New England Patriots: Mark Harrison

Five Patriots to follow up on in OTAs

May, 28, 2014
May 28
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Media members will be on hand to watch the Patriots in their third organized team activity of the week, on Friday.

With this in mind, here are five players who were limited in some form in 2013 that will pique our interest to see how they've progressed:

[+] EnlargeDanny Amendola
AP Photo/Charles KrupaDanny Amendola thrived in OTAs last year, but struggled with a groin injury during the season.
WR Danny Amendola -- He looked quick and decisive and appeared to be the best receiver on the field in this setting last year. But a groin injury in training camp that was re-aggravated in the 2013 regular-season opener knocked him off course. Can he regain that early momentum?

DT Armond Armstead -- The Patriots signed him from the Canadian Football League last year and had high hopes for him, with Bill Belichick at one point referring to him as a top-3 player in the rotation before a surprise infection prior to training camp landed him on season-ending injured reserve. If Armstead is healthy, he could help provide an interior pass rush.

WR Josh Boyce -- The high 2013 fourth-round draft choice from Texas Christian came out as a junior and this is considered a big year for his development after he played just 14.1 percent of the offensive snaps last season. Boyce, who is considered a smart player, talked about the mental challenge as a rookie and a full year in the team's system should help him.

WR Mark Harrison -- At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, the former undrafted free agent from Rutgers fits a different physical profile than the rest of the team's receivers. We still think he'd be a possible fit as a move tight end, but Bill Belichick said the plans are to keep him at receiver for now after he missed his rookie season with a foot injury.

TE D.J. Williams -- A 2011 fifth-round draft choice of the Packers, the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Williams projects as the top "move" tight end on the roster at this time. He played in 11 offensive snaps for the Patriots last season, so this is a great opportunity for him to show he's capable.

What we learned from coaches' calls

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
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Every Tuesday during the regular season, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDanels hold conference calls in the 12 p.m. hour.

Here are some of the things we learned today:

Armstead
1. Discussions on Armstead and Harrison coming: Defensive tackle Armond Armstead (non-football illness list) and wide receiver Mark Harrison (non-football injury list) are eligible to begin practicing for the first time this week, and Belichick was asked if that will happen. "That's one of the things that we'll be talking about later on today," he said. "[Those are] some of the things that we do on Tuesdays, in addition to game planning for the Jets, we talk about our roster [and] find out what the expected practice availability is for the players." It's hard to imagine Belichick doesn't have a feel for whether either player will begin practicing; this is probably a case where he just doesn't prefer to reveal the information.

2. Jets as a "game-plan" team: One week after facing Rob Ryan's Saints defense, the Patriots now get Rex Ryan's Jets defense. Asked the common threads between the twin brothers, Belichick focused on how each is a game-plan specific coach. "What they decide to do in one game could be dramatically different from what they do in another game," he said. Opposing coaches have often said the same thing about the Patriots.

3. Practicing the two-minute drill: Belichick was asked about the team's practice sessions working on the two-minute drill, and he revealed that it usually happens once per week, and "We usually do it without timeouts so we can emphasize the hardest situation, which is the continual play and keeping the ball moving and stopping the clock either getting out of bounds or spiking the ball so that we create the type of situation that had in the New Orleans. That's really as tough as it gets, where you have to go down the field with just over a minute and no timeouts so you don't have any artificial way to stop it."

4. Collie making an impression: Receiver Austin Collie came through in the clutch for the Patriots on the game-winning drive, and he's made an impression on McDaniels. "I think it is probably uncommon, and Austin is impressive," he said. "With the time we've had to spend with him so far, he's really working hard to learn our offense and our system, which is new to him. He is a player that adds veteran experience to our group. He knows how to play and handle himself during the course of the games. He knows how to handle himself during the week of practice, and really he's a guy that has an opportunity to carve out a good role for himself and he's got flexibility that allows us to move him. We maneuvered him a little bit, not on that two-minute drive because we were under the gun in terms of time, but if he goes in there on another play during the course of the game when we had a couple guys go down, we switched some things on the sideline and he showed poise and composure in a situation where certainly we were under a lot of pressure. That was really his first exposure to playing in a game for us. So I have a lot of respect for him, and he's done nothing but try to work his tail off to learn our offense and help us any way that he can. We look forward to future contributions from Austin."

5. Getting ready to stop the run: Will this be a week in which the season-ending injury to defensive tackle Vince Wilfork especially hurts the Patriots? The Jets like to run the ball and the Patriots seem to be expecting it. "I definitely think that's the heart and soul of what they do," Patricia said. "They certainly provide many different attack points in the run game, whether it's the traditional run game that they can line up in two-back sets and pound the ball downhill, which they like to do, or their one-back run game, or incorporating their different packages, whether it's the running back taking the direct snap in the Wildcat formations or the quarterback in the shotgun 'triple look' being able to run from different packages there too."

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)

Patriots not spotted in warm-ups

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
7:04
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DETROIT -- The Patriots have 84 players on their current roster, but a number of them won't be in action tonight when the team takes on the Detroit Lions in their third preseason game.

The following Patriots were not spotted during warm-ups, a sign that they likely won't suit up for the game.

Wide receiver Kamar Aiken
Wide receiver Danny Amendola
Defensive lineman Armond Armstead (on NFI list)
Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon
Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard
Cornerback Ras-I Dowling
Safety Nate Ebner
Tight end Daniel Fells
Defensive end Justin Francis
Tight end Rob Gronkowski (on PUP)
Wide receiver Mark Harrison (on NFI list)
Defensive back Brandon Jones

On the other end of the spectrum, both safety Devin McCourty and guard Dan Connolly are dressed for the first time this preseason. Each underwent offseason shoulder surgery that has limited them thus far in training camp.

Patriots not expected to play

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
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Tonight marks the third preseason game for the Patriots, which almost always represents the closest thing to regular-season action, as teams typically play their starters for substantially longer than other preseason games.

It would come as no surprise to see Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork on the field into the third quarter, while there are other players whom we aren't expecting to see at all, highlighted below.

Non-football Injury List/Physical Unable to Perform Players
TE Rob Gronkowski (PUP)
WR Mark Harrison (NFI)
DT Armond Armstead (NFI)

Players who were absent from practice this week
WR Danny Amendola
DE Jermaine Cunningham
CB Brandon Jones

Players who were limited during Tuesday's practice
DE Justin Francis
OT/G Marcus Cannon
TE Daniel Fells
CB Ras-I Dowling
WR Kamar Aiken

A trio of others to keep an eye on includes defensive backs Devin McCourty and Alfonzo Dennard, as well as offensive lineman Dan Connolly. McCourty and Connolly have yet to play in a preseason game (both are recovering from offseason shoulder surgery), but they were on the field for practice this week.

Additionally, McCourty shed the red non-contact jersey he had worn throughout much of camp. Dennard, meanwhile, has been limited of late, but could return to action after missing the team's second preseason game.

If the 11 players who we expect not to play in the game do in fact sit out, the Patriots will have 73 players in uniform for the contest. That total could shrink if McCourty, Dennard or Connolly is once again unable to suit up.

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