DJ Bean offers this post-game quote from Bill Belichick on Wes Welker getting his first preseason action.
"The big thing was to get him in there, let him play a little bit. We talked about it this week and it was kind of the next step him for and he felt good about it so we put him in there."
"Nobody works harder than Wes. He’s as competitive and as hard working a player as we’ve had, and we’ve had a lot of them, but I’d put him right up there with all of them."
"I think they were really significant. This is something I’ve been really working towards, really trying to come back and get back out on the field," Welker said following tonight’s 28-10 win over the Falcons. "To be able to do it here in the second pre-season game is kind of a milestone for me.
"It’s something I’ve really been looking forward to, and something I’ve worked my tail off to get to this whole offseason," he went on. ‘‘So it was pretty significant to get out there, and get those reps out there."
"It’s a step forward. I don’t know if we’re all there yet or anything like that, " Welker said. "But it’s a step forward. We got some plays out there and we got some contact which I haven’t had this whole time, so it was good to have."
Christopher Price offers Ten things we learned Thursday night. One being Hernandez is something special.
The highlight of the evening for the 6-foot-2, 245-pound tight end (who will cause all sorts of matchup problems this year for opposing defenses with his size, speed, soft hands and versatility) came when he caught his first touchdown pass as a Patriot late in the second quarter. On a third-down situation in the Atlanta red zone (New England was on the Falcons’ four), Brady found him in the back of the end zone with a laser. Atlanta linebacker Sean Witherspoon looked foolish trying to keep up with Hernandez, who not only turned him inside out but had the presence of mind to tip-toe along the back of the end zone and hold on to the football. The touchdown gave the Patriots a 14-3 lead, and was the final ball Tom Brady would throw all evening.
For a team that, a) struggled to find the tight end in the passing game all last year, and, b) struggled offensively in the red zone all last year, it was a sight for sore eyes for New England football fans.
- Game Notes: Patriots at Falcons.
- Erik Scalavino examines some key areas of competition on the Patriots roster during the second preseason game at Atlanta.
- Bill Belichick Postgame Presser. (5.42 min. audio)
- John Cockrell Friday Out-Takes: Summer blockbuster edition.
- Patriots Today - Highlighting Hoyer's preseason play. (2.58 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport recaps the game, emphasizing the strong running of Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris. Patriots pass coverage needs some work.
- Shalise Manza Young reports the Patriots have been able to strike a better offensive balance between the run and the pass.
- Tom E. Curran notes how the Patriots 'embraced diversity' in their romp over the Falcons.
- Jeff Howe says the Patriots can return to New England feeling good about their 28-10 preseason victory against the Falcons.
- Monique Walker offers a drive-by-drive recap of the Patriots 28-10 preseason victory over the Falcons.
- Monique Walker says Fred Taylor looks fit enough for a heavy workload this season.
- Karen Guregian reports that Wes Welker is back and looking very much like the No. 83 who led the league in receptions last season.
- Kirk Minihane calls Welker's return short but sweet for the Pats.
- Karen Guregian talks up the head-turning performances of the Patriots rookie tight ends, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
- Mike Rodak breaks down Aaron Hernandez's night.
- J Bean discusses what went right and what went wrong for the Patriots last night.
- Mike Reiss looks at three players/units whose performance is up, and three whose performance is down.
- Albert Breer wraps things up with Five things to take home from the Dome.
- Tom E. Curran gives us Five things to remember from the win.
- Karen Guregian points out the Patriots defensive line is still in transition.
- Mike Rodak presents a breakdown of the team's pass rush tendencies throughout Thursday night's game.
- Mike Reiss lists the starters for Thursdays game on Defense and Offense.
- Mike Reiss looks at the secondary lineup on Defense and Offense.
- Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Ron Brace forced a fumble in his first game back, Brian Hoyer is wearing a preemptive knee brace; Derrick Burgess started at OLB; Jerod Mayo said "anytime you let a team drive the ball down your throat... you need to be concerned."
- Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak share some notable quotes from the locker room access following Thursday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
- Albert Breer notes the race to play next to Mayo at ILB is on.
- Ian Rapoport reports that as much as Brandon Spikes has impressed thus far at Patriots practice, it's merely a repeat of what he did at Florida.
- Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak predict how the Patriots' 53-man roster will look. Version 2.0.
- Mike Reiss offers a transcript of his weekly online chat.
- NFL Game Center New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons. Recap, analysis and those nifty highlight videos.
- Pats-Falcons game notes. (Nat'l Football Post) Preseason weekend tip sheet, plus
- Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) Welker back, Brady fine in Pats' victory.
- Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) What we learned from Thursdays games.
- NFL.com Wes Welker Highlights. (43 second video)
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Observations from Colts-Bills in Toronto.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Tucker on Mankins: 'He's their hammer.'
- Ebenezer Samuel (NY Daily News) New York Giants call, offer one-year deal to former Holy Cross QB Dominic Randolph. Another. Holy Cross. First down.
- NFL.com League decides Texans' Brian Cushing must serve four-game ban for taking a performance-enhancing drug.
- Chris Chase (Yahoo! Sports) Hard Knocks recap: Antonio Cromartie is still listing all his kids.
VIEW FROM ATLANTA
- D. Orlando Ledbetter (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Falcons' offense sputters in rout by Patriots.
- Jay Adams (Atlanta Falcons.com) Fast Five: Falcons vs. Patriots.
- Daniel Cox (AtlantaFalcons.com) Key lessons on defense in Patriots loss.
- Jeff Schultz (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Brady and Patriots show Ryan and Falcons how it's done.