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Source: Julian Edelman, Bryan Stork part of group working out at Gillette while rest of team is in West Virginia 08.19.15 at 12:37 pm ET
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Julian Edelman was part of a group who has apparently stayed behind in New England for rehab while the rest of the roster is in West Virginia for practices with the Saints. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman is part of a group that stayed behind in New England for rehab while the rest of the roster is in West Virginia for practices with the Saints. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

A group that included wide receivers Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson and Brandon LaFell, as well as offensive lineman Bryan Stork, showed up at Gillette Stadium for work Wednesday morning, according to a source.

The Patriots, who are taking part in joint practices with the Saints this week in West Virginia in advance of their second preseason game of the summer in New Orleans this weekend, apparently decided to leave a sizable portion of their offense behind in hopes that the group will continue to focus on rest and rehab prior to the start of the regular season.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the protocol that goes into trying to decide which players to bring along for joint practices outside of New England and which players to leave behind for rest and rehab.

“It’s an individual conversation,” Belichick said earlier this week. “We talk about each player that would fall in that category, what would be the best thing for him, and then we have to utilize our resources. But it could go either way. Some guys we’ll take depending on their injury and situation; other guys we won’t. It’s really on a case-by-case basis. If we feel like we can get productive work with them and so forth, then that’s a reason to take him.

“But I don’t think anybody would recommend a lot of travel for somebody rehabbing from injury,” he added. “‘Here’s how you get better quick — travel, jump on a couple planes, fly around the country.’ So, that’s generally not part of the prescribed rehabilitation. But if there is good reason for the person to travel for them to get whatever work it is or do whatever it is wherever we are, then that’s something we would talk about.”

The biggest takeaway from this news? Don’t expect any of those players to suit up for the Patriots this weekend when New England faces the Saints in New Orleans. As a result, it should also give several youngster and other backups — like Chris Harper, Brandon Gibson and David Andrews — a shot at more playing time, and a greater opportunity to impress the coaching staff.

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

Read More: 2015 Patriots Training Camp, Bryan Stork, Julian Edelman, Patriots
Tom Brady gets start, Jimmy Garoppolo gets bulk of reps in Patriots’ preseason opener 08.13.15 at 10:33 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo was 20-for-30 for 159 yards and an interception Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo was 20-for-30 for 159 yards and an interception Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Tom Brady was back on the field for the Patriots, but it was Jimmy Garoppolo who got the bulk of reps Thursday night in the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Packers at Gillette Stadium.

Brady, who was introduced to big cheers, got the start and played the first seven snaps of the game. He ended up going 1-for-4 for 10 yards before yielding to Garoppolo, who went 20-for-30 for 159 yards and an interception in the 22-11 loss to Green Bay.

Offensive standouts for the Patriots included running back James White (8 rushes, 12 yards; 4 catches, 52 yards) and Jonas Gray (7 rushes for 74 yards and a touchdown), while wide receivers Brandon Gibson (4 catches on 4 targets for 29 yards) and Chris Harper (7 catches on 7 targets for 48 yards) also had good nights.

With several of the New England offensive starters not playing (wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell and starting offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer were all out), Garoppolo struggled at times, but still managed to lead the Patriots to an 11-9 halftime edge on the strength of a 55-yard touchdown run from Gray and a 56-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski. The Packers answered with a pair of second-half touchdowns for the final margin.

Garoppolo, who was sacked seven times on the night, played into the fourth quarter behind a patchwork offensive line that included some players in new positions (backup rookie center David Andrews was at guard for a spell, while guard Josh Kline got some run at center) and some second- and third-teamers.

On the other side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers got the start for Green Bay and went 11-for-19 for 117 yards. James Starks (3 catches, 38 yards) and Alonzo Harris (7 carries, 41 yards, one touchdown) led the way for the Packers.

The Patriots will face the Saints in New Orleans next Saturday.

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

Read More: 2015 Patriots Training Camp, Packers, Patriots,
Thursday morning training camp notes: Patriots open practice in sweltering heat 07.30.15 at 11:50 am ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots just wrapped up their first practice of training camp, a hot and steamy morning session on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.

It was a practice that went for two-plus hours, with players in helmets, sweats and shorts. It’ll be a dicey practice report because players were not wearing numbers. In addition, as the newest CBA dictated, there were no pads for the first day of camp. As a result, the workout results need to be taken with a massive grain of salt. But there were a few things that really stood out on the first day.

