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What Nick Caserio and Patriots really get from pro days, and how it helps them in the draft 04.22.15 at 9:41 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Like the 31 other teams in the NFL, the Patriots have taken advantage of the last several months to evaluate college talent that might be able to help them improve their roster.

Some of those players will be drafted. Some will be signed as undrafted rookie free agents.

One of the most publicized tools in helping NFL teams evaluate that talent pool are pro days, the much-hyped showcases on college campuses where NFL personnel executives can get a first-hand look at which players have the raw talent to excel in the National Football League and which ones intrigue but will have to find a way onto a roster through finesse and smarts.

What does Patriots director of personnel Nick Caserio think of the talent shows?

“I think it depends. Really, there are some players who, if they weren’€™t at the combine, they weren’€™t at an all-star game, so this is like their one opportunity to kind of go through the testing process. I’€™d say that pro days, from our perspective, I mean, yeah, you get the times and you get the information, but if you go to a pro day, you’€™re really trying to allocate time with the player,” Caserio said. “Look, it’€™s not necessarily how high he did the broad jump and the vertical jump. Let’€™s say you have an opportunity to go to the school and you meet with the player one-on-one the night before or what have you and you go through an installation. OK, we’€™re going to install these concepts. OK, we’€™re going to go through their information, how do they process that. Then we’€™re going to test them. Then we’€™re going to walk through.”

It’s the allocation of time that is really the significance of pro days to Caserio and the Patriots.

“I would say that is more helpful and advantageous from our perspective than letting the guy go out there and take his shirt off and running a 40 and getting time. There are always going to be some players in the spring that, you go in the school in the fall and maybe the guy hasn’€™t played that much ‘€“ he just doesn’€™t have that much experience playing ‘€“ but they tell you, ‘€˜Look, this guy is going to really test well in the spring.’€™ Then, maybe you get the jump on that player and it verified what they told you. This guy tested really well. Then the question becomes, ‘€˜Well, if he tested well, why didn’€™t he play? What happened there?’€™ Then you have to go back and research and try to figure that out.

“The pro day in and of itself, it’€™s like the combine. It’€™s become kind of a media creation, a little bit of a circus. You try to get in there and get what you need to get done accomplished. Like I said, the bottom line is, if a guy has played three years in the SEC against good competition and then he has a bad pro day, are you really going to downgrade him because he didn’€™t run a good ‘€˜L’€™ drill? Probably not.”

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Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, New England Patriots, Nick Caserio,
Patriots 2015 schedule officially released 04.21.15 at 8:10 pm ET
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Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet for a 17th time on Nov. 29. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet for a 17th time on Nov. 29. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Patriots’ Super Bowl defense begins on Thursday, Sept. 10 against Ben Roethlisberger and ends in South Florida against the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 3.

2015 PATRIOTS PRESEASON

Thursday, Aug, 13 Green Bay 7:30 p.m. ET WBZ Patriots Preseason Network

Saturday, Aug. 22 at New Orleans TBD WBZ Patriots Preseason Network

Friday, Aug. 28 at Carolina 7:30 p.m. ET WBZ Patriots Preseason Network

Thursday, Sept. 3 New York Giants 7:30 p.m. ET WBZ Patriots Preseason Network

2015 PATRIOTS REGULAR SEASON

Thursday, Sept. 10 Pittsburgh 8:30 p.m. ET WHDH NBC

Sunday, Sept. 20 at Buffalo 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS

Sunday, Sept. 27 Jacksonville 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS

Sunday, Oct. 4 BYE WEEK

Sunday, Oct. 11 at Dallas 4:25 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Sunday, Oct. 18 at Indianapolis 8:30 p.m. ET WHDH NBC*

Sunday, Oct. 25 New York Jets 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Thursday, Oct. 29 Miami 8:25 p.m. ET WBZ CBS/NFL Network

Sunday, Nov. 8 Washington 1:00 p.m. ET WFXT FOX*

Sunday, Nov. 15 at New York Giants 4:25 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Monday, Nov. 23 Buffalo 8:30 p.m. ET TBD ESPN

Sunday, Nov. 29 at Denver 8:30 p.m. ET WHDH NBC*

Sunday, Dec. 6 Philadelphia 4:25 p.m. ET WFXT FOX*

Sunday, Dec. 13 at Houston 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Sunday, Dec. 20 Tennessee 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Sunday, Dec. 27 at New York Jets 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

Sunday, Jan. 3 at Miami 1:00 p.m. ET WBZ CBS*

*-Game time and network subject to possible flexible scheduling adjustment.
Bold indicates nationally televised games
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Read More: New England Patriots, nfl, NFL schedule, Patriots schedule
Reports: Patriots-Steelers will open 2015 NFL regular season at Gillette Stadium at 3:30 pm ET
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The official release of the 2015 NFL schedule is Tuesday night at 8 p.m., but the first game of the year has gotten out early.

