In The Red Zone

Well the day after the game was kind of busy as the New England Patriots reportedly worked out WR Mark Clayton, former Washington and Denver RB Clinton Portis and former Oakland and Boston College LB Ricky Brown today.  There is no word yet if any of the players were offered a contract with the club but word is that Portis showed up seriously out of shape and that was after losing 25 pounds the last two weeks.

Also this afternoon free agent S James Ihedigbo has reportedly signed with the team per his Twitter account.  The Northampton MA native and UMass product signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and played with them through last season.  He is seen as a back up safety and a special teams player and will basically replace Bret Lockett who got hurt in the game on Thursday.  He adds depth to safety, which the team has been searching for the last few weeks. Oh and yes he grew up a Patriots fan.

The team also announced that undrafted free agent LB Christian Cox, a rookie out of Utah, has been placed on the season ending IR with a neck injury.

The Patriots will hold their last open to public training camp session tomorrow at the training field outside Gillette Stadium.  The practice will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the Patriots experience will be from noon to 4 p.m. For all the latest training camp information go to or call 508.549.0041.

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Head coach Bill Belichick had his day after post mortem conference call.  A few of the nuggets from it include talk about the offense in the red zone.  “ Overall we had a pretty good night in the red area and on third down.  I think the score is a little bit deceiving I think in the first half we still made a lot of…there’s a lot of things we need to do better.  In the second half, I think there were a lot of good things out there but a lot of those were negated by a few bad things.”

“The first half probably wasn’t quite as good as it looked the second half probably wasn’t quite as bad as it looked.”

On the pressure on the Tampa Bay quarterbacks he said that, “They had about three different groups on the offensive line.  A couple times, when we pressured, it looked like they just had a breakdown in the assignments.  They just didn’t block a guy.”

On the injuries to Lockett and Danny Woodhead and whether they would miss any significant time Belichick said, “No, I don’t have any updates.”

One NFL executive said at half time last night, “That was one of the biggest beatdowns I’ve ever seen in a preseason game. Yeah they’re pretty good.” Another executive for a NFL team said, “If they stay healthy they’re going to be tough to handle, absolutely.  They’re better right now than they were last season.”

If you could see the grin on my face right now.

This team is deep, scary deep.  At most nearly every position, the second and third team players could be starters on a lot of other teams.  And this is a team that has not only overhauled nearly the entire defensive line but they’ve basically switched from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 base defense and have done it seamlessly.

Oh and I noted in the game recap last night defensive end Andre Carter was virtually unblockable and because of that there’s a really good linebacker named Jerod Mayo who was able to run wild.  I mean “bitches be running wild”, kind of wild.  Mayo’s line from last night while playing the Will (weak side) linebacker were 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries and 3 passes defensed.  And that was pretty much just the first half.  That folks is Andre Tippett-like.

Follow Steve on Twitter @djstevem