Belichick: Freeny will see bump in workload with Hightower out


Belichick: Freeny will see bump in workload with Hightower out

FOXBORO -- How will the Patriots cope with Dont'a Hightower out? It will be a group effort. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined 98.5 The Sports Hub on Sunday and said that Jonathan Freeny would take the primary fill-in for Hightower, who is dealing with a knee injury he suffered against the Cardinals last week, but there will be others who could see more playing time as well.

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"If Dont'a can't play, then Freeny would take his spot, but I would also expect to play Elandon Roberts and [Barkevious] Mingo with some kind of a rotation in there. We'll just have to see how all that plays out."

Roberts, who was inactive last week, said this week that he's been doing all he can to pick up the Patriots defense. He credited his veteran teammates on that side of the ball, particularly those in the linebacker room, for helping him make strides since he arrived as a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Houston. 

Belichick also said that the number of linebackers the Patriots use could change depending on the packages the Dolphins offense deploys. New head coach Adam Gase has proven that he will use both "11 personnel" -- one back and one tight end -- or "12 personnel" depending on the situation. If it is more of a "12 personnel" game, Belichick hinted that the Patriots could then turn to their base package, which would mean they would turn to a three-linebacker package, as opposed to the two-linebacker look they use in their nickel packages.

Belichick touched on a variety of subjects during the interview with Scott Zolak, including how the Dolphins defensive front has the ability to draw a lot of holding penalties, and how Gase may be willing to go up-tempo as he did when he was in Denver in 2014 and in Chicago in 2015. 

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.