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Cameron Fleming draws praise from Bill Belichick after missing offseason workouts 09.25.14 at 1:17 pm ET
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Cameron Fleming

Cameron Fleming

FOXBORO — Rookie offensive linemen Cameron Fleming got a late start to the Patriots’€™ offseason program because he was finishing up classes at Stanford. But, the 22-year-old aeronautics and astronautics double-major hasn’€™t let that affect him as he’€™s played in all three games this season — although not in his natural position of tackle.

With tight end Rob Gronkowski working his way back to full strength, Fleming has been used as an extra tight end — playing 44 snaps over the three games, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Definitely a learning experience, I had to catch up a little bit,” Fleming said. “€œI’€™ve learned a lot. It’€™s easy just to focus on just football now because that’€™s all I have so it makes it a little easier to dig in and work.”€

Coach Bill Belichick was impressed with how prepared Fleming came to the team after missing most of the offseason workouts and now his work paying dividends.

“€œI think Cam [Fleming] has done a real good job for us,”€ Belichick said last week. “€œOne of the challenges for him and for us was him not really being here for much of the spring. Just being late in spring because of his commitments to school. We really didn’€™t have a great feel for him until training camp started.

“And he came here in really good condition. He ran well. He dropped some weight, he leaned up. He worked really hard between the beginning of June and the end of July. He was definitely ready to go, had a good camp, performed very well. And caught up to all the things we were doing in a short amount of time. The more time we spent around him, the more impressed we were.”

Fleming has never played tight end at any point of his career, but said it isn’€™t much different as he is still blocking, just from a position further out. The fourth-round pick noted the veteran members of the offensive line have helped him out considerably so far this season.

“They are like an encyclopedia of knowledge,”€ he said. “€œAnything I need to know — like how to take a set — they are right there to help me out, give me advice and tell me how they did it.”

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Unlucky Seven: Who will end up sitting against Dolphins? 09.06.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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Chris Jones

Chris Jones

In accordance with league protocol, the Patriots will release their inactives 90 minutes before kickoff on Sunday afternoon. But based on what’€™s happened this week and what the game plan might entail, here’€™s a guess as to who will be sidelined for the contest against the Dolphins:

Defensive lineman Chris Jones: Jones was ruled out on Friday. He hasn’t seen much action since he suffered an ankle injury in the preseason opener, but could be back to game action sooner rather than later.

Defensive end Michael Buchanan: The second-teat defensive end was ruled out on Friday because of an ankle injury. That could open up a spot for rookie Zach Moore.

Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga: The second-year lineman suffered a hand injury in training camp, and while he’s been back on the field this week, he was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Despite the fact that he made the trip (and Tweeted as much), from this viewpoint, he’s a last-minute scratch. (If the Patriots do activate him, Moore might be the one who ends up sitting.)

Defensive back Tavon Wilson: Wilson offers good special teams value, but is the odd man out here, especially in a group that includes special teamers/safeties like Pat Chung and Nate Ebner.

Safety Don Jones: It’s likely that the former Miami defensive back was a signee this week simply for the sake of gathering some intel on the Dolphins. In addition, the surplus of cornerbacks who have played a safety-type role over the course of the summer makes him expendable, at least this week.

Offensive lineman Cameron Fleming: The young tackle out of Stanford figures to be on the outside looking in, at least as long as Sebastian Vollmer and Nate Solder remain healthy. Jordan Devey just makes it ahead of Fleming because of his versatility — he’s lined up at both guard and tackle spots this summer. In addition, Marcus Cannon’s ability to play guard and tackle figure into the decision as well.

Running back James White: With five scratches on the defensive side of the ball, it seems to just make sense to go for another offensive player, if only to come close to evening things out. In our mind, that means either White or fellow running back Brandon Bolden are likely to sit. In this case, we’ll go with the rookie, which means it’ll be a heavy workload for veteran Shane Vereen in the role of third-down back.

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For Stanford double-major Cameron Fleming, learning Patriots playbook shouldn’t be difficult 06.13.14 at 11:10 am ET
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For rookies — all new players, really — learning the Patriots playbook is a bit of a challenge with the numerous schemes and many new concepts. But for rookie right tackle Cameron Fleming, the X’€™s and O’€™s will be nothing compared to what he went through during his four years in the classroom at Stanford.

Fleming double-majored in aeronautics and astronautics, so he is no stranger to foreign concepts and challenging his brain.

“He’€™s designed planes in class and stuff like that,” Stanford offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren said in a phone interview. “He knows that is what he wants to do after football, and so not only is he your typical Stanford kid, but he’s one that majored in that. He’€™s absolutely brilliant.”

Last year as a senior Fleming needed to schedule special meetings with Bloomgren to go over game plans, as Fleming was in class when the rest of the team had meetings. Over lunch each day the pair would go over what Fleming missed, becoming very close to one another over the course of the season.

