Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues


Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The tenor of Tedy Bruschi's Ocho comments on WEEI suggest he's been itching for a chance to go off on the wideout. If he's seen how hard Ocho's been working, he wouldn't have gone after him like that.

That said, the bus is pulling away from the stop and Ocho is running down the driveway, papers falling out of his book bag with one shoe off.

The weird limbo that Brandon Spikes seems to be in has to come to a head at some point. Promising second-year linebackers don't get thrown in mothballs for nothing and that's what seems to be going on.

I theorized in the offseason that scoring would be way down early in the season since offensive timing would be hampered by the lockout. In only one game during Week 1 did the two teams fail to combine for fewer than 40 points.

I thought Nate Solder got away with an unbelievable amount of holding Monday night against Cameron Wake. On further review (watching the DVR), the rookie did his share but it wasn't as egregious as I believed from the press box.

Sat next to Ty Law in the press box Monday night; he played with Dolphins corner Benny Sapp. When Tom Brady's pass from 5 yards deep in the end zone whizzed past Sapp's ear and into Wes Welker's hands, Law said simply, "Oh, s, Sapp."

ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss charts player participation on offense, defense and special teams from the press box during the games. Everybody - sports talk, fellow writers, blogs - use the info but not enough people say where they got it and they ought's a lot of work from Reiss.

Tom Brady's currently got an autographed baseball from Chili Davis in his locker. Turns out, Brady once mentioned he got stiffed for an autograph by the Giants outfielder when Brady was a kid and Davis - hearing that news - sent him the signed ball with a quick apology.

While Brandon Meriweather may not have been involved in the alleged rape that took place at his home over the summer, I've heard that he was the one that bailed the accused out of jail. Probably should have kept his distance from the situation in the interests of job preservation.

We all agree that "innocent until proven guilty" still applies, right? Well, the jury's back on Meriweather and he's been found guilty on several counts of stupidity.

That Eric Mangini feels awful about "Spygate" doesn't surprise me at all; I've mentioned before that the resulting national panic and outcry wasn't what he intended. It will take a lot of apologizing for the bitterness to go away though; and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum may never be forgiven.

I have that Dan Koppen injury as an 8-10 week recovery; Albert Breer of the NFL Network pegged it a few hours after I reported it on Tuesday as a 6-10 week recovery. Begin looking for Koppen November 13 against the Jets.

Thought I'd be done with these by now, but gotta get down to Foxboro. Will finish later.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Expect Patriots to tread carefully as Lewis nears return from knee surgery


Expect Patriots to tread carefully as Lewis nears return from knee surgery

FOXBORO -- Dion Lewis is reportedly set to return to the practice field this week, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, and you should expect the Patriots to move carefully as the running back edges closer to a return.

The team will have until November 16 to decide whether to activate Lewis, who tore his ACL last season against Washington on November 9. The ACL healed fine for Lewis after surgery was performed by renowned sports orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews. But knee pain that developed during the summer was found to be a patella stress fracture. That kind of injury is rare but not unheard of after ACL repairs as quadriceps flexion can put stress on a grafted area (and Lewis has giant quads). The remedy is inserting screws in the patella which was done in Lewis’ case. 

Now, with the “clock” started on Lewis’ return from the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, determining how well he responds to the increased workload of practice and then padded practice and hitting will be the next step in determining whether he returns by the middle of next month or is put on IR.

Meanwhile, the performance of James White so far has mitigated the sting of Lewis’ absence. While Lewis’ return wouldn’t be accelerated based upon on-field need – this isn’t a “rush ‘em back”-type injury – the team has to feel a little less urgency given White’s contributions so far as a runner and receiver. White is on pace for a career year, with 27 receptions for 244 yards and three touchdowns.