Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:29pm
Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot) missed practice again Friday. He’s going to be out for a while. Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Keshawn Martin are the primary beneficiaries with Edelman out. Tom Brady mentioned Martin first when asked how the team would replace Edelman’s production.
Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:29pm
Patriots WR Keshawn Martin (hamstring) took limited practice reps again Friday. Tom Brady mentioned Martin first when discussing how the team will replace Julian Edelman, but he’s been out for a while with a hamstring injury.
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:53pm
Patriots WR Keshawn Martin (hamstring) took limited practice reps Thursday. Tom Brady mentioned Martin first when discussing how the team will replace Julian Edelman, but he’s been out for a while with a hamstring injury.
Tom Brady, in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan, mentioned wide receiver Keshawn Martin as a potential fill-in but not Aaron Dobson. “Keshawn Martin is still obviously a good player for us and is hopefully coming back here soon,” Brady said. “And I’ve got a lot of confidence in Brandon LaFell. (Danny Amendola)’s role has been very different than Julian’s was for us. I just think they’re a little different type of players. And certainly Julian has been incredible for us. Incredible.”
Martin, if healthy, could even overtake Danny Amendola in certain two-receiver sets. Amendola does the majority of his work out of the slot, while Edelman splits his time lining up inside and in the “Z” role, which is out wide and off the line so he can go in motion.
Martin is the Patriots’ most athletic receiver, based on combine testing numbers. He ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash with a 6.85-second 3-cone, 4.13-second short shuttle, 39.5-inch vertical leap and 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump. He fell out of favor with the Texans but appeared to catch on quickly before going down with the injury.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said no single receiver can replace what Edelman offered to the Patriots, but they likely will rely on Martin and Amendola most heavily. The trade used to acquire Martin is looking smart with Edelman likely out until the playoffs.
Martin has caught six-of-seven targets for 95 yards and a touchdown, but has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past few games. He has been practicing on a limited basis but hasn't been active on game day. Owners in deeper leagues may want to consider Martin if Amendola is not available. We still believe Amendola sees a good chunk of Julian Edelman's targets, but Martin may surprise.
LaFell, seen wearing a walking boot this offseason, missed all of training camp and was placed on PUP before the season. He has been in the locker room frequently over the past few weeks and has traveled for games at Dallas and Indianapolis. It appears he'll be ready to come off PUP sooner rather than later.
Any players placed on PUP can begin practicing following the first six weeks of the regular season. This means LaFell, who emerged as a top target for Tom Brady a year ago, could begin practicing this week. He also could make his season debut next Sunday versus Darelle Revis and the 4-1 Jets.
LaFell proved to be a valuable free agent signing a year ago. If you remove his first three games in 2014 and replace them with his three playoff performances, LaFell's 16-game numbers were 83 receptions, 1,026 yards and nine touchdowns, the story said. The piece added Aaron Dobson is a possible candidate to get cut in order to make room for LaFell. LaFell is worth picking up if he's on your waiver wire.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 5:15pm
Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained how that ratio unfolds during a conference call today.
"We go into each game and that may change a bit based on how the game's going situationally and what the matchups are and what's working and what isn't," Belichick said. "I think when you look around the league, there were maybe two teams in the league, maybe one, I don't know how many, threw the ball less than they ran it. So every team was over 50 percent passing. Some teams were around 70 percent if I remember. The Bears, teams like that. That was last year.
"But, you know, that was kind of a general trend in the league. A lot of plays are based upon run, pass, checks in the league. Teams get into more coverage-type positions and that invites the run and vice versa. It's really hard to go and do this this many times or do that this many times. Each game is different and as you get into the game it just depends on how the game's unfolding, the score and the situation, but also how the matchups are working with the personnel you're facing and what type of defenses or coverages or pressures, how you want to attack those.
Belichick referenced games in the past in which the weather conditions dictacted a more run-based approach. He used past Bills games as examples, but he could have also referenced every Colts game since the 2013 season in which the Pats ran the ball more than they threw it to great success. It depends on the situation.
"It's kind of a long answer to a short question, but the bottom line is that if it works out that we're balanced, then it's great. And if it works out that we're favoring more of one than another, that's fine too."
You never know what you're going to get form the Pats. The fantasy negative to Julian Edelman was he didn't score TDs and he had two in Week 2. Dion Lewis wasn't put in the doghouse after a fumble and had more work than LeGarrette Blount. The Pats will continue to be one of more unpredictable offenses outside of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady analyzed Sunday's 40-32 victory over the Buffalo Bills, he touched on the contributions of many. Among the group was a player who hasn't always been in that discussion.
