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Who’s ready for the NFL Draft?

01.19.11 at 12:55 pm ET
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The end of the Patriots’€™ season means the beginning of draft season, and that’€™s both crushing news for some and delightful news for others. Just like last year, we’€™ll have plenty to prepare you for this year’€™s draft. We’€™ll start this week by highlighting some positions the Pats could go after with their stockpile of draft picks.

Given the Richard Seymour trade and the Armanti Edwards highway robbery (the Panthers gave up their second this year for a third-rounder so they could select the Appalachian State quarterback in last year’€™s draft) among others, the Patriots’€™ currency in this year’€™s draft is very top-heavy. This isn’t as deep a class as last year’s, but the Pats have plenty to work with. Here’€™s what their picks look like:

First round

No. 17 overall (from Raiders)
No. 28 overall

Second round

No. 33 overall (from Panthers)
No. 60 overall

Third Round

No. 74 overall (from Vikings, Randy Moss trade)
No. 92 overall

Fourth Round

(Slot depends on compensation picks in third round)

Fifth Round

(Slot depends on compensation picks in previous rounds)

Sixth Round

From Saints, David Thomas trade. (Slot depends on compensation picks in previous rounds).

Stay tuned as we begin highlighting each position we feel the Pats could look at.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,

D&C report: Tom Brady may have suffered foot injury

01.19.11 at 11:31 am ET
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On Wednesday’s Dennis & Callahan show, John Dennis reported that multiple sources indicated Tom Brady suffered a foot injury either before or during the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets on Sunday.

Brady was listed on the injury report before the game as having a right shoulder/foot injury. That’s how he was listed since the middle of the season. He was listed with just the shoulder injury since the start of the campaign.

There also were rumors that Brady was sick Sunday, but Brady denied that during his WEEI Patriots Monday appearance on Dennis & Callahan. “I didn’t have the flu,” he said. “I felt fine.”

Brady did admit to feeling the effects of a hit to his upper body on a strip sack Sunday, saying, “Yeah, they got me pretty good. It’s just a bruise. It’ll be fine, though.”

He went on to make a general reference to surgery and rehab and said, “Fortunately, I won’t have any of that.”

Read More: Tom Brady,

Matt Chatham on D&C: Patriots were ‘absolutely blocking for a punt fake’

01.19.11 at 11:01 am ET
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Former Patriots and Jets linebacker Matt Chatham joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to talk about Sunday’s playoff game in Foxboro. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Chatham said he was “totally shocked” watching the Jets upset the Patriots. He said the Patriots’ inability to execute and the “skittishness” of Tom Brady stood out to him more so than any strategical decisions. “If I were to think about one thing that I wish the Patriots would have done, it would be to execute the plays they did call,” he said.

Chatham spent a few minutes talking about the botched fake punt in the second quarter, when Patrick Chung dropped the snap and was tackled short of a first down. A former special teams standout, Chatham said he doesn’t think he would have made the same call. “Sometimes there’s some beauty in being young and not having that kind of perspective, because it might allow you to do some things that will make you a hero,” he said of Chung, the second-year defensive back who accepted responsibility.

Steve DeOssie said earlier this week on The Big Show that the Patriots linemen appeared to be blocking for a punt, suggesting that there was confusion on the Patriots side, but Chatham disagreed. “With all due respect to Steve, I’ve watched it now [on tape] and they’re absolutely blocking for a punt fake,” he said.

Chatham also noted that the Jets gunner on the right side, where the play was to be run, came charging on the inside, which would have made things more challenging had Chung caught the snap cleanly.

Asked about the Wes Welker suspension, Chatham said he was surprised, but, “I don’t think it really had any impact on what happened.”

Chatham said he doubts Welker is letting it fester. “I’m sure his emotions in regards to the football game are mountains above any little thing that happened with a couple of plays that he missed,” Chatham said. “I think that’s relatively immaterial. It’s such a huge letdown ‘€” those kinds of losses with those kinds of expectations ‘€” that it’s got [so] little to do on a guy’s mind at this time of year. He’s hurting for many other reasons than that.”

Read More: Matt Chatham, Patrick Chung, playoffs, Wes Welker

Fireman Ed: Patriots fans put bounty on my Jets helmet

01.19.11 at 10:21 am ET
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Ubiquitous Jets fan “Fireman Ed” Anzalone said Patriots fans placed “a bounty” on his Jets fireman helmet as he tried to leave Gillette Stadium on Sunday following the Patriots’ 28-21 loss.

The retired New York City firefighter said it’s not uncommon for fans to target him at away Jets games, but on Sunday, “getting out of there was no small task.” Explained Anzalone to Newsday: “One guy grabbed my helmet and threw it on the field. He went to take it and run away with it, but Jets fans tackled him.”

Anzalone credited stadium security and did not want to make too much of the incident.

