FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots held their final home practice of the week Thursday in the shadow of Gillette Stadium. The team will board a plane Friday bound for Arizona, where the Patriots will take on the Cardinals in “Sunday Night Football” to kick off their regular-season schedule.
But first, here are a few assorted notes and nuggets from Patriots media availability, plus one bit of news out of Cardinals practice:
— The Patriots released guard Josh Kline on Wednesday after initially trying to trade him to the Philadelphia Eagles. Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained the surprising roster move in his morning news conference.
“We just, in the end, had to do what we felt was best for the team,” Belichick said. “I have a lot of respect for Josh. Undrafted player, came in, was on the practice squad, earned his stripes, played a lot of football for us. In the end, we just can’t keep everybody and had to keep the players that we felt like were best for the team based on the way it’s comprised this year, but I’d say to an extent now.
“But yeah, if we could have kept 54 (players), then we would have kept 54. But we can’t.”
Kline started 13 games for the Patriots last season and was expected to begin this season as the team’s starting right guard.
— Rookie Brandon Williams will be the Cardinals’ No. 2 cornerback this Sunday, Arizona coach Bruce Arians announced Wednesday.
With five-time Pro Bowl corner Patrick Peterson occupying the other side of the field, Williams knows he’ll have his work cut out for him against the Patriots’ deep stable of offensive weapons.
“Of course I know I’m going to be picked on,” the third-round draft pick told reporters Wednesday in Arizona, via ESPN.com. “I’m opposite of a Pro Bowl cornerback, arguably the best cornerback in the game right now. Of course I know I’m going to get those eight or nine targets.
“The mindset (has) got to be: I just got to make more (plays) than I give up.”
— There could be two Gronkowskis on the same field when the Patriots and Buffalo Bills meet in Week 4.
Glenn Gronkowski, a rookie fullback and the youngest brother of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, made the Bills’ 53-man roster this past weekend after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.
“It was unbelievable,” Rob Gronkowski said Thursday. “I mean, that’s my family. That’s my little brother. Just growing up, watching him play, it’s unbelievable recognition for himself to make the Bills’ roster, and it just makes me super proud as an older brother.
“I saw all my older brothers — ex-NFLers Chris and Dan and former minor league first baseman Gordie — go through it, but to see my younger brother now following in all his older brothers’ footsteps, I’m super proud of him and just cheering him on every single time.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images