|Patriots sign WRs Cole Stanford, Brian Tyms, release injured WR Greg Orton||07.27.14 at 9:51 am ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots made a pair of signings for the back end of their roster, adjusting for the loss of receiver Greg Orton on Friday.
Director of player personnel Nick Caserio announced Sunday morning during his press conference that the team signed receivers Cole Stanford and Brian Tyms. Both were in attendance Sunday morning as the team held its second straight practice in pads.
Stanford was wearing No. 14 while Tyms was assigned No. 84. Tyms was undrafted out of Florida A&M in 2012. He has spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins. Last year, he played for the Cleveland Browns, where currently Patriots executive Mike Lombardi watched him when Lombardi served in Cleveland’s front office.
As for Stanford, he played collegiately at Cal Poly, catching 43 passes for 891 yards and four touchdowns during his four years. As a hybrid weapon, he also rushed 54 times for 314 yards with a touchdown.
The Patriots also waived (injured designation) Orton, who will go back to the Patriots on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Orton suffered a lower body injury during practice late in practice Friday and had to be carted off the field.
Orton, 28, was originally signed to the Patriots practice squad on Dec. 31, 2013, released by the team on May 22, 2014, and re-signed on July 23. The 6-foot-3, 199-pounder spent part of 2011 and all of 2012 on the Denver practice squad and went to training camp with Denver in 2013. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals out of Purdue in 2009. Orton had stints with the Arena Football League’s Spokane Shock and the United Football League’s Omaha Knights before joining the Denver practice squad.
|Rob Gronkowski says he’s ready to make a fearless return: ‘I’m going to keep smashing and dashing’||07.25.14 at 1:17 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Gronk was back in rare form Friday.
Rob Gronkowski held court on a sunny Friday morning after his second practice of training camp, announcing that he plans to make a fearless return to the field this season and put a string of injuries behind him. The most recent, of course, came on Dec. 8, 2013 when T.J. Ward drilled him in the right knee, causing a tear of his ACL and a subsequent knee reconstruction.
Gronkowski said that, while he won’t likely participate fully when he puts on pads with the rest of his teammates Saturday, he will be prepared mentally for the first game, whenever that comes.
“I’m pretty sure I won’t have any fear at that moment because that’s what we’re working here for, getting myself right, getting my knee right, getting everything strengthened around it so when I do hit the field, when I do start hitting, when I do start getting tackled, I’m out there ready to go [and] I’m not thinking about that in the back of my head,” Gronkowski said. “It’s a slow progression. I’m just working every single week to get to that progression, and hopefully and it comes down to where I’m ready and I’m ready to roll and I’m good to go and I’m out there for my teammates. I want to be out there for my teammates and give it all I got and make some plays for them.”
As for being at full strength, Gronkowski cautioned that there is still plenty of work remaining before that hurdle is cleared.
“If it were 100 percent, I’d be doing every single thing so no, I’m not 100 percent right now, obviously not,” Gronkowski said. “I’m working my way to get to that and I’m working every single day to get to that and improving every single day.
“I’m preparing myself to my max ability right now for the first regular game. I can’t really say anything from here on out because it’s far away. Every single day, I’m just giving it everything I’ve got in the rehab room and out here on the field. I’m preparing myself and listening to my trainers, what they have for me so that I’m ready to go when it comes down to it. Hopefully, I am.
“No timetable at all. Just keep improving every single day and we’ll see what the trainers want me to do. They’ve been through plenty of knee injuries throughout their years here.”
If you think he plans to change his style in light of ankle, back, forearm and knee injuries that have knocked him out of 17 of his last 26 games since 2012, think again.
