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Archive for the ‘ Daily Links ’ Category


The NFL may enact a rule that would have, if it had been in place, taken Julian Edelman out of the Super Bowl during the final two drives. (USA TODAY Images)

Looking back at the Patriots Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks, Julian Edelman played a key role down the stretch, including catching what ended up being the game-winning touchdown to help New England secure their fourth championship.

But one play that was apparently discussed was the 3rd-and-8 play where he was drilled by safety Kam Chancellor yet didn’t skip a beat, some how staying on his feet and taking off up field for the first down after taking the football down to the Seattle 4-yard line.

Edelman seemed dazed after the hit but stayed in the game and two plays later Tom Brady found Danny Amendola for the touchdown, which pulled New England to within four points.

On the ensuing drive Brady targeted him twice, the last of which was a 3-yard touchdown that put the Patriots up for good at 28-24.  The receiver showed a lot of toughness during that final quarter and some wonder if he suffered a concussion as a result of the hit he sustained despite the fact he never came out of the game.  However, it seems like there’s a rule that may pass this offseason that could prevent a similar situation from occurring again.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, there’s a possibility that moving forward if a player sustains a hit like the one Edelman took, officials upstairs in the press box will be given the authority to stop the game to communicate with the officials down on the field and force the player to come off the field for evaluation.

Apparently the play involving Edelman was one that they felt was part of the problem as the league continues trying to address the ongoing concussion concerns.

“The Edelman situation was a play we looked at and it was part of the issue,” competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay told Reiss Monday. “There were a couple of other plays that go back a couple of years that we looked at and really it came a little bit from the health and safety committee just saying, ‘We got the ATC spotters, they’ve got a really good vantage point, they’ve got technology in their booth, they’re communicating pretty well with our trainers and doctors and we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going there, why would we miss a player where a player shouldn’t come out?’

“And maybe this becomes the fail-safe. So that was the genesis of it. We do not expect this to be a rule that gets used a lot. We expect it to be a fail-safe when people just don’t see this player and the distress the player may have had, the ATC spotter does and stops the game.”

Edelman was asked about the play in an interview posted last month by the New York Times and was pretty blunt with his answers.

Q. Did you get a concussion on that play?

A. Due to our team policy, I can’t discuss that.

Q. You stumbled after that play, but you stayed in the game. Does that mean you were not injured?

A. Next question.

Q. Were you tested for a concussion?

A. I went through all the protocols.

Fortunately he was only on the field for two more plays immediately after the hit before the offense came off the field and at the end of the day he appears to be O.K.  But as the league continues clamping down on situations where players don’t necessarily take themselves out of the game for the sake of trying to play through a hit like that, the league is obviously reacting accordingly.  As a result, next season could see a situation like that play out a little differently.

WOODY JOHNSON CLAIMS HE HASN’T SPOKEN TO REVIS:

With an ongoing tampering investigation going on it was interesting to hear Jets owner Woody Johnson talk about the signing of Darrelle Revis on Monday.

Oddly enough, despite paying him a salary that includes $39 million in guaranteed money, Johnson claims he hasn’t even spoken to the veteran cornerback yet.  That’s pretty ironic considering the fact he couldn’t quite keep himself from cooing over Revis in December, which sparked the whole controversy to begin with.  Now apparently he’s keeping with the plan of just saying he hasn’t talked to him.  At all.

“I haven’t talked to him yet, no,” Johnson said via NJ.com Monday at the NFL’s owners meeting.

When asked whether it seemed odd that he hasn’t spoken to Revis yet, Johnson deflected yet again.

“I haven’t talked to Darrelle,” he answered. “You can see it whatever way it is.”

One can’t help but take that as, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it until this investigation is over.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

– According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots were awarded a couple of compensatory picks last night, with the team being awarded a third-rounder (97th overall) and a seventh-rounder (253rd overall) due to a net loss of compensatory free agents LeGarrette Blount, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, and Aqib Talib balanced against the two signings of Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell.  Obviously the irony in that situation was the re-aquisition of Blount, but the Patriots certainly probably aren’t complaining.

– Robert Kraft talked about the chances for the playoffs expanding in the future and it appears that still remains a possibility.  “Well, we’ve had a lot of discussions. It definitely won’t happen this year — a lot of people want it badly,” Kraft said via ESPN Boston. “Of course, it gives their team a greater chance to be in. We’re analyzing the facts, but I think it’s something that could happen when we go long-term with our Thursday night [television] package, that we tie it in to that.”

– Kraft also said that “two teams” appear headed to the Los Angeles market, and it could happen within the next year.  “I really believe within the next year we’ll have two teams in this market. In there are good plans, but we have a little committee that we’re working with the different owners. We have some real good options.”

– The Patriots owner also talked about the loss of Vince Wilfork, which he called “one of the toughest things” he’s dealt with this offseason.  “That was one of the toughest things. It was harder than anything else [this offseason],” he said via ESPN Boston. “He’s someone we watched come in here; I developed a very strong personal tie to him. It’s the hardest part of this game, speaking as a fan and also someone who got to know he and Bianca and his kids. He wrote something beautiful; he’ll always be a Patriot and he’s keeping his home here.”


