November 29, 2007
Hey all --
We've just been kicked out of the Pats' locker room, where it was a funny day -- a lot to observe, but not a lot of players talking.
Injured tight end David Thomas chatted briefly with a couple of reporters, and said the upside of being hurt means he gets to spend time with his newborn son. Thomas still has a walking boot on his right foot. Running back Sammy Morris also made an appearance, walking through the room in his street clothes.
Brandon Meriweather talked about his friend and former teammate, Sean Taylor, who Meriweather said "helped me with everything" at Miami. "He helped me take my game from a 'C' to a 'B,' with the playbook he sat me down and helped me learn it."
Meriweather said he last spoke to Taylor, who died early Tuesday morning, just before New England played the Redskins.
Troy Brown also talked to the media, and is glad to be back on the roster: "I'm always excited to be around this game. All I can do is take it one day at a time, one play at a time," he said.
We're headed out to practice shortly, and will post an update then.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:05 PM | Permalink
October 31, 2007
Hey all --
We are just in from the week's first practice, held in full pads. Team owner Robert Kraft was taking in the session, yet another sign of how big Sunday's game is.
As for who was there and who wasn't, Benjamin Watson made his return after missing two weeks with an ankle injury. However, Sammy Morris (chest), Eugene Wilson (ankle), Mel Mitchell (groin), and Eric Alexander (knee) remain on the list of absentees.
Joining them on that list is corner Asante Samuel, who was not spotted during media access.
And Troy Brown was not out there either, which is meaningful because this is the last week that the Patriots have the option of opening the window for Brown. As he is on the PUP list, teams can choose at any time between weeks six and nine to start practicing and open a 21-day window for them, by the end of which time they must either activate them to the 53-man roster or put them on season-ending injured reserve.
After Sunday's win over Washington, Bill Belichick said it had been his team's best week of practice to that point, and it showed in the high number of practice player of the week jerseys -- we counted 10, with rookies Brandon Meriweather and Kareem Brown, Larry Izzo, Ray Ventrone, Pierre Woods, Antwain Spann, Le Kevin Smith, Rashad Baker and Tim Mixon all sporting the black jerseys. Interesting that none of the award winners were from the offensive side of the ball.
We'll be back with more shortly.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 1:25 PM | Permalink
October 11, 2007
Hey all --
On a rainy Thursday, things were pretty subdued here at Gillette as well.
Bill Belichick began his press conference by saying that the "more I look at Dallas, the better they look," in all facets of the game.
The coach was asked about Cowboys' running back Marion Barber, who shared carries at Minnesota with Pats' back Laurence Maroney. Belichick said it was easy to see how the Gophers were so successful with the Barber-Maroney tandem running the ball.
Though New England has turned the ball over just three times this season, Belichick isn't completely happy with the team's ball security:
"The numbers are OK, but I think we can do a better job with ball security. I really do," he said. "Guys don't secure it as well as they could." And if that's not corrected now, it could be a problem later.
Belichick also seemed pleased with the development of first-round draft pick Brandon Meriweather, whom he said has gotten better on a per-play basis, both in practice and in games.
In the locker room, backup quarterback Matt Cassel filmed a short bit for ESPN, working off yesterday's Kenny Mayne skit premise about Tom Brady's weekly appearance on the injury report.
Cassel, looking dejected, said "every week they give me hope, and every week they take it away," and threw a water bottle to the floor in disgust.
And new practice squad cornerback Tim Mixon backed up former Cal teammate Ryan O'Callaghan's claim that Buffalo running back Marshawn Lynch was fibbing when he said the offensive lineman's nickname was "Big Baby."
"I don't remember that one," said Mixon, who was signed earlier this week. O'Callaghan so wanted to defend his good name -- or nickname -- that he led two reporters over to Mixon's locker to have him dispel Lynch's story.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:04 PM | Permalink