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TEAM TALKPatriots-Rams Thursday Injury Report.Broadcast Info: Super Bowl LIII.Paul Perillo’s Scouting the Matchup: Physical Pats face tough test.Paul Perillo talks with Patriots defenders on dealing with the Rams running game.Paul Perillo notes Next Gen stats find that both Tom Brady and Jared Goff have excelled against the blitz this season.Erik Scalavino shares the practice notes and buzz from Thursday in Atlanta: Jason McCourty: “I think practices have gone well. Everybody’s focused James Harrison Jersey , locked in to what our game plan is.”Jenny Vrentas’ Patriots Thursday pool report: Patriots held an afternoon walk-through practice at Georgia Tech’s indoor practice facility, focusing on situational plays during the one-hour, 20-minute session...Angelique Fiske hears from the Patriots’ 2016 rookie class on their three years, three Super Bowls streak.Don Banks gives us his Super Bowl LIII pick, and the reasons behind it. Patriots 27-23.Press Conferences: Tom Brady (video) - Bill Belichick (video) - Rob Gronkowski (video) - Julian Edelman (video).Patriots Everything We Got music video. (47 second video)LOCAL LINKSMike Dussault (PatsPropaganda) Patriots Gameplan: Super Bowl 53 vs. Los Angeles Rams.Karen Guregian runs through the matchups to see who has the edge at each position.Kevin Duffy explores the matchups: Patriots DBs vs. Rams WR Brandin Cooks.Thomas Murphy (DiehardBostonSportsFans) Monster keys to Patriots Super Bowl LIII victory: 1. Controlled chaos: Make Goff have to think, don’t let Mcvay run the show from the sidelines.Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Patriots-Rams Super Bowl LIII keys, matchups: Who has the razor’s edge?Duncan Day (Ex-bullpen) Believe in Belichick? Old school Patriots vs. NFL’s best. /Good read.Karen Guregian says weapons or not, the Patriots see a way to beat the Rams.Jim Lazar offers 12 reasons to believe this is the year for the Patriots rout. Pats win 31-16.Ricky Doyle comes up with seven reasons why the Rams will upset the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. 1. Rams ground attack.Evan Lazar thumbnails five under-the-radar players who might not garner much attention during the week, but they’ll be critical to their teams’ success this Sunday.Luke O’Brien (FullPressCoverage) The ‘other guys’ prove to be essential for the Patriots success.Phil Perry explores if the 2018 season could be Bill Belichick’s best coaching job since his first Super Bowl run with the Patriots in 2001: Players, opponents, and journalists who covered the team 17 years ago to give their takes.Mike Petraglia talks with Brian Billick on how coaching in the Super Bowl isn’t as easy as Bill Belichick makes it look. “We all try to take away that one weapon. It’s just that he does it better than anyone else.”Jim Hackett considers the Patriots’ place in history in perspective if they win a sixth Super Bowl. Steeler fans are going to be so mad.Doug Kyed wonders if Cordarrelle Patterson could move to running back full time.Mike Reiss highlights Rob Gronkowski’s greatest catches, including Tom Brady’s favorite.Kevin Duffy notes Trent Brown points to an improved level of confidence as the reason for his breakout season in New England.Ryan Hannable explains how Chris Hogan has spent more time in his car this year than any other member of the Patriots.Le Capitaine (High-TopTableAthletics) Calling out myself. My Develin take sucks.Johnny Maffel (FullPressCoverage) Super Bowl LIII spotlight: In praise of the Patriots secondary.Ryan Hannable notes Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson will all be free agents, and while it seems unlikely all three will be re-signed, they each expressed a desire to return.Doug Kyed catches up with TE Stephen Anderson who had a humbling season, but knows his time on the Patriots’ practice squad could pay dividends down the road.Kevin Duffy Patriots Notebook: Dante Scarnecchia cringes at praise from Tom Brady.Doug Kyed addresses his Friday Patriots Mailbag: Super Bowl LIII team better than last year’s despite record.Doug Kyed talks about how the Patriots inform players they are switching to entirely new positions.Mike Reiss shares letters to the Hall of Fame selection committee, written by Tom Brady supporting “pain in the ass” Ty Law, and Bill Belichick backing “dominant” Richard Seymour for induction.Logan Mullen passes along James Harrison’s conspiracy about the source of the Patriots rift rumors.Mike Petraglia reports how Willie McGinest defends the wall, takes aim at Patriots haters and explains exactly how New England won their first three Super Bowls.Jerry Thornton (Barstool Sports) I think I have proof John Henry has a Patriots problem.Alex Reimer’s Media Column: Boston Globe whiffs on flimsy hit piece about