BOSTON (CBS) – The Patriots’ first preseason game is in the books, so let’s hand out the Gold Stars and the Penalty Flags for the game.
LeGarrette Blount was almost an after thought when people were putting together the roster. On Friday night, he put himself in the conversation with 101 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. The big back had a big run almost every time he touched the ball. It was unexpected but it was something to take notice. Blount gets a Gold Star and, just maybe, he moved himself up the depth chart.
Stevan Ridley did a couple of things on Friday night that people need to take notice. He got the Pats off to a great start with a 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. He set the tone and the rest of the running back group followed. Afterwards, he was in the press conference room and he gave his thoughts on Tim Tebow. Ridley said that Tim is a winner and he could care less what everybody says about him. Ridley said Tim has come in and kept quiet, and won the respect of the team. That type of team love is something strong to see in this team. He gets a gold star.
Tom Brady was Tom Brady. His numbers were expected but all week long he did a great job of getting the young receivers involved. Brady was on all week in the joint practices, and it didn’t end come game time. Eagles linebacker Demeco Ryans said on Tuesday he thought Brady was just hot in hitting his receivers, and by Friday he said “I guess that’s the norm.” Brady gets a gold star.
Tommy Kelly and Chandler Jones both get gold stars. The defense pretty much played scramble because of the Eagles read-option offense, but it was great to see Jones and Kelly get to the quarterback. They were difference-makers and it was good to see.
Tim Tebow get a gold star. Now hear me out; on Friday night he played the most in a game than he had in a year. The Pats were able to put a read-option offense in and Tebow was able to get out there and execute it (and nobody got injured). He still has a ways to go, but his style is different than what the Pats normally do. But when he was in there, he moved the ball and made things work. For that, he gets the gold star.
I feel like I need to give Julian Edelman a break because he just came off the PUP list, but he was a mess fielding punts. He mishandled a couple and really didn’t show up in the passing game all that much. It’s early but Julian needs to get better.
Stephen Gostkowski was not good on Friday night. The Patriots kicker missed two field goals — not a great start for the head of the special teams unit. For a guy that hit just 83-percent of his kicks last year, hopefully this is not something that continues.
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Ryan Mallett is another player that needs to be better. It took him awhile to get going and then when he finally started to warm up and hit receivers, he got hit and taken out of the game. The preseason is his time to show his stuff, and he impress on Friday.
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid