Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day weekend: Calm before the storm

BY NICK ST. DENIS

Hello everyone.

The blog will be in standby mode over this holiday weekend, but we'll be back in action Monday evening and kicking it in full gear for the start of the regular season this coming week.

We defer to our Tweets From the Beats page to keep updated on all the happenings around the division until then.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Patriots' Easley to finish preseason without a snap

BY EDITOR

The New England Patriots' first round draft pick will finish the 2014 preseason without taking an "NFL" snap.

According to The Boston Herald, defensive lineman Dominique Easley won't participate in the Patriots' preseason finale against the New York Giants, but the team is hopeful he'll be a go for the season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Easley is nursing a recovered ACL, which he tore last September.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Belichick: Mankins decision 'one of the most difficult'

BY NICK ST. DENIS

Logan Mankins has been a staple of the New England Patriots' offense for a good part of the past decade, second to quarterback Tom Brady.

Tuesday, the team pulled that staple.

Less than two days after getting younger and cheaper on the defensive front, New England did the same on the other side of the ball, trading the longtime Pro Bowl guard to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick.

Bills pick up pair of Jordans to fill QB, punter spots

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

A day after ripping the backup quarterback crew for its play so far this summer, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone did more than just talk.

After a string of disappointing outings in the team's first four preseason games, Buffalo parted ways with third-year signal-caller Thad Lewis Tuesday, replacing him with veteran Jordan Palmer.

Lewis, who went 2-3 for the Bills last season filling in for E.J. Manuel, completed only 50 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions in his four appearances this season. Palmer, who's seen even less time as a starter in his seven years in the league, was cut by the Chicago Bears Sunday.

Brackett, Binns among waives as Dolphins cut to 75

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The Miami Dolphins got their roster down to the league-mandated 75 Tuesday, setting three aside and sending away eight others.

Defensive tackle A.J. Francis, running back Mike Gillislee and tight end Arthur Lynch were placed on the reserve/injured list.

Meanwhile tight end Brett Brackett, cornerback Steven Clarke, defensive end Rakim Cox, defensive tackle Cory Grissom, center Tyler Larsen and wide receivers Armon Binns and Ryan Spadola were waived.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pears helping Henderson as pair locks up right side

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

They've only been working together for a short amount of time, but a week was all coach Doug Marrone needed to nail down his pairing on the right side of the offensive line.

Veteran Erik Pears, the team's right tackle last season, will move inside to the guard spot, while rookie Seantrel Henderson has secured the starting tackle position, according to the Buffalo Bills coach Monday.

Pears, a nine-year pro, is excited by move, saying that despite some small tweaks he'll make to his game, he's ultimately "just happy to get work."

Patterson suspended indefinitely as Jets sort it out

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The New York Jets have suspended cornerback Dimitri Patterson "indefinitely" until they can figured out what the heck happened over the weekend.

Patterson went AWOL for two days, failing to show up to Gang Green's preseason game Friday night against the New York Giants nor contact the Jets higher-ups Saturday to tell them why.

General manager John Idzik and coach Rex Ryan, however, met with Patterson Sunday night to listen to his explanation for his absence. Apparently, they're not done listening.

Hopkins, Wingo among Bills' cuts to get roster to 75

BY DAN BEGNOCHE

NFL rosters must be down to 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Buffalo Bills took care of business a day early.

Headlined by the departure of kicker Dustin Hopkins and running back Ronnie Wingo, the team cut 11 players Monday to get down to the league mandate prior to its final preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Lions.

Dolphins add D-tackle, kicker to late-summer roster

BY EDITOR

The Miami Dolphins announced Monday they have signed defensive tackle Cory Grissom and kicker Jake Rogers.

The 6-2, 316-pound Grissom joins the Dolphins after spending offseason time with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year and reserve/injured time with the New England Patriots last season.

Grissom, an undrafted free agent out of South Florida, appeared in 46 collegiate games, in which he posted 105 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the Bulls.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kelly, Smith, Anderson depart from Patriots' D-front

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The New England Patriots are looking to get younger and cheaper on the defensive front.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday the team is set to release defensive linemen Tommy Kelly and Will Smith, as well as linebacker James Anderson.

The 10-year veteran Kelly played in five games last season with the Patriots before sustaining a season-ending torn ACL.

Ford, Dowling headline Jets' latest roster cuts

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The New York Jets announced Sunday they have released six players--including receiver Jacoby Ford and cornerback Ras-I Dowling--to reach the NFL's 75-player roster limit.

The next cut deadline is Saturday, when the team needs to be down to 53 players.

Ford, a fourth-round pick in 2010 by the Oakland Raiders, was signed this offseason as a free agent  and totaled just three receptions for 19 yards and three kickoff returns for a 23-yard average in three preseason games with the Jets.

Patterson goes AWOL for a bit but returning to Jets

BY NICK ST. DENIS

New York Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson didn't show up for work Friday night when his team took on the New York Giants, and the team hadn't heard from Patterson all weekend.

However, he's apparently making his way back.

After both general manager John Idzik and coach Rex Ryan spoke on the matter, Patterson' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reportedly confirmed that the veteran defensive back will return to the team Sunday.

In dress rehearsal, no shame in run game for Miami

BY NICK ST. DENIS

There were some concerns with the Miami Dolphins' passing game Saturday night in the team's preseason bout with the Dallas Cowboys. The run game, however, was problem-free.

Miami tallied 200 yards on 35 carries via the ground, with most of the workload going to new Dolphin Knowshon Moreno, who is getting back up to speed after spending a chunk of the summer on the sideline to injury.

“It was just good to be back out there, adjusting to the things that are happening," Moreno said after the game, via the Sun Sentinel. "Defensively things are moving real fast so you’ve got to adjust to those things on the run and go at it.

Lights, Cowboys get in way of Dolphins' pass offense

BY NICK ST. DENIS

The Dallas Cowboys had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL in 2013. For at least one preseason evening, it looked better.

Dallas held Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill to 13-of-21 passing with one interception and no touchdowns Saturday night in the teams' third preseason game, during the standard NFL dress rehearsal week.

Tannehill also missed receiver Mike Wallace on a--you guessed it--deep pass, though coach Joe Philbin attributed that particular blunder to the conditions.

Dolphins announce Dan Marino added as advisor

BY EDITOR

The Miami Dolphins announced Sunday that Dan Marino has been named special advisor.

“Dan is and will always be an important part of the Miami Dolphins and we are excited to get him involved in a more formal way,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said.

“Dan is unquestionably one of the greatest players in NFL history and his enthusiasm and passion for the Dolphins is inspiring to everyone here."