|Jerod Mayo and friends explain ‘The Patriot Way’ and what it means now||01.16.13 at 4:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The “Patriot Way’ means different things to different people, even inside the Patriots locker room.
So while, Ravens wide receiver was boldly predicting this year’s AFC championship ‘we’ll make it different, we’re gonna win,” Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo we’re humbly talking about what it’s like to be a part of a team where the individual doesn’t matter.
“I think Coach [Bill Belichick] always talks about doing your job,” Brady said. “You do your job so that everyone around you can do their job. When people trust each other, then you can play with anticipation and confidence and ultimately go out there and play aggressively. There’s no really no secret to it. It’s just coach puts a lot of pressure on us in practice every day to perform at a high level. When we don’t, we certainly hear about it. When you show up to work every day, you better have your game face on because you’ll end up on the low light film the next morning. I think the guys bring that attitude every day and over the course of a long season, it results in enough wins to get us into the playoffs, give us a chance.”
Brady pointed to past Patriots greats who helped teach him the ‘Patriot Way’.
“I think I was one of those guys that had to learn that too,” he added. “Tedy Bruschi took me aside and Willie McGinest took me aside and Lawyer Milloy took me aside. I think that’s part of the responsibility as a veteran player that you learn from these experiences and you try to convey the message to some of the younger players so they don’t have to learn the hard way. A lot of times you have to learn the hard way in life.
Wilfork echoed Brady’s old-school teachings from great Patriots of the recent past.
“I learned a long time ago with Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinnest, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, I learned from some of the best that played around here,” Wilfork said. “The first thing that comes to your mind is that you can’t be selfish playing here. It is not about you. It is about the team and if you buy into that you will be very successful, and that is the one thing that I think this organization has had for a long time. Guys that come in here that aren’t selfish and they put the team first because it is a team sport. It definitely is a team sport. You need everybody working on the same page. If you have one or two that are not you can be in big trouble. That is the Patriot Way. We put team first and we win as a team and we lose as a team. I have won a lot of games in my career being here and I wouldn’t change it for nothing.”
The other irony Wednesday was comment from Jerod Mayo, on a day when it snowed in the morning making the rush hour commute difficult. He reminded everyone of Adalius Thomas without dropping his name. It was three years ago when Thomas, Randy Moss, Derrick Burgess and Gary Guyton were sent home for being late to an 8 a.m. meeting on the morning of a snow storm.
“The ‘Patriot Way’ to me, starts at the top with the Kraft family,” Mayo said. “Not only being a good football player, but being a good person and falling in line. If you want to be a good football team, you’ll never be stuck in rush hour traffic. You are the first one here and the last one to leave. I think guys really buy into that, guys that come from other teams, I think they follow the lead of the bulk of this team and it has worked well here.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots. WEEI 93.7FM will broadcast the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.
|Now a Dolphin, Gary Guyton reflects on his time in New England||04.18.12 at 10:33 am ET|
When it comes to his time with the Patriots, you won’t hear a bad word from linebacker Gary Guyton. The former New Englander, who signed with the Dolphins earlier this month, held his first Q&A with the South Florida media on Tuesday, and reflected on his four seasons with the Patriots.
‘I learned a lot while I was there and had a good time while I was there,’ said Guyton, signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech in 2008. ‘I learned just how to be professional and how to play the game.’
One former teammate who was sad to see Guyton go was Jerod Mayo. The two had become close over the years, and I asked him Tuesday what it would be like not to have Guyton with him on the field after they spent four years together.
‘He’s been beside me for a long time now,’ Mayo said. ‘You see us in the locker room always chopping it up. He’s a good player. He’s moved on to another team. I hope he wins every game, except for the ones against us.’
|Some thoughts on the Patriots acquisition of linebacker Bobby Carpenter||04.06.12 at 12:18 am ET|
The Patriots added linebacker Bobby Carpenter to the roster on Thursday, and it likely represents a fresh start for the Ohio State product who has struggled to match the expectations that come with being a first-round draft pick.
