Addai, on other side of rivalry, ready to move on

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Addai, on other side of rivalry, ready to move on

FOXBORO -- If Joseph Addai is dealing with any inner turmoil at switching allegiance from Colts to Patriots, he's hiding it beautifully.

"You know what, actually I'm excited to be a part of the team," he said after Thursday's OTAs. "It's a great opportunity for me. Seeing them, playing against them over the years, I know I'm coming to a good organization.

"I think the Patriots . . . as far as what they do, they do a lot on the offensive side of the ball. And I see myself really fitting in. It was a smooth transition coming from Indy to here."

Makes sense. If a guy is going to move from pass-first offense to pass-first offense, it might as well be a slide from Peyton Manning to Tom Brady, right?

"Tom's been helping me out a lot," said Addai. "He's been showing me things, teaching me, explaining things to me and understanding that it's going to take a while for me to get it. But I am getting it and it's a great experience to play with him."

Ask who holds the rivalry's edge and all Addai could do is laugh.

"I'm still young on that," he said. "I can't . . . I can't call that, I'm a Patriot now."

Smart answer. But there ended the easy questions.

Addai had to answer for the injuries. The running back hasn't played a 16-game season since his rookie year in 2006. His numbers reflect that fact, declining steadily from 1,081 yards to 433 over the last six years.

Last season, Addai was limited to 12 games because of a troublesome hamstring. He told reporters, perched on a podium at Gillette Stadium, that his health is good. Good enough to focus on the future instead of the past.

"Injuries are a big part of football. The only thing I can do now is move forward. And the medical staff here has been great to me, as far as getting my body right and getting ready for this upcoming season."

It doesn't sound like he's expecting the bulk of running back snaps, which is good. Stevan Ridley will likely fill the void left by BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Addai could do better as a Fred Taylor-type.

He smartly said he'll do whatever he's asked.

"To me, it's all about playing ball. I've got a great chance to be a part of this ballclub and do what they do here. And I'm very excited about that.

"It's always team first for me, so if coach Bill Belichick wants me to run, catch, block . . . " Addai laughed. "Whatever he wants me to do, I just want to be a part of it."

Mentoring could be on his to-do list. Though he's technically The New Guy, Addai is New England's most experienced running back, senior to Danny Woodhead by two years.

He said he embraces the chance to teach as he learns.

"It's a team sport, so no matter what, you want to help guys --- if you're young, if you're old. That's never been a problem to me. At the end of the day, it's a team sport and it's about winning.

"The last couple of days we've been working together, really trying to get things rolling. It's been a good start; I think it will end well."

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

Ravens safety Weddle was interested in joining Patriots before landing in Baltimore

FOXBORO – Back in March, Eric Weddle batted his eyes longingly at the Patriots. The two-time All-Pro safety’s time was done with the Chargers and he wanted to spend his NFL autumn with a team that had a chance to win it all. 

He didn’t land in New England, but he didn’t too badly, winding up with the usually competitive Ravens.  

On a Thursday conference call with New England media, Weddle confirmed that there was mutual interest expressed. 

“Obviously, I was interested,” he acknowledged. “I have nothing but high regard, respect and admiration – and envy, quite honestly – of the success of the New England Patriots over the years. Obviously, battling them in my career, it’s always been a great game. I love the way they play, love the foundation, love everything about it. It was definitely on my radar. There were talks both ways, it just didn’t end up [working out].”

The numbers massed at the position with Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played a role in the two sides not being able to reach accord, according to Weddle. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin [McCourty] is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Weddle’s New England attraction apparently wasn’t love that bloomed late in his career. Toward the end of his conference call, Weddle said, “I’m still wondering why they just didn’t draft me in ’07; I could have been still playing there now.”

As reporters puzzled for a moment trying to recall the 2007 first-rounder, Weddle chipped in with the answer: “[They took] Brandon Meriweather.”

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

Raiders' loss to Chiefs puts Patriots in AFC driver's seat

FOXBORO - The Patriots got a desired outcome Thursday night when the Chiefs handed the Raiders their third loss of the season. 

The 21-13 loss dropped Oakland and KC into a tie atop the AFC West at 10-3 but the Chiefs, by virtue of beating Oakland twice this season, have the divisional tiebreaker. Oakland went from the top seed in the AFC to the fifth spot.

More importantly around here, the Patriots now are in position to win out and claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed. 

Prior to the Raiders loss, Oakland would have been the top seed if both they and the Patriots won out.  Now, the 10-2 Patriots have a leg up on the rest of the conference. The Raiders’ road stays tough. They are at San Diego and Denver and host the Colts. 

The Chiefs have a more favorable close to the season with home games against Tennessee and Denver before their season finale at San Diego. 

The Patriots’ road over the final four is no picnic though, beginning with the Ravens and at Denver before the last two hosting the Jets and traveling to Miami.