|Pats trade Jeff Demps, 7th round pick to Tampa Bay for RB LeGarrette Blount||04.27.13 at 4:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Jeff Demps era in Foxboro is over before it ever really began.
The Patriots have dealt the former Olympic track star and a seventh round pick (No. 229 overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back LeGarrette Blount. The deal leaves New England with two seventh round picks.
Ironically, Demps made his Patriots debut in the preseason last August against Tampa Bay after being signed as an undrafted free agent.
Demps skipped the 2012 NFL Combine and Draft in favor of preparing for the Olympics. However, he attracted interest from NFL teams after the Games, and agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the New England Patriots on Aug. 17, 2012. Two weeks later, he was placed on injured reserve and missed the entire 2012 season.
Demps injured his knee in the final preseason game and then expressed a desire to continue his track career career while at the same time playing in the NFL, presumably leading to the Patriots’ desire to trade him.
As for Blount, in three seasons with Tampa Bay, he has 1,939 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average with with 13 touchdowns. But Blount achieved notoriety for what he did in college while playing for Chip Kelly at Oregon.
The Ducks opened their 2009 season with a 19–8 loss to Boise State. Blount ended the game with negative yardage (-8) and points (-2 from a safety). Shortly after the end of the game, Blount punched Boise State defensive end Byron Hout, knocking him to the ground. Blount then hit teammate Garrett Embry, who was attempting to restrain him, in the helmet.
As he was escorted to the locker room, Blount confronted Boise State fans who were jeering him after seeing the video replay. Blount claimed one Boise State fan brandished a chair at him and another punched him. Two police officers and Oregon assistant coach Scott Frost restrained Blount and escorted him into the locker room.
For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.
|Patriots add ‘blessed’ Leon Washington to their arsenal||03.14.13 at 6:46 pm ET|
Soon after tweeting “negotiations!!!” while in a meeting with the Patriots, kick returner and running back Leon Washington went a step further by tweeting out a picture of himself in a Patriots hat, indicating that he had agreed to terms with New England. At the bottom of the picture, he tweeted, “#blessed Lets Go #Pats.”
About an hour later, the Patriots made it official, signing the veteran return specialist.
Washington, who turns 31 on Aug. 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the New York Jets (2006-09) and the Seattle Seahawks (2010-12). The 5-foot-8, 203 pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round (117th pick overall) draft choice by the Jets out of Florida State in 2006. He was traded by the Jets to the Seahawks on April 24, 2010 for a 2010 fifth-round draft choice. Washington was released by Seattle on March 12, 2013.
Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs (Cleveland) with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown in a game against San Diego in 2010. Washington earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2012 and All-Pro honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Washington has played in 103 NFL games with 14 starts and has registered 473 rushing attempts for 2,213 yards and 16 touchdowns, and 146 receptions for 1,127 yards and two touchdowns. He has also returned 168 punts for 1,668 yards and 244 kickoffs for 6,315 yards and eight touchdowns.
Indeed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that the Pro Bowler signed a one-year deal to play with the Patriots, who did not reveal terms or length of the contract.
Leon Washington and Patriots reached agreement on a one-year deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2013
Washington is the leading candidate to replace Wes Welker on punt returns and could also provide insurance in the running game, should the Patriots not retain free agent running back Danny Woodhead.
For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.
|Lights out: Ravens beat Niners in electrifying finish to Super Bowl XLVII||02.03.13 at 10:48 pm ET|
Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns and Jacoby Jones returned a kick 108 yards as the Ravens held on to beat the 49ers, 34-31, in a bizarre Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday night. Flacco finished 22-of-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns in earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Colin Kaepernick was on the verge of engineering the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history when it appeared the Ravens committed a blatant defensive holding by Jimmy Smith on Michael Crabtree in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Ravens’ 5 with just over a minute left. No call was made and the Ravens took possession at their 5 and killed off most of the clock.
The game ended when the Ravens took a safety on a punt with four seconds left, and then punted away to Ted Ginn. The 49ers specialist returned it 31 yards to midfield but was tackled as time ran out.
