Patriots wearing out the no-huddle offense

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Patriots wearing out the no-huddle offense

FOXBORO -- If the Patriots plan on running the no-huddle offense on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, they're not going to tell anybody about it beforehand.

But facts are facts. And the fact is, New England seems to enjoy running the the offense in no-huddle mode, as seen in Sunday night's win over the New York Jets.

Some Patriots players talked about the effects of their no-huddle style. Others -- like veteran running back Kevin Faulk -- grew frustrated by continued questions about the certain style that may or may not be used against the Chiefs' defense.

"The speed of the game changes for us," said Faulk, when first asked about it.

He then said, "I think it's just a change-up that we try to do as an offensive team. The effectiveness shows on the football field. If you're not moving the ball, it's not effective . . . It's just something you try to surprise people with."

And when a third question about the no-huddle came, Faulk showed his impatience and discomfort in speaking about the topic.

"There's no need to talk about the no-huddle right now," he said. "Let's go. Anything else?"

Whether or not that response means he doesn't want to reveal any of the Patriots' game plan to the Chiefs remains to be seen.

But one thing we do know is, they enjoy the no-huddle.

"It gets pretty tiring, but theyre getting tired too, so thats the main thing," said offensive lineman Logan Mankins. "Its nice to do it occasionally when its working good. We like it. The D-line, I think they get more tired than we actually do because they have to chase the ball. But it does get pretty tiring in there. You dont have the rest between plays like in the huddle."

Wide receiver Deion Branch was a beneficiary of the no-huddle offense on Sunday against the Jets. The speed of New England's no-huddle had New York's defense -- at times -- in a state of confusion. And at least on one play, Branch found himself wide open on the right sideline off Tom Brady's quick snap, as Jets defenders hadn't even jumped out of their huddle.

Brady found Branch with a quick, easy pass, and it was just another example of why they do it.

"Guys get fatigued," said Branch on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. "We're going to get tired, and hopefully we're going to make their defense as tired as we are.

"For the most part, we're pretty sound with the stuff that we're doing. Coach Belichick is not going to give us an overhaul of plays. I think you can try to go into that no-huddle situation, and put 40, 50 plays in, and that's a big challenge as well. I think coach does a good job of making sure we have the right amount of plays. It's just based on us. making sure we're staying focused and doing what we're supposed to do."

There is a negative side to the no-huddle, however. As Branch explained on Thursday, while it works to help catch a fatigued defense off-guard, it also can result in some sloppy false starts on the offensive end.

"We've been having a lot of flags, false starts, things of that nature," said Branch. "That stuff comes into play when you're physically or mentally tired, or something like that. That's something that happens during the course of running a no-huddle."

Mankins agreed, but said that some of those false start calls are unavoidable.

"Sometimes it is focus and concentration," said Mankins. "Sometimes you just barely twitch just a tiny little bit and youre going to get called. There are so many referees or umpires, whatever you want to call them, watching the O-line now, especially with the other guy moved behind. Theres two guys just sitting there staring at us. Theyre going to catch any little thing."

But if it means catching the Chiefs defense snoozing, the Patriots will continue to take that risk on Monday night.

Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

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Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Former New England Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace is being laid to rest in his home town.

A celebration of his life will be held at St. John's Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday morning followed by a noontime funeral service. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Brace died at his family's home April 24. He was 29.

Police say his death was not suspicious and appears to be have been caused by a medical condition.

Brace grew up in Springfield and attended Burncoat High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. After a standout career at Boston College, he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 draft and played four years with the team.

He is survived by his parents and six siblings.

What positions were not addressed by Patriots in draft?

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What positions were not addressed by Patriots in draft?

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the negatives for the New England Patriots in the NFL, including not selecting a running back and not adding depth for linebackers.

Diving deeper on Patriots UDFAs: WR/RB Foster an intriguing weapon

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Diving deeper on Patriots UDFAs: WR/RB Foster an intriguing weapon

FOXBORO -- Few teams in the NFL can boast the kind of success that the Patriots have had with undrafted players during Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach.

