20 Patriots players NOT expected to play tonight

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady. (Photo By: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady.
(Photo By: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pats will be going into their 3rd preseason game tonight with 20 players not expected to play.

Jeff Howe, of the Boston Herald, broke down the 20 players.

T Chris Martin: NFI list, missed all 19 practices

RB Tyler Gaffney: knee injury, missed all 15 practices since being claimed from Panthers

LB Cameron Gordon: missed 11 consecutive practices

DT Sealver Siliga: sprained left wrist, missed nine consecutive practices

DT Chris Jones: low ankle sprain, missed eight consecutive practices

RT Sebastian Vollmer: missed three consecutive practices

TE Michael Hoomanawanui: missed 14 of previous 15 practices

Additionally, DT Dominique Easley (knee) will not play, according to a source. TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) and WR Aaron Dobson (foot) haven’t been fully cleared to play yet.

CB Alfonzo Dennard and LB Jerod Mayo haven’t made their preseason debuts yet, so their status is uncertain. It’s unclear if WR Jeremy Gallon, C Bryan Stork, DL Jerel Worthy and DL Ben Bass will play due to limited practice reps.

Finally, among the players already mentioned, S Tavon Wilson, S Kanorris Davis, LB Ja’Gared Davis and LB James Anderson didn’t play last week, and it’s unclear if they’ve made enough progress this week to return tonight.

Patriots Vs Panthers: Five Things to Watch

Devin McCourty tackles Greg Olsen (Photo By: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Devin McCourty tackles Greg Olsen
(Photo By: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Patriots will host Carolina in the team’s 3rd preseason game of the season.

This will be the last game the starters will get live reps, usually the backups take over the last game.

Tom Brady and company will likely play the entire  first half and while preseason games don’t mean much, it will help give an idea of things to come this season. It will also show which players have progressed and which look likely to make the team.

Here are five things to watch:

1. The entire OL: We all know the Pats OL gave up 40 sacks last year, over half their fault, and some the WR fault, and a little Brady’s fault. The Pats addressed that during the draft by drafting a couple offensive linemen to add depth to the position. Well, the OL hasn’t looked overwhelming good this year and Nate Solder has been struggling throughout camp. Logan Mankins was average last year, and Wendell and Connolly were horrible. Connolly will probably win the center job which is good news considering he has faired better there than at RG but still, the OL is worrisome. Tonight will be a great test for the Pats, going against a very good Panthers defense and pass rush. This is why I’ve ranked this the number one thing to watch. 

2. The Safety Battle: The safety battle is still ongoing and maybe the most confusing battle because nobody knows who’s in the lead. Duron Harmon has had the job all camp, but has been sitting out of reps during preseason and practices, while the Pats take a closer look at Patrick Chung and Tavon Wilson. Chung and Wilson are battling for a spot and the starting job, so this will be a must watch tonight. Can any of these safeties stop Greg Olsen?

3. The Tight Ends: The best tight end of preseason has been the FB James Devlin, who caught a TD last week. He’s a great blocker with decent hands. Right now, he’s the backup to Gronk, until Michael Hoomanaui can come back. Can a real tight end please stand up and assume the backup role?? Also, we will see Justin Jones play tonight. The big, huge, monster tight end with so/so hands.

4. Brandon LaFell: We need to see if this WR is a legit red zone threat for Tom Brady. He has the size and speed, but does he have the hands? He started off with bad hands, but recently has been catching everything, so tonight will be a good night against his former team to test those hands. The Pats are looking for a legit red zone threat behind tight end Rob Gronkowski.

5. Ryan Mallett: Last year, Brady played the entire first half in preseason game 3, and Ryan Mallett played the remainder, and Tebow did not play at all. Soon after, Tebow was released. Will the same thing happen to Ryan Mallett? Will the Pats give him another chance and look or will they roll on with Garoppolo and say adios to Mallett? We will see how this will unfold tonight.

 

 

 

Patriots release DJ Williams and Marcus Forston

Marcus Forston and D.J. Williams. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Marcus Forston and D.J. Williams.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

The Patriots announced they’ve released tight end D.J. Williams and DL Marcu Forston.

I’m actually shocked about the Pats release D.J. Williams considering he had a good camp before the injury, but this will free up space for a veteran tight end if New England goes that direction. They need to since they little depth behind Gronk.

The Pats signed Marcus Forston in 2012 as a rookie. His release is no surprise because the line is becoming crowed after recent trade moves.

 

 

LeGarrette Blount taken into custody

LeGarrette Blount in legal trouble (Photo By: Mark L. Baer)

LeGarrette Blount in legal trouble
(Photo By: Mark L. Baer)

Former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount got caught with a blunt, along with fellow Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and taken into custody.

Detective Brian Kohlhepp confirmed to NFL media that the two, along with a female passenger, were taken into custody at 1:30 p.m. E.T. today

They were admitted to marijuana possession.

“We are aware of the reports and still gathering information,” said Burt Lauten, communications coordinator of the Steelers. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

A traffic officer found a medium-sized bag with about 20g of marijuana.

Kohlhepp says Bell was driving and will most likely be charged with DUI.