The game marked the first loss in six Super Bowls for the 49ers while the Ravens won for the second time in as many trips to the big game, winning Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa.
In a game that featured an electrifying halftime show by Beyonce and a 34-minute power outage minutes later in the third quarter, Kaepernick led his team from a 28-6 hole in the third quarter back to 31-29, passing for a score and running for another as San Francisco scored 23 points in just over 12 minutes. However, the Niners could not convert a two-point conversion that would have tied the game.
The Ravens jumped out to a 21-6 halftime lead thanks in large part to the sensational play of Flacco, as he threw three first half touchdowns. Ed Reed picked off Kaepernick and the Ravens gambled on fourth-and-9, but kicker Justin Tucker was tackled a yard short on a fake field goal. On the next drive, Flacco hit Jones for a 56-yard touchdown pass, putting Baltimore up 21-3.
Jacoby Jones opened the second half by taking the kick eight yards deep in the end zone and racing up the middle for the longest kickoff return in Super Bowl history.
Moments later, as San Francisco was facing third-and-13 in its own territory, the lights and power went out through most parts of the Superdome. The game was delayed 34 minutes as NFL officials and stadium administrators went into a frenzy trying to restore order and power.
After the lights came back on, the Niners were forced to punt. But on their next drive, they began a furious comeback. Crabtree caught a 31-yard TD pass. Frank Gore, who finished with 110 yards on 19 carries, ran around the right side for a 6-yard score after a Ginn punt return.
David Akers converted a field goal that cut the lead to 28-23. The Ravens added a field goal early in the fourth quarter, making it, 31-23. The Niners then scored on a Kaepernick 15-yard run. With a chance to tie the game, the Niners could not convert a two-point conversion. Reed appeared to be offsides on the corner blitz, but no call was made and the Ravens held a 31-29 lead.
After another Ravens field goal, Kaepernick got the ball back with a chance to win. The Niners drove to the Ravens’ 7. But with four chances, the Niners couldn’t punch it in.
|Power outage delays Super Bowl 34 minutes in third quarter||at 10:13 pm ET|
In one of the most bizarre moments in the 47-year history of America’s greatest game, a power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome suspended play of Super Bowl XLVII for 34 minutes Sunday evening.
The Ravens were just celebrating a 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones for a touchdown and appeared ready to put the game away.
With the 49ers trailing 28-6 and facing a third-and-14, stadium lights cut out on San Francisco’s side of the field. Then lights went out throughout the building.
The NFL released the following statement after play resumed: “Stadium authorities are investigating the cause of the power outage. We will have more information as it becomes available.”
Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan followed with a statement on behalf of the building: “We sincerely apologize for the incident.”
Speculation was rampant following a spectacular halftime show by Beyonce that required numerous flashing lights and finished with dramatic flare.
The 49ers captured the game’s momentum, scoring 23 points in just over 12 minutes of game time following the outage.
|Bringing the Super Bowl closer to home with ‘the world’s most popular sporting event program’||01.28.13 at 3:58 pm ET|
They published the 2013 Inauguration Program for President Barack Obama. They publish the program for one of the biggest evens in tennis – The U.S. Open – and they handle publication for baseball’s annual Hall of Induction ceremony. And once again, they will publish the single most popular souvenir of America’s most popular sporting event.
H.O. Zimman, headquartered in Lynn, Mass., publishes the official souvenir program of the Super Bowl.
They bill the $20 program as a publication that has “stories that will indulge the senses” as part of “the world’s most popular sporting event program.”
Among its 264 pages, the best selling feature of the Super Bowl XLVII Official Souvenir Magazine is the high-glossy finish of action photography, popular feature stories from national writers and several features including one on every winning team’s Super Bowl ring.
It’s not quite the $3.8 million for a 30-second TV spot during the big game but Super Bowl program advertisers do reach a captive audience that goes well beyond the 72,003 fans inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, as the program is considered a must-have by hundreds of thousands of football fans worldwide who make it a tradition to collect the program every year.
Those who advertise in the big program receive a complimentary advertisement in the 2013 Pro Bowl Official Magazine, which was played Sunday in Honolulu.
