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Bill Belichick feels he has ‘good depth’ at quarterback position as they wait on Tom Brady 09.01.15 at 3:48 pm ET
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Bill Belichick addresses reporters Tuesday at Gillette Stadium on the Tom Brady issue. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick addresses reporters Tuesday at Gillette Stadium on the Tom Brady issue. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick‘s poker face was in midseason form Tuesday as the Patriots held a full pads practice outside Gillette Stadium.

“Ready for September? It’€™s here. Whatever you’€™ve got, go ahead,” Belichick said in opening his press conference.

What the media had were persistent questions about Tom Brady, and whether there might be a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the team. Belichick was asked if he’s concerned that he doesn’t have a starting quarterback and how much confidence he has in Jimmy Garoppolo.

“We’€™re going out to practice today with all the players who will be out there, and that’€™s who we’€™ll work with,” Belichick said, just hours before the 4 p.m. ET cutdown deadline to 75 players.

Is it difficult for Belichick not to know who will be your starter in Week 1?

“Right now, we’€™re practicing with all the players that are out there,” Belichick said. “We have good depth at that position. We have good depth at a lot of positions. Not everybody is out there. The players who aren’€™t out there won’€™t practice, obviously.”

With the uncertainty at quarterback, how does that affect how Belichick practices and prepares?

“We do what we think is best for the team at every position. That’€™s what we’€™ll keep doing,” he quipped.

If he could offer any advice to [Judge Richard Berman] down in New York, what would it be?

“I really am just focused on trying to get our team ready to go. That’€™s my job,” Belichick answered.

Will it be nice to have the Brady issue resolved?

“Right now, we’€™re just focused on going out to practice and working on things we’€™re doing today,” Belichick said.

Tom Brady has played 43 snaps in 12 drives over three preseason games. His only touchdown pass came on an 18-yard strike to Scott Chandler on his 12th and last drive last Friday against Carolina. How does Belichick evaluate the Tom-led offense based on his supporting cast?

“I don’€™t think we really worry too much about who is or who isn’€™t out there,” Belichick said. “It’€™s each individual player doing better at what they’€™re doing, and coach ‘€“ that’€™s all of us. We all need to do a better job in all areas ‘€“ offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff, the players. There’€™s a lot of room for improvement from all of us individually, so if that happens, then collectively there will be improvement, too.”

In non-Brady news, Belichick did note that James Develin is back in Foxboro after weekend surgery to repair a broken tibia in his lower right leg.

“I saw him [Monday], and he’€™s doing well,” Belichick said. “I think he’€™s got a good attitude. I was happy to see him. It’€™s good to see him back here.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Deflategate, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
Jimmy Garoppolo says it’s ‘business as usual’ as team awaits word on Tom Brady at 2:54 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The mood inside the Patriots locker room before Tuesday’s practice was all business.

Every player reiterated the essence of the motto “Ignore The Noise.” There would be no distraction based on the uncertainty of a pending decision from Richard Berman on the four-game suspension of Tom Brady.

No where was this focus more on display than from the man who will step in and fill Brady’s shoes, if for whatever reason, Brady is not ready for primetime Sept. 10 against the Steelers.

“We’re going about our business as usual,” Garoppolo said in his usual laid back style. “[We’€™re] just getting ready for the next game against the Giants, taking it day by day, and just going about our business.”

Garoppolo has taken 158 snaps in three preseason games, in addition to lots of first team reps, as was the case on Monday, when Brady was in New York City attending yet another settlement hearing in front of Judge Berman.

“It was good. Whenever you get the chance to get the added reps, or whatever it may be with the first team, it’€™s always a positive,” Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo was asked if he was ready to start the opener against the Steelers if needed. His answer redirected the focus to the here-and-now.

“We’ll approach that when we get there,” he said. “We’ve got a little ways to go still, so next Thursday we’ll figure it out.

“Going back to OTAs, everything, you’ve got to come into this, whether you’€™re a starter, backup, you’ve got to have the starter mentality. You never know when your number is going to get called.”

Garopppolo insisted Tuesday that he feels he’s had enough time with the first team, not just in game situations but in practice as well.

“Coach [Belichick] does a great job of mixing guys in ‘€“ first, second, third or whatever it may be ‘€“ so you play with a bunch of guys,” Garoppolo said. “You get used to all the different guys, their style and what not, and you’ve just got to make the best of it really.”

