CSN to deliver comprehensive Patriots Playoff coverage with "Drive for 5" programming

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CSN to deliver comprehensive Patriots Playoff coverage with "Drive for 5" programming

  • Early Edition, SportsNet Central, Sports Tonight, Sports Sunday, Patriots Wednesday Live, New England Football Night, Quick Slants, and other Patriots shows on CSN to give Viewers in-depth Coverage Throughout Patriots Playoff Run
  • Troy Brown, Dan Koppen, Albert Breer, Tom Curran & Michael Felger to Headline Game Day Coverage Beginning with Patriots-Texans Matchup Saturday, January 14th
  • Pre-Game Live Kicks off at 6PM Saturday; Post-Game Live Immediately Following Game CSNNE.com to Provide Robust, Interactive, Coverage of Patriots Playoff Run

BURLINGTON, MA, January 10, 2017 - The Patriots host the Houston Texans on Saturday at 8:15PM at Gillette Stadium in a Divisional Playoff game, and no local station, regional network or national sports network is providing more coverage dedicated to the game and to the Patriots Playoff run than CSN New England. CSN will feature ongoing coverage of the Patriots in all of the network’s news and opinion programs, Patriots specific programs, and via live pre & post-game shows -- all under the title “Drive for 5”.

“We look forward to extending our robust season-long coverage of the Patriots into the post-season as the team continues their quest for another Super Bowl title,” said Princell Hair, SVP and General Manager, CSN New England. “We are committed to offering Patriots fans a one-stop destination for all of their Patriots Playoffs news, analysis and opinion -- both on TV and online -- from some of the most influential and expert personalities in the marketplace."

CSN’s gameday coverage will be highlighted by Football Day in New England presented by your New England Acura Dealers. For the Patriots-Texans game this Saturday, Pregame Live presented by Ace Ticket will kick off at 6PM and will provide a preview of the upcoming game with an interactive element with live Facebook, Twitter and CSNNE.com fan questions answered throughout the show. Postgame Live presented by Twin River Casino will take an in-depth look back at the game and will also be an interactive platform for fans to weigh in with their thoughts. Michael Felger will host along with expert analysis from Troy Brown, Albert Breer and Dan Koppen, while CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and Mike Giardi will report from inside Gillette Stadium. CSN will also televise a Halftime Live show both on TV and on CSNNE.com.

Throughout the Patriots Playoff run, each episode of CSN’s nightly studio shows will dedicate time to the upcoming Patriots matchups, including Chevrolet SportsNet Central at 6PM and Arbella Early Edition at 6:30PM which will focus heavily on the Patriots post-season. Town Fair Tire Sports Tonight and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich and Felger & Mazz will also spend each week previewing the upcoming Patriots game in each of its episodes, and Sports Sunday will dig into each game on Sunday in its aftermath.

All CSN-produced weekly football programs will continue with robust coverage and previews of the upcoming matchup. Patriots Wednesday Live presented by Nissan (Wednesdays @ Noon) will continue to bring viewers exclusive coverage of the team’s mid-week press conference with Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Quarterback Tom Brady as they prepare for their next matchup. Thursday night’s New England Football Night presented by AT&T will offer Playoff focused episodes of New England Tailgate presented by Town Fair Tire (7PM) and Patriots Football Weekly (7:30PM). Both Monday Night Patriots and Quick Slants presented by Papa Gino’s will take a look back at the prior matchup and break down all the best and worst plays on the Monday following the game.

CSNNE.com will keep fans engaged with up-to-the-minute news, daily video updates, on demand content and preview highlights. CSNNE.com’s “The Pulse” presented by New England Ford, will be the center for any and all social media chatter before, during and after each Playoff game. Halftime Live will also be the only exclusive online local halftime show in the region. Additionally, CSNNE.com will continue to feature both the live “Quick Slants” podcasts with Curran and Phil Perry as well as the “Ex-Pats Podcast” with Giardi, Koppen and Jerod Mayo. Fans are also encouraged to download the CSNNE app for access to real-time updates and Patriots news via push notifications.

CSN’s “Drive for 5” coverage is presented by New England Chevy Dealers.

Patriots host free agents Skuta, Fusco

Patriots host free agents Skuta, Fusco

With no work to do (at this point, at least) ahead of the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, the Patriots are keeping busy with free agents. 

The team reportedly brought in a pair of players for visits Wednesday, with former Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta and former Vikings offensive lineman Brandon Fusco both making the trip to New England. 

Skuta, 31, was released two seasons into a five-year, $20.5 million contract with the Jaguars. The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder broke into the league as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals in 2009 and has also played for the 49ers. Last season, he totaled 18 tackles with no sacks over 13 games. His career-high in tackles came when he had 40 in 2015; he posted a career-best five sacks with San Francisco in 2014. 

A sixth-round pick in 2011, the 28-year-old Fusco had spent his entire career with the Vikings as a center and guard before being released in February. 

