Quiet Cannon has opportunity in camp

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Quiet Cannon has opportunity in camp

FOXBORO -- Marcus Cannon had a crossbow for sale.

So he put it on Craigslist. From there, a special thing happened. Robert Rodriguez, an Iraqi War veteran who suffered head and shoulder injuries from an IED back in 2007, answered the ad and purchased the crossbow.

When Cannon learned Rodriguez' situation, Cannon delivered the crossbow personally and gave Rodriguez the crossbow for free.

Asked about the gesture on Sunday, Cannon said simply, "It was something like that."

The second-year tackle is not going to talk anyone's ear off. But he does have an opportunity in this camp to open some eyes.

With upheaval on the offensive line due to injuries and excused absences, Cannon's working extensively at right tackle in place of Sebastian Vollmer.

It's been a mixed bag. Cannon's a tenacious run-blocker but has had moments of inefficiency in individual drills focused on pass-blocking.

Cannon, who underwent treatement for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last summer and made his NFL debut in November, has changed his body noticeably. He's thinner in the face and seems more sturdily built.

He says he weighs about the same but credits the change to the offseason training program in Foxboro.

With Vollmer still not active, Cannon is likely going to spend a chunk of the preseason working at right tackle. It's a big opportunity for a player who had no preseason in 2010.

"We just do our jobs," said Cannon. "(Offensive line coach Dante) Scarnecchia is a great coach, he's always got everybody on whatever needs to be happening, he tells us what to do and it always works."

Hopes for the season?

"I want to get better every day, do the best I can and somehow help the team," Cannon said.

There's no doubt the former fifth-rounder can help. Whether he can wrest a spot from the oft-dinged Vollmer is the bigger question. So far, the answer is "unlikely."

But it's early and Cannon has shown in a lot of ways he's got a big heart.

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Terrell Suggs keeps doing his best to pump air into his one-sided “feud” with Tom Brady.

Ever since Brady begged for a flag on Suggs after a benign hit back in 2009, Suggs has made it his mission to speak truth to the perceived power of Brady.

“Everyone just seems to worship the guy so much,” he once said. “Not me, though.”

So, Suggs has called basically derided Brady as a crybaby and occasionally called into question the validity of the Patriots championships.

It’s clearly all for show. When Deflategate was at its height in June of 2015, Suggs said of Brady, “The guy is a winner. He’s won with whatever kind of personnel that he’s had. So I don’t think [Deflategate] really tarnished it … Everybody needs something to write about and needs something to talk about. It’s always something. I’m leaving that alone.”

This week, Suggs smirkingly refused to use Brady’s name when discussing the Patriots leading up to Monday night’s game.

Asked about Brady earning his 201st win as an NFL starter, Suggs said, "He's pretty good. Like I said, wins are wins and numbers are numbers. Numbers don't lie. He's pretty good."

Suggs went on, avoiding Brady’s name. It’s something he’s done in the past for whatever reason. But he’s also been complimentary of the Patriots and Brady as well, saying that, when it’s done, there will be three quarterbacks in the conversation for best-ever: Montana, Unitas and Brady. 

The only time Brady’s verbally stepped out against Suggs and the Ravens is in response to their barbs. In 2010, Brady stated that the Ravens, “Talk a lot for beating us once in nine years.”

Brady also chastised Ravens coach John Harbaugh – now there’s a guy who whines! – after the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff Game when the Patriots snookered the Ravens with intricate formations. That’s about it for return fire.