 

Photos from Pats last day of training camp

Darrelle Revis and Danny Amendola (Photo By David Silverman)

Darrelle Revis and Danny Amendola
(Photo By David Silverman)

Malcolm Butler with the interception (Photo By David Silverman)

Malcolm Butler with the interception
(Photo By David Silverman)

James Devlin (Photo By David Silverman)

James Devlin
(Photo By David Silverman)

tempDSP11905--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Tom Brady leads the offense. (Photo By David Silverman)

 

Pats re-sign Justin Jones

Justin Jones blocks against Michael Hoomananwanui (Photo By: Steven Senne)

Justin Jones blocks against Michael Hoomananwanui
(Photo By: Steven Senne)

The Patriots re-signed rookie tight end Justin Jones yesterday, eight days after releasing him.

Jones, is happy about being back with New England, a team in need of tight end depth, and hopes to make his 2nd chance a lasting one.

“It’s one of those things for me that it was kind of my first welcome to the NFL kind of thing. It’s a big business, man,” Jones said. “Coach [Bill] Belichick tells us all the time to expect roster moves at this time of year. Things change a lot. All you can do is try and not be that guy. Hopefully this time around I’m not.”

Jones is a huge tight end, standing 6’8, making him taller than Gronk. He’s constantly trying to catch up to the speed of the NFL.

He also works on being a better blocker.

“Coach told me I was making improvements and stuff like that,” Jones said. “Maybe needed to happen a little bit quicker for him, but, you know it is what it is. I know this is the time of the year where a lot of guys get shuffled around and everything. No one expects to be released, but we just have to put on our hard hat every day and come to work and hope that you can get your job done.”

Patriots hold final open practice: Dominique Easley’s big day

 

Dominique Easley (Photo By: Bob Breidenbach//Providence Journal)

Dominique Easley
(Photo By: Bob Breidenbach//Providence Journal)

The Patriots held their final open practice to the public today and returned a lot of big names to practice.

Gronk practiced for the first time in 11-on-11 drills and took hits from linebackers and defensive backs. It took Tom Brady one play to go to his tight end. They connected on two passes during that drill. Gronkowski still hasn’t took part in blocking drills.

Dominique Easley showed off impressive speed today as he practiced for the first time. Easley used his speed and spin move to blow by the offensive linemen in one-on-one drills to win all 3 battles.

Jerod Mayo, Michael Hoomanawanui, Bryan Stork, Jeremy Gallon, Jerel Worthy, Kanoris Davis, James Anderson, Ben Bass, and Ja’Gared Davis were all back at practice.

Sebastian Vollmer, Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga, D.J. Williams, Cameron Gordon, and Tyler Gaffney did not practice. Tommy Kelly missed the first one and a half hour of practice before showing up on the field.

Malcolm Butler had a great day again. He stripped the ball from Gronk during 7-on-7s and intercepted a Tom Brady pass intended for Brian Tyms. 

James Anderson might be the best cover linebacker for New England, picked off Tom Brady’s pass intended for Danny Amendola during 11-on-11s.

Brandon Browner had an interception. Ryan Mallett threw the pass right to him.

 

 

 

Pats Stock Report

Malcolm Butler (Photo By: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Malcolm Butler
(Photo By: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Patriots have played in two preseason games and we have gotten an extended look at the backups and the players trying to make the team. We got a little sneak peak into the starters Friday, so let’s give our stock report.

Stock Up:

CB Malcolm Butler: Butler is having one of the best camp and preseason games of any Pats. He earned first string reps after a great game against the Redskins and got the start against the Eagles. He caused two forced fumbles and was excellent in coverage. He’s been so good that even in a crowded secondary, he’s a lock right now to make the roster.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo: After bad practices to start camp, Jimmy G came out against the Redskins and balled out against the 3rd stringers with 3rd stringers, and then Friday night he got action with first stringers and second stringers and balled out again. He’s got great touch on his passes, he’s accurate, and goes through his reads. He’s the backup.

WR Brian Tyms: This guy has been amazing all camp long and has been the best receiver in two preseason games. He has size and great hands with speed to be a real threat for New England. He has the fans behind him all the way and he’s vastly out playing Josh Boyce. Tyms will be suspended for the first four games which actually might help him make the roster because he will not count against the 53 man roster if they keep him. But, regardless, he should make this team.

Stock Down:

QB Ryan Mallett: Mallett had a horrible game against the starters and 2nd stringers of the Redskins. He was demoted to 3rd string against the Eagles and had a good game after a okay practice week. Mallett has a big arm but he throws every pass like a 99mph fast ball. Mallett has a long way to go to be the 2nd QB and for any team to look at him as a starter.

CB Logan Ryan: Great instincts and play maker, but his preseason games have not been strong. He’s a good player just having bad starts in preseason. As long as it stays in preseason and doesn’t spill over to the regular season, I don’t mind.

SS: All the strong safeties. So far, they haven’t been able to stop tight ends over the middle of the field. Just like last year. Duron Harmon had a hold on the position, and I still think he does, but the Pats have been experimenting with that position with Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington. Patrick Chung has been getting more reps. He looks like the same ole Chung though. He hits hard but misses tackles and can’t cover anybody. This battle will go all season and it will impact if New England can cover the middle of the field.