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening game of the season, Thursday, Sept. 10 at Gillette Stadium. As has been the case for many years, the defending champions open the year on a Thursday night at home and raise the banner from its Super Bowl winning year.

There was much debate as to who the opponent would be with the Eagles, Bills and Jets all being talked about, but ultimately it was Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers coming to Foxboro. Roethlisberger will face Tom Brady for the 16th time, with Brady holding a slight 33-32 touchdown pass lead.

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

Read More: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers,
Source: QB Tom Brady first player at Gillette for start of offseason workouts Monday 04.20.15 at 10:42 am ET
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Tom Brady was back at Gillette on Monday for the first day of offseason workouts. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was back at Gillette on Monday for the first day of offseason workouts. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

A source at Gillette Stadium said quarterback Tom Brady was first player in building at 7 a.m. Monday morning for the start of the Patriots offseason program.

The 37-year-old Brady, coming off his fourth Super Bowl ring and the oldest player on the New England roster, was one of several notable players in attendance for the start of the first week of offseason workouts. It was a group that included tight end Rob Gronkowski.

While teams with new coaches have been back to football since April 6, the Patriots (and the rest of the teams with returning staffs) will open their offseason program this week — the first day they are allowed back in the facility to meet with coaches is Monday. Here are some of the regulations that each team has to abide by when they conduct their offseason programs:

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1 consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase 2 consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase 3 consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs.” No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
Report: NFL 2015 schedule release set for April 23 04.13.15 at 3:52 pm ET
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The NFL’€™s regular season schedule for 2015 is set to be released on Thursday, April 23, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.

As it relates to New England, while all the dates and times are still to be set, we do know two things: One, the Patriots are expected to open the season at home on Thursday, September 10 –€” the traditional nationally-televised opener for the defending champions. (While there are a handful of possibilities, our money is on the Eagles, Steelers or Jets at this point.) And two, New England will have to be on the road for at least the regular-season finale (and maybe the week before that as well) because of the logistics involved in staging the 2016 NHL Winter Classic, set for Gillette Stadium on New Year’€™s Day.

Here’€™s New England’€™s list of opponents for 2015.

Home
Bills
Jets
Dolphins
Jaguars
Titans
Eagles
Redskins
Steelers

Road
Bills
Jets
Dolphins
Texans
Colts
Giants
Cowboys
Broncos

Read More: New England Patriots,
Packers, Panthers highlight Patriots 2015 preseason slate 04.09.15 at 4:08 pm ET
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The Patriots have announced their opponents for the 2015 preseason schedule. While times and dates — as well as potential joint practices — have yet to be announced, here’s the list of opponents.

Week 1: vs. Packers. New England will open the 2015 preseason at home against the defending NFC North champions. The Patriots have played Green Bay in the preseason 13 times with the most recent game played at Green Bay in 2005.
Week 2: at Saints. The Patriots last played New Orleans in the preseason in 2012 when the Saints and Patriots held joint practice sessions prior to playing the first preseason game of the season at Gillette.
Week 3: at Panthers. The Patriots and Carolina will meet in Week 3 of the preseason for the second straight season. Last year, New England hosted Carolina in Week 3, with the Patriots taking a 30-7 win.
Week 4: vs. Giants. The Patriots and Giants will play each other in the preseason finale for the 11th straight season and for the 25th time overall, the most frequent preseason opponent for New England.

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

Read More: Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, new orleans saints, New York Giants
Report: Stevan Ridley signs with Jets 04.08.15 at 7:41 pm ET
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Stevan Ridley will try to rebound from a serious knee injury after signing with the Jets. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Stevan Ridley will try to rebound from a serious knee injury after signing with the Jets. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Another former Patriot is headed to the Jets.

In a move not as earthshaking as Darrelle Revis, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report Wednesday night that free agent running back Stevan Ridley is signing with the Patriots’ AFC East division rival. Multiple reports indicate it’s a one-year deal with the Jets. Ridley is no guarantee to be the Jets’ feature back as he is coming off ACL and MCL tears in Buffalo in October. He only ran for 340 yards and two touchdowns in 2014.

Ridley made a big impact in his rookie season out of LSU in 2011, when he averaged 5.1 yards on 87 carries, playing in all 16 games. He fumbled in the season finale and again in a playoff win over the Broncos and was benched for the AFC championship and Super Bowl.

Ridley’s breakout season came in 2012, when he ran for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Ball security was again a problems as he fumbled four times and once in the AFC championship loss to the Ravens, in which he was knocked out with a concussion.

Ridley’s yards per carry fell to 4.3 yards in 2013 before bottoming out to 3.6 yards per carry this past season.

Ridley will battle Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell for playing time. According to Rapoport, Ridley had offers from the Redskins and Dolphins, among others. Rapoport says Ridley chose the Jets because he is joining an offense under new coordinator Chan Gailey.

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Read More: 2015 NFL free agency, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Stevan Ridley

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