Patriots

Patriots re-sign CB Rashaan Melvin to practice squad

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Patriots re-sign CB Rashaan Melvin to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have re-signed cornerback Rashaan Melvin to the practice squad, replacing corner Chris Greenwood on the team's 10-man unit.

Melvin was released from the 53-man roster earlier in the week in order to make room for newly-acquired corner Leonard Johnson.

Primarily a special-teams contributor during his time on the Patriots active roster this season, Melvin successfully recovered a Stephen Gostkowski onside kick in last week's loss to Philadelphia. He played 45 defensive snaps for New England, most of those coming in a Week 10 win over the Giants when he subbed in for No. 3 corner Justin Coleman, who was dealing with a hand injury.

 

Stevan Ridley seeks revenge after Patriots 'trashed him'

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Stevan Ridley seeks revenge after Patriots 'trashed him'

Another week, another ex-Patriots running back looking for revenge.

This time, it's Stevan Ridley.

The Pats' lead back from 2011-14 now serves as a backup for the Steelers, and he's anxiously awaiting his chance to stick it to his former team on Sunday. With Pittsburgh's starting running back James Conner likely to sit out, Ridley could see an uptick in opportunities.

Ridley told The Boston Herald about how important Sunday's Patriots-Steelers matchup is to him.

“I’m very open and I have to be real: I want this game more than any other game, man,” Ridley told The Herald. “That’s just the bottom line to it. And it’ll be that way from this year until I go in the grave. I’m just that kind of person.”

He didn't stop there. Ridley explained how it felt to not be contacted by New England following the 2014 season in which he tore his ACL.

“I was trashed after an injury,” Ridley said. “I’m just going to put it that way. I’m not going to say specifically, but to be a starter for (the Patriots) for four years, to tear my ACL and never get a call back, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”

“And now they’re still looking for a running back to try to come in and play — how many running backs have been through there to try to give them some consistency as a quote-unquote first or second down back?” Ridley said. “They’re still looking for it right now. Yeah, it’s very personal. It is.”

After the Titans defeated the Patriots in Week 10, ex-Pats running back Dion Lewis took a shot at his former team saying, "That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.” You can bet Ridley hopes to follow in Lewis' footsteps.

“I had circled the game when I was with the Jets — I think it was Week 7 or 8,” Ridley said, “and man, I’ve had that game circled on my schedule every year since I left there to try to get a shot at these guys and get some kind of redemption.”

While Ridley feels strongly about the sour ending to his tenure in New England, the 29-year-old made a point to acknowledge the good along with the bad.

“Anything between the white lines, you cannot question (Bill) Belichick, (Tom) Brady, or anything they’ve done in let’s say the last two decades,” Ridley said. “But you’re asking me about my situation, so I’m telling you about my situation when it comes to that. I don’t discredit anything. Those guys brought me into the NFL. They gave me my first shot in the league. We won a lot of ballgames there to go to four AFC Championships, two different Super Bowls. We were kicking ass every year that we were there. I had great memories in New England, man. It’s not all bitter.”

If Ridley indeed gets his redemption on Sunday, it will be the second straight week that a former Patriots running back comes back to haunt New England. Last week, it was Brandon Bolden scoring two touchdowns for the Dolphins in the crushing Pats loss.

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NFL mock draft 2019: Todd McShay predicts Patriots go DT in first round

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NFL mock draft 2019: Todd McShay predicts Patriots go DT in first round

The New England Patriots run defense has not been great this season, so it only makes sense to use some draft capital to upgrade the defensive line in the 2019 NFL Draft.

That's the area ESPN draft expert Todd McShay expects the Patriots to target in the first round. In his first 2019 mock draft of the season, McShay selected Ohio State defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones (6-foot-3, 286 pounds) for the Patriots with the 29th overall pick.

Here's his explanation for the selection:

Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton land on the open market after the season, so the Pats' biggest concern will be shoring up the defensive line. Jones finally put it all together this season and exhibits a good motor and quick first step. 

The Pats rank 27th in rushing yards allowed per attempt and 15th in rushing yards allowed per game, although they've given up just three rushing touchdowns. 

New England has taken only one defensive tackle over the last three drafts -- Vincent Valentine in the third round in 2016.

Jones, who announced Wednesday on Twitter he's going to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, was coached at Ohio State by Urban Meyer. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has drafted several players coached by Meyer from his tenures at OSU and the University of Florida. 

Jones tallied eight sacks, 40 total tackles, one interception and three fumble recoveries in 13 games for the Buckeyes this season. 

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