O'Brien believes in Ochocinco


O'Brien believes in Ochocinco

With many questions being asked about the Patriots offense, coordinator Bill O'Brien disagreed with the notion that Tom Brady didn't have a deep threat in his artillery of offensive weapons heading into their game with the New York Jets.

"I think we have guys that can stretch the field," said O'Brien in a conference call Tuesday. "We have guys that are good vertical receivers and some that do a little bit of both.

"So I dont necessarily agree with that. I just think, again, we have do a better job of coaching, playing, and go out there and actually show what were capable of doing. Hopefully we do that this week."

One of those weapons is supposed to be Chad Ochocinco. But he was targeted five times on Sunday against the Giants and finished the game with zero receptions. Unlike in games past, those targets seemed to be... off-target.

O'Brien said the Patriots need to do a better job of getting Ochocinco the ball.

"As usual with that position, were trying to play a bunch of guys to see who can contribute, and those guys have been practicing really well," said O'Brien. "Chads definitely in that group and hes done some good things and we need to do a better job of getting him the ball and things like that. But that would go for everybody. We have to do a really good job of coaching that position this week and hopefully well get some more guys contributing in the game on Sunday."

The Patriots were also hoping to use Taylor Price as one of those weapons, but Price was inactive on Sunday.

"I was disappointed for him," said O'Brien. "You cant control injuries. Hes a good kid, and he's worked hard.

"I really would like to get a lot of people involved. We play a lot of guys, and each game and we go into it with that thought process. And then, obviously, we take what defenses give us. So, like in this past game, Wes and Rob Gronkowski had a bunch of catches. But hopefully in the next game, we can get some more guys involved. So its not just one guy, its trying to get a lot of guys involved."

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."