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Read More: Deflategate, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots, Tom Brady
Tom Brady returns to full pads practice, Bryan Stork, Marcus Cannon not spotted at 2:10 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With a decision pending any moment from federal judge Richard Berman, Tom Brady returned to full pads practice for the Patriots Tuesday on a steamy afternoon on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium.

Quarterbacks Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Lindley were all in attendance as the Patriots continued their preparations for the New York Giants this Thursday night in the preseason finale at Gillette Stadium.

Among those missing from practice Tuesday were offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Marcus Cannon and Chris Barker. Fullback James Develin was also missing and is headed for the injured reserve list, which would end his season unless he were designated for return.

Receiver Brandon LaFell (PUP), defensive back Darryl Roberts, defensive lineman Chris Jones and linebacker Dane Fletcher were also absent Tuesday, as the team held practice hours before the 4 p.m. ET deadline to cut the roster down to 75 players. In all, eight players on the current 79-man roster were not spotted on Tuesday.

The Patriots made five moves on Monday that brought it down to 79.

Players, coaches and team staff will stick around for the annual Patriots team gala inside Gillette Stadium that will raise money for the Patriots Charity Foundation.

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Read More: Bryan Stork, Deflategate, Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots
Patriots place Josh Boyce, Jonathan Krause on injury waivers for roster flexibility 08.31.15 at 6:50 pm ET
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Jonathan Krause

Jonathan Krause

FOXBORO — The Patriots released two of their young wide receivers on Monday as part of the effort to trim the roster down to the 75-man limit by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.

But the two receivers, Josh Boyce and Jonathan Krause, were designated with the injury tag per the NFL official waiver wire, meaning the Patriots can reclaim and stash them on the roster on injured reserve if not claimed after 24 hours. The team is not required to release an official injury report detailing a specific injury until Week 1.

This has been a common practice in the last several weeks by the Patriots. Brian Tyms injured his foot in joint practices with the Saints in West Virginia on Aug. 19. He was waived with injury designation on Aug. 24 and claimed the next day and placed immediately on injured reserve.

Last Thursday, the team did the same with defensive end-turned-tight end Jake Bequette. He missed the first two preseason games and was waived with the injury designation. A day later he landed back in Foxboro on injured reserve.

The Patriots currently have five players on season-ending injured reserve, including receivers Brandon Gibson and Tyms, running back Tyler Gaffney, Bequette and tight end A.J. Derby.

The other two waivers were tight end Jimmay Mundine and defensive lineman Joe Vellano. The release of linebacker Dekoda Watson falls in a different category, as he is a vested NFL veteran.

As a team looks toward Saturday’s 4 p.m. roster cut to 53, a refresher course in the practice squad is in order. For the 2014 and ’15 seasons, the NFL agreed to expand the practice squad from eight to 10 players.

A player must have a minimum of six games – up from the previous three games – on a practice squad in order for that season to count as one of the player’s three permissible seasons of practice squad service. So, if a player was on a practice squad for just five games in a particular team’s season, he gets an added season of PS eligibility.

Second, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two practice squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a practice squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club’s 46-player (game day) active list in each of his accrued seasons.

Keep this in mind for players like Logan Ryan and Josh Kline this week. Always remember, roster flexibility always influences, and sometimes dictates, moves on the back end of the roster.

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Read More: Jonathan Krause, Josh Boyce, New England Patriots,
How Troy Brown gave Bill Belichick some valuable perspective on cutdown process at 12:44 pm ET
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Troy Brown has always had the ear of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.   (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Troy Brown has always had the ear of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Turns out, Bill Belichick does listen to the media, at least when one of those media members is a respected former player.

Troy Brown certainly fits in that category. On Monday, Belichick shared an experience he had recently when he heard Troy Brown speak about the NFL cutdown process from a player’s perspective.

“I think Troy Brown made a comment a couple of weeks ago when he said, ‘I knew that when I came into the league, I knew that it was a long shot for me to make a team. I was probably going to get cut and all that. I felt like my job every day was to make it as hard as possible for Coach Parcells to make that decision. I wanted to make his job tough for him to cut me,'” Belichick said.