lack of Patriots buzz. /’Flimsy’ gives it more weight than it deserves.Le Capitaine (Hi-TopTableAthletics) Not a good week for trolls: Whether it’s lack of preparation, or poor execution, trolls have been taking it on the chin.Darren Hartwell hears Travis Kelce placing blame on the coin flip and the overtime rules for the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots. /Boo. Hoo.Russ Goldman (PatsFans) Patriots Fourth and Two Podcast: In depth preview of the Super Bowl, as we breakdown the match-ups, and share the Pats’ keys to victory. (69 min.)NATIONAL NEWSRobert Mays (The Ringer) The Super Bowl LIII game preview: Who wins a clash of coaching masters?Bill Barnwell (ESPN) Super Bowl LIII preview: What you need to know for Patriots-Rams.Tim Rohan (SI) A Patriots Super Bowl run in four acts: III Cordarrelle Patterson Jersey , Masters of the midseason move.Steven Ruiz (ForTheWin) Super Bowl 2019 gameplan: How we’d put Tom Brady in position to win his sixth ring.Steven Ruiz (ForTheWin) Super Bowl 2019 gameplan: Our scheme for disrupting that Rams offense.Doug Farrar (ForTheWin) Super Bowl 2019 gameplan: How we’d run the powerful Rams offense.Doug Farrar (ForTheWin) Super Bowl 2019 gameplan: What we’d do to stop Tom Brady and the Patriots.Brian Costello (NY Post) The Patriots’ defensive grunts who toil outside the spotlight.Kalyn Kahler (SI) The best of Gronk, according to Patriots teammates and Rams.Jenny Vrentas (SI) Devin McCourty using his NFL platform to shine the light on social justice causes.Steve Makinen (NY Post) Slight edge to Patriots vs. common enemies.Kevin Clark (The Ringer) Battle of the blueprints: How to build a Super Bowl contender in the modern NFL.Conor Orr (SI) Ndamukong Suh not afraid of poking the bear: What we learned at media availability.Duncan Day (Ex-bullpen) 2000 Orange Bowl flashback: Brady shines in Michigan’s comeback win. /Kinda random, but cool.Manish Mehta (NY Daily News) Hey, Tom Brady haters ... the Patriots QB is everything you want Sam Darnold to be.Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Matt Ryan: With today’s rules, quarterbacks can play longer than ever.Kevin Seifert (ESPN) Super Bowl LIII officiating guide: What to expect for Patriots-Rams.Andrew Beaton and Ben Cohen (Wall St. Journal) If goat emojis are flooding your Twitter feed, blame Tom Brady.Kalyn Kahler (SI) From farm to field, and every point between: How a cow becomes a football.Staff (SI) Ranking the best Super Bowl party foods.MMQB Staff (SI) Super Bowl LIII Predictions: Winner, Score and MVP.Analysts (NFL.com) Super Bowl LIII predictions: Patriots or Rams in Atlanta?Chris Berman (ESPN) Swami Sez: Super Bowl LIII pick, plus commentary. Pats 31-27.Tadd Haislop (Sporting News) Super Bowl 2019 odds, line: Rams vs. Patriots picks, predictions from SN experts.EXTRACURRICULARShalise Manza Young (Yahoo! Sports) What I meant was... NFL backpedals on Roger Goodell’s claim he spoke to Saints about blown call. John Simerman (New Orleans Advocate) Long-shot Saints fan lawsuit over ‘no-call’ in Rams loss deemed no good, tossed by judge.Staff (New Orleans Advocate) Roger Goodell ‘just lies. It’s mind blowing,’ Zach Strief says after comments on Saints loss.Report (NY Post)NFL considering risky rule change after Saints-Rams debacle.Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA feels more discussions with NFL about sports gambling are needed.Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA: Prepare for 2021 CBA work stoppage you hope doesn’t happen. Going into trade deadline season, I think that we can all agree that the Patriots could use a few bodies on defense and some depth in the backfield or at tight end. Last year, the Patriots’ only deadline move was trading away Jimmy Garoppolo, although they did add midseason talent in other ways by signing Eric Lee off the Bills practice squad and adding veterans Ricky Jean Francois and James Harrison to the defensive line rotation. With their recent restructure of Stephon Gilmore’s contract, the Patriots have about $5.3 million in cap space to work with. Let’s identify which guys the Pats should be looking at with that money, starting first on the offensive side of the ball. Running backsSystem guys: Brandon Bolden, LeGarrette BlountWith Sony Michel sidelined with MCL damage on a knee that was red flagged throughout the draft process, the Patriots are awfully thin at the position. They’re left with James White and Kenjon Barner on the active roster, and Kenneth Farrow on the practice squad. The Patriots need a between-the-tackles back; James White was handling those duties last Sunday strictly out of necessity. Naturally, the first couple of guys that come to mind are the system guys that have had experience in New England. Bolden hasn’t played an offensive snap this year for the