Patriots

Dion Lewis makes his case, helps Patriots running attack vs. Jets

Dion Lewis makes his case, helps Patriots running attack vs. Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Dion Lewis took his time in the Patriots locker room following their closer-than-expected 24-17 win over the Jets. He made sure his sock game was tight and his suit game on point. Lewis brushed his hair, turned to face a gathering crowd around his locker and still fiddled with his top button. For the first time this year, and maybe since 2015, the running back was the focal point of the offense and our attention.
 
“Whenever you get a chance, you have got make plays,” said Lewis. “That’s my job. Whenever my number is called to make plays. I was just happy I was able to go out there, play, move around a little bit and help my team.” 
 
“Dion's so shifty, everybody's at the point of attack when he has the ball,” said his personal escort, fullback James Develin. 

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Lewis played 29 snaps, 11 more than his season-high, which came two Thursdays ago in Tampa. The former University of Pittsburgh standout knew he’d get more run today just based on the game plan but - as always - you never know what happens after a series or two. But Lewis was productive, rushing for 52 yards while also scoring his second touchdown of the year. And after normal lead back Mike Gillislee fumbled in the opening quarter to kill a Patriots drive on the edge of the red zone, it was Lewis and James White who found themselves as the only two backs playing over the next 34 offensive plays. That allowed Lewis to find better footing from start to finish.
 
“I think it’s pretty big, even if you’re not getting the ball, just to be out there, getting used to the game flow,” said Lewis. “That’s pretty big but a series here, a series there, whenever my number is called, I gotta be ready to make a play, show them I’m capable. Whenever I get a chance to do that, I gotta prove it.”
 
Lewis made it clear to me weeks ago that he felt he proved that he was all the way back from the knee injury that derailed his breakout 2015 season and then slowed him for much of the 2016 campaign. But the Pats incorporated him slowly and - at times - sporadically. 
 
“He's incredibly creative,” said Develin. “Everybody's at the point of attack. You have to make your block and sustain it and let the guy do his thing because he's dynamic.” 
 
“I feel I showed them I was ready to go back in July and August,” Lewis told me as he headed for the door. “But hey, I’m just happy we got a win. It’s always exciting to win. And I’m glad I could help.”
 
Lewis has made his case. We’ll see where it goes from here.

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McGinest sees a possible dramatic Brady retirement

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McGinest sees a possible dramatic Brady retirement

What’s one more opinion when it comes to the caucophony of chatter wondering when Tom Brady will retire. 

Yesterday our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran laid out the viewpoints of everyone from Brady himself, to Brady’s agent Don Yee, to Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and others . . . and there wasn’t much of a consensus. 

Now Willie McGinest, one of Brady’s former teammates, has weighed in. 

Just another shot in the dark from another talking head asked to opine on the topic? Not exactly. McGinest and Brady have had a good relationship for a long time, but perhaps even more noteworthy is that McGinest is the person who introduced Brady to Alex Guerrero. 

McGinest saying that if Brady wins Super Bowl LIII he could “walk off” doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what will happen. Nor does it mean it’s what Guerrero believes. But it’s a take that could reasonably be placed in a box labeled “informed opinion.”

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Eric Decker sees a "good fit" with the New England Patriots

Eric Decker sees a "good fit" with the New England Patriots

With less than a month until the start of training camp, free agent wide receiver Eric Decker is still without a team. Speaking with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Decker mentioned the New England Patriots as potentially a great fit playing under Josh McDaniels. 

Decker, 31, was selected by the Denver Broncos in the third round (87th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft when McDaniels was head coach. He spent his first four seasons with the Broncos, accumulating over 3000 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. His last season with the team was the year they lost in the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Decker then signed a five-year $36.25 million contract with the New York Jets. He played two full seasons with the Jets before suffering a season ending shoulder injury in the early part of the 2016 season. He was cut later that summer and signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. 

Last season with the Titans, Decker played in 16 games, pulling in 54 receptions for 563 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots are projected to have a completely different receiving core than a year ago. Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola are gone via trade and free agency respectively. Julian Edelman missed the entirety of last season with a knee injury, and faces a four-game suspension after testing positive for PED's. Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt and Cordarrelle Patterson are the new additions joining Rob Gronkowski and Malcolm Mitchell in the passing game. 

There is no information confirming the Patriots mutual interest in Decker, while the veteran wideout has reportedly met with the Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders regarding his services next season. 

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