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Despite not seeing any game action this season, backup quarterback Brian Hoyer is still earning praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“Brian’s done a great job for us in every area,” Belichick said Monday morning. “He obviously knows the offense better than anyone, any other player or quarterback, so that’s a big help when executing the play.

“There’s the coaching version of it, and then as a player, there’s kind of the execution of it. The little things that you remind yourself as a player that a coach sometimes doesn’t, you know, it’s just different when you’re a player executing the play and a coach trying to explain the play.”


Hoyer, who turns 36 in October, is in his 13th NFL season and third stint with the Patriots. He also played for six other teams (Arizona, Cleveland, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Indianapolis).

That expansive experience is useful even for Belichick, now in his 22nd season with the Patriots.

“Brian helps me with things that he’s seen,” Belichick said. “He’s been with a lot of other teams, been with other coaches, been in other systems. We talk about plays in situations, and he has a lot of good either ideas or recollections of the way somebody else did something, which might be something to learn from or might be something that we can use and so forth.”

Clemency sought

Patriots safety Devin McCourty spent his Monday morning on the steps of the Massachusetts State House as part of Brockton Interfaith Community’s efforts to free William Allen, a Brockton man who has served 27 years in prison.

The group presented more than 800 letters, including one written by McCourty, to Governor Charlie Baker in hopes that Allen can have his life sentence commuted. Baker is able to reduce Allen’s sentence by exercising his power of executive clemency.


Allen was charged with first-degree felony murder in 1994 and convicted in 1997. A jury ruled that Allen was a joint venturer in the armed robbery of a reputed drug dealer. Even though another man involved in the robbery committed the murder, Allen was still charged with first-degree murder because he participated in a felony that resulted in a death.

At the time, Allen could have accepted a deal in which he would have pled guilty to second-degree murder and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole, but he declined. Prosecutors offered the same deal to the killer, who accepted and has been out on parole since 2009.

McCourty has developed a friendship with Allen over the last several months. In his letter, McCourty advocated for Allen’s release so that he can serve the community.

“He talked with me about his hope and dream to have the opportunity to steer young people away from making mistakes like he made,” wrote McCourty. “He wants to be a difference maker in the lives of others.”

Foot in the door?

The Patriots still have an open spot on their 53-man roster. Asked if kicker Nick Folk would be signing an NFL contract this week, Belichick kept his answer vague. Said the coach: “As I said a couple weeks ago, I think there’ll be roster movement on most every team in the first few weeks of the season, and so we’ll see how it goes.” Folk, currently on the practice squad, has been temporarily elevated to the active roster the past two weeks … What did Belichick have to say to the Patriots after their first win of the season? The team shared a video of Belichick addressing the team inside the locker room, and he said, in part: “Enjoy this one. You deserved it. You earned it. You outplayed them all the way through, from start to finish. We can work harder and play better, and that’s what we’re going to do. Play and coach better, play and coach better. Let’s build off this one. Good job, fellas. That’s the way to bounce back.”


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.