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Patriots bring back DL Joe Vellano, OL Chris Martin to practice squad, release OL Caylin Hauptmann 10.08.14 at 10:08 am ET
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Joe Vellano

Joe Vellano

FOXBORO — Offensive lineman Chris Martin and defensive lineman Joe Vellano have been brought back to the Patriots practice squad.

Martin spent the first three weeks of the 2014 season on the Patriots practice squad. Vellano was released from the 53-man roster on Monday.

To make room, the Patriots released OL Caylin Hauptmann from the practice squad.

Martin, 24, was originally signed by Houston as a rookie free agent out of Central Florida on May 16, 2014. The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder, was released by Houston on May 27 and signed by the Patriots on June 23, 2014. Martin was released on Aug. 30 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1 before being released on Sept. 26.

Vellano, 25, originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Maryland in 2013. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder played in 21 games with eight starts for the Patriots and registered 54 total tackles and three sacks. He played in five games in 2014 and had six total tackles and one sack.

Hauptmann, 23, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 16, 2014. He originally signed with the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent out of Florida International on April 30, 2013. The 6-3, 300-pounder, was released by Cleveland at the end of training camp and was signed to the practice squad.

Seattle signed him to the 53-man roster on Sept. 23. Hauptmann was inactive for 10 games and dressed, but did not play in three others and was inactive for all three postseason games. He was released by Seattle on Aug. 30, 2014 and claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Aug. 31, 2014. The Brown released him on Sept. 2, 2014.

Read More: Caylin Hauptmann, Chris Martin, Joe Vellano, New England Patriots
Tom Brady ‘can’t put a price tag’ on satisfaction after Patriots’ blowout win 10.06.14 at 2:30 am ET
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FOXBORO — This time when Tom Brady came out of the game for Jimmy Garoppolo, he was feeling nothing but pure satisfaction as the back-up took a knee to end New England’s 43-17 thrashing of the not-ready-for-primetime Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

How things can change in just six days.

Brady was 23-of-35 for 292 yards, two touchdowns and a season-best QB rating of 110.7. From the moment he came onto the field to his “PSA” anthem from Jay-Z, Brady was yelling and fired up. And it translated into the most dominating performance at a time when the Patriots needed it the most.

The Patriots were fired up during and after the game, celebrating a sense of relief in the locker room after the most significant regular season win in recent memory.

“I think it’€™s a great opportunity for our team,” Brady said. “We try not to get caught up in that stuff and I think you just focus on the things you can control. To ride the ups and downs of, ‘€˜You’€™re great. You suck. You’€™re great. You suck,’€™ it’€™s exhausting. It’€™s exhausting enough when you’€™re winning to have to deal with those things and when you lose, it sucks for everybody. We don’€™t play this game to go out there and not play well. Guys take it to heart. I think guys worked really hard this week to get prepared for tonight. Like I said, it was a great opportunity for us to come out and show what we’€™re made of.

“You know, we get paid to play football. We get paid to play it well, actually. So, we should go out there and play really well. We work really hard all year round for these moments and what we experience in the locker room after that win, you can’€™t put a price tag on that.”

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Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, nfl, Tom Brady
Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ annihilation of Bengals 10.06.14 at 2:12 am ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots’ 43-17 dismantling of the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady passed the 50,000-yard passing milestone, and the Patriots put together their best all-around effort of the season.

Read More: Chris Price, Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick: ‘Obviously, a satisfying night’ 10.06.14 at 2:00 am ET
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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick has a way with words, and Sunday night, after his team demolished the previously unbeaten Bengals, 43-17, his words spoke volumes about how good it felt to come out and play a complete game.

“Well, that was obviously a satisfying night tonight,” Belichick said. “I thought our coaching staff really did a good job this week on the short week. You know, really worked hard to get our team ready and I thought the players really went out and played hard tonight.”

The Patriots put up over 500 yards of offense against a defense considered to be of Super Bowl quality. His quarterback looked like the Hall of Famer he certainly will become after he retires, throwing two touchdowns and firing up his team from the get-go.

And the special teams produced a touchdown when Brandon Bolden drilled Brandon Tate and Kyle Arrington scooped it up for the touchdown that put the Patriots up 34-10. Of course, there were 12 penalties for 114 yards.

“It wasn’t perfect — certainly [there are] a lot of things we need to do better, but we played hard; we made a lot of plays against a good football team,” Belichick said. “Cincinnati has a good — that’€™s a good club. Marvin [Lewis] does a good job with that group. Tonight was just kind of our night. A lot of things went in our favor. We made a few things happen and that was good. We just have to really give all the credit to the players for the way they played. They’€™re resilient, they’€™re tough and they worked hard this week and they played hard tonight. I’€™m proud of them for that.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots,
Bill Belichick explains why he has a ‘much closer relationship’ with Mike Brown than Paul Brown 10.05.14 at 6:06 pm ET
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Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s no secret that Bill Belichick has always admired the teaching methods of Paul Brown.

But what’s not as well known is the personal family connections between the Belichicks and Browns, dating back to World War II.

The connection begins with Bill Edwards, a former player under Paul Brown, who also coached for him. Edwards happens to be Belichick’s godfather.

When Brown came to run the Bengals, Belichick and his father, Navy assistant coach Steve Belichick made the trip to Wilmington (Ohio) College to visit training camp.

“Obviously he remembers a lot, it’€™s his father,” Belichick said Friday when asked about his memories about the Brown family. “But, I talk to Mike about him plenty and have a lot of respect for that family. My dad and that family go way back, back to World War II, post-World War II days. My godfather’€™s relationship with Paul and the Browns and the Bengals and the Browns being at Hiram [College] and my mom graduating from Hiram and my dad coaching at Hiram ‘€“ it goes back a long way.

