Mankins, Patriots prepare for Lions' Suh

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Mankins, Patriots prepare for Lions' Suh

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO The days when the Detroit Lions were every NFL team's personal pinata appear to be a thing of the past.

One of the biggest reasons for that?

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.

The New England Patriots will have their hands full with the entire Lions defensive line this week. But no player presents a bigger challenge to the Pats than Suh, who was also chosen as a Pro Bowl starter -- the first Lions rookie to be selected as a starter since Barry Sanders -- after racking up 66 tackles and 10 sacks.

"That's going to happen when you play against good players," said Patriots guard Logan Mankins. "They're going to get you sometimes. You have to be ready for it, do the right things and be in the right position or guys with that talent level, they're going to take advantage of it."

Mankins, like most Patriots players, sees plenty of room for improvement.

"Watching the film, I know me personally, I need to continue working on my techniques," Mankins said.

Strength is certainly a bonus for an offensive lineman. Even more significant, Mankins believes, is being technically sound.

"For offensive lineman, the main thing is technique," Mankins said. 'When you're out there and your feet are jumping around and your hands aren't hitting where you want them to, that's something you need to get corrected or it's going to catch up with you down the road."

But those issues are not unusual for this time of the year.

After all, the preseason is about working out the kinks before they become regular season issues.

And while there are several ways in which the Patriots offensive line will be challenged in the preseason, this week's matchup with the Lions is as good a test as they'll have.

"They're very good across the front," Mankins said. "In our O-line room, we all know we need to make improvements. This will be a good week to see if we made any."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Hernandez's fiancee: I learned to keep my mouth shut and not ask questions

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Hernandez's fiancee: I learned to keep my mouth shut and not ask questions

BOSTON -- Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's fiancee testified in his double-murder trial Thursday that she learned to keep her mouth shut and "not to ask any questions" in certain situations.

Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez testified against Hernandez under a grant of immunity from prosecutors. She and Hernandez have a 4-year-old daughter. She said she took Hernandez's last name in 2015.

Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting two men in Boston in July 2012 after an encounter at a Boston nightclub. He is also charged with witness intimidation in the shooting of Alexander Bradley, allegedly to silence him about the killings.

Jenkins-Hernandez repeatedly said she could not recall details about conversations with Hernandez after the 2012 killings and after Bradley's shooting in 2013.

She said she didn't ask Hernandez for details about Bradley's shooting, even though Hernandez and Bradley were close friends.

"[Bradley] was not my friend . . . Yes, it's a sad situation [but] why should I press about something like that?" she said.

Jenkins-Hernandez also said she did not recall getting a call from Hernandez at 2:37 a.m. on July 16, 2012, minutes after prosecutors say Hernandez shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado as they sat in a car at a stop light in Boston. Prosecutors said phone records show a 17-second call from Hernandez to her at that time.

Hernandez has denied shooting the men. His lawyer told the jury during opening statements that Bradley shot the men over a drug deal.

Bradley testified he saw Hernandez shoot the men. He also said Hernandez shot him in the face months later after he made a remark about the Boston shootings.

Hernandez is already serving a life sentence after being convicted in the 2013 killing of a man who was dating the sister of Jenkins-Hernandez.

Jeff Howe: Good move by Patriots to see what price is on Richard Sherman trade

Jeff Howe: Good move by Patriots to see what price is on Richard Sherman trade

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald talks with Toucher and Rich about the report that the Patriots inquired what the price would be to acquire Seahawks Pro Bowl corner Richard Sherman via trade.