Friday, August 12, 2011
Cleaning out the Patriots notebook
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick-hit thoughts the morning after the Patriots' 47-12 preseason opening win over the Jaguars:
1. This was a game that highlighted the Patriots' depth and superior coaching. To have the younger players ready to go, and look as sharp as they did in such a short period, reflects well on the club's talent evaluators and coaching.
2. Now that the Patriots have locked up Logan Mankins, I don't envision them standing pat. I think they're going to continue their aggressive approach in terms of pursuing long-term extensions with players on the team, which is easier to do now that there is labor certainty. Linebacker Jerod Mayo is in the fourth season of the five-year deal he signed as a rookie and it makes sense to think he'd be near the top of their list.
3. The botched point-after-attempt following Taylor Price's 11-yard touchdown was on long snapper Matt Katula, who fired a high snap that sailed over holder Zoltan Mesko's head.
4. In terms of injuries, the Patriots looked to come out of the game fairly clean. The most serious injury was when rookie free agent Christian Cox left the game in the third quarter; he was blindsided on a kickoff return and did not return.
5. The offensive tackles held up particularly well, starting with first-round pick Nate Solder and Steve Maneri. With veteran left tackle Matt Light returning and third-year right tackle Sebastian Vollmer a rising talent, this looks like one of the more promising areas on the team's roster.