In First Patriots Training Camp Practice, James White Shows He Can Do a Little Bit of Everything

July 24th, 2014

Rookie running back James White took reps all over the field when the Patriots opened training camp Thursday. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

There wasn’t any tackling when the New England Patriots opened training camp on Thursday morning. But James White tackled the opportunities he was given during the shorts and shells practice.

As a fourth-round draft choice out of Wisconsin’s rushing committee, White knows that it’s about finding a role within those opportunities. For him, it’s about finding a way to get on the field among the likes of running backs Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Stephen Houston and Roy Finch.

The 5’10”, 205-pound rookie made strides towards doing so on day one of practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Observations from the Opening Day of Patriots Training Camp

July 24th, 2014

The 2014 Patriots kicked off training camp behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots kicked off training camp Thursday morning, as sunny skies and humidity gave way to dark clouds and light showers by noon. But over the course of the three-hour practice, observations came to light.

They did, even if the Patriots weren’t in football pads. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 New England Patriots: Roster Projection Version 1.0

July 24th, 2014

Will Pat Chung stick with the Patriots the second time around?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Perhaps the biggest roster questions heading into the season for the Patriots has already been answered. Rob Gronkowski is cleared to play and will not begin the season on PUP.

With his status cleared up, the most significant roster questions reside on the offensive and defensive lines. How will those positions shake out as training camp unfolds?

Here is what I project the Patriots 53-man roster to look like at the end of summer.

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2014 New England Patriots: Ranking the Roster from 90 to 1

July 23rd, 2014

Where does the emerging second year star rank within the roster?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko 

The 2014 Patriots season gets underway this week and it’s about this time everyone begins releasing roster projections for the final 53. I like to look at the roster from a broader perspective to figure out where each player on the 90 man roster stands and evaluate their chances of actually making the team.

Many of the 90 players that take the field on Thursday do so with no chance of making the team regardless of how good they perform. A handful of the players will be fighting for a 3-4 coveted spots, and a couple guys will make the roster no matter how bad they play. Here is where I believe all 90 players on the team rank in relation to one another and their chances of making the final roster.

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2015 NFL Draft: PAC 12 Player Preview

July 23rd, 2014

2015 NFL Draft

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

The PAC 12 fields some of the most explosive offenses and physical defenses in college football. Those of us from the east coast don’t get much of a chance to watch these high powered affairs that take place way past our bed times. But there is too much talent in the conference to ignore, so consider this your cheat sheet for who’s worth staying up late watching, and potentially calling in late to work for the next day.

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Five Areas to Monitor as Patriots Training Camp Opens July 24

July 23rd, 2014

There will be upwards of 90 players to watch for once the Patriots hit the practice fields for training camp on Thursday. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The final mandatory minicamp session concluded five weeks ago. Six have been signed, five have been released, and one has retired since then. But the roster transactions, as well as the football activities, are about to accelerate once again.

Summer vacation is now over for the New England Patriots.

The rookies headed back to school at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and the veterans joined them on Wednesday. And by 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, both the underclassmen and the upperclassmen will have their helmets in hand as they file onto the practice fields for the start of training camp.

Undrafted linebacker-turned-safety Kanorris Davis was the first one out there last year. With 36 new players and 90 altogether, though, it remains to be seen who it will be this year.

A lot remains to be seen.

Here are five things to keep an eye on once the Patriots open camp on July 24. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Patriots Secondary: Revamped and Remarkable

July 21st, 2014

Devin McCourty has had a great start to his career with the New England Patriots.
(Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Earthwind Moreland, Troy Brown, Artrell Hawkins, Hank Poteat, Antwaun Molden. These are names fans are used to seeing as they glanced over the Patriots depth chart during the last decade. That’s about to change in 2014.

Over the course of 48 hours in March the Patriots secondary went from a complete liability to strength of the team with the additions of two physical man to man corners in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. On paper, the Patriots have an “embarassment of riches” in the secondary, but how will Bill Belichick use them? Here is what I think we’ll see and why it will make them tough to beat.

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