Patriots

Patriots training camp notes: Day 5

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Patriots training camp notes: Day 5

FOXBORO -- Guess who's back?! Nope, not telling you here. Start reading.
Visanthe Shiancoe wore just a t-shirt and shorts Tuesday -- official uniform of those not practicing. It's his first pissed practice. Same for Tony Fiammetta.
Alfonzo Dennard was again in shorts. He and Logan Mankins, Nick McDonald, Markus Zusevics, Myron Pryor, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Ebner, and Jeremy Ebert began the day on bikes or elliptical machines before moving to the lower field for stretching and other rehab work.
Jamey Richard was 100 absent. He suffered a concussion in Sunday's sesssion.
Asked if there was any update on absent-but-excused offensive lineman Brian Waters, Belichick answered..."Nope."Brandon Spikes saw his first real action since that February surgery. And man, was he amped. Spikes looked giddy to be able to hit people again, evident when he blew up Dan Connolly in his first 11-on-11 snap. He chest-bumped or high-fived somebody after almost every play.
Bill Belichick wet-ragged the conversation of Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd being the most unstoppable QB-Receiver duo of this century and future ones. "Yeah, we have a long way to go. I think its a little too early to get excited about anything. We have a lot of work to do ..."
Jesse Holley can't catch. Okay, he can catch, but he's not doing it much in training camp.
A few highlights from the first WR-DB 1-on-1s of training camp:
-Matthew Slater bested Sterling Moore.-Devin McCourty had a great pass break-up on Britt Davis in one corner of the end zone.-Ras-I Dowling also beat Davis.-Sergio Brown had no hope of getting a ball from Rob Gronkowski.-Patrick Chung got a pick off of Alex Silvestro (former DE who's having a rough go of it at TE; see next note).-Aaron Hernandez separately wrecked both James Ihedigbo and Patrick Chung with that sweet little cutback of his.-Tavon Wilson grabbed at Gronkowski's jersey but still couldn't get to him.
Silvestro is dangerous. He almost squished Julian Edelman when the two were running a crossing pattern at the same depth. And when he falls among the secondary players, he falls hard.
Steve Gregory got the better of Hernandez in an open field tackling drill.
Brandon Bolden had to run a lap after fumbling a Tom Brady ball during 11-on-11. He had to cradle the football as he ran. Makes sense.
Oh, Ryan Mallett. Despite Sunday being one of his better practices, the backup quarterback's backup didn't seem to do much quarterbacking on Tuesday. He went over snaps and signals with the offensive line at one point, also played some special teams. When he did throw, he had at least one interception.
Dan Koepplin did most of the booming on kick returns today. Danny Woodhead, Matt Slater, Donte' Stallworth did some of the receiving.
Nobody gets knocked around like Stevan Ridley gets knocked around. He told me the other day he doesn't mind getting banged to the ground during camp, even if the players are supposed to just wrap and release. Apparently, he's made that public in the locker room because he got jolted to the ground about a half-dozen times on Tuesday.
According to CSN reporter Mike Giardi, in offensive v. defensive line 1-on-1's: "Kyle Love beat on Dan Koppen, Chandler Jones fooled with Nate Solder, Robert Gallery man-upped Vince Wilfork, Darrion Weems put rookie Jake Bequette in the turf." Isn't Mike colorful?
Part of Patrick Chung's spiel on Tuesday was promoting the New Era training camp hats that are out. They are actually really good looking -- fitted white mesh.
Steve Dubin, half of the sports agency firm Yee and Dubin that represents Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, was in attendance on Tuesday.
Also in attendance was former Giants linebacker Carl Banks who played for the G-Men under Belichick. He was wearing a Patriots T-shirt and shorts. When news of his presence was tweeted out, a few Giants fans tweeted back their surprise, noting, "I just threw up in my mouth."
Ebner was the rookie who got stuck schlepping other guys' gear after practice. He carried at least four different sets of helmets and pads into the locker room. Builds character (unless you're Dez Bryant).
Tom Brady ran some sprints alone after practice.
Wednesday night, the team has its annual in-stadium practice for season-ticket holders and Foxboro residents. There's no public access to the event and no afternoon practice.

Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Ex-Pats Moss, Law and Seymour among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Former Patriots Randy Moss, Ty Law and Richard Seymour are among 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

In January, selectors will reduce the list to 15 finalists, who will join seniors Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor Bobby Beathard on the final ballot. The annual selection meeting will take place Feb.y 3, the day before Super Bowl LII.

Click here for the complete story from NBC's Pro Football Talk.

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