Less talk, more action needed from Pats secondary

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Less talk, more action needed from Pats secondary

SEATTLE -- The Patriots secondary has a mantra: "We need to make more plays."
At some point, they'll need to stop saying it and start doing it.
The Seahawks had 11 passing plays of 10 or more yards in their 24-23 win over New England Sunday. Quarterback Russell Wilson, a rookie, completed 16 of 27 passes, including three bombs that traveled 46, 50, and 51 yards. Two of those deep balls went for touchdowns.
After the game, that tired old refrain spun around and around.
"It's just that simple. That's the bottom line: We've got to make more plays to help this team win," said cornerback Devin McCourty.
"It's disappointing. We could have played better. Seattle did a great job, just kept fighting and trying to make plays. We've got to play better."
Nobody is arguing.
New England's secondary is the imperfect cog in an otherwise sleek machine. Sometimes, the cog works OK, like when McCourty grabbed two interceptions against Buffalo. Even then, as with Denver last week, the opposing quarterback was allowed more than 300 receiving yards and at least three touchdowns.
But the Patriots offense rolled on in both weeks because of its high-powered offense and defensive front seven. Two victories drowned out the groaning of that uncertain cog.
Until this weekend.
A hip injury has sidelined safety Steve Gregory since Week 4. When Patrick Chung sustained a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and left the game, that left rookies Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner to sure up the back end. That's when Seattle's quarterback and Sidney Rice pounced on New England with a 46-yard game-winner.
"I got beat -- plain and simple," said Wilson. "We were in simple coverage. Rice made a play and I didn't.
"I'm held accountable just like everybody else on this team. I don't expect them to take no slack on me because I'm a rookie. That's what my team put me out there for -- they expect me to make the play. And I should make the play."
There's always the threat of benching.
Starting cornerback Kyle Arrington was booted on the third series for rookie Alfonzo Dennard. A 24-yard touchdown surrendered by Arrington in the first quarter appeared to be a last straw of some kind.
But what do you do when the entire unit gives up 293 yards to the NFL's 31st-ranked passing offense? Bench them all?
"Gotta do better," said Arrington. "I don't have much to say. I can only speak for myself. Gotta do better. I will be better and we'll work our ass off this week and get ready for New York."
All they need to do is make more plays.

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

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Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

The Patriots and Darrelle Revis have not discussed a deal that would bring the cornerback back to New England, according to CSNNE's Tom Curran.

This comes after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported multiple anonymous NFL executives were convinced Revis would return to the Patriots.

Revis spent one season with the Patriots in 2014 when New England won Super Bowl XLIX. However, the Patriots did not pick up Revis' second-year option in the following offseason, and he elected to sign with the New York Jets in free agency. He played 14 games in 2015 and 15 games in 2016. He finished last season with 53 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception

The 31-year-old cornerback declined significantly during the 2016 season. Even Tom Brady said he noticed Revis was struggling phyiscally in the Patriots' Week 12 win over the Jets.

"I know he's not feeling great," Brady said in November. "I could see after the game, he winced a few times getting up. It looked like his leg was bothering him a little bit. But he's still very close on a lot of those plays. Even though you're hitting them, he's still very competitive.

"He's been one of the great players in the league for a long time. He's given up more plays this year than in the past, but you've gotta have a lot of respect for his style and his game."