Patriots

Punter Jake Bailey a rarity for a Bill Belichick coached team

Punter Jake Bailey a rarity for a Bill Belichick coached team

Bill Belichick is entering his 20th season with the New England Patriots, but he has had some notable firsts this year. In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Patriots picked wide receiver N'Keal Harry in the first round. That was the first time Belichick had selected a receiver in the first round during his time with the Patriots.

On Monday, the team released veteran punter Ryan Allen signifying that rookie fifth-round pick Jake Bailey had won the punter battle. Barring a surprise, Bailey will be the team's punter to start the season. And per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, Bailey will be the first full-time right-footed punter that Belichick has employed in 20 seasons.

Though Belichick did have a couple of fill-in righties at punter as Volin mentioned, this is frankly remarkable. But evidently, having a left-footed punter was something that Belichick placed value on.

Since 1999, Belichick has had six lefty punters on the roster. They were Allen, Zoltan Mesko, Chris Hanson, Josh Miller, Ken Walter, and Lee Johnson. The only righties were the aforementioned Brooks Barnard and Todd Sauerbrun, who combined to launch 20 total punts with the Patriots. Comparatively, the lefties during the Belichick era have launched 1,322 total punts.

Bailey will be something new and different for the Patriots, but it seems that he has the skills needed to succeed. He averaged 43.8 yards per punt during his college days at safety, so he should have a chance to seamlessly replace Allen.

Report: Patriots tried to claim punter Johnny Townsend off waivers>>>

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Five Patriots plays among Top 30 on NFL 100 list

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File photos

Five Patriots plays among Top 30 on NFL 100 list

Last week, the NFL released all but the Top 30 of its 100 greatest plays as part of its 100th-anniversary celebration. Seven plays involving the Patriots cracked that list.

This week, it was a countdown of plays 30 to 1 and the Pats found themselves well-represented again. 

The list was selected by a panel of 50 voters (the same panel that votes for the NFL Awards and the All-Pro team), including our own Tom E. Curran, who listed his Top 20 plays earlier this summer, here. Voters were given a ballot of 100 plays and asked to rank 50.

The rest of the countdowns on NFL Network continue next week with Greatest Games (Sept. 27 & Oct. 4), Characters (Oct. 11 & Oct. 18), Game-Changers (Oct. 25 & Nov. 1) and Teams (Nov. 8 & Nov. 15).

The No. 1 play was Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" touchdown in the Pittsburgh Steelers' December 1972 playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders.

 

 

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

The Patriots gave Antonio Brown a shot at redemption when they signed him earlier this month, then another when they kept the wide receiver amid allegations of sexual assault.

But on Friday, enough was enough. When intimidating text messages sent by Brown to one of his accusers leaked to the public, that was the final straw.

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft came to the conclusion cutting ties with Brown was in the best interest of the team. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the decision stemmed from Kraft being "enraged" upon hearing about Brown's latest incident.

Howe writes:

Kraft, who was on a business trip, became enraged Friday when he heard the details of Brown’s most recently reported incident of text messaging harassment of a former female acquaintance. Kraft and Belichick spoke and decided together to officially release Brown just 11 days after the Patriots signed the controversial star receiver, according to sources.

Shortly before the release was announced, Belichick walked off the podium in the middle of his press conference following a flurry of questions related to Brown. He did note, however, “There are some things that we’re looking into.”

Brown's tenure in New England lasted only 11 days and one game -- last Sunday's 43-0 win over the Dolphins. Now, he's again a free agent faced with hoping another team will be willing to give him yet another chance.

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