Belichick said he and his staff are in a tough spot for a very good reason. Many of his players in different groups have battled hard to make the decision on whether to cut or keep a player very challenging. In two particular groups, wide receiver and running back, especially the third-down back spot, it’s going to be razor-thin.

“It’s definitely made it hard. We’ve have a lot of guys do that,” Belichick said.

“I’d say there have been a number of guys that have done that this year in preseason. They’ve kind of taken that phrase that Troy used and really have done that. They’ve forced us to make some hard decisions because of how competitively they’ve played and vice versa. Guys at a spot where there’s a lot of competition, instead of one or two guys rising and one or two guys fading out, in some cases several members of that group have all competitively risen the level of their game to make some very tough decisions.”

The wide receiver spot includes new names like Chris Harper and Jonathan Krause, both of whom have shown glimpses of being impact players to give depth behind the likes of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Reggie Wayne and Brandon LaFell. As for the running back group, it’s very, very competitive, with players like James White, Dion Lewis, Travaris Cadet and Tony Creecy all vying for valuable game reps as a third-down back to replace Shane Vereen.

“I would put the running back position in that,” Belichick said. “We’ve pretty much had the same group. We added Tony [Creecy]. We’ve pretty much had that same group when we lost [Tyler] Gaffney but we pretty much have the same group of guys since the beginning of the spring, with no rookies in that group other than Tony coming in a couple of weeks ago. Those guys have all competed well. They’ve all improved. They’ve all pushed each other. They’ve all worked really and they’ve all been productive. It’s a good example of that. They’re making it hard on us.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Dion Lewis, James White
Bill Belichick and staff working through ‘moving parts’ as cutdowns begin at 12:15 pm ET
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Bill Belichick cracks a smile speaking to reporters Monday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick cracks a smile speaking to reporters Monday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — This is a busy time for Bill Belichick and his staff.

He has a lot to consider as rosters get cut to 75 by Tuesday at 4 p.m. and to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m. Will his starting center be ready for the season? Who will step up and fill the void for the injured James Develin? How many corners will he keep and which ones?

Then there’s the outside element, as in players that become available outside the organization, like veteran running back Fred Jackson, who was released Monday by the Bills.

And all of these questions don’t even include the uncertainty around the quarterback position, which is expected to resolve by the end of the week when Judge Richard Berman issues his ruling on the Tom Brady four-game suspension.

But first and foremost, Belichick needs to get from 84 to 75 by the end of the workday Monday. One of those moves has already been made with the reported release of tight end Jimmay Mundine.

“Some of those may be made today,” Belichick said during his Monday morning press conference. “We’€™re in the process of working through some things. There’€™s some moving parts. Some things play off other things, so whatever we have, we’€™ll just give you at the end of the day.

“It’€™s trying to balance a lot of things here at this time of year between roster, the Giants game, obviously the Pittsburgh opener and a number of other things. Each coach, each player is all in their own individual situation, whatever the circumstances are that surround it in the next couple weeks. We just have to try to work through it the best we can and try to get as much done as practically as possible. That’€™s what we’€™ll try to do.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots,
Tom Brady, James Develin, Bryan Stork, Josh Boyce all missing from Monday Patriots walkthrough at 11:49 am ET
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Josh Boyce

Josh Boyce

FOXBORO — Tom Brady was just one of 12 players not spotted at Patriots practice on Monday in shorts and shells outside Gillette Stadium.

While Brady was, of course, down in New York City attending a settlement hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in front of federal judge Richard Berman, there were several other notable players missing. Most interesting might be wide receiver Josh Boyce, who did not get a single snap in the game against the Saints or Panthers.

Also not seen were the following players who are nursing injuries: Brandon LaFell, Darryl Roberts, James Develin, Bryan Stork, Joe Vellano and Chris Jones. Receiver Jonathan Krause, offensive lineman Chris Barker and linebacker Dekoda Watson were also not seen.

The practice was just a one-hour walkthrough as the team and front office prepare to cut the roster down from 84 players to 75 by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

One of those cuts already took place as tight end Jimmay Mundine was reportedly given his release, getting the roster down to 83.

The Patriots will have practice again on Tuesday and a walkthrough Wednesday before playing their final preseason game Thursday night at Gillette Stadium against the Giants.

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Read More: Bryan Stork, James Develin, New England Patriots, nfl
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