Patriots gridiron news: Stephon Gilmore ‘locked in’ on improving his craft

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Stephon Gilmore
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 19: Stephon Gilmore /

Stephon Gilmore has confirmed that he will be ready to roll when the New England Patriots take on the Denver Broncos in a Week 9 Sunday night matchup.

If you are going through New England Patriots withdrawals following the team’s bye week, you will have to wait till Sunday night to see Tom Brady and the boys back in action.  When they return, one of the questions looming will be the playing status and effectiveness of cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

On Monday, Gilmore answered the health portion of that question.

"“I feel good,” he told the media, as transcribed by WEEI.  “I’m looking forward to it.  Just trying to take it day-by-day.  It’s a process.  Tomorrow, go out there and practice the best we can to try and go out there and get a win.”"

Gilmore missed the last three weeks due to a mysterious concussion he may have suffered in the Thursday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In his absence, the Patriots secondary and defense overall has been much better with Jonathan Jones and Johnson Bademosi filling in.

A coincidence?

That’s the second part of the question that will be sort of answered Sunday night.  Prior to his solid performance shutting down Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, Gilmore’s struggles in the secondary were highly criticized.  As communication and simple execution were the focus of those critiques, Gilmore says he has been focused on improving in those areas over the last few weeks.

"“Yeah, I still have been locked in, just trying to stay studying, going over the gameplan like I am playing,” He said.  “It was good.  I was able to see how the guys played and go from there.”"

While he admits it’s still a day-by-day process, Stephon Gilmore appears motivated to improve on his craft and become more of that top-tiered cornerback the Patriots spent $65 million on.

More from Chowder and Champions

Brian Hoyer happy to be back with Patriots

Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is returning to the place where he started his NFL career.  After stops in places like Cleveland, Houston and San Francisco, the 32-year-old journey man quarterback signed a three-year deal to backup Tom Brady following the Jimmy Garoppolo trade.

On Monday, Hoyer called the chance to return to the Patriots a “no-brainer.”  He also further detailed his familiarity with the organization and how good it was to see old teammates and coaches.

"“To be back in [the locker room], it’s kind of like walking into a time machine,” Hoyer said. “Not much has changed.  Obviously, every year, there’s change in the NFL, some new faces.  But it’s kind of cool to see some of the guys that I came in with are now the veteran leaders of this team.  We’re the old guys.”"

Next: New England Patriots: 5 defensive playmakers to watch in 2017

It must also be nice for Hoyer to return to a Super Bowl contending team, even if he is holding a clip board.