Tom Brady

Tom Brady has come a long way.

Happy 37th birthday to the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

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Patriots defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Chandler Jones. (AP Photo)

2013 was an injury riddled season for the Patriots defensive line. Starting tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly had their seasons end in the first five weeks, and the injuries highlighted a tremendous lack of depth on the defensive front.

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The Pats were forced to insert inexperienced players into both tackle spots as a result of these injuries. Joe Vellano and Chris Jones held their own, despite struggling against the run. Late in the season we saw Sealver Siliga (I still don’t know why his name is pronounced sel-ING-ga) inserted into the starting lineup and provide a boost. The experience these three earned last season will be very valuable as they return to reserve roles behind Wilfork and Kelly. Continue reading 2014 Patriots Defensive Line Preview: Jones, Ninkovich, Wilfork, Kelly, Easley »

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Patriots Training Camp

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, now at his 15th training camp in New England, knows his time in the league will eventually come to end, at least he said as much about his NFL mortality last week.

“There’s no easy way about it — just got to grind, put the work in, listen to the coaches,” Brady said. “You just appreciate the moments that you have, and every year is something different. This could be your last training camp — you never know. So you have to make it count. You can’t take anything for granted in the NFL.”

Perhaps Bill Belichick knows that, too, as Brady saw a limited number of reps for the first time during this year’s camp. Ryan Mallet and Jimmy Garappolo took most of the snaps instead before the rain forced an early end to practice Sunday. Continue reading Patriots Training Camp Notes: Tom Brady Sees Fewer Reps »

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Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play. (Steve Milne, USA Today)

While addressing the media Wednesday morning, Bill Belichick announced that Rob Gronkowski will not begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and that he has been cleared to play.

The announcement comes as a bit of a shock, as Gronkowski had surgery to repair his right ACL on January 9th.

The Patriot’s tight end said last week that he plans to play the whole season. And while today is a step in that direction, staying healthy remains the ultimate obstacle. Continue reading Rob Gronkowski Cleared to Play for Patriots »

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Rookie center Bryan Stork will compete for the starting job in training camp.

Compared to years past, 2013 was a rocky season for the Patriot’s offensive line. Tom Brady was sacked a near career-high 40 times last season. While part of that can be attributed to Brady’s lack of faith in some of his young receivers, but there’s no doubt that the offensive line must step up in 2014.

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The unit did pave the way for another potent ground-attack, and received heavy praise for its role in the emergence of LeGarrette Blount late in the season.

Health could play a huge role in the unit’s improvement this season. Sebastian Vollmer’s campaign ended pre-maturely a year ago, and Nate Solder missed time which even forced Logan Mankins to start a game at tackle. A season with no major injuries should be all the team needs to lower Brady’s sack totals, and maintain success on the ground, without Blount. Continue reading 2014 Patriots Offensive Line Preview: Solder, Mankins, Stork, Cannon, Vollmer »

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Would Belichick ever leave the Patriots?

Why on Earth would Bill Belichick want to coach somewhere other than New England? Better question, why would NFL Network reporter Albert Breer of all people be the one person privy to this information?

The Past

The relationship between Belichick and Breer is notoriously icy. Breer likes to push the always reserved Belichick by asking him essentially the same question in several different ways. For some reason he seems to think that he can out clever Belichick or maybe he assumes Belichick lives by the “three question rule”. Whatever the case, Breer’s relationship with Belichick, or lack thereof, was a hot story in September of last season when he would not stop badgering the coach on the injury status of Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola.

The Present

For this reason it makes it all the more strange that while on the Toucher & Rich show on “the Sports Hub” Breer offered some “insight” into the future of Belichick’s coaching career. Continue reading Bill Belichick Coaching Elsewhere? Albert Breer Stirs the Speculation Pot »

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Patriots prized free-agent acquisition Darrelle Revis (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Despite the loss of Aqib Talib, the Patriots secondary is their most improved unit going into the 2014 season. With Talib healthy last season, the Patriots secondary, overall, was a strong unit. As evidenced in their the AFC Championship Game loss to Denver, Talib’s injury forced everyone to slide “up” a slot, and in turn, weakened the unit greatly.

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New Blood

When it was first reported that Aqib Talib would be leaving the Patriots to join Peyton Manning in Denver, few thought that the loss of Talib would actually lead to an upgrade at the position. The additions of the league’s best man-to-man corner, Darrelle Revis, and a 6’4″ physical freak in Brandon Browner should give the Patriots a top five secondary in the NFL. Continue reading Patriots 2014 Defensive Backs Preview: Revis, Browner, McCourty, Dennard »

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