Bill Belichick’s offseason has already been a busy one, and things will likely be heating up on the personnel front in the weeks to come. (USA TODAY Images)

Some quick notes on this Wednesday morning:

Patriots head coach apparently spent some time at Auburn’s Pro Day on Tuesday as the team turns the page and starts preparing for the 2015 season.

There will likely be quite a few names mentioned in the months ahead as we get closer to the NFL draft, and it appears that Belichick and his staff are already taking a look at some players who could be on their radar when it comes time to make this year’s selections for the NFL Draft.


Photo by Zach Bland/Auburn University

Auburn had 21 players as part of their Pro Day, including wide receiver Sammie Coates – no relation to former Patriots tight end Ben Coats – who told the Montgomery Advisor that he was suprised when he saw Belichick on hand to take in the event.

“I turned around and seen the Super Bowl champ back there and I was like, ‘Whoa. He in Auburn. Did he know where that was?'” Coates told the newspaper. “But that was good to have him out here to watch us perform and I was very excited to see him back there.”

Coates was a player that Belichick apparently “watched closely” according to NFL.com, although Coates downplayed their interaction.

“I was excited to meet him,” Coates told NFL.com. “He just told me, ‘Good job, keep working hard,’ and that’s all I needed. I didn’t need to hear too much more than that.”

As for Bill Belichick, he didn’t speak at the event and declined interview requests.

MCCOURTY EXCITED FOR FREE AGENCY:

With Devin McCourty seemingly on his way to hit the free agent market, it sounds like the fact that he’s going to have teams begin courting for his services has both himself and his family excited to see how the process plays itself out.

“My mom keeps telling me this whole time, ‘You’re not going to play football for that long, you have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along,’ ” McCourty told the Boston Globe Tuesday night. “Having a twin brother [Jason, a cornerback for the Titans] that wasn’t a free agent — he signed an extension with Tennessee — it’s an exciting time for both of us, and really my whole family.”

The veteran safety still sounds like he’s prefer to stay in New England, but it also appears that while understanding the business side of things that it will ultimately come down to how things go when he becomes available.  McCourty told the newspaper if the Super Bowl victory was his final game as a Patriot, it was a great finish.

“If that was the last game, then what a way to go out,” he said.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

– The Patriots signed Ray “Bubba” Ventrone on Tuesday as their assistant special teams coach, filling a void created by retired special teams coach Scott O’Brien.  The team had promoted Joe Judge into O’Brien’s role and now Ventrone will get the opportunity to work with Judge to coach the Patriots special teams group heading into the 2015 season.  The name Ventrone likely rings a bell as his younger brother was memorable for being a part of a host of transactions, which as Jeff Howe points out involved 29 total, (signed 13 times, released 11 times, promoted from the practice squad to the active roster five times) from 2010-12, including 22 transactions (signed nine times, released eight times, promoted five times) in 2011.

– It appears Bills head coach Rex Ryan is already looking to make a little noise after pulling off a blockbuster trade to acquire Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.  According to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, one Bills source said, “Holy s—, this went down in 20 minutes…’  His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is denying the deal has been finalized since it can’t become official until until March 10th, but Bills running back C.J. Spiller announced he’ll be leaving as a free agent, so that more or less confirms that something is likely going down.

– Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post feels that Ndamukong Suh could be a good fit in Miami, and despite the salary cap space the team has there is still a possibility that having a guy like Suh go to the Dolphins could attract other players want to play there and potentially even take a discount to do it.  He spoke to former Dolphins Pro Bowl guard Keith Sims, who feels that adding talent like that would give them an edge that the Patriots have been able to have.  “If you get a guy like Ndamukong Suh, it would attract other free agents to be part of the mix, something the Patriots have mastered for years, of putting together a team that is typically in contention so players would take less money to come and be part of that championship-caliber team,” said Sims.  Habib also points out that the fact that the state of Florida has no income tax, which obviously comes into play on the types of deals these players tend to sign.  Hopefully it doesn’t happen, since most fans would prefer to keep a guy like Suh away from Tom Brady.

– Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recently listed as 
No. 381 on Forbes’ list of world billionaires with a 
net worth of $4.3 billion. That’s up 199 spots on the list from where he was last year when Forbes called him the 580th wealthiest man in the world.

– NFL Films has released the Patriots Super Bowl DVD, recapping the incredible run the team made last season.  These are typically incredibly well done so if you haven’t ordered yours yet you can do so on Amazon.com via This Link.


Patriots S Devin McCourty was not franchised by the team and may reach free agency if an agreement can’t be reached in the next week. (USA TODAY Images)

Following Monday’s decision to use the franchise tag designation on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, it was interesting to find out that apparently the communication between New England and safety Devin McCourty doesn’t seem to be as good as it probably should have been.

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, McCourty didn’t really know what the Patriots were going to do from that standpoint until the decision was made.  Now it seems like he’s starting to believe he could end up elsewhere.

“I guess it’s more realistic now that (there’s) a chance that I might not be back there,” McCourty told Anderson. “Or there’s still a chance that I will, but I guess (there’s) more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process.”

For now it appears that McCourty could very well be headed to free agency and that could be bad news for New England, who may see one of the league’s top safeties receive an offer far above what they may be willing to pay him.  The franchise tag number for the veteran was $9.6 million and the decision to target Gostkowski instead likely may have more to do with the fact it was a number they felt was simply too high.