Read More: Ed Anzalone, Fireman Ed, Jets, Patriots

Ex-Patriots’ assistant Josh McDaniels joins St. Louis as offensive coordinator

01.18.11 at 7:38 pm ET
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The Rams have hired former Patriots’ assistant Josh McDaniels as their new offensive coordinator, the team announced via Twitter on Tuesday. McDaniels, who was an assistant in New England starting in 2001, was offensive coordinator in New England from 2006 through 2008 before taking over as head coach in Denver for nearly two seasons. He fired by the Broncos last month with a 3-9 record following a videotaping scandal.

Read More: Josh McDaniels,

Ron Jaworski on The Big Show: Brady ‘began to see ghosts’ on the field

01.18.11 at 3:53 pm ET
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ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, after reviewing the coaches’ film of the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets, credited New York for their defensive execution. At the same time, he expressed surprise at the number of opportunities missed by the New England offense, particularly quarterback Tom Brady.

“Obviously, a disappointing effort from the Patriots. I was surprised they played as poorly as they did,” Jaworski said. “I’€™m going to be honest with you guys. I looked at tape. There were some plays on the field that Tom Brady did not see. I think Tom began to play a little bit fast, and the term I use, he began to see ghosts. There were some opportunities, particularly early in the game, a key third-and-3, he had Danny Woodhead out of the backfield in the flat, he doesn’€™t throw the football. It’€™s a play that Tom has probably seen 50 times this year and completed 50 times. For some reason, he didn’€™t throw the football. I don’€™t know if he got spooked by the interception or what, but he did leave some plays on the field.

“I think he had a poor game,” Jaworski added. “He’€™s always been really good at that movement in the pocket, those subtle little moves to the left or right or up in the pocket that allows some time for the receivers to uncover. I just felt that at times he had those opportunities and he kind of flinched. There was a perception of pressure, and at times it wasn’€™t there. It was awkward to me to see Tom reacting that way. When bodies weren’€™t around him, he was perceiving pressure.”

Jaworski said that the Jets did not blitz on a high percentage of plays, but that they did so enough to change the timing and rhythm of Brady, the offensive line and receivers. He praised the play of cornerback Darrelle Revis, suggesting that he turned the contest into a “10-on-10″ game. He also suggested that the Jets — who had as many as seven defensive backs on the field — employed a strategy used to great effect by Bill Belichick and the Patriots against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, chipping receivers to throw off the rhythm of the passing game.

The analyst (and former NFL quarterback) also noted that the Patriots offensive line did not have its best game against the Jets’ defensive front. Though he said that the call for a punt fake was an excellent one — and that “the play would have worked” but for Patrick Chung fumbling the snap — he expressed surprise that the Patriots did not try to take advantage of tight end Aaron Hernandez to create matchup problems for the Jets and that the Patriots did not exhibit greater urgency on their almost eight-minute drive in the fourth quarter.

“There just didn’€™t seem to be a sense of urgency,” said Jaworski. “It was a great drive if it was in the first quarter. … I was very surprised by the lack of urgency to get the plays running.

To listen to the interview, visit The Big Show’s audio on demand page. For complete Patriots coverage, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New York Jets, playoffs, Rex Ryan

Phil Simms on D&H: Wes Welker benching ‘didn’t surprise me’

01.18.11 at 2:04 pm ET
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CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms was a guest of the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday. Simms, who called the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets with Jim Nantz on Sunday, was asked about Rex Ryan‘s defensive game plan, which clearly frustrated Tom Brady and the rest of the New England offense.

“He [Ryan] wasn’t worried about the outside throws against his defense,” said Simms, who also noted that it helps to have great players such as Darrelle Revis. “Because he knows he has those two corners, which were really very good matchups against the Patriots wide receivers. And he was rewarded. So he can basically take nine guys and play them from one end of the formation inside to the other’€¦ No matter how good you are, you can’t beat those kind of numbers, and Tom Brady couldn’t either.”

Simms told Dale and Holley that Ryan is a unique figure in the NFL, and isn’t surprised that the head coach of the Jets is so popular with his players.

“It’s nothing like we’ve never seen in the NFL, it’s nothing like we’ve seen in professional sports,” said Simms of Ryan. “He says what’s on his mind, and players on his team react well to it. ‘€¦ He lets the players have a free reign and it’s working well for him right now, no question.”

CBS was first to report the benching of Wes Welker, doing so right before kickoff on Sunday. Simms ‘€” who said CBS learned of the plans of bench Welker “about a minute or two before kickoff” ‘€” was asked if he was surprised that Bill Belichick chose to discipline Welker.

“It didn’t surprise me,” said Simms. “I thought that when Wes Welker did his tongue-in-cheek thing on Rex Ryan this past week I thought, ‘OK, well he must have got the OK to attack the Jets a little bit.’ But apparently he did not have the OK, so he paid the price by missing the first series.”

Simms did not have a problem with the Patriots’ apparent lack of urgency toward the end of the game. The Patriots offense ‘€” down 10 points in the fourth quarter ‘€” took eight minutes to run a 14-play drive that included seven rushes, a drive that ultimately ended on downs.

“I don’t know, if they hurried up was that going to give them another possession in the game?” Simms asked. “I don’t think so, and in fact I’m convinced it wouldn’t.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
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