AFC East: Justin Green

Picked-up pieces around Patriots

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Picked-up pieces from around the New England Patriots on Monday:

Ridley not happy with his start. Running back Stevan Ridley didn’t sugarcoat his answer when asked if he was pleased with his work in the first two games of the season. “Absolutely not,” he responded. “I don’t think anybody on this team is happy with where they want to be, starting with myself. I definitely didn’t get off to the start I wanted. I’ll man up and say that.” When asked what he’d like to do better, Ridley shot it straight. “Holding the ball, man,” he said, stating the obvious.

Practice players of the week. As has been the norm in recent years, the Patriots named their first practice players of the week, an honor given to those deemed to have best helped the team in the days leading up to a victory. Those players wear black jerseys during practice, which makes them stand out, and the initial practice players of the week are quarterback Ryan Mallett, practice squad-safety Kannoris Davis and practice-squad cornerback Justin Green.

Kelly, Arrington draw big crowds. In addition to Ridley, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly and cornerback Kyle Arrington were swarmed by reporters as they entered the locker room after practice. It also looked like rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld (hamstring) and veteran offensive lineman Will Svitek (right knee) were making progress in their recoveries.

Third down, red zone and Buccaneers prep. A big part of practice was dedicated to third down and the red zone. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came up big defensively in the red zone in their loss Sunday to the New Orleans Saints, with a solid goal-line stand at the end of the second half.

Mayo Bowl on the schedule. Linebacker Jerod Mayo (Instagram photo posted by Patriots) was hosting his fourth annual Mayo Bowl at Kings in nearby Dedham at 6 p.m. As usual, there was a red-carpet entrance, with many of Mayo’s teammates scheduled to attend, including Vince Wilfork (Vine video posted by Patriots).

Patriots sign five to practice squad

September, 1, 2013
9/01/13
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The New England Patriots announced the following five players have been signed to the practice squad: LB Ja'Gared Davis, S Kanorris Davis, CB Justin Green, DL Marcus Forston and LB Jeff Tarpinian.

The Patriots claimed Ja'Gared Davis off waivers last week from the Texans. The other four players were with the team in training camp.

The team has three open spots on the eight-man practice squad.

Patriots announce 13 cuts

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
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The New England Patriots announced Saturday that the following 13 players have been released:

DE Jermaine Cunningham
LB Ja'Gared Davis
S Kannoris Davis
DL Marcus Forston
DE Justin Francis
CB Justin Green
OL Chris McDonald
P Zoltan Mesko
DB Stephon Morris
WR Quentin Sims
LB Jeff Tarpinian
QB Tim Tebow
RB George Winn

Of the group, Tarpinian is the one new player who had previously not been reported to be released.

More analysis to come.

Patriots eligible for practice squad

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
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Later today, the New England Patriots will finalize the first iteration of their 53-man roster. But the player puzzle doesn’t end there, as the team will begin constructing its practice squad, which can be up to eight players, on Sunday.

It would be no surprise for the Patriots to bring aboard players waived by other teams as members of their practice squad, but the unit will also likely include players waived by the team Saturday.

Below is a look at all current Patriots who still have practice-squad eligibility:

P Ryan Allen
DT Armond Armstead (on reserve/PUP)
LB Steve Beauharnais
DE Jake Bequette
WR Josh Boyce
DE Michael Buchanan
LB Jamie Collins
LB Ja'Gared Davis
S Kanorris Davis
WR Aaron Dobson
DT Marcus Forston
DB Justin Green
DT Cory Grissom (on injured reserve)
S Duron Harmon
WR Mark Harrison (on reserve/PUP)
G Josh Kline
C/G Chris McDonald
CB Logan Ryan
WR Quentin Sims
TE Zach Sudfeld
LB Jeff Tarpinian
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
DT Joe Vellano
RB George Winn
OL Markus Zusevics (on injured reserve)
Entering the final 15 of the 2013 preseason, the Patriots trail the Giants 20-14. Passing along some quick-hit notes and observations following the third quarter.

1. Tebow time. Tim Tebow was under center for the Patriots to start the third quarter, relieving Ryan Mallett after a productive first half. We suspect Tebow will play the balance of the game. He needed just two throws to surpass his completion total from last week, while also taking two sacks on his first drive (his offensive line did him no favors). He finished the quarter with those three completions and four sacks taken.

2. Notable veterans still in. It's tough to say with conviction what veterans playing into the third quarter of the final preseason game means, but we nonetheless made note of a couple who remained in the game. On offense, tight end Daniel Fells received reps, while safety Adrian Wilson was a noticeable defender still on the field. This could be an indication that they're on the roster bubble.

3. Punting competition over? As a sign that the punting competition may have concluded, it was veteran Zoltan Mesko who took all of the first third quarter punt for the Patriots, and he's taken all five of six thus far tonight. Mesko has been the more consistent performer over undrafted rookie Ryan Allen throughout the preseason.

4. Washington muffs return. Veteran Leon Washington had an explosive 43-yard punt return earlier in the game, but his fortunes turned late in the third quarter when he muffed a bouncing punt in his own territory. The normally sure-handed Washington likely regrets trying to handle the punt, as he could have allowed it to roll to safety.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties in the third quarter: Cornerback Justin Green (illegal hands to the face, declined) and safety Kanorris Davis (illegal participation).

Looking closer at cornerbacks

August, 29, 2013
8/29/13
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The Patriots' release of Ras-I Dowling on Wednesday opens a spot on the cornerback depth chart. In previous projections, I had Dowling making the team, in part because the salary-cap charge to cut him was greater than the salary-cap charge to keep him.

Dowling projected as a No. 4 or 5 option at the position, with the chance to elevate up the depth chart if he could stay healthy.

Dowling
Dowling
If I had to make an educated guess on why the Patriots ultimately cut Dowling, who was one of the club's 10 offseason award winners, it's likely tied to health. Dowling hasn't played this preseason after coming up hobbled in an early training camp practice, and there sometimes comes a point when the team and player just can't get on the same page in terms of when the player is ready to return. Sort of like what we saw with cornerback Leigh Bodden a few years ago.

So now let's look at what's left at the position, with our projected depth chart and a quick-hit thought:

Aqib Talib (6-1, 205) -- Plays on the left side and can be used to sometimes shadow a top receiver as the club's top cover man.

Kyle Arrington (5-10, 190) -- Because of injuries and legal uncertainty surrounding Alfonzo Dennard, he is the clear-cut No. 2 right now; can move inside to the slot in nickel.

Logan Ryan (5-11, 195) -- Third-round draft choice from Rutgers draws some similarities to Arrington -- physical, hard-nosed, smart and plays inside and outside.

Dennard (5-10, 200) -- Played well as the No. 2 option last season, but hasn't been on the field much in training camp, and also has legal issues swirling.

Marquice Cole (5-10, 195) -- Five-year veteran is considered a top locker-room presence; on the field, he's primarily a slot option who can be a factor on special teams. Viewed by some as being on the bubble.

Justin Green (5-11, 195) -- Undrafted free agent from Illinois has practice-squad potential.

Stephon Morris (5-8, 190) -- Undrafted free agent from Penn State was re-signed last week after suffering an injury.

One other factor to consider is that Devin McCourty (5-10, 195) could sometimes factor into the cornerback mix. While he's spent the majority of his time at safety, he has position flexibility.

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