Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues

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Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The tenor of Tedy Bruschi's Ocho comments on WEEI suggest he's been itching for a chance to go off on the wideout. If he's seen how hard Ocho's been working, he wouldn't have gone after him like that.

That said, the bus is pulling away from the stop and Ocho is running down the driveway, papers falling out of his book bag with one shoe off.

The weird limbo that Brandon Spikes seems to be in has to come to a head at some point. Promising second-year linebackers don't get thrown in mothballs for nothing and that's what seems to be going on.

I theorized in the offseason that scoring would be way down early in the season since offensive timing would be hampered by the lockout. In only one game during Week 1 did the two teams fail to combine for fewer than 40 points.

I thought Nate Solder got away with an unbelievable amount of holding Monday night against Cameron Wake. On further review (watching the DVR), the rookie did his share but it wasn't as egregious as I believed from the press box.

Sat next to Ty Law in the press box Monday night; he played with Dolphins corner Benny Sapp. When Tom Brady's pass from 5 yards deep in the end zone whizzed past Sapp's ear and into Wes Welker's hands, Law said simply, "Oh, s, Sapp."

ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss charts player participation on offense, defense and special teams from the press box during the games. Everybody - sports talk, fellow writers, blogs - use the info but not enough people say where they got it and they ought to...it's a lot of work from Reiss.

Tom Brady's currently got an autographed baseball from Chili Davis in his locker. Turns out, Brady once mentioned he got stiffed for an autograph by the Giants outfielder when Brady was a kid and Davis - hearing that news - sent him the signed ball with a quick apology.

While Brandon Meriweather may not have been involved in the alleged rape that took place at his home over the summer, I've heard that he was the one that bailed the accused out of jail. Probably should have kept his distance from the situation in the interests of job preservation.

We all agree that "innocent until proven guilty" still applies, right? Well, the jury's back on Meriweather and he's been found guilty on several counts of stupidity.

That Eric Mangini feels awful about "Spygate" doesn't surprise me at all; I've mentioned before that the resulting national panic and outcry wasn't what he intended. It will take a lot of apologizing for the bitterness to go away though; and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum may never be forgiven.

I have that Dan Koppen injury as an 8-10 week recovery; Albert Breer of the NFL Network pegged it a few hours after I reported it on Tuesday as a 6-10 week recovery. Begin looking for Koppen November 13 against the Jets.

Thought I'd be done with these by now, but gotta get down to Foxboro. Will finish later.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."