Patriots

Brady, Gronkowski help put on a show at Amendola's Celebrity Waiter Night

Brady, Gronkowski help put on a show at Amendola's Celebrity Waiter Night

BOSTON -- Just before Danny Amendola led his teammates into the dining area of Towne Stove and Spirits for his annual Celebrity Waiter Night, he was asked for a scouting report on one of his teammate's capabilities as a server.

"Probably wine everywhere," Amendola said matter-of-factly, referring to tight end Rob Gronkowski. 

At least the meals won't be spiked, though, right?

"I can't promise that," Amendola answered. "But I told him to behave tonight."

Moments later, Amendola and several of his teammates kicked off the event -- Amendola's third Celebrity Waiter Night in Boston -- by signing autographs, taking pictures, and helping to auction off some in-demand items. In all, $210,00 was raised for Amendola's Catches for Kids Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of low-income children and families in need. 

"The most rewarding part is just to see the kids' faces when they get to meet my teammates or come to training camp, or we go to Walmart and get them supplies and things like that," Amendola said. "It's rewarding to meet the kids and to know that we can actually help them. It's fun."

Amendola and Gronkowski were joined by teammates Tom Brady, Julian Edelman (who went without the walking boot he's been seen wearing since undergoing offseason foot surgery), Martellus Bennett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Chris Hogan, Chris Long, Brandon Bolden, Ryan Allen, Chris Harper and Joe Vellano.

Brady took an active role in helping to auction off two signed jerseys for over $4,000 as the winners also received signed footballs thrown to them from across the room by the Patriots quarterback. When one winner dropped his, Brady sent Gronkowski over for an impromptu receiving lesson.

Amendola was at Brady's Best Buddies Football Challenge earlier this month, and he also participates in Long's Waterboys Initiative. He explained that it's no surprise to see so many teammates show up for events like his on Monday.

"We do a lot for each other, whether it be on the football field or whether it be in Boston and giving back to each other's foundations," he said. "We love to support all we can. That's ultimately why we play." 

He added: "We're really good friends. We spend so much time together, and we love one another. We're family members. To support them and to give back to their foundations, what they love to do is important just as it is to workout out together and try to play good football. To give back to the community and be a staple in the community has always been our No. 1 goal. That's why we're here."

For more about Amendola's Catches for Kids Foundation, you can visit dannyamendola.org.

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."