There’s still time to get a long-term deal done as well as a chance to still bring him back, but it sounds like his time in New England could very well be coming to an end.  Needless to say it will remain one of the bigger things to watch in the weeks to come.

REVIS HEADED TO FREE AGENCY?

For anyone hoping Darrelle Revis may have had enough fun in his first season to try and take a shot at winning a second ring and may have been eager to get a deal done, it appears that the veteran may have alternate plans and may be focused on still getting maximum value.

According to Adam Schefter Revis may also be headed to free agency as unless the Patriots pick up his $20 million option for the 2015 season, he’s apparently ready to test the market.

Darrelle Revis has a clause in his contract that says he can’t be tagged,” Schefter said via NESN. “There’s a $20 million option bonus payment that would carry a $25 million cap number. The bottom line is, it would surprise me if New England picked that up. So, the chances are — not chances are, it’s going to happen — Darrelle Revis is going to hit the market. He’ll be another coveted free agent.”

Now the bigger question will be whether or not Revis wants to remain a Patriot, or if he’ll simply continue his stance of the business of the NFL and go wherever he’ll get the most value.

“This all comes down to whatever Darrelle Revis wants to do,” Schefter said. “He’s got a Super Bowl ring, his career has been validated. He’s got one more big score left. One score in terms of big contract. So, does he want to take that big contract with a team like the New York Jets, who are dying to make a run at Darrelle Revis? Or the Buffalo Bills? Or is he willing to take less to go back and play with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and be in the environment he’s been in in New England? “That’s a call that only he can make.”

Hopefully if the two sides are close he’ll opt to stay, but for now it’s looking like there’s a chance this team may look quite different next season.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: 

Some good news for those who wish the worst for one of the biggest Patriots killers, as it appears the Tennessee Titans appear to be on the verge of cutting Bernard Pollard.  Pollard finished 2014 on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles and the 30-year old will now be headed to free agency.  Here’s to hoping he ends up somewhere playing for a team New England won’t face next season…

With $55 million dollars to spend, the Jets are reportedly making a “big push” for Revis, if he is cut loose before his bonus money is due. According to SI, Woody Johnson has told GM Mike Maccagnan that it needs to get done. Johnson made comments about the same thing publicly in December which led to a Patriots charge of tampering. If Revis is released and signed by the Jets, how would the league view those tampering charges then?

While Revis talk is dominating talk in New England, the “Spring of Suh” has begun.  Lions DT Ndamukong Suh was not franchised and will be a free agent when the period begins on March 10. He’s the biggest name, both figuratively and physically to be looking for a new team. His potential suitors are deemed to be the Raiders, Colts, Dolphins, Bears and Jaguars. Other top free agents include Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray, Packers WR Randall Cobb, Broncos TE Julius Thomas, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin, and designated pass rushers include the Bills Jerry Hughes, Steelers Jason Worilds and the Redskins Brian Orakpo.

With the NFL mandated salary cap set at $143.28 million for 2015, the Patriots had over $6 million in carryover from 2014 which was slashed down to just over a million due to adjustments. Right now, the Patriots cap for 2015 is $144,578,084. The Patriots are currently more than $11,280,000 over the cap. They now have a week to remedy that situation. With big contracts of Revis, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo being looked at, the Patriots have some work to do…

With the Patriots using the franchise tag on K Stephen Gostkowski, they join only four other teams to use the tag in 2015. The other four teams include: Justin Houston, Kansas City, Dez Bryant, Dallas, Demaryius Thomas, Denver, Jason Pierre-Paul, NY Giants. The Dolphins placed a transition tag on TE Charles Clay which means other teams can make an offer to Clay, but Miami will have the opportunity to match any offer made.

 


Brady made a few more plays with his legs in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

Tom Brady may not be Colin Kaepernick or Cam Newton, but looking back at some of the changes he made to his game in 2014 it was hard not to appreciate some of the improvement he made with his mobility.

He was much more successful when it came to using his legs last season, picking up 57 yards rushing the football during the regular season, and that yardage total would have also been a little higher had it not been for his 15 kneel-downs where he lost some yardage.  Oddly enough Brady didn’t have a negative carry at all last year after having two in 2013, which is a credit to the push he got from his offensive line, which took a lot of heat during the early part of the season when the team was struggling.

Looking at the numbers, there was quite a jump both in yardage and first down conversions compared to 2013 and here’s a quick breakdown of his totals:

TOTALS:
2013: 32 carries, 18 yards, 5 First Downs
2014: 36 carries, 57 yards, 11 First Downs

Kneeldowns:
2013: 17
2014: 15

Negative Carries:
2013: 2
2014: 0

No Gain:
2013: 4
2014: 5

1-5 Yards:
2013: 7
2014: 12

6-10 Yards:
2013: 1
2014: 2

Over 10-20 Yards:
2013: 1
2014: 2

One of the bigger things that stands out is the fact he had 11 rushing first downs last season, compared to just 5 in 2013.

Brady running with the football isn’t exactly something Patriots fans want him to make a habit of, but it had some enjoyable moments.  One of the more memorable ones in 2014 was the 1st down he picked up after a 17-yard run on third-and-11 against Miami in December which helped spark a 41-13 rout of the Dolphins.