"Aaron Dobson stepped up," he said.
Dobson, the 2013 second-round draft choice out of Marshall, turned in arguably the best game of his career in finishing with seven catches for 87 yards. The seven catches tied a career high (vs. Tampa, Sept. 22, 2013), while the 87 yards were his second highest total (130 vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 3, 2013).
Developing a rapport with Brady has been a work in progress for the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Dobson.
As a rookie, he played in 12 games with nine starts, totaling 37 receptions for 519 yards and four touchdowns. But after undergoing surgery on his foot in the offseason leading into his second season, Dobson didn't build on that momentum in 2014. He finished last season with three catches for 38 yards, landing on injured reserve in early December (hamstring) as Brandon LaFell decisively took over his role as the top outside receiver.
With Brandon LaFell currently on the physically unable to perform list, Dobson has re-emerged, and has probably now emerged on the fantasy radar as well. Of the Patriots' 86 total offensive plays against the Bills, he was on for 70 of them, playing in the two-receiver set opposite Julian Edelman and staying on in the three-receiver package.
"Well I think he's a quality practice squad player," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "He was a roster player for us. He was a roster player for Oakland. So to have that level of player on our roster, but not on our roster, it's good. It gives us a lot of quality depth there. We had that same player basically on our team, but as a roster player."
"We'll see how long it takes, but it shouldn't be too long from a relearning standpoint," Belichick continued. "He's a good learner, but to just get back in to what we're doing and all that, to be able to compete for playing time based on where he was in the year before. And it looks like, based on a short look yesterday, it looks like he still has good skills to contribute. He's got the experience to play in the slot, which he did more in Oakland than he did here. He's kind of developed some versatility, so we'll see how it goes. But I think we're happy to have him and a player of his caliber in that position."
The Pats are carrying just four receivers on the 53-man roster -- Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and undrafted rookie Chris Harper. Harper impressed in the preseason, and perhaps the Patriots were afraid to expose him to waivers if they intended to get him on the practice squad. It would seem as though Thompkins could make a push for the No. 4 receiver spot, the story said. Granted, the No. 4 receiver may not have a ton of opportunities. Expect plenty of two tight end sets with Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler early in the season. Also, if Travaris Cadet is healthy, he can line up at receiver, too.
Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell is headed to the physically unable to perform list. Arguably the second-best wideout on the Patriots' roster, LaFell tweeted Saturday the date he's eligible to return. LaFell has been recovering from a foot injury that has kept him out all preseason. LaFell led the team in wide receiver snaps a year ago. Needless to say, 10/25 can't come soon enough for Brady and the Patriots. Then again, Tom Brady has been doing more with less than just about any quarterback in the NFL for more than a decade now.
LaFell has to miss his team’s first six games, which means he’s eligible to return in Week 8. Owners in leagues with an IR spot may want to stash LaFell for the second half of the season. He should be fully healthy by then, and the Patriots will need him. Counting the postseason, LaFell racked up 87-1072-9 in his last 16 games. That would have been good enough for a #13 finish in both formats. In the meantime, with Reggie Wayne being cut, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and the rest of the Patriots' receiving corps will have an opportunity to play big snaps opposite entrenched starter Julian Edelman.
Tom Brady has beaten the NFL in the Deflategate court case, with U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman nullifying the league's four-game suspension Thursday.
Brady immediately becomes a mid-level QB1 and his ADP is bound to jump a couple of rounds from the 8th/9th round into the 5th/6th range. It's a bump for all of the Patriot skill position players, especially Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Brady is dealing with a receiving corps (Brandon LaFell, Edelman) suffering from mysterious ailments, so he may not have a full complement of weapons for Week 1 against the Steelers. Still, he should provide solid QB1 numbers in 2015.
The settlement talks in the Tom Brady case haven’t led to a resolution, which means the decision on Brady’s four-game suspension will rest with Judge Richard Berman.
“We did not reach a settlement. The parties tried quite hard I think,” Berman said, via Stephen Brown of the New York Daily News. “In some case [a settlement] doesn’t happen. This is one of those cases.”
