Patriots notes: Rookie RB Ridley looks strong


Patriots notes: Rookie RB Ridley looks strong

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Rookie running back Stevan Ridley, who's been issued No. 37, has a nice shake to his running style and can thump as well. During a 9-on-7 drill, he came through the guard-tackle hole near the goal line and was met hard by linebacker Dane Fletcher who left the collision shaking his left arm after what may have been a mild stinger.

Defensive tackle Mike Wright, laid up for much of last season with the aftereffects of a concussion in the Colts' game, looked like a beast in the morning practice. Very impressive explosiion and penetration on a few plays.

The Patriots quarterbacks took part in the ever-entertaining barrel drill in which the quarterbacks try to loft 25-yard passes into a trash barrel positioned at the back of the end zone (good practice for fade routes). Jonathan Crompton canned one of his throws while Ryan Mallett and Tom Brady both had throws rattle around the rim and out.

The quarterback motion that Mallett is most reminiscent of? To me, it's Randall Cunningham. A little long but a classic, over-the-top delivery. With his size, he is always throwing "downhill" meaning his ball will do well in the wind as he keeps the point down, something Tom Brady is outstanding at accomplishing.

Rob Gronkowski made an outstanding one-handed catch in the seam on a throw from Crompton.

Brady threw an uncharacteristic camp interception, looking for Julian Edelman down the right sideline. Devin McCourty undercut the route with Brandon Meriweather in behind Edelman. On the next play, Brady was nearly picked again, this time by Brandon Meriweather. There seemed to be a miscommunication between he and Gronkowski on which way Gronk should have turned.

The Patriots played a lot of four-man fronts during drills.

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

Both Garoppolo and Brissett will speak from locker on Wednesday


Both Garoppolo and Brissett will speak from locker on Wednesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have an odd situation at quarterback this week. They have two quarterbacks on the roster, but it's unclear which of them will start.

Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with a shoulder injury, and Jacoby Brissett has a thumb issue that required a tape job for Tuesday's practice. Usually on Wednesdays, the Patriots starting quarterback steps to the podium at Gillette Stadium for a question-and-answer session with reporters, but neither quarterback is scheduled to speak today, however both will speak in front of their lockers.

Indications are that tight end Rob Gronkowski will be the player to speak to reporters instead of one of the two injured signal-callers.

The Patriots will release their first practice report of the week on Wednesday afternoon. The team has not added a third quarterback to its roster so it's expected that at least one of, if not both, Garoppolo or Brissett will be good to go against the Bills on Sunday. 

Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week


Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week

FOXBORO -- Ryan Allen was the definition of an x-factor on Thursday night against the Texans. 

He punted seven times for an average of 47.6 yards per boot, and none of them were returned. A career-high six of his seven landed inside the 20-yard line, and the one that did not was marked right at the 20. He dropped his other punts at the 11, 10, 10, 14, 5 and 4-yard lines, helping to limit Houston's average starting field position to the 15-yard line. 

Allen has won the award now twice in his career. He also took it home in 2014 following a Week 14 win over the Chargers.

It is the second AFC Player of the Week honor for a Patriots special teamer this year. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski picked it up after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Cardinals back in Week 1.