Tarpinian the latest undrafted to make it through

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Tarpinian the latest undrafted to make it through

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Believe it or not, Jeff Tarpinian's got big shoes to fill. The undrafted rookie free agent who made the Patriots roster as a linebacker over the weekend is the latest in an impressive line of Patriots to enter without fanfare and stick. Dane Fletcher, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brian Hoyerand Gary Guyton are all players the Patriots latched onto after they'd been passed over in the draft. Each is a valuable part of the 2011 team. Others on the roster -- Wes Welker, Kyle Arrington, Brian Hoyer and Leigh Bodden -- stuck with other teams before coming to New England. Injuries marred the college career of the converted safety. But the recommendation of Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, a longtime confidante of Bill Belichick and father of Patriots' tight ends coach Brian Ferenta, and a terrific pro day vaulted Tarpinian onto the Patriots radar. Patriots personnel man Nick Caserio discussed Tarpinian on Tuesday. "He's smart, tough instinctive," said Caserio. "He runs well, he wasaround the football quite a bit in college. He has a lot of attributes that are positive. Wewould have liked to see him on the field a little bit more but those are some of the things we liked."If he had been on the field a little more he may not have been undrafted. And, perhaps if he hadn't had to show resilience and mental toughness in battling through college injuries, he may not have done as well in training camp. There's no denying that undrafted players bring a "whatever it takes" mentality to the NFL. "There's a lot of players in that situation," Caserio said of the undrafteds. "In the end, regardless of where they come from, every player is given the same chance and same opportunity. What they do with it is up to them . . . Some make the most of their opportunities; others don't."Tarpinian has set himself up. That's all. He's in the survivor pool. And that's more than can be said of plenty of guys who didn't survive the weekend.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week

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Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week

FOXBORO -- Ryan Allen was the definition of an x-factor on Thursday night against the Texans. 

He punted seven times for an average of 47.6 yards per boot, and none of them were returned. A career-high six of his seven landed inside the 20-yard line, and the one that did not was marked right at the 20. He dropped his other punts at the 11, 10, 10, 14, 5 and 4-yard lines, helping to limit Houston's average starting field position to the 15-yard line. 

Allen has won the award now twice in his career. He also took it home in 2014 following a Week 14 win over the Chargers.

It is the second AFC Player of the Week honor for a Patriots special teamer this year. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski picked it up after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Cardinals back in Week 1.

Belichick on Rex Ryan's impression: 'I'm not really in tune to all that'

Belichick on Rex Ryan's impression: 'I'm not really in tune to all that'

FOXBORO -- Don't count on Bill Belichick to critique Rex Ryan's podium performance any time soon. 

The Bills coach did a brief impression of his rival to the south on Monday, mumbling something about the team's injury report to kick off his press conference. The clip went viral, but if Belichick saw it, he made it sound as though he didn't spend too much time thinking about it.

"I'm just focused on getting ready for the Bills," Belichick said on Wednesday. "I'm not really in tune to all that. I'm sure that's important to you guys. That's not anything I really spend much time with."

With a win over Buffalo, the Patriots would be 4-0 to start their season. They are 13-1 against the Bills at Gillette Stadium, with their only loss coming at the end of the 2014 season when Belichick and his team already had the No. 1 seed in the playoffs sewn up.