Patriots coordinators to use bye week to self-evaluate


Patriots coordinators to use bye week to self-evaluate

Now that the Patriots are onto their bye week, it comes time for some self-scouting, prior to their Week 10 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Whether it's building on the things that New England is doing well, or fixing some of the team's biggest issues, the Patriots coaching staff will be hard at work to point those things out before they game plan for their next opponent.

"I think there's a lot of different ways you could certainly go, in a bye week. One of the things that anybody will try to do -- and we certainly try to do the best we can at it -- is to identify areas that you need to make some progress in or make some improvements in, or at least make your players aware of some things that we need to try to be better at," said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh MacDaniels in a conference call on Tuesday.

So while self-scouting is already in place, the Patriots coaching staff will be sure to not pile on, when the players return to the facilities on Thursday. There's just not enough time to go over everything.

"You can't hit everything in a bye week, it's too short, in terms of the time that you have with the players," said McDaniels. "But we can find a few things that we feel like can make a difference for us in some area of our game. And that's definitely something that you try to get done.

"I think if you try to tackle 100 things, you probably don't get anything accomplished. So we're in the process now of trying to look back over the first half of the season, and maybe, even more specifically, the last so many games here, and try to focus on some things that we think could make us better, heading into the last eight games."

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia joined Tuesday's conference call after McDaniels, and he agreed with giving his team a "smaller scope" of the biggest issues at hand, following their self-scouting.

"Obviously that's a big part of this week for us, certainly, is to take a look at everything that we're doing, and obviously try to see some areas where we can improve, and hopefully find some areas where we're doing some things that are also okay and good, and things that we can build off of," said Patricia. "So, we'll certainly take a look at that as well."

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.

Roger Goodell says he'll be present for Patriots opener at Gillette Stadium

Roger Goodell says he'll be present for Patriots opener at Gillette Stadium

PHOENIX -- Roger Goodell said during a press conference at the league meetings on Tuesday evening that he planned to attend the NFL's "kickoff game" next season, which is scheduled to be hosted by the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in September. 

Goodell has not visited Gillette Stadium since the AFC title game in January of 2015 -- the game during which Deflategate was sparked. Last season he opted to visit Atlanta for the Divisional and Championship rounds of the playoffs in back-to-back weeks. 

On Monday, Robert Kraft was asked if he anticipated Goodell visiting New England for his team's 2017 season-opener. 

"I think I'll let you all ask him that," Kraft said. "Look, he's the commissioner of the league. As we all know, he has the right to go wherever he wishes to go. If he wants to come, he's welcome to come. We're happy we'll be celebrating our fifth banner. He can decide if he wants to be there."

It appears as though he's decided to be there.