Paul Brown died in 1991 at the age of 82. Brown’s son Mike, now 79, still owns and runs the Bengals, with his daughter Katie Blackburn.

“I’€™d say most of the relationship with Coach [Paul] Brown was with my dad,” Belichick said. “I met him and gone to practices and those kind of things, but I was young. So, I’€™d say I have a much closer relationship with Mike just because we’€™re a little closer in age, [have] football fathers, Ohio. There are a lot of similarities there.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Brown, New England Patriots
Setting the scene: Patriots look to prove a point against Bengals 10.05.14 at 4:54 pm ET
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The stage is set for one of the bigger regular season games in recent Patriots memory. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The stage is set for one of the bigger regular season games in recent Patriots memory. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — All week the Patriots have waited for this moment. Their chance to prove to critics, the league and most importantly themselves that they are not as bad as the last two weeks would seem is finally here.

Clear skies and temperatures in the low 50s are expected for the 8:30 p.m. kickoff as they take on the 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. The chill in the air could drop temperatures to the mid 40s by the end of the game.

Wind should be absolutely no factor with a breeze expected out of the east at 5 MPH.

This could bode well for the passing game, and speculation will intensify before kickoff about just how much Aaron Dobson will play, if indeed he is active for the first time since Week 2 in Minnesota.

With Brandon Browner and Brian Tyms also not activated by the 4 p.m. ET deadline Saturday, Alfonzo Dennard and Dobson could have bigger roles.

The 2-2 Patriots are not the only ones trying to prove themselves on this big Sunday night stage.

The Bengals come to Foxboro trying to prove they belong in the conversation among elite NFL teams and early-season talk about Super Bowl contenders. The Bengals have not handled the bright lights of Sunday night very well. They are 3-12 in Sunday night games and 1-8 on the road, with their only win coming in 1992 at Chicago in overtime.

Their last appearance was an abject disaster last December.

They took a 9-4 record into Pittsburgh and the sub-.500 Steelers pounded them into the ground, racing out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Their punter (Kevin Huber) broke his jaw when he tried to cover a Steelers punt return. He was blindsided and missed the rest of the season. The Steelers won that game, 30-20.

The Patriots have dominated this series of late, winning 7-of-9, including a 16-13 win in Bill Belichick‘s first year at the helm of the Patriots in 2000. Cincinnati’s only two wins ever in New England have come by a 31-7 score. The Bengals won in 1972 at Schaefer Stadium and in 1986 in the same stadium. The Bengals are 0-2 at Gillette Stadium, losing 35-28 in 2004 and 38-24 in the 2010 season opener.

The Bengals snapped a four-game losing skid to the Patriots with a 13-6 win last October at Paul Brown Stadium.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots,
Tom Brady reportedly ‘uncomfortable’ with his personnel, leading to ‘tensions’ with coaching staff 10.05.14 at 11:32 am ET
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Tamba Hali was able to get to Tom Brady for a strip sack in the second half of Monday's 41-14 loss to the Chiefs. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Tamba Hali was able to get to Tom Brady for a strip sack in the second half of Monday’s 41-14 loss to the Chiefs. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Is Tom Brady quickly approaching a breaking point with the Patriots?

On ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” Chris Mortensen reported that Brady’s role in the offense has been diminished and he’s expressing his frustration within the organization.

“Several players, coaches and former players have rendered an unsettling picture that all does not look well with Tom Brady and the Patriots and there’s a reason for it,” Mortensen said on the show. “Even though Bill Belichick chuckled when asked Monday night about Brady’s status, others close to the team now believe that when the Patriots used that second-round pick (in 2014) on Jimmy Garropolo that they were, in fact, choosing Brady’s successor, perhaps sooner than later.

“Sources say Brady is uncomfortable with the personnel and coaching changes, the consequences have led to tensions between Brady and the coaching staff, with Brady’s input into gameplans, personnel packages, formations, pre-snap adjustments being significantly diminished.”

On Friday, WEEI.com asked Belichick about Brady’s pre-snap reads versus his ability to drop back and make progressions as in years past.

“I think every week you try to do the best on pre-snap reads that you can,” Belichick said. “Some teams disguise things better than others. Some teams have a certain look that they have [and] do three or four things out of. That’€™s their thing. They’€™re going to give you a certain look and then they have multiple combinations off that look. Sometimes formations indicate pre-snap reads. Sometimes defensive alignments indicate pre-snap reads.

“It can be a combination of one or multiple things like that. It’€™s always important. That’€™s something that we absolutely talk about every week in game planning is pre-snap identification. Now, you always have to confirm what they’€™re doing post-snap. Against a good defense, you just can’€™t say, ‘€˜OK, here’€™s what it looks like,’€™ and that’€™s what it is 100 percent of the time. You still have to confirm it.

“But it can certainly indicate what a lot of times it won’€™t be. Like, if it could be one of four things, maybe now it’€™s down to one or two based on a certain key that you have. But I’€™d say that’€™s an important thing every week. It’€™s important this week. But I couldn’€™t sit here ‘€“ I can’€™t imagine sitting here before any game and saying it’€™s not important. I would say it’€™s important every week. It’€™s similar to pass protection, those are two of the most important things you do offensively in preparation.”

Mortensen then wondered aloud if the struggles so far this season have more to do with the personnel around Brady than Brady’s skills diminishing.

“Has the staff lost faith in Brady? Or is it simply the residue of shaky personnel decisions, including the undeniable fact that since 2002, the Patriots have used 11 draft picks on wide receivers and only two — Deion Branch and Julian Edelman — have made any impact.”

Sunday night’s game against the Bengals seems bigger and bigger by the second in answering some of these questions.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
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