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New England Patriots Links 9/07/11 - 53-Man Roster Still In Flux

<em>It's okay if the opposing defenses overlook BenJarvus Green-Ellis but Pats fans know his worth</em>.
It's okay if the opposing defenses overlook BenJarvus Green-Ellis but Pats fans know his worth.

Bill O'Brien takes time to praise BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

"[BenJarvus] is a great story in my mind. I'll speak for myself; I'm not looking to replace him. He's a steady guy [and] he's a smart guy. He came in here as an undrafted guy and made the football team, and every year he has gotten better. As with everybody at that position, I think they've improved the whole training camp, but as it relates to Benny, he has done a better job of coming in here and catching the ball, and doing some of the things we've asked him to get better at and he does that every year. Whatever you ask him to do he tries to improve on it, and he's a good guy to have on the football team as is [Danny Woodhead], as is Kevin [Faulk], obviously, [Stevan] Ridley, and [Shane] Vereen. So that's a good mixture of guys, and we're happy with Benny as we usually are."

"Right in the beginning as it related to Benny I was always impressed with his demeanor, his steadiness and his intelligence playing running back in our system. I could really say the same about every guy. Kevin [Faulk] obviously [is] a very, very smart guy, and a very smart football player [and] Benny's in that category, and Woodhead. These guys come in and we ask them to do a whole lot of things, and Benny obviously was working on his consistency when he first came here, but he never changed his demeanor, and the way he picked up our offense was impressive to me."

Bill Belichick is confident in what Deion Branch brings to the team, and his thoughts on Brandon Spikes after he missed some of Training Camp.

"I think Deion [Branch] has had a pretty good camp – [he] hasn't missed any time at all and that was something he wasn't able to do last year. We had to manage him a little bit in practice but he was, I think, in good condition. He took certainly his share of reps out there in training camp and I thought he looked good doing it. I think he's in position, based on what I've seen so far and what he has done in training camp and preseason, I think he's ready to have a good year. [He] works hard, gives us good leadership at that position, very smart player, instinctive player, knows what to do, does the right thing and is very dependable. I think everybody in the organization feels good about counting on Deion. He's a very consistent guy every day. Every time the ball is snapped he almost always does the right thing, does it the way you want him to do it. We all have a lot of confidence in Deion."

"I thought Brandon [Spikes] got off to a good start in preseason and then he missed some time and so he's a little behind with the time that he missed, but he's back on the field now and working hard on getting back – his conditioning and all his timing and all those things. We'll see how quickly he can get back to where he was at a few weeks ago. It's unfortunate that he missed a little bit of time because he was doing well, but he's back out there now and looks like he's doing OK now. We'll see how quickly he can get back up to that level, that speed."



  • Monique Walker and Shalise Manza Young report the rumors became reality as the Patriots cut Darius Butler and his potential yesterday.
  • Mike Reiss reports the Patriots have claimed and been awarded former Miami Dolphins LB A.J. Edds on waivers.
  • Chad Finn isn't surprised at the Patriots' decision to release the habitually reckless Brandon Meriweather.
  • Tom E. Curran says the Patriots can still pick talent despite some barren drafts in recent years.
  • Ron Borges explains why it's not easy being BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
  • Mike Reiss helps us get to know Josh Barrett.
  • Ian Rapoport says Deion Branch's resume speaks for itself and no one is concerned with his preseason numbers.
  • Kirk Minihane offers his AFC Preview: Are the Patriots the class of the conference?
  • Chris Forsberg recaps Bill Belichick breaking down safety roles.
  • Ian Rapoport highlights Tom Brady as a guest on NFLNetwork's Rich Eisen Podcast, including his explanation of why if he loses in backgammon he breaks the board.
  • Chris Forsberg reports on how the Patriots' staff size up the Fins.
  • A. Sherrod Blakely says the Dolphins have an element of surprise with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and RB Reggie Bush.
  • Chris Forsberg offers Nick Caserio's explanation of why undrafted rookie LB Jeff Tarpinian made it to the 53-man roster.
  • Tom E. Curran points to LB Jeff Tarpinian as the latest undrafted to make it though cutdown day.
  • Mike Petraglia tells us why playing 'hard, fast and smart' makes Patrick Chung captain material.
  • Jeff Howe notes Patrick Chung's progression as a leader draws immense praise from teammates.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: What's going on at safety?
  • Jeff Howe thinks the Patriots will name their captains today, and 19 other Patriots thoughts.
  • Mike Reiss lists the new players for the 2011 Patriots.
  • WEEI offers the transcript of Tom Brady's guest appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday.
  • Chris Forsberg looks at the Pro Football Focus stats for Darius Butler that suggest a pronounced drop-off in his sophomore season.
  • Mike Reiss notes Darius Butler's reaction to the Patriots' decision to waive him Tuesday.
  • Mike Reiss cleans out his Patriots notebook and shares some insight.
  • Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: Patriots claimed LB A.J. Edds on waivers from the Dolphins; TE Dan Gronkowski, cut by the Broncos Saturday, is expected to sign with the team; Randy Moss has said he would come out of retirement only to play for the Patriots; Belichick considers Deion Branch a key part of the offense and said he had a good camp; DB Will Allen, S Vincent Fuller and TE John Nalbone also worked out for the Patriots yesterday.
  • Gary Dzen gives fans the opportunity to rank teams in each NFL division based on predicted order of finish.