New England Patriots: Myron Pryor

Koppen, Pryor placed on injured reserve

September, 21, 2011
Robert Mayer/US PresswireDan Koppen is carted off on opening night.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots placed center Dan Koppen (leg) and defensive tackle Myron Pryor (shoulder) on injured reserve Wednesday and signed cornerback Phillip Adams and defensive lineman Landon Cohen to take their spots on the 53-man roster.

The 32-year-old Koppen fractured his left ankle late in the first half of New England's season-opening win in Miami. The 25-year-old Pryor, who missed the final seven games of last season due to injury, suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of Sunday's win over the San Diego Chargers.

Initial reports suggested Koppen might be able to return later in the season, but with injuries already mounting and Dan Connolly appearing steady in Koppen's place in Week 2, the team might not have been able to wait to see if Koppen could get back on the field.

Adams adds depth in a secondary where cornerbacks Ras-I Dowling (thigh) and Kyle Arrington (head) were both shaken up in Sunday's win over San Diego. Cohen has potential to fill Pryor's shoes as a rusher in sub packages.

Pryor making the most of his snaps

September, 16, 2011
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireMyron Pryor (91) registered a half sack while helping to bring down Chad Henne on Monday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In an offseason that saw the Patriots beef up their defensive line with a number of big-name additions like Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter, and Mark Anderson, it might have been third-year defensive tackle Myron Pryor who made the biggest splash in Monday's season-opening triumph in Miami.

Pryor played less than 40 percent of the team's total snaps, but got credited with a team-high three quarterback hits, a half sack, and two tackles. But that doesn't quite sum up his impact. According to analytical site Pro Football Focus, which grades players based on overall performance, Pryor graded out as +4.2, which wasn't just tops on the Patriots, it was the second best grade among all defensive tackles in Week 1 (second only to Cleveland's Phil Taylor, but ahead of Baltimore's Haloti Ngata at +3.9, Oakland's Richard Seymour at +3.7, and Haynesworth at +3.5).

Pryor's efforts helped the Patriots -- often scolded for an anemic pass rush a season ago -- grade out as the top pass rushing defense in Week 1 with PFF assigning a +12 rating (only two other teams were +10 or better). By comparison, the Patriots graded out at -0.1 last season, seventh worst in the league.

For Pryor, there's a heightened comfort level with the system that's allowing him to thrive early this season.

"I think just being in the system for a little while, kind of helps slow everything down, it helps you understand much more," he said. "And just being in better shape this year, knowing the system, it's all second nature for me now. Everything moves so much smoother."

New England utilized a defensive rotation in Week 1, often mixing and matching the personnel around defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (line-high 57 snaps). Ellis (40), Carter (35), Anderson (34), Haynesworth (32), Pryor (28), and Love (25) all got quality time (with veteran Mike Wright leaving the game early due to a concussion).

"I think the rotations are great," said Pryor. "Guys go hard for 4-to-6 plays, they get gassed, and you can bring in two guys that can play just as good as them. That really helps out a lot; I'm real happy about that. You don’t feel like you have to be waving the flag because you’re dying out there."

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Quick-hit thoughts on inactives

December, 13, 2009
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Some quick-hit thoughts from the Patriots’ inactive players:

1. Quarterback Tom Brady, who was questionable with right shoulder/right finger/rib injuries, is active as expected.

2. Rookie offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (head) and rookie receiver Julian Edelman (forearm) are active after both did not play in the last two games.

3. Veteran cornerback Shawn Springs, who did not play in the team’s last four games, is active.

4. With interior sub rusher Myron Pryor (chest) out, the Patriots have Titus Adams replacing him on the 45-man game-day roster. With Ron Brace also inactive, the team has Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Jarvis Green, Mike Wright and Adams atop the defensive line depth chart.

5. With special teams captain Sam Aiken inactive, Edelman projects as the No. 3 receiver. Aiken’s special teams duties will likely be split up, with safety Pat Chung one player to watch in some of those key roles.

6. On the offensive line, the Patriots have a different group -- position-wise -- than they have had all season. With Stephen Neal (ankle) and Rich Ohrnberger inactive, the Patriots don’t have a “pure” interior backup. Instead, they have two tackles as backups. In the event that a starting guard or center is injured, the Patriots would likely have to make multiple changes. Nick Kaczur is one option at guard in the event of an emergency.

7. Running back Fred Taylor, who warmed up for about an hour before the game, was deemed not ready for action. It appeared that he was a game-time decision as he continues his recovery from right ankle surgery.

Brady among 8 not at practice

December, 9, 2009
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quarterback Tom Brady was one of eight players not present for the media-access portion of Wednesday's practice. The four players reportedly sent home for being late for Wednesday's 8 a.m. meeting -- Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Derrick Burgess and Gary Guyton -- were also among those absent.

Brady's wife delivered the couple's son Tuesday. Brady was present at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday morning, holding his regularly scheduled press conference.

The other players not spotted at the start of practice were running back Fred Taylor, defensive lineman Myron Pryor and defensive lineman Ty Warren.

Media members were present for stretching and agility drills before departing. With snow and rain in the region, the practice was held inside the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse.

Patriots defensive snap count

November, 23, 2009
A look at snaps played by Patriots defenders in the team’s 31-14 win over the Jets (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

ILB Gary Guyton – 51 of 51 snaps
ILB Jerod Mayo – 51 of 51
S Brandon Meriweather – 51 of 51
CB Jonathan Wilhite – 51 of 51
CB Leigh Bodden – 50 of 51
S Brandon McGowan – 50 of 51
OLB/DE Adalius Thomas – 40 of 51
NT Vince Wilfork – 39 of 51
DE Mike Wright – 37 of 51
DE Ty Warren -- 34 of 52
OLB Tully Banta-Cain – 26 of 51
OLB Pierre Woods – 19 of 51
DE Derrick Burgess – 17 of 51
DT Myron Pryor – 17 of 51
CB Darius Butler – 12 of 51
S James Sanders – 9 of 51
S Pat Chung – 5 of 51
DT Ron Brace – 1 of 51
S Randy Moss – 1 of 51

(Two false start penalties included in snaps)

ANALYSIS: The base alignment was a 3-4, with the Patriots using a 3-2-6 dime (6 defensive backs) in most passing situations and occasionally a 4-2-5 nickel (5 defensive backs). … Butler and Chung were the fifth and sixth defensive backs in the sub package. … When Chung left the game with a head injury, he was replaced by Sanders. … Mayo and Guyton played every snap at inside linebacker, keeping Junior Seau on the sidelines for the third game in a row. … Including penalties, the 51 snaps were the third fewest the defense has played in a game this season (46, vs. Falcons, 49 vs. Titans). … Banta-Cain made the most of his playing time, finishing with five tackles and two sacks in just 26 snaps. … After seeing action solely on early downs, Thomas is playing again in sub packages as he’s had more of a chance to rush the passer in recent weeks. … Woods played on defense for the first time since Oct. 18 against Tennessee, starting at outside linebacker and working in a rotation. … This was the second time this season that Moss has been called upon as a safety in a Hail Mary situation.