Patriots

Notre Dame QB pleads not guilty

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Notre Dame QB pleads not guilty

From Comcast SportsNet
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from ani ncident in which police used pepper spray to subdue him after an off-campus party. Rees, who turns 20 next week, is charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. South Bend police say Rees kneed a police officer in the chest after he ran from the party early May 3 after officers arrived. The court appearance was brief, lasting less than a minute. Rees arrived shortly after 8:20 a.m., sat in the front row for several minutes before his attorney, George Horn, summoned him to appear before Magistrate Brian Steinke without his name being called. Rees didn't speak during his appearance. He met briefly with Horn afterward in a room next to the court and they then left together without speaking to reporters. Rees, who remains free on 250 bond, is due back in court July 17. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese did not appear before Steinke as scheduled Thursday. Assistant prosecutor Andrew White said sometimes defendants e are allowed to have their attorneys appear in their place. He said he didn't know why Calabrese didn't appear. A telephone message seeking comment was left at the office of his attorney, Jeffrey Stesiak, by The Associated Press. White said no plea was entered on Calabrese's behalf. He is scheduled to be in court June 21. Rees, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., is one of four quarterbacks vying for the starters' job next season. He started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season. Calabrese, who is from Verona, N.J., was a backup linebacker who played in every game last season after starting eight games as a sophomore during the 2010 season Police said they went to the party several blocks from campus on the night classes ended after receiving complaints about a loud party. Police said Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived. Police say an officer pursued Rees, continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused. Police say when Rees ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver maneuvered his car to block Rees' path. Police say when the officer caught up, Rees used his right knee to hit the officer in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. Police say the taxi driver held Rees until the officer caught his breath. Police said Rees continued to struggle even after being knocked down and the officer used pepper spray to help subdue him. Police say Calabrese became upset when he saw Rees was being arrested, ignored warnings to stay out of the street and twice old an officer: "My people will get you." Brian Hardin, Notre Dame's director of football media relations, said football coach Brian Kelly would have no comment on Thursday's court appearance. Kelly previously said he would withhold judgment until he could collect all the facts.

Five quick thoughts: Patriots put it all together against Falcons

Five quick thoughts: Patriots put it all together against Falcons

FOXBORO -- Here are some quick-hitting thoughts on the Patriots' 23-7 victory over the Falcons on Sunday night.

1) If the Patriots attacked this game believing that the best defense is a good offense . . . they were right. 

They controlled the ball for more than 18 minutes in the first half and ran for 92 yards on 18 carries (a 5.1 yards per attempt average) with four backs sharing the load. Rex Burkhead gave the team a spark with his speed and vision in his first game back since suffering a rib injury in Week 2. The success the Patriots had running the ball had the added benefit of opening up the play-action pass game and it helped protect Tom Brady. After taking two sacks in the first quarter and a monster hit (penalized for roughing the passer) from Adrian Clayborn in the second, Brady was fairly well-protected. 

PATRIOTS 23, FALCONS 3

2) Tom Brady lamented the fact that he hadn't been more accurate in the red zone of late, but he was better in that area to help the Patriots pad their early lead. 

The Patriots went 2-for-3 in the red zone through the first half, with Brady hitting on touchdown passes to Brandin Cooks (which looked more like an end-around hand-off) and James White. Brady still had moments of inaccuracy. The pass he lofted before being croaked by Clayborn was a bad one that was intercepted. (The pick was wiped after the penalty was enforced.) He threw behind Chris Hogan on multiple occasions. He also had an odd throw float well out of bounds that was intended for Rob Gronkowski. But for the most part he was on point, completing 21 of his first 29 throws for 241 yards. 

3) The Patriots defense showed up in critical moments time and time again in this one. 

They stopped the Falcons twice on fourth down, and they allowed Matt Ryan and his offense to convert on just two of their first nine third-down plays. The Falcons coaching staff deserves plenty of criticism for going for it when they did, but with a banged-up secondary, going against the reigning MVP and one of the best receivers in the league, the Patriots responded.

4) Bill Belichick's run defense was particularly impressive in the first half on Sunday night, helping keep the Falcons from getting anything going until it was too late. 

They allowed just 30 yards on nine attempts in the first two quarters (a 3.3 yards per attempt average), with Malcom Brown, Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy, Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise all making impressive stops at, near or behind the line of scrimmage. 

5) The Patriots suffered a handful of injuries to key players that will be worth keeping an eye on moving forward. 

Malcom Brown left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Their top defensive tackle this season, Brown's absence may be one reason for why the Falcons were able to pump up their rushing yardage to triple digits by midway through the fourth quarter. Dont'a Hightower also left the game and was announced as questionable to return with a shoulder injury. Hightower has had a history of shoulder issues and so perhaps this is an older injury that was re-aggravated. Chris Hogan also left the game briefly and was evaluated for a concussion, according to NBC's television broadcast. He later returned.

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