Shortened preseason makes cuts tough for Pats


Shortened preseason makes cuts tough for Pats

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
With additions and subtractions coming and going among the New England Patriots, figuring out who will stick can be well, a lot stickier than usual.

The Patriots released 11 players on Monday, with at least a couple more moves on the way in the coming days.

Every year, coaches across the NFL will talk about how difficult cuts are as you get closer and closer to finalizing the 53-man roster.

But even at this point, where the roster has to be down to 80, it's no walk in the park.

Complicating matters to some degree has been the late start due to NFL lockout.

And with one preseason game left -- the Patriots play Thursday against the New York Giants -- many of the roster moves NFL teams will be making in the coming days won't be nearly as informed as such moves in past years.

"The more information, probably the better," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on his weekly teleconference Monday afternoon. "We're certainly working with less this year than we normally do, without the workouts in the spring. Everybody's dealing with the same thing there, so that's nothing unique to our team. That's the way it is."

The Pats still have a couple dozen players to get rid of between now and the start of the regular season, with the weeding out process only becoming tougher as time goes on.

"You'd like to have as many looks as possible," Belichick said. "But in the end, you have to do the best you can with the information you have. That's what we're going to try and do."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad


Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday


Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had both of their qurterbacks on the field and suited up for Tuesday's shells-and-sweats practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) are dealing with injuries, but both were present for the session, as were the rest of their teammates on the 53-man roster. 

Brissett was spotted in the Patriots locker room before practice with no brace or wrap of any kind on his thumb, but he did have his right thumb taped when out on the field. 

Patriots tight end AJ Derby was the lone player in a black practice jersey, indicating that he has been named practice player of the week. Running low on quarterbacks, Derby may have served as the scout-team quarterback as the Patriots defense prepared for the Texans. He played the position at Iowa and Arkansas before changing positions.

The Patriots have four practices scheduled this week, and the team will release injury reports, as usual, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.