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Matthew Slater: ‘It was a perfect kick by Stephen Gostkowski’ 12.08.13 at 11:20 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€“ With already two miraculous comebacks at home this season, the Patriots may have outdone themselves Sunday afternoon in their 27-26 win over the Browns.

Trailing by 12 with just over two minutes to play in the game, Julian Edelman hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady making it 26-21 with 1:01 remaining and then the Patriots recovered a Stephen Gostkowski onside kick, setting up Danny Amendola‘€™s game-winning one-yard touchdown catch with 31 seconds left in regulation sending what was left of the Gillette Stadium crowd into jubilation.

The most significant play of their two touchdowns in 30 seconds outburst was Kyle Arrington‘€™s onside kick recovery.

According to author Bob Hyldburg, it was the first time in Patriots history that the team recovered an onside kick and then converted the ensuing possession into a game-winning score. The last time the Patriots recovered an onside kick was 1995 in a Wild Card game against the Browns where Bill Belichick was on the opposing sideline, but even with the recovery the Patriots fell 20-13 — this time it was a much sweeter outcome for the Patriots.

Gostkowski’€™s kick went to the middle of the field where it was touched by Cleveland’€™s Fozzy Whitaker and then Arrington alertly pounced on the ball giving the Patriots possession at the Browns’ 40-yard line.

‘€œIt was a perfect kick by Stephen [Gostkowski],’€ special teams captain Matthew Slater said. ‘€œI don’€™t think he could have kicked that any better. The way we practiced it, I don’€™t think he’€™s ever kicked it that good. What can you say about Stephen and the year that he’€™s had? He’€™s been so reliable for us game in and game out, so I’€™m really not surprised that he executed like that because of the year he is having. Kyle [Arrington] did a great job of being alert and getting on the ball and we executed the ball the way we ideally drew it up.’€

For Gostkowski and all kickers for that matter, it’€™s something they practice a lot, but very rarely does it come up in live game situations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Browns, Kyle Arrington, Matthew Slater, Patriots
Matthew Slater on M&M: ‘They decided not to make the call, and it is what it is’ 11.19.13 at 12:55 pm ET
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Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to discuss Monday’s 24-20 loss to the Panthers that ended in controversy.

“It’s obviously disappointing when the game doesn’t work out in your favor, especially when you don’t feel like you played as well as you could have. But it is what it is,” Slater said. “They made more plays than we did at the end of the day, and they won the game. We’ve got to be able to turn the page and move on to Denver, because we’ve got a short week ahead of us.”

On the game’s final play, Rob Gronkowski was held by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly as Tom Brady‘s pass was intercepted in the end zone. A flag was thrown but then picked up, with the officials ruling the pass was not catchable.

“It’s obviously tough to end the game that way,” Slater said. “I’m still not really sure what happened and what the explanation was behind the picking up of the flag. But like I said, it is what it is. Us losing that game doesn’t come down to that final play. There were several plays over the course of the game that maybe we could have executed better on and we wouldn’t have left ourselves in that position.

“No football game comes down to one play. It’s just unfortunate that the game ended in that manner. But it is what it is.”

Added Slater: “It really doesn’t matter. They decided not to make the call, and it is what it is.”

Slater said that despite the frustration in letting a game slip away, there were some good things to take from the loss.

“The positive thing that we can look at is, obviously we didn’t start the game very fast, we didn’t come out the way we would have wanted to, but we were able to play ourselves back into the game,” he said. “I think that shows a tremendous amount of mental toughness, being that that environment was electric last night and that was a tough place to play. But obviously we do see a lot of areas that we can improve on, and I’m sure we’ll have a chance to look at the tape a little as we move on to Denver. But we understand that down the stretch, we’re going to have to play a lot better going against these opponents we have coming up.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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Tom Brady, Logan Mankins talk locker room culture and knowing how far is ‘too far’ 11.06.13 at 3:12 pm ET
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Several of the Patriots were Tuesday asked about the situation in Miami. We already covered the comments from special teams captain Matthew Slater, but here are some of the responses from Tom Brady and Logan Mankins.

Tom Brady

I’€™m sure you’€™ve heard about the situation in Miami.  As a captain of this team and a leader, what kind of responsibility do you have to create a respectful atmosphere and not go over the line? “We’€™ve never dealt with ‘€“ we have our own locker room and every locker room is different I’€™m sure. I don’€™t know really anything that happened down there.”

But I’€™m asking about your locker room. “We’€™ve got a great locker room. We’€™ve got a lot of great guys. Everyone is just trying to do the best they can for the team. We take Coach [Bill] Belichick‘€™s cue and try to go from there. But everyone has a role to play and everybody’€™s role is important. You can’€™t do someone else’€™s job. You show up every day trying to figure out what you can do to help the team win. That’€™s the most important thing for anybody in our locker room.”

Logan Mankins

When you look at the camaraderie of your locker room, it seems like a mature group with a simple way of doing things, this is a workplace. Why is it that some places are different? “It’€™s a tough question, but I think it always starts at the top. When the guy at the top lets you know it’€™s a business and we’€™re here to work and everything like that. We have tons of time in there where we’€™re doing a lot of joking around, messing around. We have a lot of fun with each other, too, but I don’€™t think it’€™s ever taken too far.”

Is that something you learned ‘€“ not to go over a certain line? “Yeah, I think it’€™s human nature not to take it too far.”

