FOXBORO - Robert Gallery said Thursday morning that it was a "goal" to play for the Patriots.
A "goal"? Why's that?
Well, it seems that after eight seasons of steady NFL disappointment, he needs something to look forward
"I knew a lot about this place when I was in college at Iowa withCoach Kirk Ferentz and his relationship with Bill Belichick," explained Gallery, the second overall pick in the 2004 draft. "It's a place that's run right andthe tradition's right and they're all about winning. Going through eight yearsof never having a winning season, that's something you really covet when youget to this point, so that's why I'm here."
Gallery spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Raiders. He spent last year with the Seahawks. He's never been part of a team that finished over .500. And when you are a 6-foot-7, 325-pound lineman who entered the league with "potential Hall of Famer" attached to your profile, the losing and the disappointment become a drag and you become a symbol of a team's malaise.
The 31-year-old Gallery, who signed as a free agent March 19, didn't take long to make up his mind on the one-year, 1 million deal he was offered.
"This was an easy decision," said Gallery, a player that the Patriots' organization thought very highly of since he was in college. "We heard from these guys first and it was a fastdecision for me because this has been a goal for a while and obviously whenthey reached out it was a done deal after we talked about it.
'It was a good fit for both of us, I was excitedwhen I got the call. It's a place I've known about since college and that I'vealways wanted to be a part of and it worked out.
"Winning is one of the big reasons that I came here because we've never had a winningseason in my eight years and obviously that's why you play this game and that'sa very big part of my deciding to come here."
NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.
Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.
The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:
"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."
Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.
Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.
The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.
Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.
Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.
As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The full Patriots and Falcons injury report: