LeGarrette Blount gained 88 yards on 18 carries Sunday — yet another reminder that he is an excellent November/December/January back. The Patriots are wonderfully equipped to survive despite a rash of injuries thanks to this pair. Martellus Bennett is one of the best run-blocking tight ends in football and the offense will reinvent itself over the next few weeks as they are prone to do under Belichick.
5. Not to belabor the point on Fisher, but the Rams have not had a winning season since 2004 and will be lucky to eclipse five wins this season. With games against the Falcons and Seahawks (at Seattle) coming down the pike, this appears to be turning into the franchise’s worst season since 2009. This past spring and summer, the Rams went by the moving playbook. They made a splash in the draft and they pumped themselves up on Hard Knocks. They declined, however, to make the one move that could have mattered. Moving a team has side effects on players that are impossible for us to understand, but if the coach cannot negate some of that through his actions, words or on-field mastery, why not search elsewhere? The Rams have next to nothing going for them and, absent an excellent offensive coordinator hire this offseason that could inject some life into this team, we cannot imagine Fisher is the man to alter their current path.
Mike Reiss spotted the developing situation during a recent visit to Foxborough. The ESPN reporter noticed that the team does not have a natural fit for their upcoming 2016 Super Bowl champion banner.
Banners heralding titles for the 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2014 seasons neatly bookend each end of the large “Gillette Stadium” signage above the south end zone. There is no free real estate for banner No. 5. I repeat: NO FREE REAL ESTATE FOR BANNER FIVE. Dispatched Reiss: “When this was mentioned, it was relayed that the club is considering design plans on how to proceed with the fifth Super Bowl banner.”
While neither destination would have been an awful choice for a championship-seeking late-career veteran whose prime years were gobbled up by Jeff Fisher in St. Louis, New England was always the obvious choice here.
Long was the perfect Patriots defensive player — versatile and heady, with the ability to rush the passer and cheap jerseys and do all the little things well. His approximate value this season, according to Pro Football Reference, was higher than it’s been since an 8.5 sack season back in 2011 with the Rams.
The New England Patriots signed the twin brothers Saturday after the 2017 NFL Draft, making for an interesting storyline for the club’s rookie minicamp in May. Cody Hollister confirmed his NFL destination via Twitter, as did his brother.
Wideout Cody Hollister (6-foot-4, 209 pounds) played in 12 games at Arkansas last year, starting four. He caught 10 passes for 140 yards and broke two rushing attempts for 48 yards. Tight end Jacob Hollister (6-4, 239) caught 32 passes for 515 yards and seven touchdowns at Wyoming, from one of college football’s top quarterbacks in Josh Allen.
For the Bills, losing another promising player to the Patriots, after utilizing what many believed was a too-low tender, will go down as another strike against general manager Doug Whaley among frustrated Buffalo fans.
The Bills have second-year runner Jonathan Williams behind McCoy and could add another tailback this weekend in a draft deep at the position. They also signed former Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert this offseason.
Michael has served as an object of fascination for fans and fantasy heads alike. After being dumped by Seattle, Dallas and Washington, the athletic back finally shone bright in late-2015 during a second stint with the Seahawks. He carried his productive play into last season before the ‘Hawks dumped him again in November.
He was just a body in Green Bay, but it’s fair to wonder what Michael could become in New England — a wonderland for castoff backs. That said, the Patriots are bloated at the position with Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee ticketed for action alongside passing-down specialists Dion Lewis and James White. We’ll find out what the Pats are up to soon enough.