|Sealver Siliga (foot) does not participate while Jamaal Charles (limited) expects to play||09.25.14 at 5:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Defensive lineman Sealver Siliga was the only Patriots player missing from practice on Thursday as the team released its first formal participation report of the week leading up to their game Monday night in Kansas City. Siliga injured his foot in the first half Sunday against the Raiders and did not return.
In a bit of encouraging news for the Patriots, three players were removed altogether from the injury report after spending last week on the list. Receiver Julian Edelman (back), running back Shane Vereen (shoulder) and center Ryan Wendell (knee) participated fully in practice and were not on the report.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) and linebacker Jamie Collins (thigh) remain on the list.
For the Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles, who missed Sunday’s win over the Dolphins with a high-ankle sprain, returned and was listed as limited.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated that he believes the running back will be ready to play Monday night against the Patriots.
“Yeah, I think so,” Reid said Thursday when asked if Charles would practice this week and play on Monday. “He’s going to practice. We’ll see how he does.”
Additionally for the Chiefs, safety Eric Berry is nursing an ankle injury and did not practice. Pass rushing linebacker Tamba Hali (ankle/knee) was one of five Chiefs limited on Thursday.
Here’s the complete report:
Did not participate
DT Sealver Siliga (ankle)
|Time machine: The how and why of Patriots’ offensive struggles||09.24.14 at 12:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Through the first three games of the season, the Patriots offense has been nothing like anyone expected.
The offense is ranked 26th in the NFL and 27th when it comes to passing. Why?
With the poor play of the offensive line, Brady hasn’t had much time to scan the field and look to his second, third and fourth options on most plays, so in turn he’s had to get rid of the ball quickly, going to his first read — usually Edelman or Gronkowski.
Over the last two games — according to our count — Brady has had 27 pass attempts where he’s taken less than two seconds from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is released from his hand. That’s compared to only 15 passes where he’s taken longer than 2.6 seconds. In Week 2 against the Vikings, he averaged 2.06 seconds over his 21 pass attempts, compared to 2.35 seconds in 37 attempts in Week 3 against Oakland.
“It’s a chess match that goes back and forth,” Brady said of getting the ball out of his hands quickly against opposing defenses. “I’m sure it will be this week. [Kansas City has] a lot of good pass rushers. It’s not one of those games you want to sit back there and see how long you want to hold onto the ball because they are eventually going to get there.”
Brady is known for getting the ball out of his hands quickly — according to Pro Football Focus, in 2012 he led the NFL with the fastest average release time of 2.47 seconds. Last season, prior to the Denver game in Week 12, Brady was tied for sixth at 2.54.
It should be noted because of some of the plays the Patriots run, like the quick wide receiver screens — which they call a lot of — can throw off some of the release time numbers and bring the average down.
|Julian Edelman on MFB: Patriots offense ‘just not clicking’||09.22.14 at 12:07 pm ET|
Julian Edelman, who continues to be the only Patriots wide receiver to have any consistent production this season, joined the Middays with MFB crew for his weekly Monday appearance, one day after a 16-9 victory over the Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots offense has yet to find a groove this season, and the issues cropped up again Sunday as New England scored only one touchdown.
“It’s an overall offensive thing right now. We’re just not clicking,” Edelman said. “We haven’t played one of our best games yet. It’s early in the year. We’re 2-1, so you’ve got to look at that. We’re taking care of the ball. We just have to improve our third down and red area offense a little better and play those situations out better. I’m sure we’ll be going back this week, we’re going to analyze the film today, take from the bad and build from the good and just try to improve. That’s what you do. If you can improve every day in this game, in this league, that’s when your team starts getting good.”
Although the Patriots have won two games in a row, most of the talk has been negative due to the manner in which the offense has played. Edelman said he understands the reaction.
“There’s a lot of expectations out here, especially with the history that we’ve had,” he said. “But that’s all noise. We just have to continue to try to get better, day in and day out. If we get five plays better next game, then you get 10 plays better the next game, then you start to get into a little something, that’s when you start developing your stride. That’s what we’re going to try to do. We’re going to go out here and we’re going to practice hard. We have an extra day of practice, we have a big game coming up against Kansas City on Monday night, so as long as we just try to improve, everyone just do their job, we’ll be all right.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s surprisingly close 16-9 victory over the lowly Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Although they won, the Patriots continued to struggle offensively, putting up just 16 points at home against an unimpressive Raiders team.
“It’s great that we won the game. Obviously, offensively we’re just not doing as good a job as we’re capable of doing. We left a lot of points out there yesterday and made it a close game there. We just have some issues we’re going to have to try to fix here, and we’re going to have to try to fix them fast, because it only gets tougher from here.
“We’ve got a smart team, we’ve got a tough team, we’re physical, we’ve just got to execute better. I think we’ve done a good job with not turning the ball over, which has helped. We talk about that every week. But too many penalties, too many missed opportunities to score, it’s just not what our expectations are. We’re going to go back to work and see if we can do better.”
Some people have pointed the finger at the offensive line, which is without longtime coach Dante Scarnecchia, who retired after last season.
“For us to think about a bunch of hypothetical situations, it doesn’t serve us well,” Brady said. “That’s really for you guys, all the listeners and the fans. All those things that make for great sports talk aren’t necessarily what are in the minds of our team. Whether Dante’s here or not here, whether a player’s here or not there, it doesn’t matter, because we’re faced with what we’re faced with.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the offensive line, I’ve got a lot of confidence in coach [Dave DeGuglielmo] and what he’s doing. This goes back to us players, and us players doing a better job. I don’t think it has anything to do with the people who aren’t on the field. The people who affect the wins and losses in the game are the players, and we’ve got to go out there and throw the ball, catch the ball, run with the ball, block, tackle — all the things that it takes to win the game. I’m not going to sit here and say that it has anything to do with anything other than that, because that’s where I feel the responsibility always lies.”
|Tom Brady on Patriots offense: ‘I don’t think anything is perfect out there’||09.21.14 at 7:41 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Finishing with 16 points and only one touchdown against a Raiders defense who allowed a combined 49 points in their first two games of the season, Tom Brady and the offense had a reason to be frustrated with their performance. But, even with its offensive struggles, the Patriots were able to sneak away with a 16-9 win over the Raiders in its home opener Sunday afternoon.
“We had some opportunities there to score more points and we didn’t come away with it,” Brady said. “We left some chances on the field and certainly scoring opportunities. That’s something we’re going to have to obviously get a lot better at, so we’ll keep working at it.”
The major issue for the Patriots was its red zone efficiency as they ran six plays inside the Oakland’s 3-yard line and scored zero touchdowns on those plays. Their lone touchdown of the game was a 6-yard pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the second quarter.
New England couldn’t find the end zone at the end of the first half when Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen were stopped on consecutive running plays and then on third down the shotgun snap was botched. Then, opening the fourth quarter, Vereen was stopped and Brady threw back-to-back incompletions, intended for Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals on both occasions and finished with three total in the game.
“We’re going to try to keep making improvements,” Brady said. “I don’t think anything is perfect out there. There are some teams that are playing really well already. We’re not really doing that offensively yet. Defensively we played great but it’s a team sport. We’ve got to handle our business and do our job, whether it’s situationally, whether it’s scoring when we need to score. Not turning the ball over has been good — I think we’ve done a good job of that. We’ve just got to score more points. Especially getting down to the red area and having opportunities to score and not being able to do it.”
|Rob Gronkowski says Patriots did enough but ‘that’s not always going to get the job done’||at 7:09 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski is a realist.
He knows 16 points might be the 0-3 Raiders at Gillette but the bar is a little higher than beating a winless team traveling cross country on its way to London.
Gronkowski had the only touchdown of the day in a 16-9 win over the Raiders Sunday as the Patriots improved to 2-1.
“Sometimes there is frustration but you always want to move on to the next play, and that’s what we were doing,” Gronkowski said. “We did enough this game, but that’s not always going to get the job done. We’ve just got to keep working together as a unit and keep working hard.”
While there wasn’t much offensively to get excited about, Gronkowski and his continued great play in the red area is one thing Patriots fans can take comfort in.
He had another touchdown catch on a crossing route in the end zone in the second quarter as the Patriots found the end zone for the only time on the afternoon. Gronk would’ve had a second touchdown catch if it weren’t for Charles Woodson sticking his hand up at the last moment and deflecting Brady’s pass to an open Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.
“Just a little over route and just got open on the linebacker, and Tom put a nice ball right there, and I just made the catch and got in,” Gronkowski said of his second-quarter grab. “So, good job by everyone as a unit, and we executed well.”
One of the few times on the afternoon an offensive player in a blue jersey could say that. Julian Edelman would be another. He had 10 catches on 13 targets for 84 hard-fought yards, including a somersault flip near the goal line. After the game Edelman, perhaps after a discussion with coaches, admitted he’s got to do a better job avoiding hits.
“Julian is a warrior,” Gronkowski said in admiration. “He has the ball, he goes full speed, game, practice, whatever. He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve been around.”
Gronk finished with three catches on six targets for 44 yards, including finding a hole in the Raiders zone at midfield for 22 yards on a pivotal 3rd-and-15 conversion from Tom Brady.
“We’ve just got to keep working together as a unit, and that starts at practice first,” Gronkowski said. “We’ve got to get clicking for sure. We did enough today to get that victory, but there are always a lot of improvements, starting with myself. I could make a lot better blocks, better routes. So we’ve just got to go out there in practice and have the offense clicking altogether as one and bring it out to the games.
“A win is a win. Every team is good in the NFL, so whenever you come out with a win, especially in the first game at home, it’s a win. The defense played very well, and we just did what we had to do to get that victory, which is huge.”
|Julian Edelman: ‘We have to be more consistent’||at 5:47 pm ET|
“We have to be more consistent,” Edelman said following Sunday’s 16-9 win over the Raiders. “One play I don’t run a good route we don’t connect, one play something else goes wrong. We have to tighten up the bolts, adjust and be more consistent. I’m sure we’ll be working on that a lot this week.”
Edelman led the Patriots receiving corps once again with 10 catches for 84 yards on 12 targets. Through three games Edelman has caught 22 of the 28 passes thrown in his direction and has totaled 260 yards in the three games, by far the most among Patriots receivers.
Although he’s been productive, he’s taken a lot of big hits after plays, forcing him to be limited in practice this week and listed as probable on the injury report with a back injury. Edelman knows it’s a long season and he needs to be more cautious when he can.
“I have to play a little smarter, protecting myself a little better with the ball in my hands,” he said. “Ball security is No. 1 and you can’t get caught up in making a play sometimes. You have to be there for 16 games. Of course it’s a rough game, but I definitely have to play a little smarter.”
The sixth-year receiver has now had at least six receptions in his last nine regular season games. It is the longest current streak in the NFL and the longest streak for a Patriots player since Wes Welker had a streak of 10 such games in 2012. Sunday was the fourth regular season game Edelman has finished with 10 or more catches in his career and he’s on pace to finish the season with 117 receptions.
Even with the impressive personal accolades, Edelman knows he, as well as the rest of the offense can be better.
“My job is to get open and catch the ball,” said Edelman. “Work hard in the run game, make blocks in the run game. There were a few times I didn’t do my job. I have to go out this week and try and do my job better. If everyone does their job better, the collective unit will do better. That is what I have to do.”
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