The story went on to say the ruling is likely to come on Tuesday or Wednesday. The two sides had asked Berman to rule by September 4, less than a week before the Patriots will kick off their regular season against the Steelers. Berman’s eventual ruling could uphold the suspension (while potentially allowing Brady to play pending appeal), wipe it out (which the NFL could appeal) or send the whole thing back for another appeal heard by someone other than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Sunday, August 23, 2015, 12:58pm
The Pats potentially won't have an answer until Sept. 4, when Judge Richard Berman is supposed to make a ruling on Tom Brady's case. Until then, Garoppolo must prepare to be the starter, and the Pats must prepare for a quarter of the season without Brady.
They've got to feel much better about the situation after Saturday's win over the Saints.
Garoppolo went 28-of-33 for 269 yards, one touchdown and one interception as he led the Pats to victory. Yes, he did it against the New Orleans backups, but he looked in command of the offense virtually the entire game, the story said.
It wasn’t only that RB Andre Williams did not possess the best hands, it was that he seemed to lose track of the football and displayed poor depth perception when asked to come out of the backfield to catch a pass.
The Giants are working on this with Williams, their muscular second-year running back and leading rusher from 2014. Williams figures to do the heavy lifting this season, with Rashad Jennings doing a little bit of everything and newly signed Shane Vereen used mostly as a pass-catcher and safety-valve option for Eli Manning after excelling in that role for Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Williams’ primary role will not be as a pass-catcher, but if he is not somewhat of a threat, opposing defense do not have to play him honestly. So Williams has made several changes to make himself more proficient.
In mid-March, he underwent Photorefractive Keratectomy laser eye surgery and now no longer needs contact lenses.
“I don’t have to worry about the strain from the lenses, and I also don’t have to worry about getting knocked in the eye and having my contact get loose or fall out,’’ Williams said. “If your contacts are cloudy or something, it’s a problem.
“It’s cool to wake up in the morning and see right away and not go to bed with the ‘I forgot to take my contacts out and my eyes hurt.’ It’s nice. Best money I ever spent so far.’’
Williams also has been working on his hand-eye coordination by catching tennis balls. Before games, Williams takes part in a blind-ball drill. With his back to running backs coach Craig Johnson, Williams has to turn and quickly locate the ball in the air as Johnson flips it to him. Like the story said, Jennings and Vereen are likely to see a bulk of the passes at the RB position, but Williams will only help himself if he can at least make defense aware. His main role looks like a change of pace back who could see short yardage and goal line situations.
Strictly judging by appearances, veteran Brandon Bolden is currently the leader in the clubhouse for Shane Vereen’s third down back role. He’s moved ahead of second-year back James White and everyone else.
Bolden has been the main man for Tom Brady as the pass catching/blocking back during the past three practices.
He was the primary guy during Friday's session. But one practice doesn’t mean much. It could be a rotation type deal. But then, he was the lead again Saturday. So we've started a trend. Three days? Can't be a coincidence. We’re onto something.
“Any work is great out here,” Bolden said today, when asked about his added reps.
Bolden has been a guy who can fill in at any RB role, but never seemed to be a permanent fixture either. It's a bit surprising because many thought the team drafted White last year to be that guy this year. The story said White has fallen even since the pads came out, however. Travaris Cadet, who filled in as a third down back as a Saint last year, got hurt Saturday and the story said he also seemed like he was going to pass White. While there's a way to go yet, the story also mentioned Brady's trust in Bolden, which could be a factor in the winner of this job. It's certainly something to continue to monitor.
It’s not unusual during New England Patriots training camp for a player or a play to excite the thousands on hand to watch the defending Super Bowl champions.
On Sunday, it was wide receiver Aaron Dobson’s turn to wow the crowd. During an 11-on-11 drill, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a deep ball down the sideline when Dobson leaped and pulled it down with a dramatic catch over cornerback Malcolm Butler. After the catch, Dobson and Butler shook hands.
“There’s always a lot of chatter out here,” Dobson said. “It’s all fun out here. We’re all teammates and we look at this as a competition.”
This is an extremely important camp for Dobson, who missed the majority of last season due to foot and hamstring injuries, the story said. He played only four regular-season games and was placed on injury reserve in December. Despite all the setbacks in 2014, Dobson said he’s put all of that in the past and he’s focused on making his presence felt during camp. Dobson has shown his potential at times in the past, and the fact he's still around may very well say a lot in terms of how the team feels about him. From a fantasy perspective, it's a pretty deep group of WRs on the Pats, and you also have to factor in TE Rob Gronkowski as the top target.
- Page 1