Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 04-12 and AFC East notes this week.
From all of us here, we hope everyone is has a healthy and happy Easter or Passover. Stay safe folks, we will all get through this.
Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL:
Terry Bradshaw: We knew this one was going to ignite Patriots fans as soon as we saw Bradshaw’s comments. The former Steelers QB turned NFL analyst had some pointed comments about Tom Brady’s legacy.
“Look, he left because he wanted to prove something, and he wants to prove to everyone that he can win without Bill Belichick. Between all that, you say all the wonderful things [about Belichick] … but after 20 years, he’s leaving. You gotta be kidding me.”
“I don’t think he’s the greatest quarterback of all-time,” Bradshaw said this week on 97.3 in Pittsburgh. “It’s hard to say. He may be the best quarterback we’ve had in the last 30 years. Is he better than [Roger] Staubach? No. Is he better than Dan Fouts? No. Dan Marino? No. I’m talking talent-wise when you’re putting all of it together.
Fouts? …Ouch. And I was a huge fan of his when he was a player. Perhaps Bradshaw was playing to his audience, which I’m sure played well…but, “child please.”
Julian Edelman: The Patriots wide receiver has been cleared of vandalism charges according to TMZ this week. Holy s**t! (excuse my language on this day)… But we’re quoting TMZ here? Signs of an impending apocalypse.
Edelman was inebriated (really?) when he slid across the hood of a Mercedes that was stopped in traffic on January 11. He compensated the owner and paid for damages. Because of that, vandalism charges were dropped.
Fanatics/Patriots Unite: From the Patriots website: The New England Patriots and Fanatics, the leader for officially licensed sports merchandise, today announced a 10-year e-commerce partnership that will have Fanatics operate the online and mobile retail merchandise business for the six-time Super Bowl champions. The team will continue to operate their Patriots Pro Shop stores at Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place.
4th & 2 Podcast – If you’ve haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, check it out. This week Derek, and I discussed the offensive prospects in the NFL Draft. And we uploaded a video with Mike Dussault of Patriots.com. This Wednesday we’re going to host Fred Kirsch, who is the Publisher and Vice President of Content, Kraft Sports Productions (which includes the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, and Gillette Stadium). Fred was the Publisher for the long-time Patriots magazine “Patriots Football Weekly” and is one of the hosts of “Patriots Unfiltered” on the team’s website.
Brady Unleashed a Few Good Tidbits With Stern:
With the appearance of Tom Brady on the Howard Stern show, the Bucs QB was able to clear the air and at the same time, make a clean break from the New England Patriots.
A few things stood out, first he and Stern have a mutual admiration society going on and the two hold each other in high regard. However, there were some good moments in the two-hour interview that they shared.
Brady was candid about not caring about his legacy, which we were all wrong on that one. “I never cared about legacies. I could give a s**t. … That’s not me, that’s not my personality. Why did I choose a different place? Because it was just time.”
Brady admitted what we’ve all believed, that if he doesn’t believe in a wide receiver, he will not throw him the ball. Pretty candid stuff, something we’d never hear from the NE version of Brady.
“I don’t have any trust that this guy can help us win the game. If you put him out there, I’m not going to throw him the ball.” Added: “He saw football in the same way I did. We saw the process of winning the same way.”
His take on skipping OTAs was actually not anything new, Brady stated many times it was to spend time with his family, but many thought it was pushback against Belichick or dissatisfaction with his contract. Now, all proved to be bunk. His wife Gisele wrote him a letter explaining how she felt, something he’s kept in a drawer.
“She didn’t feel like I was doing my part for our family,” Brady said. “She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house and all of a sudden when the season would end, I would be like, ‘Great, let me get into all my other business activities. Let me get into my football training.’ And she’s sitting there going, ‘Well, when are you going to do things for the house? When are you going to take the kids to school and do that?’ And that was a big part of our marriage. I had to, like, check myself. Because she’s like, ‘I have goals and dreams too.'”
Bundchen who is very successful in her own line of business wasn’t happy. “Well, yeah, of course this works for you. It all works for you. But it doesn’t work for me. Because you can get caught up in your life where you think a relationship’s great, because it only works for you. And the point of a relationship — it has to work for both. You’d better work on both, ’cause if you don’t, then ultimately it’s not sustainable.”
Stern asked Brady about race and specifically race relations. In a league where the vast majority of players are African-American was there ever guilt or racial division in the Patriots locker room.
“Never,” Brady said. “Never once have I felt like that’s the point. I never saw race. I think sports transcends race. It transcends wealth. It transcends all that. You get to know and appreciate what someone else may bring. When you’re in a locker room with 50 guys, you don’t think about race because you’re all the same at that point.”
Winovich Poised for Big Jump in Year 2:
The Patriots had a huge loss of talent in the 2020 offseason beginning with Tom Brady, but the team also lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts and Ted Karras in free agency Duron Harmon was traded in a salary dump to the Lions and the team released kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
However, through adversity comes opportunity and for Chase Winovich, 2020 could be a major step in his development. With a major loss in linebacker depth, the door is open for Winovich to earn starting reps and carve out a big role in the defense.
Winovich was a comparative steal for the Patriots during the 2019 NFL Draft and many draft pundits were surprised that Winovich was still there for the taking in the 3rd round with the 77th overall pick. With the flowing blonde locks and the infectious personality, everyone knew he’d be an immediate fan favorite. But he also showed he could play.
He instantly gave the Patriots a solid special teams presence and playing behind Van Noy, and Collins on the outside, he provided solid rookie numbers as a situational pass rusher and logged 5.5 sacks.
Now with a year in the system and the path to starting at outside linebacker/defensive end seemingly wide open, Winovich is in perfect position to make himself a key part of the defense. Look for “Thor” to have a big year in 2020.
First Round Possibilities for the Patriots:
When looking at the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, the big question people ask is, “where does the team need help?” And the short answer is, other than running back and cornerback…everywhere.
The offensive line needs help although at least on paper the entire starting unit is returning. But the questions remain whether they’ll trade LG Joe Thuney or try to work out a long-term deal with him. Will David Andrews be ready to go from his blood clots in his lungs? Is right tackle Marcus Cannon who has a $9.5 dollar cap hit and it seems is always dealing with some kind of injury, a candidate for being cut? Much of that depends on last year’s red-shirt draft picks Hjalte Froholdt and tackle Yodny Cajuste. If they feel those two are ready to step in, then they can draft for depth.
We’ve discussed tight end and wide receiver so many times it seems like we’re on a skipping record. But they need (IMHO) this year a pair of pass-catching tight ends in the draft and a wide receiver with speed. I believe N’Keal Harry and Mohamad Sanu will both be healthy and better in 2020.
Defensive line needs another big body inside and an edge rusher. After losing three linebackers in Free agency, they need an influx of youth to go along with Hightower and the other young linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Chase Winovich. Both starting safeties return but Duron Harmon was traded to the Lions in a salary cap dump. The team brought in Adrian Phillips but could use some youth at free safety. And finally, after releasing Gostkowski, the team needs a kicker.
Did we leave anybody out? How many picks do they have again???
No AFC East Notes This Week:
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Draft
Tags: Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Devin McCourty Dont'a Hightower Jamie Collins Julian Edelman Kyle Van Noy Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Tom Brady