|Patriots trade 3rd-round pick to Jaguars, getting an extra 4th-round pick||05.09.14 at 11:20 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After getting their quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round Friday night, the Patriots decided that was enough for the night. They traded their third-round pick to the Jaguars (93rd overall) for the 105th and 179th picks overall. The move gives them two fourth-round picks and the third pick of the sixth round.
The Patriots have the following picks remaining when the draft resumes Saturday at noon for the third and final day of the 2014 selection meeting:
Fourth round, No. 105
Fourth round, No. 130
Fourth round, No. 140 (compensatory, cannot be traded)
Sixth round, No. 179
Sixth round, No. 198
Sixth round, No. 206
Seventh round, No. 244
|Bill Belichick on Don Brocher: ‘He was here to help the rest of us, and we’ll miss him’||01.02.13 at 2:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spent the first two minutes of his press conference Wednesday giving a heartfelt tribute to longtime equipment manager Don Brocher, the longest-tenured employee of the team. Brocher passed away due to complications from a battle with leukemia early Tuesday morning.
Brocher, who just turned 60 in November, leaves behind his wife, Laurie.
“I’d just say that as a football team, an organization, we’re saddened by the loss of Donnie this weekend,” Belichick said. “In a game where, we all see what kind of changes were made on Monday throughout the league, for somebody to be here 40 years, doing the job that he did for so many owners, coaches, general managers, you name it, players, was really a tribute to his dedication, consistency, dependability, quality of the work that he did.”
Brocher began his Patriots career in 1972 and became a institution inside the locker room, filling many different needs of player and coaches.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to [Brocher’s wife] Laurie and his family, and he’s a guy that six months ago when [former Patriots assistant equipment manager] John Hillebrand went to Jacksonville, sat in my office and we talked about how — he talked about how good he was feeling, how much he was looking forward to a few more years on the job, and then doing some other things he was looking forward to. And then six months later, where we are today,” Belichick said.
Belichick seemed most emotional when talking about the last time the team saw him, during the Sunday night game with the 49ers, as he spent time on the sidelines.
“Don was here for the San Francisco game,” Belichick said. “I don’t think anybody really had a sense of the physical and mental toughness he displayed that night just by being here, and doing his job and being here for us in that type of situation. But that was kind of Donnie, he was never one to complain, never one to talk about how he was doing, he was there to help the rest of us, and we’ll miss him.”
The Patriots released the following obituary on Wednesday:
Donald ‘Donnie’ S. Brocher, 60, a Boston native and a resident of Norton, Mass., lost his battle to Leukemia and died peacefully at Massachusetts General Hospital on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Laurie, his beloved wife and best friend for 23 years, was at his bedside along with family and friends when he died.
Born the son of Edwin and Betty Brocher on November 23, 1952 in Boston, Mass., Don was raised in Marblehead, Mass along with his sister Debbie and brothers David, Danny and Bobby. His first love was hockey and his childhood sports idol was the Boston Bruins‘ Bobby Orr. He attended Beverly High School where, as a senior, he served as the equipment manager for the high school’s hockey team, and graduated in 1970. Read the rest of this entry »
|Vince Wilfork learns that ‘protecting’ teammates costs $30,000||12.28.12 at 4:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Say this much, Vince Wilfork couldn’t have been very surprised when he got the envelope from the NFL on Friday.
The perennial pro bowl nose tackle was informed that he would be $30,000 lighter for his act of team unity last Sunday in Jacksonville.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Patrick Chung picked off Chad Henne at the goal line and raced 28 yards on the ensuing return. Toward the end of the return, Jaguars offensive lineman Steve Vallos drilled Patriots defensive end Trevor Scott from behind with a forearm.
Wilfork retaliated with a similar hit. Wilfork admitted after the game that he expected some sort of financial discipline from the league for the hit.
‘That was protecting my teammate, plain and simple,’ Wilfork said. ‘You’re not going to sit right in front of me and take a cheap shot at my guy with me standing behind you, that won’t fly. Plain and simple. I’ll probably get penalized for it, I did, but at the same time, you’ll never see me letting my teammates just get cheap-shotted like that with me standing right there.
‘It is what it is, it’s part of football. Some people might not like it, some people might like it, but I’m going to do everything I can to protect my teammates,’ he continued. ‘And I was protecting my teammate. But it is what it is, and I don’t think twice about it. If it happened again, I’d protect my teammate the best way I could.’
On Friday, the NFL deemed the hit “unnecessary roughness for a forearm to the back of the head” after Wilfork took exception with the way Vallos hit Patriots defensive end Trevor Scott just moments earlier on the return. Vallos was not flagged but Wilfork and the Patriots were assessed a 15-yard penalty.
Ironically, Chung was not fined for his hit to the head of Cecil Shorts III during Jacksconville’s final drive. Four different flags were thrown in Chung’s direction when he dropped his shoulder into Shorts with Devin McCourty already applying the tackle. Chung was assessed a 15-yard penalty for a hit on a defenseless receiver but the NFL confirmed Friday that the hit did not warrant an additional fine.
|Vince Wilfork proves he always has the back of his teammates||12.23.12 at 6:10 pm ET|
Late in the fourth quarter, and the Jaguars threatening to tie the game, Chandler Jones hit Chad Henne on fourth-and-goal from the Patriots 10. Patrick Chung picked off the pass at the goal line and returned it to the Patriots 28.
But, during the return, Jacksonville offensive lineman Steve Vallos hit Trevor Scott from behind toward the end of the play. Vallos knocked Scott from behind and face first into the ground. Wilfork saw it and took big time exception with it and retaliated against Vallos. Wilfork was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty for sticking up for his teammate.
