Patriots

Belichick: DeOssie changed punting game

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Belichick: DeOssie changed punting game

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --With news that the Patriots signed veteran long snapper JamesDearth on Tuesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick talked in-depth about what he called a key position, and went out of his way to proclaim Steve DeOssie as the manwho single-handedly changed the position.

I think the risk that you run, when you have a regularplayer doing something like that, if something were to happen to them, thenyoud need a replacement in such a key position, said Belichick.

The guy that really changed the game was DeOssie, addedBelichick. When Dallas had him, they went to the spread front formation. Hewas able to snap and block. Prior to that, most teams kept their ends tight."

Belichick said that DeOssie changed the punting game from a9-on-10 at the line of scrimmage, to an 8-on-8, thanks to his special abilityto both snap and block. Before DeOssie did that, the center wasnt responsiblefor a man, and therefore, the kicking team was outnumbered.

DeOssies talents allowed punting teams to spread the ends,and clear things up, changing the game and the position. For that reason, the Patriots went out of their way to sign another long snapper Tuesday.

In a lot of respects, Steve really changed, in my opinion,he changed the punting game in the National Football League, and in college aswell, said Belichick. He was the first one to really allow teams to do that.And then people copied it, and other snappers came along.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

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Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

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Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.

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“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."