That got the crowd fired up when Brady took a shot after lowering his shoulder on his way out of bounds.  He’s not exactly fleet of foot, with teammate Julian Edelman giving the veteran quarterback a hard time after the game was over.

“It was the slowest 17 yards I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Edelman.

It was Brady’s third longest career run and his longest since 2007 after he rushed for 19 against the Colts that season.  His longest ever was a 22-yarder against the Bengals back in 2006.

He took the ribbing from Edelman in stride, even poking fun at himself later on his Facebook page while comparing himself to a cheetah.

Brady’s a guy who’s always focused on getting better, but as much as it’s nice that he’s been taking off a little more with the football, hopefully this is a weapon he’ll try and limit since taking an injury would certainly hurt them.  After all, the Patriots need his arm more than his legs in order to come back and try to do it all again in 2015.

DEON SIMON TALKS ABOUT MEETING BILL BELICHICK:

Northwestern Tackle Deon Simon was apparently caught off guard at the combine, and offered his thoughts on meeting Patriots head coach Bill Belichick last weekend.

The 6’4″, 332-pound defensive tackle was surprised to meet the Patriots’ head coach, and in his “Around the NFL’s draft diary” explained the experience.

“I didn’t exactly think Bill Belichick was going to be there,” said Simon via NFL.com.  “But when I walked in the door, he was sitting right behind the door and he stood up and he shook my hand.

“It felt unreal, I mean, you always see him on television and I mean — that’s Bill Belichick! To have the opportunity to be in the same room with him and in the same presence, it was really exciting. I was just trying to hold my composure.

“It was on Saturday night. He was asking me about my background, personal stuff, but in the back of my mind, all I’m thinking is, man, that’s Bill Belichick.

“There were a few people in there, Bill and six others from his staff. In most of my meetings, the technical questions were mostly the same. They would set up a base defense and ask me where to line up. They’d show me an under look, a 3-4 defense, a 4-3 defense, just trying to read the offense. They’d ask me to read the opposing offense — 21 personnel, 10 personnel, the base fronts.

“It was just an amazing experience, something I’m never going to forget.”

Great stuff.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Former sports agent Joel Corry had a piece on CBSSports.com on Darrelle Revis, and points out there’s certainly urgency to get a deal done for the Patriots given the window they have to get a deal done, and Revis has the leverage.  “Retaining Revis is New England’s top offseason priority. The Patriots have an exclusive negotiation window to rework his deal before the March 9 deadline for the option year and he becomes an unrestricted free agent on the following day. The problem for the Patriots is Revis has the leverage in the situation because of how he performed in 2014 and the team’s limited ability to prevent him from hitting the open market.” … Jonas Gray gave an interesting interview to the Boston Globe’s Nick A Zaino III and talked about his interest in stand up comedy, among other topics.  ” I had a friend of mine who did a little stand-up himself. One day we were all hanging out, and I literally kept making everyone laugh, and so did he. So he gave me some advice, “You should think about doing stand-up.” And he said, “One thing you should do is, any time you say something funny and everyone laughs, you hear a joke, you think it’s funny, you write it down, you put in your notes, you put in a couple of keywords, you come back to it, and you try to turn it into a joke.” Next thing you know, I’m doing that, and next thing you know, I’ve got 200 jokes. I’ve got a ton of jokes. I was telling him some of the material; he thought it was great. And he gave me advice to just go ahead and do an open mike one night. I did the open mike, I videotaped it for him, sent it to him, he loved it.”  You can read more of the interview here … Mike Reiss took a look at a potential Devin McCourty contract and feels five years, $45 million along with a $10 million signing bonus would be a good number to get a deal done with the Patriots safety.  One would hope that locking him up for that long would be a possibility, especially if they get a similar deal done with Revis.  We’ll have to see how it plays out … If you’ve ever heard the “free money” that could be owed to you by listening to the commercials on sports radio recently in Boston, they emphasize that a lot of people have no idea they have unclaimed funds waiting for them.  According to MassLive.com, it appears State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s staff has tracked down some stars who are owed money by the state, including Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  Former Patriots TE Christian Fauria does a commercial for FindMassMoney.com on WEEI and brags about the fact he bought a “flat screen tv” and even “a couple of DVD’s to go with it.”  Although one would believe that those other two guys have made just a little more money in the NFL than he did and won’t need to use whatever money they’re owed to buy one. … And finally there were reports about Shane Vereen seeking $5 million per season, but appearently that’s not the case.  Vereen recently took to Twitter to shoot down those reports, laughing off the notion, saying, “Haha not true but who wouldn’t be?!?!” … Speaking of Twitter, we’ll soon have an an announcement in the coming days about the fact we’ll be doing something fun with a current Patriot next Wednesday afternoon.  If you’re on there it should be a good time, so stay tuned.


Devin McCourty has evolved into quite a leader for the Patriots. (USA TODAY Images)

Sometimes playing well doesn’t always get you a lot of attention, that’s just the way it is.

For Patriots safety Devin McCourty, that’s probably the best way to describe him.