Read More: Logan Mankins, Matthew Slater, Tom Brady,
Patriots injury report Wednesday: Stevan Ridley limited in return, Rob Gronkowski still limited 10.09.13 at 5:07 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Stevan Ridley returned to practice on Wednesday and was among 11 Patriots listed as limited at the sweats and shells workout in Foxboro as the team begins preparations for the Saints Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Ridley missed all three practices last week with a knee injury, which kept him out of Sunday’s game against Cincinnati, the first game he’s missed due to injury in his three year career.

Center Ryan Wendell and pass rusher Rob Ninkovich were among two notable additions this week, with Wendell dealing with a concussion from Sunday’s game in Cincinnati while Ninkovich is suffering from a groin ailment.

Matthew Slater practiced for the second time in five days after returning last Friday. He was again limited with a wrist injury that forced him to miss the Bengals game. Slater has missed four games since injuring the wrist in Week 1.

Here is Wednesday’s complete report:

Did Not Practice
DT Tommy Kelly (knee)
RB Leon Washington (ankle)
DE Michael Buchanan (not injury related)

Limited Participation
WR Danny Amendola (groin)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
WR Aaron Dobson (neck)
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
LB Jerod Mayo (ankle)
DL Rob Ninkovich (groin)
RB Stevan Ridley (knee)
ST Matthew Slater (wrist)
C Ryan Wendell (concussion)
DB Tavon Wilson (hamstring)

Full Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (groin)
DB Nate Ebner (ankle)

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Matthew Slater, New England Patriots, new orleans saints, nfl
Patriots sign Kanorris Davis and Ja’Gared Davis to active roster 10.05.13 at 6:17 pm ET
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CINCINNATI — The Patriots announced a pair of moves Saturday to add special teams depth to their roster.

Safety Kanorris Davis and linebacker Ja’€™Gared Davis were signed off the practice squad and added to the 53-man roster in time for Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Ja’€™Gared Davis will wear jersey No. 53 while Kanorris Davis will wear No. 36.

Ja’€™Gared Davis, 22, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Aug. 28, 2013. The 6-foot, 238-pounder, was originally signed by the Houston Texans as a rookie free agent from Southern Methodist on May 10, 2013, and was released on Aug. 27, 2013. Davis was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1. He played in 53 college games and recorded 301 total tackles, 20 sacks, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Kanorris Davis, 23, originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Troy on May 3, 2013. The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder was released on Aug. 31 and was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 1. Davis was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster last Saturday prior to the game at Atlanta and played against the Falcons on special teams. He was released by the Patriots on Monday and signed back to the practice squad on Wednesday. Davis played as a linebacker in college, where he helped Troy win the Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2011 and 2012.

The two moves could be a likely sign that special teams captain Matthew Slater is not ready to return to action after returning to practice on Friday for the first time since breaking his wrist in the season opener. Slater was listed as “doubtful” on Friday’s injury report.

The Patriots are likely to be without Rob Gronkowski for the game while Danny Amendola could make his return after missing the last three games with a groin injury.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, Ja'Gared Davis, Kanorris Davis, Matthew Slater
Stevan Ridley ruled out, Matthew Slater returns to practice, ‘doubtful’ for Sunday 10.04.13 at 5:31 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Stevan Ridley will miss his first game of the season Sunday in Cincinnati as the running back has been ruled out with a knee injury. Ridley missed all three practices this week. His snaps will be replaced by the combination of LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden.

Matthew Slater returned to practice Friday for the first time since breaking his left wrist in the season opener in Buffalo. He was limited and listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium.

Danny Amendola (groin), Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) and linebacker Jerod Mayo (ankle) were among 11 players limited at practice on Friday. Amendola has missed three games since injuring his groin in the season opener. He is officially questionable to return Sunday after missing the last three games. Gronkowski is likely to miss another week, postponing his return to Week 6 against the Saints at home.

Safety and special teamer Nate Ebner (ankle) was removed from the injury report and fully participated Friday.

Vontaze Burfict (neck), the Bengals’ hard-hitting inside linebacker, returned to practice on Friday and is probable to play. Leon Hall is doubtful with a hamstring while defensive end Michael Johnson (concussion) and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) are questionable.

Here is Friday’s complete report:

Did Not Practice
RB Stevan Ridley (knee) OUT

Limited Participation
ST Matthew Slater (wrist) DOUBTFUL
WR Danny Amendola (groin) QUESTIONABLE
RB Brandon Bolden (knee) QUESTIONABLE
WR Aaron Dobson (neck) QUESTIONABLE
TE Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) QUESTIONABLE
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jerod Mayo (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
WR Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
OL Sebastian Vollmer (foot) QUESTIONABLE
RB Leon Washington (thigh) QUESTIONABLE
DB Tavon Wilson (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE

Full Participation
DB Kyle Arrington (groin) PROBABLE
OL Will Svitek (knee) PROBABLE

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Cincinnati Bengals, Matthew Slater, New England Patriots, nfl
Stevan Ridley again missing at Patriots practice 10.03.13 at 10:56 am ET
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FOXBORO — Stevan Ridley, Matthew Slater and Vince Wilfork were again the only players missing at Patriots practice Thursday morning, a session that was held in full pads on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

There was a new player in attendance as the team signed free agent wide receiver Austin Collie. The Patriots listed four of their six wide receivers as limited on Thursday.

The absence of Slater and Wilfork was no surprise as Wilfork underwent Achilles surgery on Tuesday and is likely lost for the season, while Slater suffered a wrist injury in the season opener in Buffalo and is expected out another week. Ridley’s knee injury is of concern as the team’s running back depth is tested.

In addition, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski were again present for the start of the workout.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: austin collie, Cincinnati Bengals, Matthew Slater, New England Patriots
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