Patriots WR Davis ready for position battle


Patriots WR Davis ready for position battle

Even after Chad Ochocinco's name was crossed off it, the Patriots roster remains jam-packed with wide receivers. Competition at the position is one of the most anticipated story lines of this summer's training camp.

Britt Davis, 26, isn't the type to sweat a fight.

Its been an uphill battle every year, but it is everything that I expected, he told the Chicago Sun-Times this weekend. Yes, its always pressure. This is the highest level of football, and the pressure put on yourself shouldnt have to get any higher.

Im a bigger guy, and thats really it. Im not a numbers guy. I just go out and do my job. At the end of the day, I dont pay attention to any of that stuff.

Davis was brought in by the Jets as an unsigned free agent in 2009. He yo-yoed from waivers back to the practice squad. In 2010, he signed with Denver, playing in three games before being cut in September.

New England signed Davis on February 7.

I think Britt is in a roster situation where we have a lot of veteran depth, and hes learning from those guys every day, said Patriots receivers coach Chad OShea. Its very competitive in making this roster, but thats why hes here. I think hes unique to a lot of players at this position because he does have size 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. Its an advantage.

Davis did position himself well for training camp, according to Bill Belichick, thanks to good showings during New England's OTAs and mini-camp. But the receiver will need to exploit every advantage to try and elbow in alongside guys like Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.

Is there a contingency career in mind? Yes. Davis just doesn't want to go there any time soon.

Football is my A, B and C plan, he said. But I eventually plan on going to law school. I dont necessarily want to practice law, but Id like to open my own sports agency.

Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

FOXBORO -- It's not often that NFL teams make deals before the trade deadline. Seeing starters get dealt before the deadline is a veritable rarity. It's no wonder linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who started in all seven Lions games this season, reacted the way he did when he was dealt to the Patriots earlier this week.

"I was shocked to go from starting there to traded," Van Noy said during his first back-and-forth with Patriots reporters. "I was shocked. I respect everybody with the Detroit Lions, they'll all be my guys there. Just grateful for the opportunity to come here and get it going."

Van Noy has been working closely with Patriots linebackers and linebackers coach Brian Flores since his arrival, even getting some last-minute notes from Flores before meeting with reporters and heading out to Thursday's practice. 

The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder wasn't completely unfamiliar with the operation in New England before being sent to Foxboro along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-rounder. He admitted he had "a lot" of contact with the Patriots before being taken in the second round by Detroit.  

Now he's playing "catch-up" to learn the Patriots playbook, which could include learning multiple positions within the team's defense. He played mostly as an off-the-line linebacker in Detroit, but when he entered into the league out of BYU, he was considered to have the tools to be a productive pass-rusher as a pro. 

Van Noy, who lost about 15 pounds going into this season, indicated that the Lions didn't get the most out of him because of how he was used. 

"I mean, they didn't know where to put me," he said. "Here, they want me here, and I'm happy to be wanted." 

Van Noy was injured for much of his rookie season and had a hard time making an impact last year. He was relied upon to fill a more substantial role this season, playing in 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps. It's unclear just how Van Noy will fit in as a member of the Patriots, but he says he's willing to do whatever it takes to work his way back up another depth chart.

"I'm here now, and I'm gonna do whatever they have me [do], and whatever they want my weight to be at," he said. "Whatever they want me to do I'm gonna do it because I want to win and be part of this team."

Patriots running back Dion Lewis (knee) returns to practice

Patriots running back Dion Lewis (knee) returns to practice

FOXBORO -- Dion Lewis returned to practice for the Patriots on Thursday afternoon. He has not practiced all season and has been on the physically unable to perform list since before the start of training camp.

The clock has now started on the deadline for the Patriots to activate Lewis. The team has three weeks to place him on their 53-man roster. Should the Patriots make the most of that window, they would not activate him until the days leading up to their Week 11 game against the 49ers. He is eligible to be activated as soon as this week and could, in theory, be on the roster for this weekend's matchup with the Bills. The Patriots have an open roster spot at the moment. 

Lewis suffered a torn ACL in Week 9 of last season and was progressing well until enduring a stress fracture to his patella. In order to repair the fracture, Lewis underwent a surgical procedure that required screws to be inserted to the affected area. 

On Thursday, the Patriots conducted practice in full pads, and the media availbility portion of the session included only stretching and warmups so Lewis was not seen participating in drills. 

Lewis established himself as one of the most dynamic backs in the league last season, catching 36 passes for 388 yards and two scores. He also averaged 4.8 yards per carry and ran for two scores, forcing 43 missed tackles in seven games.