the school records for points scored (637), touchdowns (87), touchdown passes (38) and yards per carry (6.8) this past season. … Mewhort lost his scholarship for the summer of 2012 after he was arrested and pleaded guilty for public urination and running from police along with teammate Jake Stoneburner.
The Lantern: Carlos Hyde, Jake Mewhort among Ohio State football players responsible for program’s image at NFL combine
Video: Here are some highlights of Mewhort (No. 74) against San Diego State this past season.
|04.09.14 at 12:09 am ET|
Three Tuesday night pre-draft thoughts on the Patriots, quarterback and receiver workouts and possible Boise State prospects:
1. In the wake of the Patriots’ decision to meet with Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, the news that they are also set to break bread with LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger (first reported by NFL Media’s Albert Breer on Tuesday) probably isn’t all that surprising. Mettenberger isn’t considered to be a top prospect, but he could be the annual quarterback pickup the Patriots seem to make every year. The 6-foot-5, 224-pounder threw for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year before suffering a torn ACL in the season finale against Arkansas. A big, strong-armed pocket passer who reminds some of current backup Ryan Mallett, Mettenberger is expected to be a mid-round possibility and is a far more realistic pickup for New England than either Bridgewater or Manziel.
In other quarterback-related news, Tony Pauline reported the Patriots will work out Logan Thomas on Wednesday. The Virginia Tech product stands 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds, and threw for 9,003 yards and 53 touchdowns over the course of his college career. Last season he was 227-for-402 for 2,907 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 picks. Considered an elite athlete who was considered one of the best prep tight ends in America before the went under center as a collegian, he could conceivably find a spot at the next level as a receiver or tight end. Regardless, his athleticism should be enough for a team to take a shot at him on the third day of the draft.
2. The Patriots are scheduled to put three Boise State players through their paces on Wednesday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn and offensive linemen Matt Paradis and Charles Leno are all set to take part in a workout with New England coaches and a few Boise State players, per a league source.
Boldewijn is a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder who caught 76 passes for 991 yards and six touchdowns over the course of his career at BSU, which includes 39 catches last season. Boldewijn grew up in Amsterdam, and as a result came to the game of football relatively late in life. As a result, he’s still considered slightly raw, but an improving prospect who is a possible late-round pickup.
Paradis is a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder who has started the bulk of his college games at center for BSU. A walk-on defensive lineman, he grew into a key part of the Boise State offense — he started each of the Broncos‘ 13 games at center in 2012 and was part of an offensive line unit that ranked sixth nationally in sacks allowed, at 0.77 per game. He is also a two-time All-Mountain West center, named to the first team in 2012, and second team in 2013.
Here’s a highlight package of his work at BSU.
Leno, who stands 6-foot-4 and checks in at 303 pounds, is another All-Mountain West first-teamer who started every game the last three years for BSU, most of which came at tackle. While he did make his bones on the outside at tackle over the course of his college career, some believe he might have the versatility and body type to make a move inside to guard or center at the next level.
3. Wide receiver is not considered to be an overwhelming position of need for several reasons for the Patriots heading into next month’s draft — with three players who just finished their rookie year, it’s already one of the youngest positions on the team. In addition, there’s the fact that they have re-signed Julian Edelman and inked Brandon LaFell. But keeping in mind there could be several reasons for a pre-draft visit, it is interesting to hear more and more talk about the Patriots holding pre-draft meetings/workouts with receivers. It was noted by Anwar Richardson of Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks — who has worked out for the Patriots and Panthers — will visit the Jets later this month. The 5-foot-10, 189-pounder out of Oregon State is considered one of the better receivers in this year’s draft ‘ the Biletnikoff award winner set the Oregon State and Pac-12 records for catches with 128, receiving yards with 1,730 and touchdown catches with 24 as a junior in 2013.
In addition, according to Pauline, the Patriots are set to work out another wide receiver on Wednesday, D.J. Coles from Virginia Tech. Coles is a 6-foot-4, 238-pounder who was sidelined for almost the entire 2012 season because of a knee injury but had 25 catches for 387 yards and a team-best six touchdowns last season. He’s projected to be a Day 3 pick.
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