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New England Patriots News 7-16, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
July 16, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

New England Patriots News 7-16, AFC East Notes(PHOTO: Steve Balestrieri -

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Good morning, here are your Sunday’s Patriots news 7-16, & AFC East Notes.

Did you get a chance to check out our Patriots Training Camp Primers from last week? It is a good way to learn a lot of the new faces that the team has brought in this offseason. Training camp is less than two weeks away, and the excitement is building to see the 2017 version of the team on the field.

Sorry to hear that former Patriots QB Vito “Babe Parilli passed away on Saturday at the age of 87. He was a three-time AFL All-Star quarterback (1963-64, 1966) and an AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966. He was on the AFL’s 10-Year Anniversary Team in 1971. His 31 TD passes in 1964 were a team record until 2007.

Julian Edelman put the stop on any 19-0 talk on Saturday. (SBalestrieri photo)

Edelman Douses Talk of 19-0 as “Stupid”:
Julian Edelman doesn’t want to hear any talk about the Patriots going 19-0 in 2017.  “You can’t worry about what other people say, honestly,” Edelman said to Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald in an interview at a camp on Saturday in Danvers.

“When you go out and play in the National Football League, it’s one of those things where it is stupid to even think about that. It’s never been done. You don’t really want to talk about it. My focus is more on trying to get ready for the season, trying to learn your teammates, form your identity. [The 19-0 talk] is stupid. That’s it.”

It is often said, teams take on the identity of their coach….any questions?

ESPYs Show Manning’s Funny Side:
Although I didn’t watch the live show, the clips on social media with Peyton Manning, taking a good-natured jab at himself a few times in regard to Tom Brady was some funny moments. Wearing a Falcons’ shirt while watching the Super Bowl and the old folk’s home skits were very good.

Manning has always a good comedic flair, and his ESPY’s performance confirmed that. But nothing will ever beat his Saturday Night Live Faux United Way commercial. That one was an instant classic.

Belichick’s Navy Seal Shirt Causes a Stir:
When the news week is slow, look to the Pats for some quick fodder. When a fan ran into Bill Belichick in Nantucket this week, he posed (smiling even) with a youngster for a quick picture for the child’s parents, who quickly posted it on social media, in a “Look who we just ran into” type of post.

But the shirt Belichick was wearing is what caused the uproar and it wasn’t from the fans who snapped the pic. In a play on the “Life is Good” line of shirts and stores, a former Navy SEAL and LA County Sheriff, Jim Amann is selling shirts to aid a charity (Navy SEALS Foundation) and depicts a man wearing a turban (Osama bin Laden) being attacked by a military dog while a military Special Operations soldier with a rifle runs with a smile. Under the picture is the caption “Life is Great”.

The blowback on social media has been high with some hand-wringing about Belichick glorifying violence in the Middle East (insert eye roll).

Belichick, who is a well-known supporter of anything Navy has helped spark sales of the shirt over 500 percent this week. Amann told the press that he didn’t know where Belichick got the shirt from but was glad that he was helping sales and the profits going to the Foundation which helps America’s warriors.

Amann’s site which sells police and police canine equipment is currently sold out of the shirts. But if you’d like one…click here:

Belichick’s Longevity Means Continuity Continues for the Patriots:
While on the subject of Belichick, he’s the longest tenured coach in the NFL and his ability to change with the game and not only keep up but stay ahead of the trends is a huge reason for his continued success. But there are a couple of other coaches who aren’t on so much solid footing and are considered on the hot seat.

One guy who should be feeling the heat is Marvin Lewis. Lewis missed the playoffs in 2016 as the Bengals limped to a 6-9-1 record last year. We still find the fact that he’s on the job with Cincinnati as a head scratcher. Despite always having a deep roster that is annually considered to be one of the best in football, Lewis has won zero playoff games with the Bengals.

The Patriots suffered those lean years as well which makes the current unprecedented run of success something to savor.

Amendola Signs Modeling Contract with Ford:
With an eye to the future, after football Pats, WR Danny Amendola has signed a modeling contract with one of the most prestigious firms in the business, Ford Models. Ford has pushed the careers of many famous models including Christie Brinkley, Chrissie Teagan, and Cheryl Tiegs among others. Amendola becomes the first NFL player to sign with Ford.

“We are thrilled to represent Danny Amendola, not only one of the top athletes in his field but also a man of great character,” Ford Models Men’s Director Sam Doerfler said in a press release. “Danny’s work ethic, drive, and track record of success help make him the perfect fit to partner with some of the best brands and creative teams in the fashion industry, and we look forward to bringing him those opportunities.”

