Patriot's Pro Bowlers Stephen Gostkowski and Matthew Slater (Getty Images)

The Patriots will return their core group of specialists in 2014. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski had a career year in 2013, posting career high’s in points, field goals made, field goal percentage, and he was a very impressive 5 for 6 from 50+ yards. Gostkowski has clearly emerged into one of the league’s best kickers, and has shown an ability to come through in the clutch as well.

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The Patriots replaced punter Zoltan Mestko with rookie Ryan Allen in 2013. Allen was near the league-average in most punting metrics during his first season. He did allow a league-high 12 touchbacks, and that’s an area he must improve upon in 2014.

Matthew Slater will return to captain the special teams units after a third consecutive pro-bowl season in 2013. After re-watching some games from last season, it’s remarkable at how often Slater finds himself around the ball-carrier on kickoffs and punts. Continue reading 2014 Patriots Special Teams Preview: Gostkowski, Allen, Slater, Edelman, White »

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Henry Owens (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

The Red Sox traded away four starting pitchers at the trade deadline last week in hopes that their young prospects could begin to develop at the Major League level, and Henry Owens did his part to reinforce their decision in his Triple-A debut.

The lefty from Huntington Beach, CA took the mound for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday night and dazzled from start to finish. He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 9 and allowing only 2 hits. He showed tremendous poise on the mound, throwing 70 pitches for strikes out of his 100 total. Continue reading Red Sox Prospect Henry Owens Dominant in First Triple-A Start »

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Brian Scalabrine (CSNNE.com)

While there has been a lull in the Celtics’ offseason activity over the past couple of weeks, former Boston power forward Brian Scalabrine gave fans something to smile about with a parody of LeBron James‘s recent “I’m Coming Home” Sports Illustrated article. In a similar first-person piece published Monday on CSNNE.com, Scalabrine announced that he will be working as a broadcaster for Comcast SportsNet New England, to work with Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn during the upcoming season.

The White Mamba played five seasons in Boston, including the 2008 Championship year, and became a fan favorite despite averaging just 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. After the 2009-10 season, he followed former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau to Chicago, where he played his final two years. After a short stint at CSNNE, Scalabrine joined the Golden State staff as an assistant, but was demoted to the D-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors amid reported differences with head coach Mark Jackson. Continue reading Scalabrine Returns to Boston, LeBron-Style »

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Vitor Faverani

Celtics center Vitor Faverani has been arrested on DUI charges in Spain, according to reports.

Faverani is accused of running a red light and crashing his BMW into a bus. No one was injured in the collision.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Brazilian blew a 0.18 blood alcohol content (above Spain’s legal limit of 0.06), police said. Continue reading Celtics’ Vitor Faverani Arrested on DUI Charges in Spain »

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1. Cliff Notes:

* Four weeks to Labor Day / Less than five months to Christmas
* Five weeks to Patriots first game
* Hernandez and Boston bomber trials coming soon
* Bruins are going to be wicked average
* 109,000 for soccer in Ann Arbor
* Tiger Woods was 12-1 to win the PGA – can Sergio finally get it? he’s 21-1 odds

2. Red Sox:

* Let the Alan Webster experiment end
* Red Sox in the A’s lineup Saturday – Lester, Gomes, Moss, Lowrie, Crisp, Reddick
* Craig hurt already? Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Baseball Boring, Grown Ups 2 Downfall of American Empire »

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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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