H.O. Zimman is a full-service custom publisher, providing layout, design, editing, printing, production, and delivery services. With a client list that includes the National Football League, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the United States Tennis Association, Zimman produces more than 500 publications annually.
For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots.
|Ed Reed ‘all good’ with Tom Brady after he apologizes for slide||01.22.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
Ravens safety Ed Reed told a Baltimore radio station Tuesday that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has reached out to him to apologize for his slide late in the first half of Sunday’s AFC championship. Reed was spotted limping immediately after the play but walked it off and did not miss a snap. The NFL confirmed on Tuesday that the play was under ‘routine review’ for possible disciplinary action.
“We talked,” Reed told WJZ-FM. “We talked actually not too long ago, we talked on the phone. He actually reached out to me, texted me. I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him … and he’s just apologized and what not. But I told him, ‘You know, it’s good, man.’”
Brady scrambled inside the Ravens 10 and had his right leg raised off the ground and kicked Reed on the inside of his upper right leg.
“For the most part, I didn’t say anything to him when he said something to me at the game,” Reed said. “… He was going, ‘You want to play like that, let’s go.’ But no, Brady’s a great competitor and I love going against him and I know where his heart is at for this game. It was all good.”
The incident sent Bernard Pollard into a rage heading into the locker room, where he reportedly used the moment to fire up his teammates and inspire them to a hard-hitting second half. Pollard delivered huge blows to Wes Welker and Stevan Ridley.
The hit to Welker was followed three plays later by Welker’s key drop on third down. In the fourth quarter, Pollard drilled Ridley, causing a fumble that set up Baltimore fourth and clinching touchdown. Ridley did not return after the hit and left with a head injury.
As for Reed, the perennial Pro Bowl safety said he still has total respect for Brady.
“I know he’s a great player,” said Reed. “I respect Brady and his game for all it stands for, and I know he’s not a dirty player. And emotions get going in the game.”
The irony to the story is that Reed is a free agent after the Super Bowl appearance with the Ravens and could wind up in New England next season if the Ravens don’t sign him. Brady and Bill Belichick have long raved about the veteran safety’s leadership and ball-hawking skills.
|Andrew Luck replaces Tom Brady on AFC Pro Bowl squad, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Vince Wilfork also out||01.21.13 at 7:38 pm ET|
Tom Brady is again politely declining a trip to Hawaii to play in the NFL’s greatest exhibition game.
Andrew Luck had one of the best seasons any rookie quarterback has ever had in living up to his No. 1 overall draft billing coming into the 2012 season.
On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts rookie was rewarded with a trip to Hawaii to replace Brady in the in the Pro Bowl. Brady was excused from the Pro Bowl with an undisclosed injury.
Brady was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl game in late December but hasn’t played the last six times he’s been selected. He played in Feb. 2002 after winning the Super Bowl and he played in Feb. 2005 after the 2004 season but hasn’t played since, as he has been designated as injured and has been replaced.
It appears Brady won’t be alone in turning down the leis in paradise. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports Wes Welker, Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork have also taken their names out of the Pro Bowl due to various injuries. Linebacker Jerod Mayo and special teams captain Matthew Slater were also selected but remain on the Pro Bowl roster.
As for Luck, through Week 9, Luck had thrown for the same number of yards as his predecessor, Peyton Manning, did in his first season in Denver.
His legend began to truly grow in Week 13 against the Lions. Luck and the Colts were trailing 33-28 with 1:07 left. He was able to get to the Lions’ 14 yard line and faced a fourth down with three seconds left. Luck then threw a screen pass to Donnie Avery who got free and ran in for the winning score.
The win gave Luck his eighth on the season – the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted first overall in NFL history, as well as his fifth game-winning drive on the season, tying Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger for the most by a rookie quarterback. On Dec. 23, 2012, Luck broke the record for most passing yards by a rookie against the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing 205 to bring his season total to 4,183. Cam Newton held the previous record with 4,051 yards.
Luck advanced the Colts, one season removed from 2-14, to the the playoffs, where they lost to the Ravens in Baltimore.
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