Amendola, like his best buds Julian Edelman and Tom Brady, is always dressed to the nines and is seeing a model and actress, former Miss Rhode Island, Miss USA and Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo. He also made it clear that football is still #1 with him and that this opportunity comes second. But he’s preparing for his post-NFL career which is a smart move.

Something Must Be in the Water…:
Another week, another player throwing shade on the Patriots and Tom Brady. Free agent running back DeAngelo Williams, who has never been one to shy away from a microphone or to make bold statements was at it again last week.

He listed a group of teams that he WOULDN’T play for (surprisingly New England wasn’t on the list) and then he took a couple of shots across the bow of Tom Brady. What did he say? Well, he broke out that time worn myth of calling Brady a “system QB” (gag) and then said that he benefitted from playing in a “weak division.”

Well let’s take a look at Brady’s record against all the divisions in the NFL. Brady’s record vs the AFC East? As one can imagine given the Patriots dominance here, it is a stellar 71-19 with a winning percentage of .789. So, does Williams’ theory hold water? If you consider Brady’s record vs the AFC East is only his fifth best against the eight different divisions, then no it sure doesn’t. Brady’s record and winning pct. is listed here:

AFC East      71-19   .789
AFC North   24-5     .828
AFC South   23-5     .821
AFC West    18-11   .620

NFC East      13-3    .813
NFC North   14-2    .875
NFC South     9-3    .750
NFC West     10-5    .667

The bold statement by Williams which was quickly lapped up by the press just doesn’t hold water. Of course, the other part of equation, the tired “system QB” myth persists among the Brady detractors even after five Super Bowl wins…. Kook er… Kool Aid line is to the left.

On the flip side of the coin was Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians who was trying to give the Patriots defense some props and saying it wasn’t all on the NE offense as to why they win, but Twitter, being Twitter had Patriots fans jumping all over him. The joys of social media.

East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:

Peyton Manning Likes Bills’ Die-Hard Fans:
The Buffalo Bills fanbase got some props from Peyton Manning. Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Manning talked about the fervor of the Buffalo fans.

After a game in Buffalo, Manning, as was his ritual, would throw his hat and sweatbands to young fans in attendance. He tossed his sweat band to a kid wearing a Bills jersey and the kid wasn’t having any. “He threw it right back in my face,” Manning said to a roar from the crowd.

Manning wasn’t upset, he said to Kimmel. He added, “I like that kid. … I like the die-hards.”  You can see the entire piece here:

Gase Says the Dolphins Playing the Patriots is Good:
The Miami Dolphins have been in the news lately with comments from Jarvis Landry and a couple by Ndamukong Suh about the New England Patriots. So naturally when 2nd year coach Adam Gase does an interview with Mike Florio on his podcast, he’s going to get asked about New England.

But Gase, rather than shy away from comparisons or make inane comments like Suh gave what is the perfect answer.

“I think this is good for us because we get to go against the best twice a year and you know exactly where you stand in the NFL,” Gase said. “Last year they beat us twice and they beat us pretty handily both times. We really put ourselves in a hole and they let us know that we have a long way to go.”

Due to the crazy NFL schedule in 2017, the Dolphins and Patriots will meet twice in just a 15-day time span. Miami reached the postseason with a 10-6 record in 2016 but played a last place schedule. This year they’re looking to improve on that mark, albeit against a much tougher schedule. One thing is looking to be certain however, Miami hired the right coach in Gase to take over the reins in South Beach.

Jets Hope That Davis Can Fill Harris’ Shoes:
The New York Jets have gone thru nearly a total house cleaning this offseason, jettisoning many veteran players. Now they’re hoping a player that they let go and have brought back will pay dividends for them.

Demario Davis walked away in free agency in 2015 and now he’s back. And he has really big shoes to fill. Davis, who played on the weak side in his first stint with the Jets is now projected to be one of the starters at the inside linebacker position.  Davis and 2nd year player Darron Lee will anchor the inside. This will the first year in over a decade that the Jets will be without David Harris inside. Harris was let go and signed with New England last month.

The Jets project to have one of the youngest linebacking corps in the league in 2017 with an average age of just 24.3. After a 10-win first season, Coach Todd Bowles is saddled with a very young, inexperienced team without a clear #1 QB.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

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About Steve Balestrieri

A former US Army Special Forces NCO and Officer, Steve has been following the Patriots since their days at Fenway Park. Steve has worked in the film industry and wrote as an Military Editor at, as a reporter for the Millbury Daily Voice, Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, and the Grafton News. He's also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Tags: 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Danny Amendola Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Tom Brady

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