“Nah, I ain’t changing that one bit,” Gronkowski said. “I’m going to go full speed when I’m out there and I’m going to keep smashing and dashing in everything I do. Maybe if it’s not necessary one single bit I’ll go down [to the ground]. But if I can make some plays and make some extra yards and get in the end zone, I’m definitely going to go full speed and do everything I can.”
|Josh McDaniels confirms: ‘I’ll definitely be here’ in New England with Patriots in 2014||01.14.14 at 4:33 pm ET|
Not that it should surprise anyone but Josh McDaniels has confirmed the obvious – he’ll be back with the Patriots in 2014.
The Patriots offensive coordinator confirmed that he withdrew his name from consideration for the head coaching vacancy with the Cleveland Browns on the same day Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles did likewise.
On Tuesday, during a conference call, McDaniels shed some light on the reason why he’s staying in New England.
“Well, I’ll definitely be here. I think all it means is that, you know, I made the decision that this is the right time for me to be here,” McDaniels said. “I’m really happy here ‘ I’ve said that numerous times. There’s not really much else to it. I don’t think it’s ‘ you know it’s a process you go through sometimes and you ultimately have to make choices based on what’s best for you and your family. That’s what I try to do.”
There is the possibility that one of his key weapons may not be staying around with McDaniels as Julian Edelman is a free agent after the season.
It’s been under McDaniels’ tutelage that Edelman has grown into one of the more feared slot receivers in the NFL, taking the chance to replace Wes Welker and running with it all the way to a likely lucrative free agency prize.
“Well, Julian has always had great ability. He’s a guy that has speed and can do a lot of different things versatility,” McDaniels said. “Certainly, I wasn’t here when we first got him the first years that he was here, and have had an opportunity to really get to know him the last couple years. His opportunities have certainly increased and he is a guy that embraces whatever role you give him each week.
“He’s capable of playing on the perimeter of the offense and he has for us. He’s also unselfish and will do whatever we ask of him in any role, whether that’s to be a clear-out guy, block the secondary in the running game, whatever it may be, and he’s always had a great attitude towards his work and his preparation. I just see a guy that’s driven to be a great player. He’s always tried to be the best he could be.
“He’s certainly had opportunities presented to him this year that he’s taken advantage of. I think he’s really led our receiving group with a tremendous amount of toughness, consistency. He practices hard, prepares hard, he’s on top of his game plan. He understands the defenses that we play and the players he’s going to compete against. I think he’s just really made himself a very well-rounded player that certainly has had a very productive year for us.”
|Rob Gronkowski undergoes ACL surgery that Dr. James Andrews says ‘went very well’||01.09.14 at 10:24 pm ET|
Rob Gronkowski took his first step Thursday toward a return to the playing field in 2014 with reconstructive surgery on his right ACL.
The procedure was performed by renown orthopedic surgery Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. On site with Gronkowski were his father Gordy Gronkowski and Gronkowski’s super agent Drew Rosenhaus, who tweeted after the procedure that Andrews said the surgery “went very well.”
Gronkowski tore his ACL and injured his MCL on Dec. 8 in a win over the Browns when T.J. Ward went low and took out his knees on a 21-yard seam route.
Gronkowski is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2014 regular season.
Later in the evening, after Gronkowski was in recovery, the tight end tweeted his thanks to all the well-wishes from fans.
With Rob & Gordy in Pensacola. Good news the surgery is over. Dr Andrews said it went very well.
— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) January 9, 2014
Thank you all for the support! Go Pats! Woooo!
|Josh McDaniels reportedly withdraws his name from Cleveland Browns head coaching search||01.08.14 at 2:07 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Josh McDaniels isn’t going anywhere.
According to a tweet from ESPN football reporter Adam Schefter Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots offensive coordinator, who reportedly interviewed with his hometown Browns on Saturday, has withdrawn his name from the search to replace Rob Chudzinski. McDaniels was a quarterback star for his father Thom McDaniels at Canton McKinley high school, just 45 miles south of Cleveland.
Chudzinski was fired by GM Mike Lombardi and team CEO Joe Banner after just one season, after producing a 4-12 record on the shores of Lake Erie.