“That was protecting my teammate, plain and simple,” Wilfork said. “You’re not going to sit right in front of me and take a cheap shot at my guy with me standing behind you, that won’t fly. Plain and simple. I’ll probably get penalized for it, I did, but at the same time, you’ll never see me letting my teammates just get cheap-shotted like that with me standing right there.
“It is what it is, it’s part of football. Some people might not like it, some people might like it, but I’m going to do everything I can to protect my teammates,” he continued. “And I was protecting my teammate. But it is what it is, and I don’t think twice about it. If it happened again, I’d protect my teammate the best way I could.”
|Poll: Who has the biggest game in Pats-Jags contest?||at 12:25 pm ET|
All signs point to another successful if not prolific day for Tom Brady against the Jaguars.
He is 5-0 lifetime against the Jaguars, including two playoff wins.
In three regular season wins, he has completed 73 of his 99 passes (73.7 percent) for 744 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. His quarterback rating in those three games is 118.4.
Wes Welker, after a career and franchise best 1,569 yards in 2011, is on pace for 1,339 yards this season, which would be good for fifth in Patriots history. He enters Sunday’s game with 1,172 yards, good for eighth in the NFL.
|Setting the scene: Patriots-Jaguars||at 11:31 am ET|
The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-50s at EverBank Field in Jacksonville as the Patriots look to bounce back from their 41-34 loss to the 49ers Sunday night and stay alive for one of two first-week byes in the AFC playoffs.
There are several scenarios possible for the Patriots. If the 10-4 Patriots win, they could move into the No. 2 spot with a Broncos (11-3) loss at home to the Browns. The Pats would control their own destiny for a bye with a win over the Dolphins on Dec. 30 at Gillette Stadium.
If the Patriots and Broncos win, then the No. 2 spot will likely come down to the final weekend, when the Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs.
There is an outside chance the Patriots could still wind up with the No. 1 seed. They would need the 12-2 Texans to lose to Minnesota today at home and at Indianapolis next week. The Patriots would need to win both games and also have Denver lose once.
The Texans clinch the No. 1 seed and home field throughout the AFC playoffs with a win today or next week.
The Patriots will have to win without three regulars. Rob Gronkowski will miss his fifth straight game after breaking his left forearm on Nov. 18 against the Colts. He did not make the trip to Jacksonville for the game. Also out for the game is Brandon Spikes with an ankle injury. Rookie defensive back Alfonzo Dennard is out after tweaking his right knee late in the first half last Sunday night against the 49ers.
All three players practiced this week but were limited before being ruled out by the Patriots on Saturday night.
The Patriots will look to avoid back-to-back losses in December for the first time since 2002, the third year of the Bill Belichick era in Foxboro. The Patriots are 21-1 in the second half of the season, losing last week for the first time since Jan. 3, 2010.
The Patriots enter the game with an NFL-leading 506 points. They are the first franchise in NFL history to score 500 or more points in four seasons (2007-589), (2010-518), (2011-513) and this season.
The Patriots also join the 1999-01 Rams as the only teams to have scored 500 or more points in three straight seasons, with Belichick becoming the first NFL coach to oversee three straight such seasons.
|Bill Belichick pokes fun at the Mayans and talks about taking it easy on his team, sort of||12.21.12 at 1:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichickwas in one of those moods Friday.
The Patriots head coach was in one of those happier, jovial moods. So, he dipped into his stand-up material and opened Friday’s press conference at Gillette by letting everyone know he hasn’t been in a cave.
“Glad to see everyone is still here,” Belichick quipped, referencing the fact that the Mayans weren’t calling for gloom, doom and the end of the world but rather just turning the calendar page just like Belichick does every day at his job.
As for his team, Belichick moved them indoors and out of the brutal wind and rain that pelted Gillette Stadium on Friday. The other storyline is who will play and who won’t on Sunday. Shalise Manza Young reported Friday that a league source indicated that Rob Gronkowski will miss his fifth straight game as he heals his left forearm, broken in a Nov. 18 win over the Colts. Gronkowski did practice on Friday and has practiced all week but on a limited basis.
“The emphasis is to get everybody healthy as soon as possible every week,” Belichick said Friday. “I don’t know what we do differently now. Our treatment schedule is the same, guys getting rest, guys getting treatment, guys doing what they can do on a progressive basis ‘ a little bit more, a little bit more until they get all the way back up there with whatever injury they’re dealing with. Trying to stay healthy, away from the colds and the flus and those kinds of setbacks which come sometimes at this time of year too and they can run through your team. It could be a dozen guys getting that or it could be one. If it’s one, you just hope that you can keep it at one and not end up losing a third of roster to a bug or something like that.
“All those things are important. We try to stay on top of them in terms of disinfecting everything and just constantly staying on top of it. I know players now really think about getting more rest and sometimes our schedule shortens a little bit in order to try to lengthen the rest time. All those things are part of it, but I wouldn’t say that, it’s not like we sit there in October and don’t care about [it]. We try to get them back then too but I think as the season goes on, there is a little bit of a different dynamic that comes into play, if you will, just because of the length of the season. I think the urgency to get people healthy, get them back and play is there like it is all year long.”
Tapering is something nearly every sport practices, the art of lessening the load during practice and saving it for competition.
“That’s part of it,” Belichick said of the similar practice used by the Patriots. “Of course, the rules with the number of padded practices you can have, those have been trimmed back in the last six weeks. They probably would be trimmed back anyway because we’ve had so many practices, 88 practices. We haven’t had 88 practices for Jacksonville but we’ve been on the field 88 times. Do you need to do everything as much now as we did in practices six, seven and eight? Probably not. But I think you still need to stay sharp on it. I think there are still things that you want to stay on but the intensity of training camp or those type of practices, no I don’t think, it’s just not that level. That level is on Sunday and above, but it’s a little less than that during the week, sure.”
Read the rest of this entry »