// Darius Butler

Curse of the Cornerback? Patriots Release Ras-I Dowling

Curse of the Bambino. Curse of the Billy Goat. Buffalo. The Madden Curse. Cleveland. SI Cover Jinx. Seattle. Steve Bartman. Cleveland again. There have been a number of famous curses in the realm of sports over the centuries (okay, maybe that only applies to the Cubs) (sorry, couldn’t resist). The New England Patriots could be […]

Patriots 2011 Cornerbacks Preview: McCourty, Bodden, Etc.

Over the past few seasons, no group of players in the New England organization has been subject to as much criticism as the Patriots’ defensive backfield. Heading into 2011 however, this group finally appears to have a firm foundation of talent and experience that has plagued the back end of the Pats’ defense since their […]

Three Second-Half Turnovers Doom Patriots in New Meadowlands

Tom Brady never saw it coming. And by the time he picked himself up off the turf, the New York Jets had the ball and the victory. Down 14 in the fourth quarter, Jason Taylor’s blindside strip-sack of Brady ended the New England Patriots’ final attempt to get back in the game and sealed the […]

Belichick, Patriots Defend Randy Moss’ Comments

Following the Patriots’ 38-24 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the oft-quiet Randy Moss had a lot to say in his post game press conference. For sixteen minutes Moss vented about his contract situation, respect, and this being his last year as a New England Patriot. Moss began with a full head of steam, […]

Patriots 2010 Preview: Special Teams

Often the most overlooked aspect of a football team, special teams plays a significant role in every offensive drive and defensive stand. They determine whether an offense must drive 80 yards or 10, and vice versa. Head coach Bill Belichick has been one to put heavy emphasis on this area.  He has been known in […]

Patriots 2010 Preview: The Defensive Backs

The New England defense was not one of the NFL’s elite last season. They were mediocre on both sides of the ball, but did show signs of life from time to time, especially with the defensive backs. There was no star in the backfield. No single guy that served as a leader. Just a bunch […]

Patriots Release Shawn Springs: Younger Defense Prevails

Bill Belichick is making more curious moves in his secondary. The Patriots released 35-year-old cornerback Shawn Springs yesterday, an unexpected roster move that seems to be part of an effort to get younger players involved on the Patriots’ defense. “It’s hard to evaluate and give young guys a shot if you’ve got me,’’ Springs said […]

Patriots NFL Draft Review: Pats Take McCourty, Confuse Us All

Patriots fans had a lot of questions leading up to New England’s first round pick in this year’s draft. But, after trading down multiple spots, fans had even more questions after the team made its first pick. Who is Devin McCourty? Sure, a select few draft nerds had heard the name. But even fewer expected […]

Patriots Report Card: Week 17

Quarterback: C I was tempted to cut Tom Brady some slack and give him an “Incomplete” on his report card this week, but the Patriots quarterback played most of the game on Sunday. He was replaced by rookie Brian Hoyer (Michigan State) in the second quarter, and on the Patriots’ last drive.  Brady’s stat line was […]

PATS on the Back: Patriots-Texans, Week 17

The Patriots will limp into the playoffs next weekend, after losing not only Sunday’s game to the Texans, but also losing their Pro Bowl receiver, Wes Welker. As you all know by now, Welker was lost on just the third offensive play of the game, as his left knee buckled in the Reliant Stadium turf. […]

Patriots: Elite No More?

Jimmy Johnson said it best on FOX Pregame Show. It’s weird that New England isn’t saying they’re in a rebuilding season. Many would look at their past dealings, especially trading Richard Seymour for a 2011 first round pick, and say they are easily rebuilding for the future. Still, by admitting that they are looking into […]

Pats Cross the Pond and Bombard the Bucs

Now this is more like it. After destroying the Titans in the year’s first snow bowl, the Patriots headed to London and dismantled another winless team, Tampa Bay, 35-7. The Pats wasted little time doing anything, when Brandon Meriweather intercepted a pass and ran it back 39 yards for a touchdown, on just the fifth […]

Rodney Pokes Fun at Brady, Pats Defense Stepping Up

The Patriots are officially back. Tom Brady is back to making the throws he needs to make. The offense is back to being able to do enough to win games. The defense is back to being that opportune Belichick defense that will let up yards, but will make the stops when they are needed. It’s […]

Patriots vs. Redskins – 3 Questions

Tonight the Patriots take on the Redskins in the third – and most important – completely meaningless game of the pre-season. The Patriots put together a putrid offensive display in the second game against the Eagles, one I witnessed personally, yet this third game usually means the starters will go a majority of the game. […]

Five Burning Questions: Part II

In my previous edition we dove into the question about Tom Brady and his knee. We’ll now shift to the defensive side of the ball and explore a position that has seen a face-lift from a year ago. Part I: Tom Brady | Part II: The Secondary | Part III | Part IV | Part […]