Patriots to visit with Andre Gurode

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Patriots to visit with Andre Gurode

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran So Albert Haynesworth tried to put out a non-existent fire on Andre Gurode's head a few years back? Not Bill Belichick's problem. "Just trying to make the football team better," will be the inevitable response if a planned visit with Gurode comes to pass and the former Dallas Pro Bowler is signed to beef up the interior of the Patriots' offensive line. To Bill, what happens in Tennessee stays in Tennessee. Or Washington. Or wherever something untoward occurred with a current Patriot at a former address. Stick around long enough and you see that the impossible becomes the inevitable where Belichick is concerned. When I saw that Gurode was in danger of being released by the Cowboys, I threw it out there that, "Center Andre Gurode appears to be on the outs in Dallas. Couldn't you just see Belichick signing him?"Who quotes himself in his own story? Nostra-Thomas, baby. It was October of 2006 when Haynesworth took exception to Gurode going at his knees in a game between the Cowboys and Titans. Haynesworth pried the helmet off Gurode and stepped on his head. The ensuing wound meant 30 stitches for Gurode and a five-game suspension for Haynesworth. The two buried the hatchet days later with Gurode saying, "He called me, we spoke on the phone and that was pretty much it. He just apologized. I don't really need a reason. You have to forgive a guy for doing something like that. Just move on and play football." Immediately after the game, Haynesworth said, "For what I did, whatever they give me, I deserve it. I did it, and it's wrong."Let's look at this visit (Gurode won't work out; he had knee surgery in June) on another level. How does it sit with Haynesworth? He knows the interaction between he and Gurode if Gurode signs is going to be a source of intense curiosity. How can it not be? And he also knows that it dredges up an ugly moment from five years ago he will face questions about all over again. While Belichick wouldn't have Gurode in for a looksee if he was an absolute stiff, the fact Belichick will ponder a move that could make Haynesworth's life uncomfortable is further evidence that Belichick's concern is having the best players available on his football team. In Gurode's case, you find out if he's healthy and can help. Then you worry about any other issues later. One can presume that Gurode knows Haynesworth is here and that he could have declined the invitation if he wanted to. And one can also presume that Belichick will ask whether being in the same locker room with Haynesworth poses an issue. Hell, he might have already given Haynesworth a heads-up it. Not asking permission, just letting him know.Football-wise, the 32-year-old Gurode is a five-time Pro Bowler who was due to make 5.5 million with the Cowboys in 2011. Dallas was remaking their line and going young. Gurode, who didn't practice in the first three weeks of camp, was a money and age decision. He's got versatility and can play either center or guard. Currently, the Patriots are thin at the right guard spot with an injury to Dan Connolly. Gurode could also be a backup to Dan Koppen. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”