Patriots

Belichick optimistic Winslow can step in

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Belichick optimistic Winslow can step in

FOXBORO -- With Aaron Hernandez sidelined indefinitely with an ankle injury, the Patriots turned to Kellen Winslow for another tight end body.
The signing was made official Wednesday. As for whether or not Winslow will be able to contribute Sunday when New England takes on the Ravens, Bill Belichick said it's too soon to tell.
But just barely."I think well get a good indication today," the coach said Friday. "Weve thrown a lot at him the last couple days. Today is the day we go back and try to tie it all together and review it and see how comfortable and how well they each retain things. Hes a pretty experienced guy, hes smart, hes had a lot of football."
Every new player has to navigate a learning curve. Even Brandon Lloyd, who's been with the Patriots since March, is still doing some guess-and-check on his chemistry with Tom Brady."I think the more time that players spend together, the better," Belichick noted. "Eight games is better than one game, three days is better than one day. You can go right down the line. Id say you try to get the most out of each day, each opportunity. Any time you bring in a person for that game week, I think the main thing you want to try to do is make sure that person is ready for the game plan that youre running.
"There may be things in the playbook that you need to go over and all that, but they may not apply to this game so, how much time do you really want to spend on those, even though theyre important and theyre fundamental and theyre building blocks? But if its not something thats really going to be used in this particular game, then its maybe something you want to try to catch up on later on. We try to prioritize what the person needs as a foundation and then what the person needs to go out and be able to play in the game in the role that we would ask them to play in."
To paraphrase Belichick: When it works, it works. He used Brian Waters as an example of a player who acclimated quickly and well. Others are not so lucky.
Either way, New England will know soon enough.
"Well see how it goes, but I think theres a chance he could help us."

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."