Patriots prepare to face third straight backup quarterback

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Patriots prepare to face third straight backup quarterback

FOXBORO -- It's going to take some digging, but the Patriots are determined to find out all they can about new Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Dan Orlovsky before Sunday's game.

Orlovsky, who will replace Curtis Painter under center for the 0-11 Colts, has completed 14-of-21 passes for 122 yards with no touchdowns and no picks in three appearances this season. His last NFL start came in 2008, when he quarterbacked the Lions in the final game of their historic 0-16 season. In seven seasons, he's 0-7 in seven career starts.

Needless to say, the Patriots don't have a library full of tapes labeled 'Orlovsky,' but they're making due with what they can find.

"Whatever we have, the coaching staff will get it," Vince Wilfork said. "I don't care where it's from. It's tough when you have a guy you haven't really seen much from and you have to dig and dig and dig. But if that's what we have to do, that's what we have to do."

The Patriots faced a situation like this one two weeks ago when they went up against Kansas City's Tyler Palko in his first-ever NFL start. Similarly, they had to do some sleuthing to find some video of Palko under center. Some of his most relevant film came from his work in preseason exhibitions.

Defending inexperienced quarterbacks may seem to make for light study weeks, but the Patriots insist that's not the case.

"It can be tough at times," Wilfork said. "You just don't know how teams are going to attack you certain weeks. Seems teams always attack us a little different than everybody else.

"We have to be prepared. Whatever it may be, we definitely have to be prepared for it. Whatever they give us. If we have to figure things out on the run, we will. That's where our sideline adjustments, our halftime adjustments come in."

Sterling Moore has become accustomed to long hours in the film room during his first few weeks as a regular in the Patriots secondary. This will be his third straight week of seeing a backup (or in the Colts' case, a backup to the backup) quarterback, and he's digesting whatever old footage the Patriots can scrape together.

"You gotta go back and watch a lot of film on him," Moore said. "You gotta spend a little more time in the film room, but that's every week at this point."

Of course, it's not all about the quarterback. The Colts will likely run similar schemes to what they ran with Painter, and the Patriots will break down that film as well. That Orlovsky is now the quarterback doesn't change everything.

"We're just trying to understand their tendencies offensively," Moore said. "Then we'll watch Orlovsky and see how he throws."

Trump invites Patriots to White House to celebrate Super Bowl on April 19

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Trump invites Patriots to White House to celebrate Super Bowl on April 19

The Patriots have been invited to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory with president Donald Trump on April 19. How many players RSVP in the affirmative to the invitation remains to be seen. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, a Patriots fan, announced the date at a press briefing on Thursday. Spicer noted that the visit will coincide with the 242nd anniversary of the battles at Lexington and Concord.

Though Trump considers Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as friends, several members of last season's championship roster have noted already that they didn't play to attend a celebratory trip to Trump's White House, including Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount. Alan Branch and Dont'a Hightower also noted that they didn't plan to go.

Report: Revis return to the Patriots looks 'increasingly likely'

Report: Revis return to the Patriots looks 'increasingly likely'

Darrelle Revis put together the worst year of his career in 2016 and was released by the Jets despite being guaranteed $6 million next season. The team was willing to pay him to simply stay home. 

A return to the NFL hasn't been ruled out for the 31-year-old and seven-time Pro Bowler, though, and multiple people are reportedly under the impression that Revis will make his way back to New England.

According to Jason La Canfora, a Revis return to the Patriots "looks increasingly likely." One personnel person told La Canfora that he believes Revis can still play, but his team is convinced he's headed to New England.

"We did our work on him," the personnel man told La Canfora. "He can still play. He can cover. He doesn’t have that long speed anymore; he’s not going to cover a No. 1 receiver deep. But he can cover in tight spaces and he has great instincts. The film is not as bad as some would have you believe. He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too. We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense."

The Patriots could have some depth concerns at corner should Malcolm Butler play elsewhere in 2017. They signed Stephon Gilmore to be their top bread-winner at the position, and they have Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones rounding out the depth chart.

Revis could be an attractive option to potentially fit into the mix as a top-three guy at the position, but does he still have the ability to reach that level? Quarterbacks had a rating of 104.2 when targeting him last season, and he has admitted he was in less than peak physical condition for the 2016 season. 

Bill Belichick typically likes to field motivated teams that are hungry to compete for championships. After Revis won his title in 2014 with the Patriots, he earned a huge pay day from the Jets and seemed less than fully-motivated in his second season after returning to the team that drafted him. 

Revis insisted recently that he still wants to play. 

"The hunger is definitely there," Revis told reporters last week after he had assault charges dismissed in Pittsburgh. "It’s just passion and love for the game. I’m excited for the season to start. I can focus on what team I can fit with and the best system."

Some believe a move to safety is coming for Revis, but the Patriots are well-stocked there with Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon as their top-three options.