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

771866.jpg

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."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

new-england-patriots-helmets-121215_0.jpg

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)