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Patriots rookie report: Week Two

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Posted Sept. 21, 2010 @ 1:54 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here is an update on the Patriots' rookies through their second week in the NFL.

CB Devin McCourty (first round, 27th overall): McCourty, who was on the field for every defensive play in the season opener and helped keep T.O. in check, had a rookie-type game on Sunday. Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery beat him on a slant for a TD and TE Dustin Keller outjumped McCourty for another TD. It was a game to forget for everyone on the Pats' defense, McCourty included.

TE Rob Gronkowski (2, 42): Gronkowski, who caught his first career TD pass in the season opener, had one catch for 14 yards on Sunday. He was on the field for 39 of the 61 offensive snaps in Week Two, second on the team behind Randy Moss. If the Patriots had reached the red zone more, he could have been called upon.

OLB Jermaine Cunningham (2, 53): The Florida-product had his most active game, preseason or regular season, in the NFL in Week Two against the Jets. In his first play of the game, Cunningham stayed home on a Jets reserve to take Brad Smith down for a short gain. Now that he has recovered from an ankle injury, look for him to be on the field even more in Week Three.

ILB Brandon Spikes (2, 62): Spikes started at ILB for the second straight week and led the Patriots with nine tackles. He helped the Patriots' run defense when the Jets attempted to run up the middle against the Pats' 3-4. The Jets found success in the run when the Patriots were in the nickel, but not against the 3-4.

WR Taylor Price (3, 90): Price was inactive. The Ohio-alum is a speedster but the Patriots have enough weapons at wideout.

TE Aaron Hernandez (4, 113): The rookie was the Patriots' offensive player of the game, leading the Pats in receiving with six catches for 101 yards. Hernandez showed his versatility, looking like a wide receiver in the open field when Brady found him. Hernandez has quickly turned into a favorite target and will create matchup problems this season.

P Zoltan Mesko (5, 150): Zoltan had three punts, dropping one in the 20 with a long of 56 in Week Two. Patriots fans are very excited, not just about his name, but also for his punting, allowing the Pats to win field position battles.

DE Brandon Deaderick (7, 247): Deaderick was inactive, although with the injury to DE Ty Warren, Deaderick could see playing time at some point this season.

LB Dane Flethcer (UFA): Fletcher was inactive in Week Two.

OL Steve Maneri (UFA): Maneri was inactive in Week Two.

DL Kyle Love (UFA): Love was active for his first career NFL game but did not make the stat sheet.


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