Patriots

Carter won't be hiding from the run

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Carter won't be hiding from the run

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The skinny on Andre Carter is that he's a pass-rushing maven. And the numbers so far in his career bear that out. He's got three seasons with double-digit sacks since coming into the league in 2001, including an 11-sack season for Washington in 2009. But Bill Belichick cautioned against pigeon-holing Carter as a specialist. Asked Wednesday morning if Carter could also play the run, Belichick said "Yeah, I would say so. I think handling the run is a strength of his."Belichick continued in a clear attempt to make people understand Carter is not "Just Another Guy" in this league. "He's a pretty talented player," Belichick pointed out. "He was the seventh pick in the draft. I dont think you stumble into that spot."Lapsing into scouting-report speak, Belichick ticked off the attributes. "He's got good size, he's long, he's got power, he plays hard, he's got a real good motor. Well-conditioned athlete. Strong, runs well...good athlete. He's obviously been well-coached with his family (his father Rubin played nose-tackle for the Broncos' Orange Crush defense from 1975 to 1986), He's got a lot going for him. Smart guy, understands football concepts. Makes adjustments quickly, works hard. Quite a few positives there."So far, Carter's been impressive. He didn't play in the preseason opener last week against Jacksonville but in 1-on-1s and in team play, his explosionis hard tomiss. He'sseems very difficult to handle in space. For his part, Carterfeels he couldn't have landed in a better spot after dealing with the uncertainty of being a free agent and then not having his phone ring right away.
"For me personally, it was a humbling experience, not being picked up in the free agency market especially when time was of the essence," he explained last Friday. Belichick scouted Carter extensively in 2001 when the Patriots held the sixth pick in the draft. Ultimately, New England took Richard Seymour. Carter went to the 49ers. "This is a great organization," Carter pointed out. "Almost 11 years later, I'm here now and everything's kind of come full circle. Now it's on me to justgo out and represent myselfin a class manner and be a professional."Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on its own feel, its own flavor and - eventually - its own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”

Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

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Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

The Patriots will be without center David Andrews on Sunday when they play the Raiders in Mexico City. Andrews, who hasn’t all practice all week with an illness, is one of four Pats listed as out on the injury report released Friday.

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Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who didn’t play last week against the Broncos is also out, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Offensive linemen Ted Karras and Joe Thuney each took reps at center so one of them will likely start in Andrews’ absence. LaAdrian Waddle filled in for Cannon and performed well last week vs. Denver. 

Here’s the full injury report for the Patriots and Raiders: