Koppen: IR was a 'business decision'


Koppen: IR was a 'business decision'

FOXBORO -- Dan Koppen, who broke his left ankle in the Patriots' season opener in Miami, spent time Wednesday with media. Koppen was placed on season-ending injured reserve back on September 21. Even though he had a very good chance of being healed before the end of the regular season, the need to open up a roster spot made the move necessary. "It was a decision made but it's a business and things gotta get done," he explained. "You can't hold spots all year."Koppen didn't sound too charged up about the fact he landed on IR, but he seems to have accepted the decision. "Obviously you want to come back and play and injuries are part of the game," he said. "It's a business and things gotta be done and don't work out the way you want to all the time."Koppen was wearing a bulky boot on his left foot. He said he just got off crutches. "It's tough," he admitted. "You want to be out there, you want to be playing, but like I said before, injuries happen and next man up's gotta be ready to go. But as far as watching, it's just tough. But you get used to it."Koppen turned 32 in September. The five-year extension he signed in 2006 expires after this year. Asked what he sees coming down the road, Koppen said, "I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I'm enjoying where I'm at right now, rooting these guys on and hoping we have a great season. We'll deal with that later."Koppen, who's been capably replaced by Dan Connolly, said he wants to remain with the Patriots."This is a minor bump in the road. We'll be back and hopefully I'll be here," he said.

Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign


Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign

The Dallas Cowboys have a “Do Your Job” sign posted in their locker room and “Gronk Nation” isn’t happy about it.

Here’s an excerpt from “Gronk Nation” - the website of Rob Gronkowski and his family - about “America’s Team” co-opting the slogan of the 2014 Patriots' Super Bowl run: 

While we all know that the Pats thrashed the Cowboys 30-6 last October and Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season, so they need all the motivation they can get – but can’t America’s Team come up with their own slogan instead of stealing ours?









Garoppolo: Panthers offer ‘closest thing we’ll get to Week 1’

Garoppolo: Panthers offer ‘closest thing we’ll get to Week 1’

One throw could have very well changed the overall assessment of Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance last Thursday against Chicago. 

Garoppolo had looked completely poised, on rhythm and decisive, carving up the Bears on four straight drives, including an impressive march to open the third quarter. And then, on third down in the red zone, the Pats quarterback correctly read man-under coverage, with a single high safety floating. But with his first two reads covered, Garoppolo pivoted back to his right and threw almost sight unseen to James White. One problem: Bears linebacker John Timu was sitting in the passing lane and dropped what should have an interception.

“Yeah, the linebacker made a nice jump on it,” said Garoppolo. “It’s unfortunate what happened.”

What happened was the Pats escaped with three points and Garoppolo exiting to excellent reviews. But that was a gift from the football gods, though the third-year pro shrugged it off.

“It was just one of those bang-bang plays,” said Garoppolo. “In the red zone, there are tight windows down there, so sometimes you’re going to make throws that get tipped or whatever it may be. You don’t try to make those happen, but sometimes it happens down there.”

A deeper review of the Pats approach versus the Bears showed a greater emphasis on Garoppolo getting rid of the ball the moment those feet settled on repeated three- and five-step drops. That resulted in the best performance by the Pats signal caller since before that full practice scrimmage in which the QB on the other side - a fella by the name of Tom Brady - went 25-for-25. That day, Garoppolo waded into choppy waters and took nearly two weeks to find solid footing. 

“I think part of that comes with just learning the offense overall,” said Garoppolo when asked about his decision making. “Year after year, you’re going to be more comfortable in the system, whatever it may be. I think I’m progressing the right way. There’s obviously a long way to go, you always want to be as precise and decisive as you can be, but I think I’m working in the right direction.”

No denying that, although now comes another test, the preseason tilt Friday night in Carolina against the defending NFC champion Panthers. There may be a greater strain put on Garoppolo and the starters, but as for the idea this is the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the regular season, Bill Belichick reminds you not to get it twisted.

“I think this is a good opportunity for us to compete against arguably as good as any team in the league. [With] all that being said, we’re not talking about a regular-season game here, “ he said. “We’re not talking about game planning and all of those kind of things, which I can’t imagine would happen in this game, but they’re going to happen in a couple of weeks so it’s a whole different ballgame. I don’t think you can compare this game to a regular-season game even though I’ve heard people try to do that. I’m not sure what game they’re looking at. “

Maybe the same thing as Garoppolo is…

“It’s pretty much the closest thing we’ll get to Week 1, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said.