Reports: Jets closing in on CB Asomugha


Reports: Jets closing in on CB Asomugha

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The Patriots had a hard enough time finding room to throw against the Jets when it was Antonio Cromartie joined with Darrelle Revis at the cornerback spots. Now they are in pursuit of Raiders corner Nnamdi Asomugha. The pursuit has been described as "hot." The first guy out there with news of the Jets interest was, of course, "incarcerated bob."I don't know what to tell you on that, except the guy gets stuff early and often right so credit where credit is due. Bob's report has since been seconded and thirded by mainstream media types. Cromartie is a free agent and has stated he won't give the Jets a hometown discount. The Jets reportedly reached out to Cromartie Tuesday but, since he's not nearly in the class of Asomugha as a player or as a representative of a team, there's no doubt the Jets would gladly let "Cro" go and sign Asomugha if that avails itself. The Patriots -- as is their habit -- have been sealed up tight so far. And agents that are loose lipped about negotiations with other teams know better than to gum up the process with New England by corresponding with reporters so the outflow of information is syrupy slow right now. But the addition of Asomugha across from Revis would give the Jets one of the best cornerback tandems in recent memory. Or long-term memory. The Patriots were the highest-scoring team in football and their margin over the No. 2 team was 77 points (New England scored 518, the Chargers scored 441). The Patriots have a quarterback who was the first unanimous league MVP in history. Despite that, nobody confounded New England's offense like the Jets defense. Adding Asomugha would just make them that much tougher. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots


Not a lot of talk about Cannon this season, and that's a good thing for Patriots

Marcus Cannon has had his run as a piñata. The Patriots offensive lineman is a frequent target when things go wrong up front and, usually, he’s deserved it.

A bit of anecdotal evidence? 

Sunday, I tweeted that every time I watched Cannon, he was making another good play.

On cue, about 10 tweets came back at me with variations of “Keep watching him!”

I asked Bill Belichick if he agreed with the layman’s assessment that Cannon’s playing well.

“I think Marcus [Cannon] has done a good job for us for quite a while,” Belichick began. “I mean he’s stepped in for Sebastian [Vollmer] and then last year when Nate [Solder] was out [and he substituted] for Nate. He has played a lot of good football for us.

“We extended our agreement with him off of his rookie contract which I think speaks to the fact that we want him on the team and we like what he’s doing and so forth and he’s continued to I’d say show with his performance [that he has] validated the confidence that we have in him.”

Cannon’s ending to 2015 – a poor performance (along with the rest of the line) against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game was followed by a performance against the Cardinals that was marred by late-game holding calls.

But with Sebastian Vollmer injured (and still injured) it was sink or swim with Cannon which had plenty of people rolling their eyes.

But – as I said – every time I see Cannon, he’s either holding off a defensive end in pass protection, steamrolling downfield in the running game or making really athletic second-level or cut blocks in the screen game.

“Like every player, as they gain more experience they do get better,” said Belichick. “I think our offensive line’s certainly improved over the course of the year and playing with more consistency than we did last year. But there’s always room for improvement and the continuity that we’ve had there since (right guard) Shaq [Mason] has gotten in the last few weeks – we had Shaq over on the right side a little bit at the end of the season last year and then this year most all of the year except when Shaq was out for a few weeks there at the end of training camp and the start of the season – but our overall consistency and communication on the offensive line has been better because we’ve had more continuity there so that helps everybody.”

It can’t hurt that the lineman whisperer, Dante Scranecchia, has returned to coach the group. Cannon’s conditioning and physique looks better. He just appears more athletic and explosive. And he’s seemed more relaxed in the limited time the media’s in the locker room.

All off that added up equals nobody really talking about Marcus Cannon.
“Like any lineman, the less you call his name probably the better he’s doing,” said Belichick. “It’s probably a good thing when you guys don’t talk about him. Then that probably means they’re not doing something too noticeably wrong, right?”