The veteran cornerback has evolved into one of the NFL’s top safeties and now he’s inching closer to potentially becoming a free agent, one of the many important matters that director of player personnel, Nick Caserio, will likely be focusing on this offseason.

When thinking about what McCourty brings to this football team, the best way to describe him is probably that he’s a quiet calm in a group that has gotten used to facing adversity over the years, as well as the experience from playing on the biggest stage.  You would almost have to equate him to the presence that Vince Wilfork provides up front on the defensive line, with the veteran being a guy who does a good job keeping guys from getting too high or too low when the going gets tough.

He’s already seen more than plenty of players his age, having played in two Super Bowls and adding a championship to his resume a few weeks ago.  He’s now one of the seasoned veterans in a secondary that has saw young players like Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler lining up around him and having a player like that around them makes a big difference.  He’s a player who was a leader in college, and a guy who treated the freshman with respect but made sure they understood their roles on the defense.  According to Newsroom New Jersey, McCourty sat with them in meetings and paid attention to how well they understood the defense and then worked with them to help make sure they did.

Since joining the Patriots, that approach hasn’t changed.  He’s garnered the respect of his peers who appreciate what he brings to the team.

“He’s not only one of our leaders, but he’s a vocal leader after that,” Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington said via lohud. “He gets everybody aligned right. He’s like the quarterback of our defense.

“Everybody has a great relationship with him off the field as well. It makes it a little bit easier to communicate with his guys.”

Players like that are special, and it falls into the blue print of what Belichick has tried to build his locker room around.  The plan has been pretty simple; bring in leaders and guys who love football.  The only challenge eventually becomes trying to keep all of them, and that’s what New England suddenly finds themselves dealing with this offseason.

Darrelle Revis will be the big story, since locking him up for the long-term really solidifies the secondary and essentially takes care of one whole side of the field.  The Patriots have the ability to use the franchise tag on McCourty, which should obviously keep him in the fold.  Logic would lead you to believe that they’ll franchise him but hopefully use that time to hammer out a deal that makes sense in order to ensure that he remains a key component of this group for years to come.

McCourty said earlier this month that he’s looking forward to how the process plays out.

“I’m excited for the process to see how it will all work out,” McCourty told NJ Advance Media. “I haven’t really thought about it that much even though the season is over and that’s kind of the top thing on the list. I think just coming down off the Super Bowl run and winning that, maybe next week or the week after it will really start to set in as it really gets closer to the whole free agency, franchise tag and all of that.”

Hopefully if all goes well, it won’t get to that point.  A tandem like these two doesn’t come around very often, and you could even make the argument that you could sign McCourty and Revis and take your chances from there.

Caserio recently admitted this team will look a little different next season.  But hopefully, if nothing else, those two will be a part of whatever their plans may be heading into 2015 and beyond.

MCCOURTY SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON THE COMBINE:

File this under, “in case you missed it.”  McCourty was interviewed by MMQB recently and offered up some insight to what it was like for him when he went through the combine before being selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.

According to McCourty, part of what he didn’t like was the written exams, which he admitted players simply just have to ‘suck it up’ and accept the fact it’s part of the process.

“Everybody at the combine just graduated college or left college early. The last thing they want to do is sit in a room for hours and hours and fill in bubble sheets,” said McCourty.  “One of the tests was four or five pages long, filled with ridiculous questions like, “Are you more like a dog or a cat?” (I picked dog.) It’s kind of nerve wracking, and definitely stressful. But honestly, you just need to suck it up and push through it. Understand it’s just part of the process, and something you’ll hopefully never have to do again in your life.”

McCourty also said that teams are trying to get players flustered and test how they’ll react in those situations.

“You hear stories about crazy questions teams ask guys: If they have girlfriends, if they could pick one superpower, etc,” said McCourty.  “To be honest, what threw me most off guard was when one team pulled up tape from my junior year at Rutgers when I didn’t have such a good game. The coach was drilling me: What happened with this play? Why did you do this wrong? I was ready to talk about any game from my senior year—but this? This game wasn’t reflective of my abilities. Looking back, I think the team knew that. They just wanted to see how I would react to that, and to see if I could demonstrate that I had grown since then.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

An interesting note on Tuesday after Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reported that the Patriots worked out former Green Bay Packers receiver Kevin Dorsey, citing a league source.  The former 2013 seventh round pick out of Maryland spent his rookie season on injured reserve and seems to be considered more of a special teams player.  Not exactly earth-shattering news but as we know many of the brightest stars, at first, don’t always end up shining as bright until later on. Needless to say, this appears to be the beginning of Bill Belichick kicking things off and doing his ever so popular offseason “due dilligence”… Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston had an interesting take on a potential deal for Revis and pondered a long-term deal of five years, which would certainly be welcomed by fans who would like to see the veteran defensive back stick around.  The deal, under Reiss’ parameters would be five years, $80 million, with a signing bonus of $16 million, giving him an average deal of $16 million per season.  The bad news? Reiss ran the deal past one NFL source who felt the numbers might be a little too low to get it done… One final note about McCourty, looking back at the regular season the veteran finished fourth on the team with 67 tackles during the regular season in 2014, including two interceptions, six passes defensed and a forced fumble.  He also finished second on the team with 14 tackles on third down as well as  two passes defensed… According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran, it sounds like pass interference penalties might be changing.  Curran reports that Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive VP of Football Operations told NFL.com that changing PI to a 15-yard penalty is being considered by the NFL’s Competition Committee.  Examples would include them having a couple of different types of PI calls, including a “Simple PI” from the Brown’s game to deal with “ticky-tack calls”, while a second category is called “Spot Foul Pass Interference” in which the ball is spotted where the foul occurs.  It’s an interesting concept and one that we’re probably sure to hear more about given some of the mistakes that were made last season.  However, instant replay will likely correct many of them, and for now it sounds like Bill Belichick’s request to make penalties reviewable could eventually become one more great thing to make a reality.