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo got a nice hand as they walked on the practice field, with Brady drawing the biggest cheers when he hit the top stop on his way out to the workout. Brady drew big applause throughout the morning, regardless of whether or not he was working in individual throwing drills alongside Garoppolo and firing passes to a ballboy or taking part in 11-on-11 drills. He got an especially big cheer toward the end of practice when he took off on a play and ran for a touchdown in a short-yardage situation.

At least initially, it appeared that Brady was working with the starting offense at the far end of the field, while Garoppolo was with the No. 2 offense. Later in practice, Brady and Garoppolo alternated, moving from one practice field to another. Garoppolo was picked off on one of his pass attempts in a 7-on-7 session, but he bounced back and managed to deliver some nice throws, including a sweet fade on a touchdown pass to an unidentified receiver in the corner of the end zone. (Later in that same drill, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a crossing route over the middle, a really impressive throw.)

In 11-on-11s toward the end of practice, the two quarterbacks traded snaps. In the first series, Brady went 5-for-6, including a really nice pass over the middle to Edelman and a trick play where the quarterback ended up coasting into the end zone for a touchdown. Garoppolo then took over and went 5-for-5 on a sequence that was punctuated by a touchdown pass to Gronkowski where he wrestled the ball away from a defensive back. Brady them jumped back in and went 4-for-6 on a series that ended with a touchdown pass to Edelman. Garoppolo went 3-for-5 to wrap things up.

The two quarterbacks were then separated in two-minute work. In the first series, Brady appeared really sharp, going 7-for-7 with a touchdown pass to Gronkowski. On the other side, Garoppolo went 7-for-8 on a drive that saw an unidentified offensive linemen jump offsides. After a quick break, they came back in the other direction and Garoppolo was 5-for-6, including a deep ball for Brian Tyms that was overthrown.

However, this is important note: When the real difference-makers in the passing game were assembled in the corner of the field working on red-zone situations, it was Brady and not Garoppolo who was leading a group that included Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. (It was also interesting to see that without Brandon LaFell on the field, Aaron Dobson was with that grouping as well.)

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Patriots unveil schedule for first 4 days of training camp 07.23.15 at 7:44 pm ET
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The Patriots have unveiled the practice schedule for the first four days of training camp:

Thursday, July 30
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Friday, July 31
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 1
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Sunday, Aug. 2
Practice 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Fan Zone open from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

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

Read More: 2015 training camp, Patriots,
WEEI NFL Power Rankings: Pre-training camp edition 07.09.15 at 9:45 pm ET
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Tom Brady and the Patriots are slotted into the No. 3 spot in this week's Power Rankings. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots are slotted into the No. 3 spot in this week’s Power Rankings. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The defending champion New England Patriots enter the pre-pre-season third in the WEEI Power Rankings. Much of the offense remains intact, but the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Vince Wilfork, and Kyle Arrington can’€™t be overlooked. The Seahawks lost Byron Maxwell, but upgraded the offense with the addition of Jimmy Graham, giving them the No. 1 spot. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers will continue to keep defensive coordinators up at night.

The Cowboys creep into the Top  5, despite the loss of workhorse running back DeMarco Murray. The Broncos will remain out of the Top 10 until Peyton Manning proves he can throw a ball farther than 20 yards. Chip Kelly and the Eagles are the hardest team to gauge, since they were successful last year, and decided to turn their roster over at most of their skill positions.
Leave your comments and opinions below.

1. Seattle Seahawks — The defending NFC Champions were 1 yard away from back-to-back Super Bowl Championships, but Pete Carroll out-thought himself and the rest is history. With the addition of Jimmy Graham, expect Marshawn Lynch to have more room to work.

2. Green Bay Packers — The Packers have the best QB in the game, and would have been in the Super Bowl if Ha-Ha Clinton Dix didn’€™t fallen asleep on a crucial 2-point conversion in the NFCCG.

3. New England Patriots –€“ The defending Super Bowl Champs lost six key contributors to free agency. Bill Belichick will have to use smoke and mirrors in the secondary, to get another AFC East title.

4. Dallas Cowboys — The loss of Murray (2,261 yard/scrimmage and 449 touches) will hurt, but the offense is still bursting with talent (and a great O-Line.) Also, Tony Romo got the monkey off his back won a playoff game.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers — The Steelers went 8-2 down the stretch last season, and saw Le’€™Veon Bell and Antonio Brown emerge as true playmakers. However, all eyes will be on new defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, who replaces the legendary Dick LeBeau.

6. Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens have been consistently tough to play against since John Harbaugh took over. Steve Smith showed he has plenty left in the tank, and Justin Forsett will likely build on last season’€™s momentum. Joe Flacco is good enough. Not great. But good enough.

7. Indianapolis Colts — The third-best offense in the league added Andre Johnson and Frank Gore to the mix. Vegas overlooked a porous defense and installed them as the third-most likely team to win Super Bowl 50, at 8/1.

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Read More: Broncos, Colts, Giants, Jets
ESPN’s Skip Bayless on MFB: ‘It’s time for Tom Brady to stand up and speak out and fight back’ 05.08.15 at 2:00 pm ET
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Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless

ESPN’s Skip Bayless checked in with Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Deflategate and the findings of the Wells Report. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

On Thursday’s ESPN: First Take podcast, Bayless expressed his belief that Tom Brady is guilty in the Deflategate controversy and should be suspended by the NFL.

“It’s just hard to defend Tom Brady given all the texts in the Wells Report and the phone calls the day after,” Bayless told MFB, adding “It’s all circumstantial, but it’s, I must admit it’s damning circumstantial evidence. It’s a preponderance of circumstantial that adds up to pretty convincing. So my problem is, and I said it yesterday at the end of [“First Take”] and today all during the show, it’s time for Tom Brady to stand up and speak out and fight back in the ways we’ve seen him fight back on the field.”

Bayless noted Brady’s insistence that he is innocent, even when the quarterback has talked about the issue behind closed doors.

“I’ve spoken and communicated with a number of [ex-players who are close with Brady] in the last even 24 hours and they have talked to Tom and Tom continues to reiterate to them that he is completely innocent as charged,” Bayless said. “And he even says to them that the ball boys, as he calls them, in question did nothing wrong. So clearly behind the scenes, Tom Brady isn’t saying, ‘Ah, you know, they got me dead to rights here, but I’ve got to try to wiggle out of this.’ That’s not going on behind the scenes as far as I know. So I’m in a tough spot here because after having carefully read that report, it’s not good for Tom.”

Added Bayless: “I need to see [Brady] now in a public forum defend himself in ways that I think he wants to defend himself, I just don’t know if he can given the evidence stacking up against him. … His reputation has taken what could be a permanent hit and stain. And if he can fight back, if he is completely innocent as he is telling people close to him that he is, it’s time to fight back.”

The ESPN personality believes that, unless Brady is able to fight back and prove his innocence, he should be suspended for four games.

“If you can prove to me that Tom presided over this, and by the way, if you prove that to me, then I have to believe that [Bill] Belichick is at least aware that this is going on,” Bayless said, adding: “And it would seem to me that [NFL football operations chief] Troy Vincent, and in the end it’s [commissioner Roger] Goodell, that they would have to come down with a significant enough penalty that the world wouldn’t scream, ‘Patriots lovers’ back at them. And so that’s why I went to four games, because that’s sort of the standard suspension for other, you know, like PED kind of things.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Patriots, Skip Bayless, Tom Brady
Roger Goodell: Deflategate investigation ‘getting near the end’ 03.23.15 at 10:44 am ET
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In a Monday morning article at Sports Illustrated’s website, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked to SI’s Peter King about Deflategate and other news from the 2014 NFL season.

The AFC championship game, in which the Patriots were accused of using footballs deflated below the legal level, was over two months ago, and the NFL investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“The most important thing is to get the right information, to get the facts and the truth,” Goodell said, adding: “We determined that we should bring [criminal attorney] Ted Wells to further the investigation. We haven’€™t given him a timetable except to be thorough, be fair and get to the truth. When he’€™s completed his report, that will be made public as well as to all of us.”

Added Goodell: “I haven’t spoken to [Wells] for several weeks. I think he’s getting near the end [of his investigation], but there’s no requirement when.”

One rumor around the incident is that Goodell and the NFL suspected the Pats of deflating footballs before the AFC championship game and tried to catch them in the game against the Colts.

“I’m not going to get into what we knew and when we knew it because that’s part of what [Wells is] investigating,” Goodell said. “I can tell you that I was not personally aware of it until after the game.”

Read More: Deflategate, Patriots, roger goodell,
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