Prototypical Patriots: Do-it-all McCaffrey would thrive under McDaniels

Prototypical Patriots: Do-it-all McCaffrey would thrive under McDaniels

The Patriots are stacked at running back. But as we've covered here in previous Prototypical Patriots posts, would you really be on-the-floor, mouth-agape shocked if they a position where they were already set? 

OK, you might be. And I might be. But that doesn't mean they won't do it. 

PHIL PERRY'S PROTOTYPICAL PATRIOTS DRAFT PREVIEW

We've already run through some of the bigger backs the Patriots may find intriguing should they think that for some reason the combination of Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead don't give them enough as punishing runners. 

What about the sub-back spot? James White just re-upped on a contract extension that will pay him around $3 million a year so it appears as though he has a stranglehold on that gig so long as he can stay healthy. 

There are a few intriguing pass-catching backs in this year's draft class though that would seem like Prototypical Patriots -- whether Bill Belichick decides to draft them or whether he and his staff show some interest in them as free agents years from now. 

Let's kick it off with the player who may be the most prototypical of all the Prototypical Patriots we list in this series . . . 

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 5-foot-11, 202 pounds: Unless the Patriots are willing to trade up into the top half of the first round -- and maybe the top-10 -- they won't have a shot at the draft's ultimate Swiss Army knife. Still, it's a lot of fun to picture him in the Patriots offense as a pass-catching back who could return punts and fill the slot receiver role that may be open in the next couple of seasons. He's considered one of the best route-runners in the class, and his quickness will play at the next level as he checked in with a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, a 6.57-second three-cone drill and a 4.22-second short shuttle at this year's combine. 

Alvin Kamara, Tennessee, 5-foot-10, 214 pounds: Closer in size to Shane Vereen (5-10, 210 pounds) than White (5-9, 204), Kamara flashed the ability to be a three-down player for the Vols though he was used relatively sparingly. He rushed for 596 yards and nine scores on just 103 carries last season and showed capable hands with 40 grabs for 392 yards and four touchdowns. He has ball-security issues that will require cleaning up at the next level, but he's an explosive athlete (39.5-inch vertical, 131-inch broad jump) who could warrant a second-round pick.

Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-foot-11, 196 pounds: Samuel may be more slot receiver than he is sub back at the next level, but he'd be a fascinating fit in the Patriots offense as a hybrid option. He ran a blazing 4.31-second 40-yard dash at this year's combine that somehow flew under the radar (partly because Washington's John Ross ran a ridiculous 4.22) and could be a home-run threat any time he gets his hands on the football. His 'tweener status may limit him to being a return specialist and a gadget-play guy -- seems like he'd be a jet-sweep extrordinaire -- but McDaniels and Belichick would be able to figure out a way to make the most of his unique physical gifts. 

Marlon Mack, South Florida, 5-foot-11, 213 pounds: An impressive athlete (4.5-second 40, 35.5-inch vertical, 125-inch broad jump) who has had trouble holding onto the football (12 fumbles in three seasons), it's hard to say when Mack will hear his name called this weekend. Used in the screen game and lined up wide, Mack proved to be one of the more versatile backs in this year's class. His lack of experience as a pass protector, though, may give a team like the Patriots second thoughts about taking him in the middle rounds. 

TJ Logan, North Carolina, 5-foot-9, 196 pounds: One of the fastest players in this year's class (4.37-second 40-yard dash), Logan's athleticism will translate as a pro. He recorded a 6.61-second three-cone drill, a 4.27-second short shuttle, and a 33.5-inch vertical at this year's combine -- all of which seem to fall in line with what the Patriots look for out of their sub backs. He'll also provide some value as a kick returner, which might interest the Patriots on Day 3. He had two returns for touchdowns on 21 returns last season, per Pro Football Focus.

Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T, 5-foot-7, 179 pounds: You may see Cohen's height and assume, "Oh, a Dion Lewis clone!" Not exactly. Lewis was about 15 pounds heavier than Cohen coming out of Pitt. Watch Cohen slip through tackles for NC A&T, though, and you may be reminded of Lewis' game. Cohen actually clocked a quicker 40-yard dash (4.42 seconds) than Lewis did and had a better broad jump. Meanwhile Lewis had the better vertical, three-cone and short shuttle. Cohen has offensive tackle-sized mitts (a shade over 10 inches) that should help him as a receiver in the NFL.

Aaron Jones, UTEP, 5-foot-9, 208 pounds: Jones is almost a physical clone of White in terms of height and weight. Unlike White, UTEP's top runner was one of the top athletic testers in his class. Jones has an ability to change direction that stands out among draftable backs this year -- 6.82 three-cone, 4.20-second 20-yard shuttle, 11.53 60-yard shuttle -- which helped him put together an impressive 2016 for the Miners, rushing for 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 233 yards and three scores and was named a first-team All-Conference USA selection.