Tuesday’s Daily Patriots News Link Digest – 2/10/15


Shane Vereen sees a bright future ahead in 2015. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON.COM:

Patriots Free Agents: Keep Him, or On to Another Team? – Jack Andrade and Jeff Pini: Andrade and Pini go through a list of names they feel the team should try and keep, and ones they think they should let walk.

Spygate Cameraman Sells Patriots AFC Title Ring for Nearly $17,000 – Jack Andrade: Andrade has a quick report on the fact that Matt Estrella, the guy who was caught filming defensive coaches against the Jets that kicked the whole mess off, recently sold his AFC Championship title ring.

WEEI:

Gray: Seahawks Calling Pass Play at End of Super Bowl XLIX Wasn’t Bad Call – Ryan Hannable: Hannable has comments on from Gray on the game, and his reaction to being sent home last year.

Patriots position-by-position breakdown: Wide receiver – Christopher Price: Price reviews the receiver position heading into this offseason.

ESPN BOSTON:

Vereen sees great things ahead – Mike Reiss: Reiss has quotes from Shane Vereen, who feels the “sky is the limit” for this group.

Blount: It starts with coaches – Mike Reiss: Reiss has additional quotes from LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen after the two appeared on NFL Network’s “Total Access” on Monday.

NESN:

Patriots’ 2015 QB Outlook: New England All Set With Top Starter, Backup – Doug Kyed: Kyed continues his position breakdowns and looks at the QB position in this entry.

PATRIOTS.COM:

This View from Above is little lonely at the top – John Rooke: Rooke has a good read on his thoughts on the offseason after the team won it all last weekend.

TAUNTON GAZETTE:

Between the fun and games for Patriots, there’s work to be done – No byline but the author gives his synopsis on the offseason plan they feel the team should take.

SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE:

Cheating will follow Belichick, not Brady – Nick Canepa: Canepa apparently has an opinion on how these two will be viewed in light of deflate-gate and spygate, and he believes Belichick will get the worst end of the perception.

Monday’s Daily Patriots News Link Digest – 2/09/15

 

Here is a quick rundown of this morning’s top New England Patriots links, which we’ll be updating each morning as we begin the offseason. So be sure and check back each day to be kept informed heading into the 2015 season.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Edelman, Butler attend Grammys – The Globe has a staff report from Edelman and Butler’s appearance Sunday night at the 57th Grammy Awards.

After Super Bowl, hero Butler in demand – Mark Shanahan – Shanahan has a look at the busy life that Butler’s had since making his infamous interception and some of the other appearances by his teammates and one coming up with Bill Belichick.

BOSTON HERALD:

Brady, Gronkowski lead way in Patriots final report card – Ron Borges – Borges files his final report card and gives his thoughts on the fact that in the end the Patriots won the Super Bowl the old fashioned way – with defense.

Edelman’s family lives with NFL’s highs and lows – Karen Guregian – Guregian has a terrific read on Edelman, with some good stuff from his dad after watching his son win a championship.

ESPN BOSTON:

Key offseason dates for Patriots – Mike Reiss – Reiss outlines some of the upcoming dates as Patriots scouts begin a round of meetings this week to prepare for the NFL Combine.

WEEI:

Bianca Wilfork Shows Love for Patriots Fans, Even in the Bahamas  – Mike Petraglia – Petraglia has an entry with a quick video from Bianca Wilfork’s Instagram account from their vacation in the Bahamas where her and Wilfork spotted a fan wearing his jersey.

Free Agent Snapshot: CJ Spiller – Ryan Hannable – Hannable takes a look at C.J. Spiller, and gives his thoughts on how the Bills running back might fit in with New England.

Patriots Improvement on Third-Down Helped Pave Way to Super Bowl Title – Ryan Hannable – Hannable has a good read on New England’s 3rd down success in the postseason, which was by far the best among playoff teams.

MMQB:

The Super Bowl Story, According to Brady – Peter King – King has his Monday morning quarterback for this week which features a terrific look from Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels with their take on the final quarter of play last weekend.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

Robert Kraft hangs out with Jay Z, Kanye West and others – John Healy –  Healy has an article on Kraft spending some time with some big names before last night’s Grammy Awards.

TMZ:

Pats’ Butler Pulls a Gronk, Rages in Vegas Nightclub – Staff – TMZ has an entry on Butler, who was the guest of honor at Chateau nightclub and got his own booth, his own custom champagne and his own personal cheerleaders.

Thursday’s New England Patriots Links 9/18


Jerod Mayo sat out Wednesday’s session, but according to reports his absence isn’t injury-related. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots Notebook: Testing passes grade – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact that Matthew Slater is among players who are okay with the upcoming drug policy changes in the NFL.

