Carter won't be hiding from the run

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Carter won't be hiding from the run

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The skinny on Andre Carter is that he's a pass-rushing maven. And the numbers so far in his career bear that out. He's got three seasons with double-digit sacks since coming into the league in 2001, including an 11-sack season for Washington in 2009. But Bill Belichick cautioned against pigeon-holing Carter as a specialist. Asked Wednesday morning if Carter could also play the run, Belichick said "Yeah, I would say so. I think handling the run is a strength of his."Belichick continued in a clear attempt to make people understand Carter is not "Just Another Guy" in this league. "He's a pretty talented player," Belichick pointed out. "He was the seventh pick in the draft. I dont think you stumble into that spot."Lapsing into scouting-report speak, Belichick ticked off the attributes. "He's got good size, he's long, he's got power, he plays hard, he's got a real good motor. Well-conditioned athlete. Strong, runs well...good athlete. He's obviously been well-coached with his family (his father Rubin played nose-tackle for the Broncos' Orange Crush defense from 1975 to 1986), He's got a lot going for him. Smart guy, understands football concepts. Makes adjustments quickly, works hard. Quite a few positives there."So far, Carter's been impressive. He didn't play in the preseason opener last week against Jacksonville but in 1-on-1s and in team play, his explosionis hard tomiss. He'sseems very difficult to handle in space. For his part, Carterfeels he couldn't have landed in a better spot after dealing with the uncertainty of being a free agent and then not having his phone ring right away.
"For me personally, it was a humbling experience, not being picked up in the free agency market especially when time was of the essence," he explained last Friday. Belichick scouted Carter extensively in 2001 when the Patriots held the sixth pick in the draft. Ultimately, New England took Richard Seymour. Carter went to the 49ers. "This is a great organization," Carter pointed out. "Almost 11 years later, I'm here now and everything's kind of come full circle. Now it's on me to justgo out and represent myselfin a class manner and be a professional."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

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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, I don't know, except since I've owned the team the only player who could make an impact like that at wide receiver is Randy Moss. He doesn't have his 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.