FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the New England Patriots notebook...
1. Rookie cornerback Justin Coleman, who has been serving as the team's No. 3 option, held court with reporters Wednesday for the first time since leaving the team's win over the Giants on Nov. 15 with a right hand injury. Coleman, who has been out of practice since that time, wore a protective brace over his right hand/thumb as he discussed his absence. He said it had reached a point where he felt he was hurting the team by trying to play through it. "I'm one of those hands-on type of guys, I want to get my hands on receivers," he relayed. "I felt like I didn't have enough power in my hands to do it, so I had to find a different way to cover guys." Coleman, who has yet to return to practice, said he feels good but is unsure when he will be back on the field.
Photo: Rookie CB Justin Coleman, with right hand injury, says he is progressing but isn't sure when he will return. pic.twitter.com/BdigZxamay— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 2, 2015
2. With receiver Chris Harper returning to the Patriots on the practice squad, and the club signing defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles to the practice squad to replace defensive tackle Robert Thomas (signed off practice squad by Miami to the 53-man roster), the Patriots have a full 10-man practice squad: cornerback Brock Vereen, fullback Joey Iosefa, offensive linemen Chris Barker, Torrian Wilson and Keavon Milton, tight end Joseph Fauria, linebacker Chris Greenwood, receiver Austin Hill, Harper and Quarles.
3. In going through his regular breakdown on the upcoming opponent to lead off his news conference, coach Bill Belichick called the Eagles' special teams "probably the best unit we've faced all year." Belichick pointed out that they led the NFL in 2014, and noted returners Josh Huff and Darren Sproles as part of their strength.
4. Patriots special-teams coach Joe Judge was born in Philadelphia and played at Landsdale Catholic High School, and Belichick was asked about him by the Philadelphia press on the weekly opponents' conference call. Belichick praised Judge's talent evaluation, development of young players, his work preparing players with schemes, and instruction with specialists. "He's done a great job in all those areas," he said.
5. Tom Brady is 40-8 in games following a loss over his career, and he discussed the desire to get back to work after the team's 30-24 overtime loss to the Broncos. "I think we all want to get back out there because it's been a long time since we've lost a meaningful game. It just sucks," he said. "It is always hard to win, especially going on the road against good teams and you've got to play really well. And when that game ends, you've got to, as fast as you can, turn the page and move on. So we've got to move on [and] every week presents different challenges. I think as a player, you just have to start every week with a fresh slate. You really put everything you can into it, 100 percent of your energy and emotion, and then you go out and you try to do it again."