Patriots

Potential Patriots draftees: Justin Houston

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Potential Patriots draftees: Justin Houston

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.com

Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Justin Houston.

Justin Houston, 6-3, 270OLB, Georgia

The Skinny: An intriguing player with an explosive first step, Houston looks straight out of 3-4 OLB central casting with long arms, excellent athletic ability and a ton of power. The consensus is he's best coming out of a three-point stance as opposed to being a stand-up edge rusher. Had 10 sacks last season for the Bulldogs in the always-competitive SEC.

Gotta Have Him: The Patriots need pass rush. Justin Houston provides pass rush. Let's be honest, Tully Banta-Cain's 2010 is probably more indicative of what he is all about than his 10-sack 2009 was. And Rob Ninkovich is not going to morph into Mike Vrabel. A bookend tandem of outside linebackers comprised of Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Houston could be a devastating pair.
Don't Need Him: He may not be versatile enough. According to Wes Bunting at the National Football Post, Houston just doesn't cut it when he's asked to stand up and rush the passer. "He's stiff and will struggle in space," predicted Bunting. "He's got that great first step but he's a bit of a one-trick pony. He's going to need a changeup move."
Forecast: The Patriots need to determine whether they want a 3-4 defensive end who is versatile enough to drop in coverage or whether they want a 3-4 linebacker who can play the run and set the edge on two downs and bring pressure on third. They drafted a player in the second round last year who fits that mold - Jermaine Cunningham. Bunting says Cunningham was a better overall prospect than Houston but not necessarily a better pass rusher. "(Houston) can take that first step off the edge and can make quarterbacks step into the pocket into the teeth of the defense. But as a 270-pound guy, I'm not sure he can consistently set the edge."

Patriots Draftability: 7

Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

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In a surprise move, Chiefs sign Darrelle Revis

KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs needed help in their leaky defensive backfield.

Darrelle Revis was ready to provide it.

So the AFC West leaders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback on Wednesday, a surprising midseason move involving a big-name player. Revis played for the New York Jets last season, but his massive salary cap number combined with a decline in performance led to his release in late February.

Still, the Chiefs were desperate to find a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters. Terrence Mitchell, Kenneth AckerSteven Nelson and Phillip Gaines have all failed to hold down the spot.

"He's ready to go now," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a conference call with reporters. "He was coming off the wrist (injury) and that he had last year, you know - this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way. So it was a nice, mutual agreement that took place and here we are."

Reid did not rule out Revis playing Sunday against Buffalo, either.

Four days is typically a quick turnaround for a player to get acclimated to a team, especially one that hasn't played a snap since the end of last season. But Revis has a few things going for him: He has a vast amount of experience from which to draw, he is already familiar with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's system having played for him with the Jets, and the Chiefs really have nothing to lose.

They enter the game with the 28th-ranked pass defense in the league, hemorrhaging more than 250 yards per game. That includes a 417-yard performance by Oakland's Derek Carr a few weeks ago.

"We've had some young guys trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too," Reid said. "It's a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that will continue to grow."

Perhaps coincidentally, the Chiefs visit the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis at one point was considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers and Patriots. He won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

He parlayed that into a five-year, $39 million contract to return to the Jets, but a wrist injury slowed him down a couple of years ago. Revis struggled most of last season, looking as if the 32-year-old had lost a step for the first time, and the Jets made the decision to let him go.

He's spent the past summer and fall keeping in shape.

"He's been around awhile. He looks great physically," Reid said, "but time does that, time will take a step away from you. But he's a smart guy, knows how to play the game and that becomes important at this point in his career. I'm not telling you he can't still run, he can run."

Good enough to help the Chiefs (6-4), who had dropped four of their past five?

"Darrelle is a proven player in this league and we are excited to add him," first-year Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He's had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense."

That may be where he is most beneficial: His experience. The Chiefs have little veteran presence in their secondary after safety Eric Berry was lost to a season-ending injury.

"You're talking about one of the all-time great players at that position," Reid said. "It's just a matter of getting him back in the swing of things and seeing where he's at. He's excited to be here. We are excited to have him. I would think his role would be to step in and be a starter."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both sat out of the entirety of Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury, per the injury report released by the Patriots. The Boston Herald has reported that Brady will play despite the issue. It's unclear when exactly Brady suffered the injury, but Brady was hit low by Raiders pass-rusher Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Mack was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Gronkowski, like teammate David Andrews, is dealing with an illness. Patrick Chung, who left Sunday's game briefly, has an ankle issue. 

Here's the full injury report for both the Patriots and Dolphins . . . 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
C David Andrews (illness)
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Marellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)
DE William Hayes (back)
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)

FULL PARTICIPATION
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)