The 28-year-old Carpenter was taken in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Cowboys, but was never able to make it work in Dallas. The 6-foot-2, 249-pounder played in 58 games for Dallas over four seasons, making three starts. He was dealt to St. Louis in May 2010, but did not make the Rams’ 53-man roster. He spent time with Miami and Detroit in 2010, and played 16 games last season in Detroit (three starts), recording 29 tackles.
At this point, he likely faces an uphill battle for playing time, but Carpenter does have some positional versatility, as he has played inside linebacker in the 3-4 base defense and outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme over the course of his career, and has also served as a special teamer.
In a move that might not be unrelated, Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton will visit with the Dolphins in the next week, according to a league source. Guyton, a free agent, slipped down New England’s depth chart over the course of the last year. While it’s not likely that Guyton’s departure would open up a lot of snaps for a potential replacement, it would create a possible roster opening that could be filled by someone like Carpenter going forward.
|Patriots’ defensive lineman Kyle Love switches representation||02.28.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Kyle Love, a exclusive rights free agent, has switched representation.
The Mississippi State product, who was repped by Gary Glick, is now with KLASS Sports’ Richard Kopelman and Sean Stellato. It’s a group that has negotiated with the Patriots in the past on behalf of cornerback Kyle Arrington and linebacker Gary Guyton, both of whom reached two-year deals with New England.
Love was an undrafted free agent signed before the start of the 2010 season. In his second year with the Patriots, the 6-foot-1, 310-pounder played 16 games and finished with 33 tackles (20 solo) and three sacks.
The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.
|Rating the Roster, Part 1||02.10.12 at 1:02 am ET|
With the 2011 season in the rear-view mirror ‘ and the Patriots facing a number of key personnel decisions ‘ it seems like a good time to break down the current 53-man roster, taking a look at who might be the most valuable members of the franchise.
We arrived at this list by considering a combination of factors, including overall ability, positional versatility, expectations, contract situation and place on the depth chart. We also looked at what might be best described as intangibles ‘ loosely defined as a mixture of clubhouse character and willingness to work. In all, it helped us determine the overall value of each player within the Patriots system.
A quick note: The 53 players were taken straight from New England’s postseason media guide, the most up-to-date listing available. That means injured players such as Andre Carter, Mike Wright, Jermaine Cunningham, Dan Koppen and Ras-I Dowling, as well as practice squadders are not included for purposes of this exercise.
We start with No. 53 through No. 26.
53. Safety Sergio Brown: Fewer players slid down the depth chart as precipitously as Brown, who opened the season in a regular rotation at safety (he played every snap of a Week 3 loss to Buffalo) but saw virtually zero meaningful snaps after the Week 12 win over Philadelphia. His low point was a costly pass interference penalty in the regular-season loss to the Giants that set up the game-winning score.
52. Linebacker Gary Guyton: Guyton began the year as a starter, but like Brown, slid quickly down the depth chart. A solid locker room presence and good buddy of Jerod Mayo, he will almost certainly be elsewhere next season.
51. Safety Malcolm Williams: A defensive back who was a seventh-round pick of the Patriots last April, he saw limited action this season as a special teamer, getting into a December win over the Redskins.
50. Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco: The Patriots preach value, and there have been few instances of them getting less value for a player than New England got for Ochocinco in 2011. The wide receiver was the recipient of a $6 million base salary, and had just 15 catches on the season. Needless to say, if he does return, it will be with a reworked deal.
49. Defensive end Alex Silvestro: He will always be known to the world as The Guy Who Took Tiquan Underwood’s Spot The Day Before The Super Bowl, he’s someone the organization likes, but still needs more seasoning.
48. Defensive back Nathan Jones: A late-season pickup who bounced around the league before landing with the Patriots, he was thrown right into the action as soon as he showed up — four days after he was signed, he started at corner against the Colts. A veteran, if he is back next season, it will be to provide depth in the secondary.
47. Long snapper Danny Aiken: No problems this season from Aiken at the long snapper spot, as the New England specialists had a good season.
46. Offensive lineman Donald Thomas: A youngster out of UConn, he was used sparingly for a snap here or there throughout the course of the regular season until the regular-season finale. A youngster who provides good depth along the offensive line.
45. Linebacker Niko Koutouvides: A good complementary player, Koutouvides provided depth on special teams and the occasional snap on defense. (The sight of him split wide in coverage late in the year against the Colts was one of the more interesting images of the season.)
44. Fullback Lousaka Polite: A solid locker room presence in his relatively short time with the Patriots, he played just 24 snaps in his four games with New England, including 14 in the postseason. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do with Polite going forward, as they haven’t had a full-time, traditional fullback on the roster for a full season since Heath Evans in 2008.
43. Running back Shane Vereen: The rookie never seemed to recover after an early hamstring issue kept him on the shelf for an extended stretch (he was only involved in three games this past season), but it will be interesting to see what he can do with a full offseason in the facility. There may be some shuffling at the running back position this offseason (veteran Kevin Faulk could retire, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a free agent), and as a result, there could be some opportunities there for Vereen in 2012.
42. Quarterback Ryan Mallett: The rookie didn’t play at all in the regular season, but was a good teammate who, by all accounts, kept his eyes and ears open and his mouth shut. As has always been the case, it’s curious what the endgame will be between Mallett and the Patriots. Is he trade bait? Or is he in New England’s future plans?
|A closer look at the inactives for the Super Bowl: No Kevin Faulk, but Chad Ochocinco dressed and ready to go||02.05.12 at 5:08 pm ET|
No colossal surprises on the list, but the biggest name might be Faulk, a veteran who might have played his last game with the Patriots. With Faulk on the sideline, the Patriots will try their hand with rookie running back Stevan Ridley, who had been a healthy scratch previously, ostensibly because of a fumbling problem. Look for Ridley to serve as the backup on Sunday to BenJarvus Green-Ellis when it comes to working as the traditional, between-the-tackles runner.
One intriguing name who wasn’t on the list was wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who was a healthy scratch for the AFC championship game, but now figures to be dressed and ready to go for his first career Super Bowl. This also marks the first time in several weeks that right tackle Sebastian Vollmer is active.
Meanwhile, Thomas and McDonald are likely the victims of a numbers game (both have been inactive more often than not in recent weeks), and rookie Marcus Cannon and Ryan Wendell will likely stand to benefit when it comes to playing time. Mallett and Vereen are rookies who have been more inactive than most over the course of the season, while Guyton has dramatically slipped off the depth chart and Brace has failed to break through over the course of the regular season.
|A closer look at Sunday’s inactives for the Patriots: No Stevan Ridley or Chad Ochocinco for AFC title game||01.22.12 at 1:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Sunday’s inactives for the Patriots are quarterback Ryan Mallett, running back Stevan Ridley, running back Shane Vereen, linebacker Gary Guyton, offensive lineman Donald Thomas, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.
The most interesting person on the list is Ridley, as the rookie appears to be a healthy scratch. However, he fumbled the ball twice over the last two games, with one in the regular-season finale against the Bills and another in the divisional playoffs against the Broncos. (It’s the first scratch of the season for Ridley.) This will also likely mean more snaps across the board for the rest of the running backs, including Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk, and could also mean the Patriots plan on throwing the ball more against the Ravens.
One other notable scratch (although he’s had a minimal impact over the last six weeks) is Ochocinco, who flew back to Florida over the weekend to attend his father’s funeral. According to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, Ochocinco did make it back in time for the game, but will not dress against the Ravens. Again, his absences won’t dramatically affect the offensive game plan, as he was on the field for just one snap in the divisional playoffs last week against Denver.
Vollmer was on the injury report this week with back and foot issues (as has been the case for much of the second half of the season), and hasn’t played much if at all lately because of it. (He hasn’t played since Nov. 27 against Philadelphia.) Look for Nate Solder to go wire-to-wire at right tackle (as he has done for much of the season with Vollmer on the shelf) in his absence. It’s worth mentioning that Solder spent time on the injury list this week because of a concussion.
Meanwhile, Mallett, Guyton, Vereen and Thomas are all healthy scratches who are simply personnel decisions. Not sure we’ve seen someone slide off the depth chart as dramatically as Guyton, who began the season as a starter at inside linebacker but hasn’t started Nov. 27 against Philadelphia, and has had a minimal impact over the last six weeks of the season.