McDaniels left after the 2008 season in New England to take over as head coach in Denver. But after a 6-0 start to his career in 2009, he won just five of his next 22 games over the next season and a half and was fired in the middle of the 2010 season after a 3-9 start.
McDaniels took over as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis for Steve Spagnuolo in 2011 and left that job to return to New England in time for the Patriots’ playoff run to Super Bowl XLVI.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2014
|Tom Brady on Josh McDaniels: ‘I’m glad he’s my coach’||01.01.14 at 2:55 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Whether or not the Patriots lose offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Cleveland Browns, Tom Brady made a point of appreciating the work McDaniels has done in his two stints in New England.
Brady and McDaniels worked together from 2001-2008, when McDaniels left to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos for a season and a half. He then spent most of 2011 as the Rams offensive coordinator before returning to the Patriots late in the run to Super Bowl XLVI.
It was a natural when McDaniels, a native of Northeast Ohio, became a candidate for the Browns head coaching vacancy when Rob Chudzinski was fired on Monday.
“I’m not surprised by much anymore in the NFL,” Brady said of McDaniels’ name coming up as a leading candidate. “He’s a great coach and I said the other day, he’s one of my best buds and I’ve been around him for a long time so I know him pretty well. I’m glad he’s my coach.”
He was not as effusive about another former offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien will reportedly be hired as the new coach of the Houston Texans. He was on the Patriots staff from 2007-11, and was the fiery offensive coordinator during the ’11 season with Brady.
“That was a long time ago,” Brady said of his time with O’Brien. “Truthfully, I’m just trying to stay focused on this week. That’s not really in my thought process right now.”
As for other teams tapping the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Brady said he’s grown accustomed to it by now.
“Multiple times but it’s a credit to those guys and what they’ve accomplished,” Brady said. “It’s a very flattering thing when other people are interested. But you know, they’ll make their decisions based on whatever they make their decisions based on. I still have to go out there and do my job, which is ultimately what I owe this team and what I signed up for and what I promised Mr. Kraft when I signed my contract. What I commit to Belichick and all my teammates that I’m going to do the best I can do. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching or who’s running routes or who [I'm] handing the ball off to or who’s blocking or who’s playing defense. I’ve got to do my job and that’s where my focus is.”
He wasn’t staying up late on New Year’s Eve worrying about his coaching staff or partying.
“I was asleep. We had an early-morning practice,” Brady said.
|Bill Belichick walks a fine line: ‘We’re all going to make mistakes and nobody makes more of them than I do’||12.20.13 at 11:50 am ET|
FOXBORO — On Friday, Bill Belichick revealed his more humble side to make a point about the fine line he walks between correcting mistakes and accepting them as part of the game and the other side where too many can just kill a team.
The obvious best example of this on the 2013 Patriots is Stevan Ridley, the most explosive running back the Patriots have. He was benched in the Houston game after losing fumbles in each of the previous three games.
He came back against Cleveland and Miami, carrying the ball just eight times in each of the two games. He is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season on 151 carries.
Belichick was asked Friday if there is a balance a coach has to go through between making it a teaching moment not only for him but also the other players on the roster and taking him out of the equation hurting the team. In other words, is there a balance to strike as a coach between making sure that they get the message that it’s not acceptable while not hurting the team?
“I’d say absolutely,” Belichick said. “I think that’s the perfect way to put it actually. That’s the balance they’re trying to strike. I think that’s true probably every day of the football season, let’s put it that way. Every day of the football season, including OTAs, including training camp. Everybody has to understand that there’s a below the line level. When it’s below the line, we can’t live with it. It hurts the team. Now, we’re all going to make mistakes and nobody makes more of them than I do. I understand that mistakes are part of the game. I’ve been in it long enough to know there’s no perfect player, no perfect game or practice. If you go out there and compete against high level competition, that they’re going to make some plays too.
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