Jimmy Garoppolo looks like QB to watch – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on Garoppolo, who he writes is in the best position among his class of rookie quarterbacks.

Logan Ryan shows yet again he’s right pick for job – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian has an article on Ryan, who he writes is ‘a playmaker, pure and simple.’

Stevan Ridley must keep it up – Karen Guregian: Guregian has an article on Ridley, who likely saw his confidence get a boost following his performance last Sunday.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Ridley looking forward to Patriots’ home opener – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young has an article on Ridley, who is looking forward to playing the team he followed as a child.

ESPN BOSTON:

Patriots-Raiders through stats-based lens – Mike Reiss: Reiss takes a look at a variety of areas in terms of numbers between the two teams in this entry, including the very different paths the two teams have taken since the “Snow Bowl” game.

Jerod Mayo’s absence not injury-related – Mike Reiss: Reiss has a note from practice yesterday, which has some good news regarding the absence of Mayo.

With Ridley, Pats’ attack more than passing – Lee Schechter: Shcechter has an article on Ridley, who is trying to just go out there and run hard this season.

Brady, Patriots not in Spurs-like form – Mike Reiss: Reiss has an article with comments from Brady, who says the team isn’t quite where they need to be on offense and compared his team to the San Antonio Spurs.

Collins returns to practice; Mayo absent – Lee Schechter: Schechteer has a note on Jamie Collins, who returned to the practice field on Wednesday after sitting out their week two game out in Minnesota.

Why did Tom Brady wear a glove? – Mike Reiss: Brady was asked why he wore a glove against the Vikings last weekend, and Reiss gives the reason why in this entry.

Chandler Jones earns AFC defensive honor – Mike Reiss: Defensive end Chandler Jones was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Minnesota on Sunday.

WEEI:

Raiders aware they face a sizable challenge this weekend – Christopher Price: Price has an article on the Raiders, who he writes are well aware of what they’re walking into when they visit Foxboro this weekend.

PORTLAND PRESS HERALD:

Patriots Beat: Football or rugby, New England’s Ebner excels – Mike Lowe: Lowe has an article on Nate Ebner, who received quite a bit of praise from Bill Belichick earlier this week.

247SPORTS.COM:

Easley Making Progress For Patriots – Kirk Larrabee: Larrabee has a Florida-slanted read on former Gator and rookie Dominique Easley, who made an impact during Sunday’s win over the Vikings.

RAIDERS.COM:

Raiders vs Patriots Through the Decades – The opposing team’s site goes back through the previous decades and shows how the two teams have fared against each other.

SFBAY.CA:

Belichick sees Al Davis in current Raiders roster – Jason Leskiw: Leskiw has an article on the fact that Belichick feels this current group is an Al Davis style of team and that it’s strange not having him in the league.

Wednesday’s New England Patriots Media Links 9/17


Tom Brady so far this season has relied heavily on Julian Edelman. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON GLOBE:

Patriots coaches seek better balance on offense – Michael Whitmer: Whitmer files his notebook this morning and leads off with the fact that the Patriots coaching staff is focused on making sure they’re more balanced offensively moving forward.

Patriots piling up penalties at alarming rate – Michael Whitmer: Whitmer looks at the number of penalties the Patriots have had over the first two games, which is an unusual staff for the normally disciplined group.

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots offense has work to do – Karen Guregian: Guregian has an article on the offense, which so far has been miserable on third down.

Patriots Notebook: Not too bad for rookie – Karen Guregian: Guregian files her notebook this morning, which leads off with Matt Patricia’s impressions of rookie quarterback Derek Carr.

BOSTON.COM:

Patriots Take 2: Improved Trench Play Lifts New England To Victory Over Vikings – Erik Frenz: Frenz has a terrific look back at the game in his film review piece, including some breakdowns of some key situations in the game.

ESPN BOSTON:

Catching up with former Patriots, Week 2 – Mike Reiss: Reiss goes through and looks at some former Patriots and how they’ve performed so far this season.

Following up on Patriots’ offensive line – Mike Reiss: Reiss goes down the list of offensive linemen and also breaks down the number of snaps they’ve played.

Patriots lose Quarles off practice squad – Mike Reiss: Riess has a note on the fact the Patriots lost Kelcy Quarles after the defensive lineman was signed by the Colts to their active roster.

Patriots add three to practice squad – Lee Schechter: Schechter has a note on the fact New England added some new additions to their practice squad, including bringing back Darius Fleming.

Leftovers from the Gillette – Lee Schechter: Schechter has some quotes on a variety of topics, including Bill Belichick’s praise for Nate Ebner, who has seen the former Ohio State’s confidence grow over the past couple of seasons.

Patriots’ coaches want balance on offense – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an article on the fact the Josh McDaniles and Bill Belichick want to continue making sure the team has more balance offensively.

Belichick: No idea how policy impacts bans – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an article with comments from Belichick on the league’s impending new drug policy, eith Belichick telling the media he doesn’t have ‘any idea’ of how it will affect current suspended players Brandon Browner of Brian Tyms.