Dolphins, buried behind Kenyon Drake and Frank Gore Jeremy Hill Color Rush Jersey , but has been active for every game because of his special teams value. Bolden isn’t a long-term solution, but he’s a guy that can perform all running back duties and continue his role on special teams until Michel and Rex Burkhead are healthy. Toss the Dolphins a late round swap of picks and Bolden is back on the Pats without costing any significant cap space. LeGarrette Blount is a different type of option. I thought he was mostly done last offseason, but he clearly had some left in the tank during his year with the Eagles. Up in Detroit, Kerryon Johnson has emerged as the running back of the future and Theo Riddick earns a lot of playing time in his James White-esque role. Blount’s base salary is just $1.0 million this year, making him a cheap target that could fit. Both Michel and Burkhead’s availability for the rest of the season is up in the air and having a workhorse big back, even if he’s past his prime, could be an option. Underachieving rookie contract guys: Ameer Abdullah, Samaje Perine, Wayne Gallman Jr.These three guys all share the same attributes: running backs on their rookie contract that have been squeezed because of uninspiring play or better options. There’s a solid chance that they are nothing more than scrubs, but a change of scene could revitalize their careers.Starting with Abdullah, he’s a fourth year player, former second-round pick by the Lions who has become lost in the shuffle – half because of injuries and half because of pure ineffectiveness. He’s behind Blount on the depth chart as the RB4 and has just a single carry and five healthy scratches this year. Abdullah was electric at Nebraska, but his shiftiness hasn’t consistently translated to the NFL. He’s not a burner, but his change of direction drills are off the charts. As a 2015 draft pick, he wasn’t picked by Bob Quinn and has no ties to the current Lions front office. He should be available for the same price of a seventh-rounder or a swap of late round picks.Perine, the Redskins’s fourth-round pick in 2017 out of Oklahoma, was quite honestly terrible as a rookie. The guy that many clamored for more carries in college – as Joe Mixon punched his ticket to a featured role – showed limited burst against NFL speed, his main knock coming out of school. However, Perine is still only 23 and his 5’11, 235 lbs frame and ability to make tough yards after contact fits what Bill Belichick wants in a big back. Perine has only been active for two games this year and he is under contract for very little through 2020. Trading for him would be betting that his terrible rookie performance was largely because of the terrible play of the Redskins in general, and I would be okay with the Patriots giving up a late rounder on that bet. The best of the trio, second-year player Wayne Gallman, is a perfectly fine player that has had the misfortune of playing in a four-player running back timeshare his rookie year and behind Saquon Barkley his sophomore season. Gallman hasn’t played more than 17 snaps in a game this year and is coming off a 5-snap game in Atlanta. And on a team with Saquon https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Isaiah-Wynn-Jersey , that’s one Giants coaching decision that I can’t argue with. Gallman is a tall running back with good vision, but he has also had experience as a third down and receiving back (34 catches in 13 games last year) and plays special teams (46.6% in 2017, 27% in 2018). Like Perrine, Gallman isn’t a free agent until after 2020.My opinion: No on Blount, why not on Bolden if he’s available. Pass on Abdullah and Perine, yes on Gallman.Wild CardsTE Cameron BrateBrate, a former undrafted tight end out of Harvard, signed a massive six-year extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. But when you look at the details of the contract, the Bucs really didn’t commit to him long-term. Only his 2018 salary is guaranteed, with all future money only guaranteed for injury. His salary in 2018 consists of mostly a $6.0 million roster bonus, meaning that his base salary – and the amount the Patriots would have to pick up in a trade – is just $1.0 million. Tampa Bay intentionally made his contract very tradable; this would really be a one-year commitment for the Patriots. With the continued integration of 2017 first-rounder O.J. Howard into the offense, Brate’s snaps (53% to 40%) and targets (77 to on pace for 40) have both significantly decreased. Never known for his blocking, it has become harder to justify increasing his playing time now or in the future. Where Brate’s usage hasn’t decreased is in the red zone. Brate has three red zone touchdowns this year on just four targets and his 6’5 frame makes him an attractive option near the goal line. With Jacob Hollister seemingly headed for the Foxborough Flu IR because of nagging injuries, Brate would function as a dangerous red zone option and extra insurance for Rob Gronkowski. TE Jared CookSimilar to Brate, Cook provides a reliable option as a Gronk insurance move tight end at a reasonable cost ($2.5 million base salary) with no future guaranteed money past this year. Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has been in the midst of a fire sale as he tries to reinvent the identity of his team so Cook should definitely be available. OTs Cedric Ogbuehi/Jake Fisher1st and 2nd round picks in 2015 respectively, these Cincinnati Bengals tackles have held down starting jobs during parts of their careers, but were too inconsistent to keep the job for long. Both are free agents after the year and likely aren’t a part of the Bengals’ future. Bringing in one of these guys would represent a chance for Dante Scarnecchia to coach them up and offer insurance against Trent Brown leaving in free agency. In addition, both guys will probably get offers in next year’s free agency just based on draft pedigree and potential alone so the Patriots can expect them to factor into compensatory pick calculations. With Cannon’s health a consistent mystery, both of these guys would represent an upgrade over Cole Croston as the third-string tackle, with the opportunity to compete with LaAdrian Waddle as Cannon’s primary backup. My opinion: I like Brate over Cook. Ogbuehi over Fisher based on ceiling.All-in tradesRB Tevin ColemanLet’s get weird! With all due respect to the hard working people of Atlanta, the Falcons’ season is over, and quite frankly it’s been over since week one when Deion Jones and Keanu Neal were lost for the year with injuries. Having already committed to Devonta Freeman long-term, it’s extremely unlikely that they will pay Coleman market value after the season. Of course the Patriots won’t either Danny Etling Color Rush Jersey , but as a rental, Coleman is clearly the best option available. He’s a big upgrade over a healthy Rex Burkhead and the trio of Coleman, Michel, and White quickly becomes one of the best depth charts in the NFL. Coleman will probably fetch at least a fourth-round pick in return, but when factoring in his compensatory pick contributions, it seems like a price worth paying. With the Patriots on track for three third-round selections in 2019 (the Lions’, their own, the Nate Solder pick), I would gladly pay the price that they paid for Trent Brown and Danny Shelton by swapping one of those picks for a late round pick. And for the Falcons, that’s a better outcome than keeping Coleman in a lost season and then losing him in the offseason for at best a 2020 compensatory fourth-round pick. OT Joe StaleyThe Patriots traded the 28th overall pick that became Joe Staley in 2007, but were probably okay with the outcome. The picks that they got in return turned into Jerod Mayo and the draft pick they traded to Oakland for Randy Moss. Eleven years later, Staley is still starting atleft tackle and playing at a high level. While Trent Brown and the offensive line as a whole has been far from a weakness for the Patriots, bringing in Staley to play left tackle and moving Brown back to his natural right tackle position makes them undoubtably better. If acquired by the Patriots, Staley would be under contract for just $8.05 million against the cap in 2019, a huge bargain by left tackle contract standards. Acquiring Staley would come at a steep cost. His trade value is probably a second-round pick (and the Patriots own two of them), similar to Duane Brown’s cost for Seattle last year. And his hefty 2018 base salary likely means that the Patriots wouldn’t have enough cap space to also acquire an impact defensive player at the deadline. However, I can understand the line of thought that controlling Staley for the rest of 2018 and 2019 at below market value is worth the draft capital and financial commitment. My opinion: Coleman is a hard yes for me, acquiring Staley would be a move that I would hate in the moment but talk myself into liking because I trust the coaching staff. I’m sure many fans skimmed through this article and wondered what the hell I was thinking suggesting offensive additions to a team that has scored 40 points/game since the return of Julian Edelman but struggles to get off the field defensively. Not to worry, later in the week I’ll be breaking down the defensive targets as well. While the Patriots offense is on a roll, there’s always room for improvement. Bill Belichick is never afraid of creating an embarrassment of riches on the offensive side of the ball, and this statement has never been more true as Tom Brady ages and the Patriots’ championship window shrinks.

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