Patriots

Matt Cassel: Tom Brady 'has the right to be upset' with Patriots offense

Matt Cassel: Tom Brady 'has the right to be upset' with Patriots offense

Tom Brady couldn't hide his frustration after Sunday's game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even though the New England Patriots were victorious and improved to 9-1 on the year, Brady clearly was displeased with his offense's continued struggles. On the latest episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, former Pats backup QB Matt Cassel explained why Brady has every right to be frustrated with the current state of affairs.

"He has the right to be upset, and when he's upset it's because he's ultra-competitive," Cassel said. "The struggles that they've consistently had don't seem to be going away, and I know that once you get to a certain point in the season, you're expecting things to turn around and for you guys to start to roll. There's an expectation level that he has, that the offense has, that that building has had for a long time about putting up points and they haven't been able to achieve that this year.

"It's probably a different mode of thinking and ideology in terms of when you're going out on the field, now that defense is controlling the game for you. But at the same time, that offense is used to putting up points each and every day and their biggest struggles have been in the red zone. So there's a ton of frustration when you think that the level of play should be higher and it hasn't been."

Brady and the Patriots will look to make some strides offensively on Sunday when they go up against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium. They may find themselves shorthanded yet again, as wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett were non-participants in Wednesday's practice due to injury.

Curran and Cassel also discussed the Patriots' first-round draft selections over the last few years, Rob Gronowski's "big announcement," Antonio Brown's apology to Robert Kraft, and more. . .

Listen to the full episode below:

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Bill Belichick shares amusing story about Rob Gronkowski after he makes NFL's All-Time team

Bill Belichick shares amusing story about Rob Gronkowski after he makes NFL's All-Time team

The New England Patriots selected Rob Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Little did they know that at the time that he would go on to become arguably the greatest tight end ever.

Over the course of his nine-year career with the Patriots, Gronkowski recorded 521 catches for 7,861 yards and a whopping 80 total touchdowns. He established himself as one of the best pass-catchers in the league and for a time, it seemed impossible for opposing defenses to tackle him.

Gronkowski is a shoo-in to be nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was named to the NFL's All-Time team on Friday night. However, despite these honors, it wasn't always certain that he would be a success.

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As Bill Belichick detailed on the All-Time team special, Gronkowski was more of a "shot in the dark" than anything else, especially after a comically bad pre-draft visit.

"Rob was kind of a shot in the dark," Belichick said. "He came up on his pre-draft visit and had a bad visit. We put him in a room. Came back. He was asleep on the floor. He didn't make a very good impression."

Here's a look at Belichick's full story, via the NFL's official Twitter account.

Despite this, Belichick and the Patriots liked Gronkowski's skill set enough to trade up and select him in the second round of the draft. And it's safe to say that the decision paid off, as Gronk helped them to win three Super Bowls.

Gronkowski wasn't the only member of the Patriots to join the NFL's All-Time team on Friday. Offensive lineman John Hannah made the cut as well.

Hannah, a Hall of Famer, played in 183 games (all starts) at the guard position over the course of 13 years with the Patriots. He made seven All-Pro first-teams and nine Pro Bowls during his career.

Could trick-shot kicker return to Patriots in 2020 after practice squad release?

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USA TODAY Sports

Could trick-shot kicker return to Patriots in 2020 after practice squad release?

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots' rare instability at kicker has forced them to get creative.

The Patriots raised a few eyebrows Wednesday by signing Josh Gable -- a "YouTube star" with no college football kicking experience best known for his trick shot videos -- to their practice squad.

Gable's tenure in New England was short-lived, as the Patriots released him Friday.

So, why use a practice squad spot on a kicker only to cut him two days later?

"We had a spot available on the practice squad, and it gave us an opportunity to look at a younger kicker," head coach Bill Belichick said Friday.

" ... Rather than just (have him) come in and do a workout, we were actually able to (have him) kick with the team and put him on the practice squad for a couple days."

Belichick said the Patriots have no plans to move away from Nick Folk as their starting kicker this season. 

But getting Gable in for essentially a multi-day tryout allowed New England to explore a potential kicking option for 2020.

"We'll worry about that next year," Belichick said. " ... Put that in the bank, and maybe it comes up later on at some point in time down the road. Maybe it doesn’t. I’m not sure."

Such is the reality for the Patriots, who lost Stephen Gostkowski to season-ending hip surgery in October and have cycled through Mike Nugent, Kai Forbath, Folk and Younghoe Koo (practice squad) since.

Gostkowski turns 36 in January and is entering the final year of his contract, so Belichick has good reason to get a head start on contingency kicking options for 2020.

That's assuming New England doesn't stick with Folk: The veteran has been the most consistent of Gostkowski's replacements this season, connecting on eight of 11 field goals and making all four of his extra-point attempts.

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