Weekly Mail is Delivered – Mike Reiss: Reiss answers questions in his weekly mailbag, including addressing concerns over Tom Brady’s reliance on Julian Edelman.

WEEI:

Why Bill Belichick is not taking 0-2 Raiders lightly – Mike Petraglia: Petraglia looks at the Raiders, who have a fair amount of talent on the defensive side of the football.

NESN:

Jerod Mayo, Sealver Siliga Stand Out In Patriots-Vikings Flim Review – Doug Kyed: Kyed does his weekly film review, and he goes down the list of positions with his comments.

LOWELL SUN:

Amendola experiment a big failure – Barry Scanlon: Scanlon has an article condemning Amendola, who he feels has played the part of “the invisible man” so far this season.

WORCESTER TELEGRAM:

Brady plays favorites with receivers – Rich Garven: Garven has an article on the fact the receiving numbers are skewed and looks at the numbers favoring Julian Edelman.

Tuesday’s New England Patriots Links 9/16


Tom Brady and the offense still have work to do. (USA TODAY Images)

BOSTON HERALD:

Patriots Report Card: Defense sets the tone – Ron Borges: Borges gives his grades from Sunday’s game, which he felt was just an average performance by Tom Brady.

Patriots Notebook: Reputation takes a hit – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on the fact that Brady held onto the ball just long enough to make a few key plays Sunday, that lead to a few tough hits that he absorbed.

Patriots-Vikings: 5 takeaways from the game – Jeff Howe: Howe gives his five thoughts from Sunday, which also saw Brady be “oddly disconnected” after the contest.

BOSTON GLOBE:

Expect slow progress from Patriots offense – Christopher Gasper: Gasper has an article on the offense, which he writes still has problems to fix.

Cameron Fleming’s versatility draws praise – Anthony Gulizia: Gulizia files his notebook this morning, which leads off with a bit on offensive lineman Cameron Fleming and his performance during Sunday’s game.

Patriots offense is dysfunctional right now – Ben Volin: Volin files his “On Football” column this morning and takes a closer look at what’s wrong with New England’s offense.

ESPN BOSTON:

Getting to know the Oakland Raiders – Mike Reiss: Reiss gives a quick rundown on the Raiders, who the Patriots will face this Sunday.

Penalties, missed chances irk Brady – Lee Schechter: Schecter has an article with notes from Brady’s appearance on WEEK, and the quarterback explained some of the issues on offense.

Pats’ 1st-quarter review: Jones on edge – Mike Reiss: Reiss goes back through the first quarter and points out some key points in the first quarter, including the results in the change in Chandler Jones’ role in the game plan.

Patriots’ 2nd-quarter review: Blocked FG – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the second quarter, and writes that Jones’ effort on the blocked field goal was ‘an exemplary individual effort’.

Patriots’ 3rd-quarter review: Brady’s glove – Mike Reiss: Reiss writes that in the third quarter Brady appeared to switch to a new glove on his left non-throwing hand for the start of the quarter.

Patriots’ 4th-quarter review: Stork time – Mike Reiss: Reiss looks at the performance of Bryan Stork, who entered the game in the final quarter of play on Sunday.

Usage of dime helps Ebner break through – Mike Reiss: Reiss highlights Nate Ebner in this entry, who is seeing more time so far this year on defense.

The Film Don’t Lie: Patriots – Mike Reiss: Reiss takes a look at what the Patriots must fix in this entry.

So far, Brady only has eyes for Edelman – Lee Schechter: Schechter has an article on the fact that Brady needs to distribute the football to players other than Edelman.

NESN:

Vikings, Norv Turner Kept It Simple For Patriots In New England’s Win – Doug Kyed: Kyed looks at Sunday’s game and writes that Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s game plan was pretty straightforward.

WEEI:

‘Rock’ Steady: Julian Edelman Focused on Imporoving Every Week – Christopher Price: Price has an article on Edelman, who knows there are more than enough rocks to go around.

PATRIOTS.COM:

Ask PFW: Does Brady not trust his receivers? – Erik Scalavino: Scalavino has his mailbag for this week that looks at a variety of topics, including why Brady wasn’t able to spread the ball around Sunday.

Nitpicks & Nitwits: Errors keeping Patriots from elite status – John Rooke: Rooke has a good read this morning on what he feels are some of the problems the Patriots need to fix.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Patriots had their way with Vikings on both sides of the ball – Kevin McNamara: McNamara has an article on Sunday’s game, which was a nice change following a week where they were pushed around by the Dolphins.

CSNNE:

McCourty: Whenever you get a pick, you look for Wilfork – Devin McCourty appeared on CSNNE’s “Quick Slants” and pointed out that when he picks off a pass he looks for Vince Wilfork as the “lead blocker”.

BLEACHER REPORT:

Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola Failing to Live Up to Expectations with Patriots – James Christensen: Our friend from NEPatriotsDraft.com has a good read this morning on the fact that neither receiver, thus far, has been productive in the offense in 2014.

WORCESTER TELEGRAM:

Tom Brady shines on touchdown toss – Rich Garven: Garven files his notes, which leads off talking about the 9-yard strike to Julian Edelman at the end of the first half.

Patriots are showing improvement – Rich Garven: Garven writes that the Patriots managed to overcome a sluggish start and followed it up with playing much better in week two.