FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Cleaning out the Patriots’ notebook with some quick-hit thoughts and soundbites:
1. Who’s not expected to play. Based on practice this week, the players not expected to play Thursday night against the Rams are receiver Julian Edelman, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, tight end Aaron Hernandez, outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, inside linebacker Eric Alexander, receiver Darnell Jenkins and Matthew Slater, and safeties Bret Lockett and Josh Barrett.
2. Running back snaps breakdown. If Laurence Maroney doesn’t get extended work Thursday night against the Rams as part of the preseason rotation adopted by the coaching staff, it could be a sign of him slipping on the depth chart. Through two preseason games, the snaps played by running backs look like this: BenJarvus Green-Ellis 37, Sammy Morris 25, Fred Taylor 20, Chris Taylor 17, Thomas Clayton 15, Laurence Maroney 12, Kevin Faulk 9.
3. Maroney sings familiar tune. In a repeat of words heard in recent years, running back Laurence Maroney addressed those who say he hasn’t met expectations. “There are a lot of critics out there still, a lot of naysayers, a lot of doubters, [saying] ‘This has to be Maroney’s best year. He has to come out here and show it.’ I laugh at it and I just go out there and work hard, and prove to everyone why they took me in the first round,” he said. “I know how good I am. I know the type of player I am and how much I can bring to the team.”
4. Score one for Al Davis vs. Patriots. From the “Tuck Rule” to the 2007 Randy Moss trade, Raiders owner Al Davis has been on the short end of the stick in his dealings with the Patriots of late. But he’s making a bit of a comeback. Consider that he got third- and fifth-round picks from the Patriots for pass-rusher Derrick Burgess last year, then flipped the third to Cleveland for pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley (4 sacks in preseason action Saturday) this year.
5. No jersey number for Josh Barrett. In a sign that safety Josh Barrett might not be part of the team’s plans this year – he was claimed on waivers from the Broncos, who were attempting to place him on injured reserve – the team has yet to issue him a jersey number. Barrett required shoulder surgery and it looks like the team claimed him with 2011 in mind.