In The Red Zone

Well it was an eventful weekend in Foxboro and around the NFL as all the teams had to have their 53-man rosters set by 6 p.m. on Saturday.  The Patriots did that with their original roster of 53, that lasted all of a few hours.

The reason for that was they signed two players and then had to release two and all this was after spending most of the day Friday and Saturday trying to determine who the last 19 or so players who were going to get released.

Then Sunday was spent reviewing the waiver wire and trying to put together a practice squad.

But they weren’t done and late Sunday night they signed former Green Bay OL Nick McDonald to the practice squad.

On Monday morning they filled out their practice squad roster with a couple other additions.

Here is the video of Bill Belichick’s Monday press conference with the local Boston media.  He talks about Brandon Meriweather, Josh Barrett, Brian Waters and putting together a practice squad and more.  Transcript Only.

DT Vince Wilfork is excited for 2011 and looking forward to a great season.

Audio of the Monday locker room interview with TE Aaron Hernandez.

To continue reading, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

With several new players coming in and others leaving the old uniform number shuffle took place on Monday.

New RG Brian Waters is planning on starting in Miami.

Former Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards coached Waters for three seasons and he says this is a really good move for New England.

The Kansas City Chiefs claimed OL Steve Maneri, who was the odd man out when the Patriots signed Waters, off waivers.  So the Belichick-Pioli pipeline continues.

For those wondering why Ochocinco and others may have some difficulty learning the Patriots system here’s a good look at why.

Health will be the key at tight end with only two on the roster.

Here are some unique notes on the Patriots players I found when looking up their hometowns.

  • The Patriots have three foreign-born players Zoltan Mesko (Romania) Sebastian Vollmer (Germany) and Patrick Chung (Jamaica).
  • When searching Zoltan Mesko on Wikipedia the first thing that comes up is a Romanian Nazi of the same name.
  • The team has two players, Devin McCourty and Rob Gronkowski, with siblings playing in the NFL.  If Jerod Mayo’s brother hadn’t been cut they’d have had three.
  • Three players are sons of former NFL players.  Matthew Slater’s dad Jackie was a Hall of Fame lineman with the Los Angeles Rams and Andre Carter’s dad Rubin played in Denver as part of the Bronco’s “Orange Crush” defense.  Practice Squad WR Kerry Taylor’s father, Keith, played 10 NFL seasons and his uncle is former San Francisco 49ers WR John Taylor.
  • The team has two native New Englanders in Aaron Hernandez (Bristol, CT) and James Ihedigbo (Northampton MA).
  • Counting eight practice squad players the team has players from 28 states and 4 countries.
  • The Patriots have the most players from California with 8; followed by Ohio with 6; and Georgia and Florida with 4 each.
  • The school most represented on the Patriots roster is Florida with four players, while Tennessee has three. Virginia, California, Fresno State, Michigan, Arizona State and Purdue all have two.
  • LB Tracy White and former UConn women’s basketball player and current WNBA player Kalana Greene share the same hometown of St. Stephen, SC.
  • For Libby Crews, a friend of Sox & Dawgs, the Patriots have one player from Mississippi State (Kyle Love), one from Ole Miss (BenJarvus Green-Ellis) and two Mississippi natives, Stevan Ridley is from Natchez, MS and Stephen Gostkowski is from Madison, MS, on the roster.
  • 14 players from the SEC; 10 from PAC 12 schools; 6 players are from Big Ten schools; 5 from ACC schools; 4 from the Big East; 1 from Big 12 schools; 1 Independent and 20 from non BCS conference schools (schools as slotted in their current conferences).

Authors Note: With the Labor Day holiday on Monday Tom Brady’s “Patriots Monday” appearance on WEEI-AM 850 in Boston was pushed back to Tuesday morning so it wasn’t included in this week’s “In The Red Zone”.

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