Brown, Woicik pulling up stakes with Pats' staff?

Brown, Woicik pulling up stakes with Pats' staff?

By TomE. Curran
After appearing a rudderless group in 2009, the New England Patriots young secondary improved vastly in 2010. But it appears the one coaching addition to the group made for the2010 season was on a one-year hitch. Corwin Brown is moving on according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Reiss cites a league source in his report. In 2009, Josh Boyer - then 33 - was in charge of a veteran-laden secondary that was an overall disappointment. But after last season, Brown - a former Patriot and Jet who'd previously been the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame - was brought in to help in the secondary, specifically with the safeties. By the end of the season, the Patriots had a terrific safety rotation with Patrick Chung, James Sanders and Pro Bowler Brandon Meriweather (who didn't have a season as good as Sanders or Chung). And the cornerback play also sparked under Boyer with Devin McCourty making the Pro Bowl as a rookie and Kyle Arrington playing exceptionally well on the other side. The reason behind Brown's departure? Probably a more weighty role. Defensive coordinator at Notre Dame is a better position than secondary coach at New England and this was likely a bridge job for him. One he did well. Reiss and ESPN Dallas reporter Todd Archer also report that strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik is interviewing with the Cowboys. Woicik, who was strength guy for three Cowboys Super Bowls in the 1990s and the three here in New England, is highly respected as a no-nonsense (and humorless) coach. Assistant strength coach Harold Nash is likely in line to succeed Woicik if he goes. Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots


Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots

Marcus Cannon has had his run as a piñata. The Patriots offensive lineman is a frequent target when things go wrong up front and, usually, he’s deserved it.

A bit of anecdotal evidence? 

Sunday, I tweeted that every time I watched Cannon, he was making another good play.

On cue, about 10 tweets came back at me with variations of “Keep watching him!”

I asked Bill Belichick if he agreed with the layman’s assessment that Cannon’s playing well.

“I think Marcus [Cannon] has done a good job for us for quite a while,” Belichick began. “I mean he’s stepped in for Sebastian [Vollmer] and then last year when Nate [Solder] was out [and he substituted] for Nate. He has played a lot of good football for us.

“We extended our agreement with him off of his rookie contract which I think speaks to the fact that we want him on the team and we like what he’s doing and so forth and he’s continued to I’d say show with his performance [that he has] validated the confidence that we have in him.”

Cannon’s ending to 2015 – a poor performance (along with the rest of the line) against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game was followed by a performance against the Cardinals that was marred by late-game holding calls.

But with Sebastian Vollmer injured (and still injured) it was sink or swim with Cannon which had plenty of people rolling their eyes.

But – as I said – every time I see Cannon, he’s either holding off a defensive end in pass protection, steamrolling downfield in the running game or making really athletic second-level or cut blocks in the screen game.

“Like every player, as they gain more experience they do get better,” said Belichick. “I think our offensive line’s certainly improved over the course of the year and playing with more consistency than we did last year. But there’s always room for improvement and the continuity that we’ve had there since (right guard) Shaq [Mason] has gotten in the last few weeks – we had Shaq over on the right side a little bit at the end of the season last year and then this year most all of the year except when Shaq was out for a few weeks there at the end of training camp and the start of the season – but our overall consistency and communication on the offensive line has been better because we’ve had more continuity there so that helps everybody.”

It can’t hurt that the lineman whisperer, Dante Scranecchia, has returned to coach the group. Cannon’s conditioning and physique looks better. He just appears more athletic and explosive. And he’s seemed more relaxed in the limited time the media’s in the locker room.

All off that added up equals nobody really talking about Marcus Cannon.
“Like any lineman, the less you call his name probably the better he’s doing,” said Belichick. “It’s probably a good thing when you guys don’t talk about him. Then that probably means they’re not doing something too noticeably wrong, right?”