By MICHAEL LETENDRE
Talk about an eventfully training camp for New England Patriot Niko Koutouvides…
On Aug. 17, Niko gets thrown out of practice for getting into it with Julian Edelman and for a guy who’ still fighting for a spot in the rotation, maybe fighting with teammates isn’t such a hot idea.
But those things happen in a competitive training camp and to ask the ultra competitive Koutouvides to give anything less than 100-percent on the field is impossible.
Plus, let’s face it – Niko’s likes to hit people.
But off of that incident, maybe a big effort against the Philadelphia Eagles would help New England coach Bill Belichick forget about the little ruckus.
It was redemption time for Niko and here’s how he and his team fared against the Eagles:
Preseason – Game 2, New England vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Final Score: Philadelphia Eagles 27, New England Patriots 17. With the loss, the Patriots fell to 1-1 in the preseason.
Game statistics: Koutouvides led the squad in tackles with seven and was a monster over the second half of play. He made one tackle for a loss of five yards for a big defensive stop.
Additional News and Notes: With a point to prove, Koutouvides made a big impression against a team that had most of its starters in and were trying to win the game.
But with three games in 10 days, it gave a chance for the former Plainville standout to shine and it was another big effort with those seven tackles.
No other player had more than five tackles on the day for New England in the game.
Koutouvides’s signature tackle in the game came in a big spot late in the third period.
With the Eagles facing a 3-and-1 situation on the New England 19 yard-line, Koutouvides smashed Bryce Brown for a five-yard loss. While Philly drilled a 42-yard field goal on the next play, Niko’s tackle might have prevented a first down and an extra four points on the board.
But with Koutouvides making up part of several special team packages and defensive plays, the outing against the Eagles might have been the icing on the cake that keeps him on the roster.
Against Tampa Bay (from Friday, Aug. 24): Niko was all over the field once again in several of New England’s “packages” and came up with one tackle in New England’s 30-28 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This Weekend: The Patriots finish its preseason in a Super Bowl rematch with the New York Giants on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE