Patriots

Preseason all downhill from here

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Preseason all downhill from here

Preseason football gets a bad rap around here, and that reputation is entirely deserved. But even in the midst of all the apathy, the first preseason game is always special.

Its just nice to see everyone back on the field. The sight of Brady under center gives you that safe, familiar feeling. Its your first real introduction to the rookies, the new additions and the new collective face of this years team.

Its football! Its back!

The nostalgia wears off after about a quarter (or earlier if the starters get a quick hook), but those first few minutes feel right. Its the closest well get to regular season excitement until the real thing.

Looking back at the opener Thursday night, the story has to be Chandler Jones. As a friend of mine posted on his Facebook wall: I have been waiting 20 years for you Chandler Jones.

Right now, thats what it feels like.

Im so excited about Jones that Im already worried something bad is going to happen. He seems too good to be true. I dont care if its only the first game of the preseason, he did things last night that I havent seen from a Patriots DE since . . . I dont know. Im going to stop now on the off chance that Jones is a bust and this paragraph haunts me for the rest of my Internet life. But one last time, two feet on the ground: CHANDLER JONES.

Ridley brought it, too. Love that wobbly running style; he looks like younger, stronger and more athletic Kevin Faulk. And he didn't fumble! Brandon Lloyd showed that he WILL get open; he looked like what we all imagined Ocho would be. On the defensive side, other than Jones, Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory had a great first date, and can hopefully build on their relationship moving forward. It looks like Kyle Love is still on the rise as well. Love Love.

Obviously, there's of room for improvement. I know that everyones already gone mad over the offensive line. But come on, that wasnt the offensive line. Those were imposters. The Pats didnt have Mankins, Waters or Vollmer. Would you judge the receiving corps if Welker, Hernandez and Gronk were out? Of course not.

I'm not saying that the O-line is issue-free; just that it's too early chalk this as a major area of concern. It's too early for everything! It's one preseason game. Nothing qualifies as that big of a deal.

Well, except for Dane Fletcher.

That just sucks. It's a reminder of the biggest reason the preseason has this bad rap to begin with. You see a guy like Fletcher, who works so hard every year but can never catch a break, go down with an ACL and you wonder: "What's the point?" The worst part is that the play was called back on an offsides penalty. So in reality, Dane Fletcher's season is over because of a punt return that didn't count in a game that didn't count. How depressing is that? Just doesn't seem fair. But it's the grim reality of preseason. You never know when or where a player will go down, and just like that, disappear.

Sometimes I wish that's what the preseason would do. Just go up in smoke, and cease to exist. But in reality, I guess I'll settle on having one fake game in the books, and less than a month before the real thing gets underway.

If you need me in the meantime, I'll be at the pro shop, trying on Chandler Jones jerseys.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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)