Troy Brown: I didn't want to play anyplace else

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Troy Brown: I didn't want to play anyplace else

FOXBORO -- Troy Brown is an obvious choice as finalist among this year's Patriots Hall of Fame nominees. He spoke about the honor on Tuesday.

"Im honored to be even nominated; between Bill Parcells and Fred Marion, theres great competition there," Brown said on a conference call. "It means a lot to me that they would think that my career was that successful here in New England to be considered to be one of those members."

It is Brown's first-year of eligibility and he's a favorite to win, even in the company of Bill Parcells and Fred Marion. The voting will be open to the public, after all, and Brown's favor among the fans matches the legacy of his multifaceted career.

"I think Ive said this before: maybe not the tallest or biggest or fastest or strongest or whatever, but just the best football player. Not the outstanding wide receiver or most outstanding punt returner, but I think overall pound-for-pound and everything else, best football player. I feel like I could do everything pretty well."

Brown's open mindedness made him a model soldier under the "Do Your Job" flag that flies in Foxborough.

"As long as I was able to get on the field and participate and if I could throw the block to spring somebody, if I could take a snap or two at quarterback or go out and defend somebody or be the guy holding up the gunner on the punt return team, I just enjoyed being out on the field and helping my team win games."

He was in New England for the 15 years he played. Looking back, Brown said he has no regrets about staying with one franchise during his NFL tenure. The loyalty, in fact, is unique because of everything the Patriots embody.

"Once I reached a certain point in my career, I didnt want to play anyplace else. I look at Foxborough itself; Im a small town guy and Foxborough is probably 10 times bigger than my hometown. I like the peace and quiet of Foxborough. I loved played for this organization, this team, this atmosphere. I loved the accountability they put on the players to go and out and do your job.

"From ownership on down to the coaches and to the players I played with, for whatever reason I always seemed to get lucky to play with a great bunch guys that may not be the most recognized guys, but guys who know how to play the game and are real professional about what theyre doing. Ive been blessed from high school to college and in the pros too to play with some tremendous players in my day."

Fans can vote for their future Hall of Famer until May 31. Announcement of the final selection will be made in early June.

Belichick taking wait-and-see approach with Stork's status

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Belichick taking wait-and-see approach with Stork's status

FOXBORO -- Bryan Stork has had a whirlwind few days. 

On Wednesday, news broke that Stork had been informed of his release. Then before that move became official, the Patriots and Redskins worked out a trade to send the third-year center to Washington. After that, indications were that Stork was retiring, and the Redskins were unsure as to whether or not he would even report. 

Stork eventually made up his mind, tweeted that he was ready to start a new chapter in his career -- a tweet he has since deleted -- and made his way to the Redskins.

The latest update on Stork's saga is that he failed his physical and that his right have reverted back to the Patriots. When asked about the situation, Bill Belichick chose to wait on illuminating the media of his plans since the picture was still a bit hazy.

"I don’t know if that’s official," Belichick said of Stork's rights. "That sounds like the way it is going to go."

Asked if the Patriots would be releasing Stork, as they originally intended, Belichick replied, "Well, we’ll find out exactly what the story is and whenever that is we’ll make the best decision that we can."

Stay tuned.

Injured offensive linemen Cooper, Mason return to Patriots practice fields

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Injured offensive linemen Cooper, Mason return to Patriots practice fields

FOXBORO -- The Patriots saw two of their injured offensive linemen return to practice on Monday.

Both Jonathan Cooper (out since suffering a foot injury on July 30) and Shaq Mason (reported hand injury) were on the practice field for the team's warm-up period. The pair then headed down to a lower field to do some conditioning with others. 

Special teams ace Matthew Slater, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, running back Dion Lewis and tackle Sebastian Vollmer were missing from the session. Lewis and Vollmer remain on the physically unable to perform list and won't be prepared to begin the season Week 1. Grugier-Hill missed Friday's preseason game with the Panthers due to an absence.

New Patriots edge defender Barkevious Mingo was present for his first practice with the Patriots. He was wearing the No. 51 which was most recently worn by former defensive captain Jerod Mayo. 

Danny Amendola (PUP), Tre' Jackson (PUP), Rob Ninkovich, Shea McClellin and Malcolm Mitchell went down to the lower field for conditioning after warmups. Jabaal Sheard, who has dealt with a knee injury he suffered against the Saints in New England's first preseason game, remained with the team for drills after warming up. Also, Alan Branch, who was suspended by the Patriots for a week and reinstated late last week, was present at practice. 

Belichick on Knighton release: He worked hard, lost weight...just didn't work out

Belichick on Knighton release: He worked hard, lost weight...just didn't work out

FOXBORO -- Terrance Knighton wasn't released because he was out of shape. Listening to Bill Belichick over the course of the last few days, it sounds as though Knighton's primary issue was learning the two-gapping technique that the Patriots expect their defensive tackles to execute.

"It just didn't work out," Belichick said when asked about Knighton on Monday. "He came in, worked hard, lost weight, got in good condition, tried to do the things we asked him to do. Just other people ahead of him." 

After signing this offseason, Knighton worked diligently to get into the type of condition the Patriots expected from him. The team also set him up with an in-home chef in order to help him manage his diet.

While Knighton was conditioned well enough to practice and play with the Patriots, it seemed as though he was not able to anchor, take on blocks, shed, and react to ball-carriers in the way the Patriots desired. In the team's second preseason game, against the Bears, Knighton seemed to have some difficulty holding his ground and preventing Chicago's offensive linemen from moving him off of his spot. 

The Patriots opted to play younger defensive linemen, like rookies Vincent Valentine and Woodrow Hamilton, over Knighton against the Panthers on Friday.

"Some new techniques, some new things...different things than what he's used to doing," Belichick said when asked about Knighton after the game. "We played the younger guys tonight. We didn't get as much of a look at him as some other players. He played a little more last week. I think there's good competition at that position. We'll just have to see how it all plays out."

Knighton signed a one-year deal with the Patriots this offseason and was guaranteed $250,000.