Archive for May 24th, 2012

Joseph Addai ready for a fresh start in New England

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Joseph Addai takes a handoff from Tom Brady on Thursday. (AP)

In the confines of Gillette Stadium, it’s easy to forget the harsh reality that nothing lasts forever in sports. Injuries happen, players get older, and new formidable opponents arise. And, sometimes, this can happen all at once in a flash, as with the case with Joseph Addai.

The seventh-year running back knows about mortality in the NFL from both a team and personal perspective. He experienced immediate success as a rookie with the Colts as part of a team that won Super Bowl XLI. Things only improved for Addai in the subsequent seasons playing alongside the likes of Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, and Reggie Wayne. In fact, the Colts averaged 12 wins a year in his first five seasons in Indy.

But in 2010 Addai missed half the season because of a shoulder injury, and the Colts season ended when they were upset at home by the Jets during wild card weekend. And the Colts would be dismantled just a year later after Indy limped to a 2-14 record, largely due to injuries to their stalwarts. Addai was no exception, missing four games due to a nagging hamstring injury. Despite playing in four more games than he had in the prior season, last season Addai had career-lows in rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns.

At the conclusion of the forgettable campaign, Addai was cut loose by the Colts, and earlier this spring, he signed with his former team’s longtime nemesis, the Patriots. Now, with his new team and a chance to compete for another Super Bowl, Addai is focused on getting healthy before training camp in order to contribute.

“Injuries are a big part of football,” Addai said Thursday. “The only thing I can do right now is move forward. The medical staff over here has been great as far as getting my body right and ready for the upcoming season.”

Addai’s health is obviously his biggest priority going into training camp. In the 90-minute OTA session held Thursday, the 29-year-old took reps with the No. 1 offensive unit, which bodes well for him going forward. On the other hand, Addai kept a realistic outlook in terms of his progress, noting that while he felt good, it was to early to tell how healthy he’ll feel as the new chapter in his career unfolds. Additionally, Addai said Tom Brady has helped him along in understanding the playbook, but he hasn’t mastered the details of the Patriots system just yet.

The departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis to the Bengals, coupled with the uncertainty of whether Kevin Faulk will return leaves the Patriots running back spot in a state of flux. Both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereeen are only entering their second seasons, making Addai’s veteran presence to the group significant.

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Chad Ochocinco laments stolen Starbucks card

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco — a well-known user of Twitter — took to the social media website on Wednesday afternoon to report that his SUV was broken into and his wallet stolen.

In a two-minute and rather emotional video, Ochocinco said that his driver’s license and two credit cards were stolen, but he was more concerned of something else that he left in his wallet.

“What I’m pissed about is these [expletives] took my Starbucks card,” Ochocinco said from the driver’s seat of his SUV. “Not just any Starbucks card, I earned the gold card. You know how many coffees I’ve had to drink and lemon loafs I’ve had to purchase to get to that gold card? I had $220 left on my Starbucks card. Not just any Starbucks card, but a gold Starbucks card.”

One of Ochocinco’s Twitter followers said their mother had found his wallet in Providence. It contained his driver’s license and two credit cards, but not his gold Starbucks card.

Fortunately for Ochocinco, Starbucks reached out to him via Twitter late Wednesday afternoon and agreed to replace his gold card.

Notes from the Patriots’ Thursday morning OTA session

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

New receiver Brandon Lloyd meets the media after the Thursday morning OTA session at Gillette Stadium. (WEEI.com photo)

FOXBORO — The Patriots just wrapped up an OTA session that ran for almost two hours on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. The practice, which was held in T-shirts, sweats, shorts and helmets, had a crisp, efficient feeling, not unlike a training camp workout, sans pads. Here are a few quick notes on what happened:

•The following players were not spotted for the duration of the session: tight end Daniel Fells; offensive linemen Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer and Brian Waters; wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez; and linebacker Tracy White. (Rookie offensive lineman Marcus Zusevics didn’t suit up — apparently still battling a torn pectoral muscle he suffered at the combine — but tagged along with the rest of the offensive linemen.) In addition, tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive back Nate Ebner were all spotted emerging from the practice bubble shortly after the workout began. While they suited up, they did not engage in any of the drills along with their teammates. And defensive back Matt Slater appeared to tweak something in the final stages of the practice, as he spent the last 20 minutes or so off to the side working with strength & conditioning coach Harold Nash. However, it didn’t appear too serious.

•With the understanding that we’re miles away from any real personnel decisions, it was interesting to see some of the combinations that were used. With neither of last year’s starting guards on the field for the session, there was a steady rotation at both spots. Immense newcomer Robert Gallery appeared to get the bulk of the reps at left guard, while a combination of players (Ryan Wendell, Donald Thomas and Jeremiah Warren) all worked at right guard.

Chad Ochocinco appeared to have a bit of a rocky session. On one play, the offense broke the huddle and he had to be redirected as to where to line up by veteran wide receiver Deion Branch. In addition, later in practice, he jumped the count and had to run what is believed to be the first (and only) penalty lap of the practice session.
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