Mankins, Patriots prepare for Lions' Suh


Mankins, Patriots prepare for Lions' Suh

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO The days when the Detroit Lions were every NFL team's personal pinata appear to be a thing of the past.

One of the biggest reasons for that?

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Defensive Rookie of the Year last season.

The New England Patriots will have their hands full with the entire Lions defensive line this week. But no player presents a bigger challenge to the Pats than Suh, who was also chosen as a Pro Bowl starter -- the first Lions rookie to be selected as a starter since Barry Sanders -- after racking up 66 tackles and 10 sacks.

"That's going to happen when you play against good players," said Patriots guard Logan Mankins. "They're going to get you sometimes. You have to be ready for it, do the right things and be in the right position or guys with that talent level, they're going to take advantage of it."

Mankins, like most Patriots players, sees plenty of room for improvement.

"Watching the film, I know me personally, I need to continue working on my techniques," Mankins said.

Strength is certainly a bonus for an offensive lineman. Even more significant, Mankins believes, is being technically sound.

"For offensive lineman, the main thing is technique," Mankins said. 'When you're out there and your feet are jumping around and your hands aren't hitting where you want them to, that's something you need to get corrected or it's going to catch up with you down the road."

But those issues are not unusual for this time of the year.

After all, the preseason is about working out the kinks before they become regular season issues.

And while there are several ways in which the Patriots offensive line will be challenged in the preseason, this week's matchup with the Lions is as good a test as they'll have.

"They're very good across the front," Mankins said. "In our O-line room, we all know we need to make improvements. This will be a good week to see if we made any."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Bryan Stork: 'Nothing but great memories' with Patriots


Bryan Stork: 'Nothing but great memories' with Patriots

After being traded to the Washington Redskins this week, former Patriots center Bryan Stork broke his 35-day Twitter silence to say farewell to New England.

For those who are wondering, the acronym "HTTR" stands for "Hail to the Redskins," the team's fight song. #HTTR is used by the team and fans on social media.

Stork was reportedly mulling retirement after being dealt, but has decided to report. 

The Patriots informed Stork of his release early Wednesday, but the Patriots and Redskins were able to work out a deal for a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick before the move was processed.

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ratto: Kaepernick controversy touches on hot-button issues in an ugly political year

Ray Ratto joins Chevrolet SportsNet Central to discuss Colin Kaepernick's decision to not stand during the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers preseason game.

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Bill Belichick was expansive Saturday when asked on a conference call how he'll split the quarterback reps for the Patriots final preseason game Thursday in New York.

"I think that’s a good question, it’s a fair question, it’s one that we really have to give some good consideration to," Belichick began. "As I said before, I think whatever we do will benefit whoever does it. We want to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the Arizona game. Tom [Brady] isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby [Brissett] certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them. We could play all three quarterbacks a lot next week and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t."

Since they can't, Belichick said there will be situational work done with whoever isn't going to get the game reps.

"We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another," said Belichick. "You can sort of control those in how you want those broken down, what’s best, what does each guy need and how can we get the best we need for each guy. I need to let them get the reps that they need, but it’s how do we get the team ready for what they need to be ready for. They all need to get ready for different things.

What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again. So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up."

As I wrote earlier today, this is the sticky and uncomfortable situation arising from Deflategate. It's not a Tom Brady penalty. It's a team penalty when one considers the ripple effects. And there's no handbook to consult.