Patriots’ Wilfork eager for joint practicesBy Jimmy Golen
The Associated Press | August 06,2013AP Photo
Members of the New England Patriots take part in a practice session last week in Foxborough, Mass.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has had enough of the same old faces over the first nine years of his career and the first two weeks of training camp.
“Any time you can go against someone other than your teammates, it’s always a good measurement of where you’re at,” he said after practice on Monday before the Patriots left for Philadelphia, where they will hold joint practices and play a preseason game against the Eagles. “Going out and practicing with them and then going out to play against them, it’s going to be a pretty good indicator of where we are as a team and as individuals.”
The Patriots practiced in shorts and shoulder pads on Monday, working on situational plays like Hail Marys and hard counts. They were scheduled to fly to Philadelphia in the afternoon for two days of joint practices.
The exhibition season opens on Friday night against the Eagles. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the coaches had not decided whether quarterback Tom Brady will play in Friday night’s game. Brady typically plays about two series in the first preseason game, though in 2011 he did not play at all.
“We really haven’t even talked about that,” he said. “We’ll have those discussions as we get closer to the game.”
Belichick said the joint practices will help the Patriots see some different things — and former Oregon coach Chip Kelly’s offense is more different than most. With the Ducks, Kelly played a fast-paced offense that averaged 83 plays per game in 2012 and ranked in the top 10 in total plays twice in four years.
“We’ll have to make adjustments down there,” Belichick said. “They’re running a new coaching staff, new scheme, new system; they have some new players. So we’re not really doing a whole lot of scouting and preparation for them. We’ll just see what we get out there. We’ll have to react to it and adjust to it, but that will be good for us as well.”
Wilfork said the Eagles “have a bunch of talent” and said Kelly gives them a new look.
“We’re looking forward to having the chance to go down and work against a good football team, a young team, a new head coach that’s coming in with a little swagger that he’s bringing from college,” he said. “We’ll see where we’re at.”
Also Monday, the Patriots signed two rookie free agents to their roster.
Offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch, 23, started all 25 games at center as a junior and senior at Penn State and was a team captain for the East in the East-West Shrine game. Mike Zupancic, 23, was a three-year letter-earner as the long snapper at Eastern Michigan.MORE IN Wire Sports
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1935, New York gangster, bootlegger, ruthless murderer Dutch Schultz, born Arthur Flegenheimer to Jewish-German immigrant parents, and three associates gunned down, killed, at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, N.J.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Acclaimed illusionist & escape artist Harry Houdini, performing in Montreal in 1926, is sucker-punched by a McGill University student. Houdini doesn't know he has peritonitis - the punches are possible factor in his Oct. 31 death.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Police Chief James Baker to resign from the force at the end of the year to take a job in Washington, D.C., jury remains out in teacher killing murder trial, Rec Dept. releases report on what's wrong with White's Pool.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Well diggers in Cardiff, New York, find what is thought to be the petrified body of a 10-foot-tall man, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, which becomes a popular roadside attraction until proven to be a fake.