#FridayBag: Will Hogan be eased back into Patriots offense?

#FridayBag: Will Hogan be eased back into Patriots offense?

FOXBORO - Every Friday, Phil Perry and Mike Giardi will take your Patriots questions on Twitter and answer them as a joint mailbag -- or Friday Bag, as they call it.

Got questions? Tweet the guys using the hashtag #FridayBag. But for now, give the latest edition of the Bag a read.

MG: Who said Jimmy is just the second-greatest QB of all-time??  

PP: Usually anywhere from 10 to 20 questions, depending on the week. Thanks as always for checking in, Scott.

MG: I am a fan of the targeting rule in college and taking it to review during the game to determine whether or not it’s a 15-yard penalty or that plus an ejection. That said, I don’t think it’s ruining the game. I think the games have been pretty damn good this year. Competitive. 

PP: Hey, Trevor. Touched on this in a story this week. He'd be a huge addition. His red-zone numbers were pretty astounding before getting injured. Problem is, we're still not sure yet if he'll be a go. And even with Rob Gronkowski out this week, I don't think there will be any rush to get him back. The Patriots could lose Monday night in Miami, and as long as they beat the Steelers in their highly-anticipated Week 15 matchup, they'll be in the running for the No. 1 seed in the conference. The Patriots will never say it the way Mike Tomlin did, but the Steelers game is really the one that matters right now.

MG: MURPH!!!! I think Hogan will be eased back into the equation. Maybe they shave half of Dorsett’s snaps (he had 48 last week without a single target, although Mr. Brady had something to do with that). 2) Cefali does not wear lifts and he may now be in therapy after the Twitter beatdown he received, even if it was justified (that shirt was ugly). 3) the Pats have struggled setting the edge this year. Cassius Marsh was awful at it, Lee struggled at time last week and I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in the season-long (essentially) absence of Dont’a Hightower. I know they’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to improve in that regard but maybe it’s just as simple as they don’t have personnel that is sound in that area.

PP: Now we're talking, Rich. Really hard to say one way or the other. Both obviously very well-respected offensive minds. I think because of Tom Brady's experience in the system, the number of plays available to Josh McDaniels is probably wider than those available to Charlie Weis. After one sideline conversation, Brady and McDaniels can drum up an old game plan from 10 years ago to attack an opponent. That wasn't the case for Brady and Weis in 2004.

MG: Jacob, he’s certainly built a level of trust with Tom Brady that didn’t exist when the season started or even when the Pats rolled into Denver a few weeks back. But I don’t think he’s that kind of player at this stage of his career. There’s a stiffness to his route running that makes me think it’s unlikely he’ll ever get more than three or four targets in a game (unless Miami doesn’t feel like covering him).

PP: The best.

MG: There won’t be any personnel changes, unless Fleming remains the right tackle in place of the injured LaAdrian Waddle (who’s playing in place of the injured Marcus Cannon). This offense has had to change in part because of the Edelman injury but also because of the acquisition of Brandin Cooks and then -- to a lesser degree -- Phil Dorsett. They’re more vertical threats. If you’re going vertical, Brady is going to have to hang on to the ball a lot longer than you’re accustom to. So there long and short of it is TB12 will get hit. 

PP: Mr. Q! I would say most players do not know and do not really care. They see enough of Belichick's Breakdowns live and in person. If they've made a good play, those sessions are the ones where it's nice to get a mention.

MG: Donny, it’s rare. I can only think of a few times a year where they’ll go inside the bubble and it’s not always because of Mother Nature. Bill thinks like my old college coach Don Miller thought. Your skin is waterproof. Deal with it. If it’s cold, wear layers. 

MG: Billy, I’m thinking he’s already a carbon copy of Carl Banks and with one or two more games like he just had, Lawrence Taylor better beware. But seriously, Lee has been a nice addition thus far. They needed a body and he’s been more than that thus far. Now the question becomes: can he sustain it?

PP: OK, I'll say it. It was a down week for Bag contributions.

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.