If I were: Belichick, Ainge, Cherington

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If I were: Belichick, Ainge, Cherington

Mike Felger, Kirk Minihane, and Chris Price sit down for a little "If I were" on CSNNE's Sports Tonight.

If I were . . .

Bill Belichick. What would I say to Rob Gronkowski about his Vegas vacation?

Kirk: "I would say, we always talk about how these guys are terrified of Belichick. They never want to piss Belichick off. Does this guy appear scared of his head coach in this situation right here? At some point Bill Belichick has to sit this guy down - maybe he's done it already - and say, 'What are you doing here? What are you doing? This is not going to end well."

What does Price think?

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If I were . . .

Danny Ainge. Would I trade Kevin Garnett before NBA trade deadline?

Price: "He's your most tradable chip right now. With Rondo being out, he's the guy who could bring you the most offensively in a trade, because I don't think Pierce is that guy. And I think at least on the surface him having a house in California, it might match up a little bit, in terms of the no-trade clause.

What does Minihane think?

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If I were . . .

Ben Cherington. Would I be regretting the two-year, 26 million contract I gave to David Ortiz?

What do all three guys think about this one? Find out!

Branch on reduced role vs. Saints: "Ask Bill"

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Branch on reduced role vs. Saints: "Ask Bill"

FOXBORO - If Alan Branch is worried about his spot with the Patriots, he isn’t acting that way. A notorious slow starter, Branch played just six snaps in Sunday’s win at New Orleans. And to hear him talk, it’s business as usual.

“It’s not like you can practice 3 technique on a store clerk,” said Branch late Wednesday afternoon. When informed that he probably could if he wanted, Branch smiled and noted “you’d probably get arrested for that.”

All kidding aside, it was stark to see Branch’s ample behind stapled to the bench. He earned a two-year contract this offseason, and his presence on the interior has been critical to the defense’s success. But after getting pushed around a bit too often in that opening night loss to the Chiefs, Branch spent a lot more time watching then playing. Did he know that he wasn’t a big part of the plan?

“That’s another question you gotta ask Bill, man” said Branch. “That’s not something I can talk about.”

Branch has - at times - come off as nonchalant about the game. Wins, losses, big plays, no plays, none of it seems to change his demeanor. Knowing that, I asked him if he was frustrated by his lack of playing time.

“I mean every player wants to be on the field so it is what it is,” he responded. 

Does he think that he’ll be more involved Sunday against the Texans?

“I don’t know what they plan to do with me,” he said. “i just need to go in there and keep my head to the grindstone and work.”

That may be Bill Belichick’s plan: sitting the player to motivate him. It would also seem to be potentially the last resort, and with someone who clearly marches to the beat of his own drum, it’s unclear how he’ll respond.

Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

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Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Texans game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion)
TE Rob Gronkowski (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
WR Phillip Dorsett (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
WR Chris Hogan (knee)
LB Elandon Roberts (thumb)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)
DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

HOUSTON TEXANS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
G Jeff Allen (ankle)
CB Kevin Johnson (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
TE Stephen Anderson (concussion)
RB Alfred Blue (ankle)
WR Will Fuller V (shoulder)
CB Jonathan Joseph (shoulder)
G Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee)
DE J.J. Watt (finger)

FULL PARTICIPATION
CB Marcus Burley (knee)
T Chris Clark (wrist)
WR Bruce Ellington (concussion)
TE Ryan Griffin (concussion)