Curran: 5 from the first

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Curran: 5 from the first

FOXBORO -- Five thoughts from the first half:
Pretty sloppy first half with eight penalties, two fumbles and two interceptions. Sometimes it looks a little ragged when two teams who haven't faced each other in a while try to feel each other out. That seems to be the case here.
After two games in which they kept outside receivers relatively (RELATIVELY!) quiet, Dez Bryant has gotten after the Patriots' secondary with four first-half catches for 78 yards. On one third-and-8 reception on the Cowboys' first drive, Devin McCourty - singled up on Bryant - gave a wide cushion that was slow to close on a deep in-cut that went for 21 yards. Bryant also had a terrific catch-and-run on which he made a catch on the sideline, deked Gary Guyton and Patrick Chung to the ground then rumbled for extra yards. The Patriots have been bringing extra blitzers at Tony Romo today. The first-half pick by Romo was aided by a pressure from Brandon Spikes. Blitzes by Kyle Arrington and Guyton didn't yield positive results, though. So far, it's hard to say definitively that Rob Ryan's edge as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator has carried over too drastically. The Patriots have gone up-tempo to take advantage of the Cowboys personnel changes on a couple of plays. They also schemed up a tight end screen to Rob Gronkowski that gained 20. Brady's been sacked twice and has had to deal with pressure. Not a good half for rookie Nate Solder and Logan Mankins had an uncharacteristic missed block on one of the sacks. Good half for veteran defensive tackle Gerard Warren. He had a tackle-for-loss and a rush tht resulted in a big holding call on Kyle Kosier that wiped out an end zone pass interference on McCourty (McCourty seemed to be expecting safety help from Chung on the play and was forced to run into the intended receiver). Chad Ochocinco's been a non-factor. Just like the t-shirts say.

Bryan Stork: 'Nothing but great memories' with Patriots

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Bryan Stork: 'Nothing but great memories' with Patriots

After being traded to the Washington Redskins this week, former Patriots center Bryan Stork broke his 35-day Twitter silence to say farewell to New England.

For those who are wondering, the acronym "HTTR" stands for "Hail to the Redskins," the team's fight song. #HTTR is used by the team and fans on social media.

Stork was reportedly mulling retirement after being dealt, but has decided to report. 

The Patriots informed Stork of his release early Wednesday, but the Patriots and Redskins were able to work out a deal for a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick before the move was processed.

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ray Ratto joins Chevrolet SportsNet Central to discuss Colin Kaepernick's decision to not stand during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers preseason game.

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Bill Belichick was expansive Saturday when asked on a conference call how he'll split the quarterback reps for the Patriots final preseason game Thursday in New York.

"I think that’s a good question, it’s a fair question, it’s one that we really have to give some good consideration to," Belichick began. "As I said before, I think whatever we do will benefit whoever does it. We want to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the Arizona game. Tom [Brady] isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby [Brissett] certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them. We could play all three quarterbacks a lot next week and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t."

Since they can't, Belichick said there will be situational work done with whoever isn't going to get the game reps.

"We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another," said Belichick. "You can sort of control those in how you want those broken down, what’s best, what does each guy need and how can we get the best we need for each guy. I need to let them get the reps that they need, but it’s how do we get the team ready for what they need to be ready for. They all need to get ready for different things.

What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again. So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up."

As I wrote earlier today, this is the sticky and uncomfortable situation arising from Deflategate. It's not a Tom Brady penalty. It's a team penalty when one considers the ripple effects. And there's no handbook to consult.