Bloomgren coached in the NFL, serving as an offensive assistant with the Jets for four seasons before joining Stanford in 2011. With that NFL experience, he knows what the playbooks look like and installed a similar philosophy at Stanford with multiple plays being called in the huddle, many audibles, etc. He said it will be a seamless transition for Fleming to the pro game.

“Absolutely, especially in a system like ours and one like the New England system,” Bloomgren said. “The little that I know about it, it certainly requires you to be a thinking man. A guy that can go to a second play and have the quarterback come to the line and audible, do whatever he tells you to do, and Cameron is that guy. He’€™s a guy that can certainly adjust on the run, and that is nothing new for him to go to the line of scrimmage with two or three plays called in the huddle and he’€™s told which one to run.”

On the field Fleming is a monster. He stands 6-foot-5, 323 pounds. As a sophomore he started 11 games and protected Andrew Luck while the quarterback threw a school-record 37 touchdown passes. As a junior Fleming started 14 games at right tackle and was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention. As a senior he started all 14 games and took home numerous awards, including All-Pac-12 second team, Sporting News All-Pac-12 and Athlon Sports All-Pac-12 second team.

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Patriots officially announce signings of 4 draft picks, acquisition of LB Darius Fleming 05.16.14 at 6:15 pm ET
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The Patriots announced several personnel moves Friday afternoon, including the official signings of fourth-round draft choices Cameron Fleming (offensive line) and James White (running back), sixth-round draft choice Zach Moore (defensive end) and seventh-round draft choice Jeremy Gallon (wide receiver). In addition, the Patriots also signed second-year linebacker Darius Fleming and three rookie free agents ‘€“ safety Jeremy Deering (Rutgers), linebacker James Morris (Iowa) and long snapper Tyler Ott (Harvard).

Here’s a portion of the announcement issued by the team on the moves:

Darius Fleming, 24, was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder, missed his first two NFL season due to injury. Over a four-year career at Notre Dame, he finished with 157 total tackles. He was released by San Francisco on May 12.

Cameron Fleming, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 140th selection overall out of Stanford. It was the third of three 2014 fourth-round selections by the Patriots. The 6-foot-6, 318-pounder started all 39 games that he appeared in for Stanford and earned All-Pac 12 Conference second-team honors last season.

Gallon, 24, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 244th selection overall out of Michigan. The 5-foot-8, 184-pounder was a four-year letterman, who appeared in 51 games at wide receiver and as a punt and kick returner. Gallon holds the school record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,373 yards in 2013.
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Report: Patriots sign fourth-round pick Cameron Fleming at 3:25 pm ET
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The Patriots have signed fourth-round draft pick Cameron Fleming, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

The 6-foot-5, 323-pounder is a two-time honorable mention All-Pac 12 pick who made his bones as a right tackle at Stanford ‘€” he started 28 games at the position the last two years. He graduated with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and was selected with the 140th overall pick by the Patriots.

“(He’s a) big kid that played against a lot of good competition out there, played against a lot of good players on a good football team,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Fleming shortly after he was drafted. “They run the ball a lot. They run a very conventional offense compared to what some of the offenses are in college football, so you can kind of see him do a lot of the things that we see in the National Football League.”

Fleming is the second member of the Patriots draft class to sign — Zach Moore agreed to a four-year deal on Thursday.

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3 incredibly early thoughts on Patriots selection of offensive lineman Cameron Fleming 05.10.14 at 5:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Three early thoughts on the Patriots selection of Stanford tackle Cameron Fleming, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2014 draft:

1. Fleming might already be one of the smartest guys in the New England locker room. He’s on pace to graduate with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics. He was asked what he could do if he had the opportunity to talk with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. “We’€™d probably just nerd out a little bit,” Fleming said. “Talk about whatever new planes –€“ I’€™m a big plane guy. The astronautics I like a lot but I’€™m more interested in planes and jet planes and things like. If he’€™s into that, we can just talk all day.”

2. He’s a pure tackle. He was asked if he had played any guard while at Stanford, and he chuckled and said, “I think I took a couple reps at Stanford as a joke.” That likely means he’ll work primarily as the backup to right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and (possibly) left tackle Nate Solder.

3. Fleming is one of three offensive lineman the Patriots have taken to this point in the draft. The three offensive linemen are the most offensive linemen taken in the draft by New England since the Patriots took three in the 2007 draft.

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Patriots select Stanford OT Cameron Fleming with 140th overall pick at 2:11 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Stanford offensive tackle Cameron Fleming was taken by the Patriots with the 140th overall pick in the draft on Saturday.

The 6-foot-5, 323-pounder is a two-time honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick who made his bones as a right tackle as a collegian — he started 28 games at the position the last two years. He graduated with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and will likely battle to work as a backup tackle behind starters Sebastian Vollmer (right tackle) and Nate Solder (left tackle).

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