Patriots

Belichick looking for more consistency from Malcom Brown

Belichick looking for more consistency from Malcom Brown

It had to be frustrating for the Patriots.

Second-year defensive tackle Malcom Brown was in the middle of one of the most productive stretches of his young career, similar to the one he put together at the end of last season. 

Then, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, he was late to a meeting last week. That earned him a seat on the Patriots bench for most of their 41-3 drubbing of the Jets on Saturday.

Brown saw a career-low 16 snaps before the Christmas Eve matchup was over, and all 16 came in the fourth quarter with the outcome already in hand. 

After the game Belichick called the decision to bench Brown a coach's decision, and on a conference call on Tuesday, he expressed some level of discouragement that Brown has not been more consistent this season. 

Since the Patriots bye week, Brown has recorded 11 quarterback hurries, two hits, a sack and 10 run-stuffs, according to Pro Football Focus. 

"Malcom’s had some good moments," Belichick said. "We're just looking really for more consistency there."

In Brown's absence against the Jets, rookie defensive tackle Vincent Valentine earned his first pro start and played in 41 snaps.

"Well, I think Vince is improving," Belichick said. "He’s still got a ways to go. There are a lot of things he is working on, he’s gotten better at, but it’s a different game in there. Especially for us where we play guys like him in different spots. Sometimes he’s on the center, sometimes he’s in the gap, sometimes he’s on the guard, sometimes he’s in a three-technique. He’s making progress. He’s coming along."

If both players could somehow step up their games to match that of veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch, Belichick explained, they'd be just fine. 

"Branch has been by far our most consistent defensive tackle," Belichick said. "The other guys can shoot to get up to his level."

Branch has started all 15 games this season, playing 60 percent of the snaps. He's racked up two sacks, one quarterback hit, 14 hurries, 29 run-stuffs and one pass defensed in his 10th season, per PFF.

Chris Hogan, David Andrews, Marcus Cannon miss full week of practice

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Chris Hogan, David Andrews, Marcus Cannon miss full week of practice

FOXBORO — It's safe to say Chris Hogan, David Andrews and Marcus Cannon won't play Sunday against the Dolphins.:

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The trio was not on the field for the media portion of Friday’s practice, completing a week in which the three did not practice at all. Hogan has been out with a shoulder injury, while Andrews missed last week’s win over the Raiders due to illness and Cannon has been dealing with an ankle injury. 

Martellus Bennett was also absent, making it two straight days in which he did not take the field. Bennett, who was released by Green Bay this season amid questions of whether he would undergo surgery, is listed on the injury report with shoulder and hamstring issues. 

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Belichick says there are more former Patriots throughout rest of NFL than other teams

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Belichick says there are more former Patriots throughout rest of NFL than other teams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will see some familiar faces Sunday when they play the Dolphins and former New England interior lineman Ted Larsen. 

Then again, a suddenly interesting Bill Belichick noted Friday, the Patriots are used to seeing their players of seasons past end up elsewhere. In his estimation, the Patriots see their former players stay in the league moreso than most other organizations. 

“There’s 70-something guys in the league like that that have been here and are playing for somebody else, or whatever the number is,” Belichick said when asked about facing Larsen. “It’s a lot. Seventy to 90, somewhere in there, depending on how you want to count the practice-squad players and today’s waiver wire vs. yesterday’s waiver wire. There’s a lot of guys out there. It’s one of the highest numbers in the league.”

Asked to clarify, Belichick responded, “I think we have more [former] players that are playing on other teams than other teams [do], or one of them. I don’t know if we’re the highest. We’re one of the highest; I can tell you that. We’re up there pretty high, but it depends on how you want to count them: starters, roster players, IR, practice squad. You can run the list that you run and count them up how you want to count them up, but we’d be up there pretty high.”

Belichick loosely estimated that there might be an average of three former Pats per team in the NFL. Of course, the actual number varies from team to team, with the Colts’ roster essentially looking like a Patriots museum. 
 
Interestingly enough, the question of the total number was explored this offseason by Pats Pulpit, who determined in May that there were 91 former Patriots on other rosters.