Belichick hints Meriweather's play had slipped

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Belichick hints Meriweather's play had slipped

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Bill Belichick's not going to come out and cite every reason Brandon Meriweather's an ex-Patriot. So he laid off the bad angles, bad tackling, bad off-field decisions and just threw out a general blanket review. "Brandon played a lot of good football for us," Belichick pointed out. "We kept the players this year that we felt would be the best makeup for the 2011 team. It's not the 2009 team. It's the 2011 team. That's the players we selected."Left unsaid but made very clear is that the 2009 version of Meriweather was a far sight better than this one. And that the options the Patriots had to replace Meriweather were good enough to make the move work. "Each year is a new year," Belichick said. "I just don't think you can pick teams, pick your players, based on what's happened in the past. You have to pick them based on what you think is going to happen this year. That's relative to the competition, the makeup of your team, and the player's performance. All those are obviously a part of it."When it comes to the competition, Meriweather didn't have a lot of it. Just Josh Barrett, who hadn't played in a game for the Patriots since being signed while injured in 2010. And Sergio Brown who played 86 plays last season for the Patriots (thanks, Reiss). That Meriweather couldn't beat those guys out is damning. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Another burner for Brady: Kraft compares Cooks to Moss

Another burner for Brady: Kraft compares Cooks to Moss

PHOENIX -- For an indication of just how high the expectations sit for newly-acquired Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, have a look at what team owner Robert Kraft said during the annual league meetings at the Biltmore on Monday. 

Asked about all the moves Bill Belichick and his front office have made this offseason, Kraft started with the former Saints big-play threat.

"I think what they've done is excellent this year," Kraft said. "And I know bringing this young man from New Orleans . . . since I've owned the team, the only player who could make an impact like that at wide receiver is Randy Moss. [Cooks] doesn't have [Moss'] height, but he's got his speed. I think that's complementary to what we have on the team. I'm excited about him joining us."

Cooks gives the Patriots one of the most dynamic pass-catching threats in the NFL and should provide an additional boost to an offense that ranked third in the league in points scored (27.6) in 2016. He is one of three players to record 75 catches, 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. The other two? Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.

Those are some big names, but Moss may be the biggest ever associated with Cooks. What Moss did when he arrived to New England in a trade with the Raiders in 2007 was historic, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. 

As excited as Kraft is for Cooks' arrival, not even he will project a similarly gaudy statistical year. But he's clearly thrilled that Tom Brady will have yet another explosive receiving threat to pair with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and an impressive stable of pass-catching backs.

The history of QB's 40 or older isn't favorable to Brady

The history of QB's 40 or older isn't favorable to Brady

Marc Bertrand discusses Robert Kraft’s comments about Brady wanting to play another 6-7 years, and why he thinks it would be tough for Belichick to believe that Brady can realistically play that long.