David Andrews, Malcolm Butler, Brandon King, James Develin, Josh Kline, LeGarrette Blount and Danny Amendola have all played significant roles in recent Patriots winning seasons -- and those are just the players on the roster as it currently stands.

In the hours following the end of this year's draft, the Patriots added new list of undrafted free agents to their rookie class. By the very nature of their path to pro football, it will be an uphill climb for any of them to make the Patriots 53-man roster. But judging by the track record that Belichick and his coaching staff have compiled with players that never saw their name scroll across the bottom of a TV screen on draft day, it would come as no surprise if one or two made some kind of impact in 2016. 

Here's a quick look at the nine undrafted players the team has signed thus far, according to NEPatriotsDraft.com

V'Angelo Bentley, CB, Illinois
At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Bentley doesn't possess prototypical NFL size for a defensive back, but he was a productive tackler in college and he holds the distinction as the only player in school history to score on a punt return, kick return, interception return and fumble return. 

Devonta Burns, CB, Texas A&M
According to the Aggies website, Burns (6-feet, 211 pounds) played in 12 games last season and made 13 tackles. At his pro day he ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and jumped 33 inches in the vertical. 

DJ Foster, RB/WR, Arizona State
A college teammate of Patriots seventh-round pick Devin Lucien, the 5-10, 193-pounder was the only FBS player to enter last season with 1,500 career yards rushing and receiving. He finished his career at Arizona State with 666 total touches for 4,813 yards and 32 touchdowns. He ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at his pro day and had one of top three-cone times among receivers at the combine (6.75 seconds). 

Woodrow Hamilton, DT, Ole Miss
Helped by a solid pro day workout, which was attended by area scout Brandon Yeargan, Hamilton was projected by some as worthy of a late-round draft pick. At 6-5, 312 pounds, he recorded a 4.8-second short shuttle, a 26.5-inch vertical leap, and he did 29 reps on the 225-pound bench press. 

CJ Johnson, LB, Ole Miss
With a diverse playing background as both a defensive end and a middle linebacker in the SEC, it's no shock the 6-1, 234-pounder landed in New England. Though plagued by knee and ankle injuries in his career, Johnson was consistently productive whenever he was on the field. At linebacker, despite missing a month to a torn meniscus, he made 43 tackles and two picks. 

Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn
A four-year starter for the Tigers, Jones racked up 125 tackles and seven picks in his career. He was named a second-team All-SEC honoree as a junior, and he popped at the combine with a 4.33-second 40-yard dash -- the fastest among all corners at the combine. Though his size (5-9, 186 pounds) may limit him to playing in the slot as a pro, he has the athleticism to match up with NFL receivers. 

Cre’Von LeBlanc, CB, Florida Atlantic
He's not the fastest (4.65-second 40-yard dash) or the tallest (5-9), but LeBlanc is a strong corner who tips the scales at 194 pounds and plays with good aggression. He also has good quickness and an ability to change direction without slowing down, which he exhibited with a 6.91-second three-cone drill at the combine. 

Steven Scheu, TE, Vanderbilt‚Äč
Sort of a 'tweener at tight end, Scheu may not have the size to be a pure blocking tight end as a pro, and he didn't play as a true "move" tight end at Vanderbilt. The 6-5, 250-pounder was an AP All-SEC selection in 2014, and he was a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy (also known as the "Academic Heisman"). 

De’Runnya Wilson, WR, Mississippi State
At 6-5, 224 pounds, Wilson has the size to present any corner with a mismatch. He's able to wall off defenders with his frame, and he has the concentration and the hands to make contested grabs. Still relatively new to the sport -- he was named Alabama's Mr. Basketball and only played football as a senior in high school -- he has improved each season he's been on the field.  He was productive in the SEC last year, making 60 catches and scoring 10 touchdowns on his way to second-team All SEC honors. Though he's a good athlete -- he actually played basketball at Mississippi State for one season -- his speed may limit him in the NFL. He ran a 4.85-second 40-yard dash at the combine.