Patriots release eight players

511026.jpg

Patriots release eight players

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

The Patriots don't need the roster cut to 53 until Saturday, but they got a head start on the process by releasing eight players Friday.

Wide receiver Buddy Farnham, center Jonathan Compas, running back Richard Medlin, linebacker Ricky Brown, defensive tackle Darryl Richard, tight end Carson Butler, and offensive linemen Mike Berry and Corey Woods were let go. The Pats still need to release 19 more players by Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline.

Both Farnham and Medlin have practice squad eligibility and could return in that capacity. Farnham played several snaps this preseason and on both sides of the ball. A middling receiver (six catches, 48 yards), Farnham is most memorable this year for recording a Week 1 interception at safety. He's been signed and released by the Patriots twice before.

Medlin was signed as a rookie free agent on August 3. He had 20 carries for 66 yards.

Compas got work in all four preseason games on the offensive line.

Richard was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. As a rookie he was relegated to the practice squad. Last season a foot injury kept him on injured reserve.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Belichick impressed by rookie Thuney's work at left guard

patriots-belichick_2.jpg

Belichick impressed by rookie Thuney's work at left guard

FOXBORO -- Joe Thuney may not have won the starting left guard job officially, but Bill Belichick says he's on the right track. And for a rookie, that's feat in and of itself.

The third-round pick out of North Carolina State -- you may remember it as the Kevin-Faulk-in-the-No.-12-jersey selection -- has been the first-team left guard since the start of training camp, and he hasn't moved since. Thuney has occasionally taken snaps at center, and the Patriots have him learning multiple spots behind the scenes. But every time Nate Solder has run on to the field as the left tackle, Thuney has been there by his side at guard. 

Even going back to OTAs, held not long after he was drafted, Thuney was the top choice at that position. 

"Joe has done a good job with what we’ve given him," Belichick said. "There was a point where we felt comfortable making that, I’d say temporary move, It wasn’t permanent. But he has handled it well. I think he’s certainly moving towards being able to lock something down at some point. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think he is certainly gaining on it. He has had a good preseason, had a good spring."

What once may have been deemed a temporary move back in the spring -- perhaps due to players like Shaq Mason, Tre' Jackson and Josh Kline dealing with injuries early in the offseason -- now seems like it should be a permanent one.

Thuney's run as the No. 1 left guard has been uninterrupted because his performance hasn't warranted a change. He's held his own against former first-round defensive tackle Malcom Brown in one-on-one practice drills, and he's been the highest-graded player on the Patriots offensive line through two preseason games, per Pro Football Focus. (The only players with higher grades on the team through two games are tight end AJ Derby and defensive end Trey Flowers.)

The man who went viral before the draft for his ability to solve a Rubik's cube in just over a minute has flashed an understanding of how quickly things move on the inside. Plus, playing under unretired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Thuney has been quick himself, both picking up pressures and working to the second level in the running game with aplomb.

Thuney will still have a preseason game or two to solidify his grasp on a starting role, but even for the brief period during which Mason and Kline were simultaneously healthy, Thuney was the choice on the left side of the interior offensive line. Now that Mason is dealing with what's been reported as a hand injury, Jackson remains on PUP, and Jonathan Cooper is still out after suffering a foot injury early in camp, the job seems like Thuney's to lose.

That Belichick even hinted Thuney is "gaining on it" is an indication of just how impressive he's been during his short time as a pro.