Some news and notes on this Tuesday:
1) With training camp now looming, the vast majority of remaining players are set to arrive at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, with players set to go through the standard protocols leading up to their return to the field this week.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media Tuesday morning and said he’s excited to get started, with the next several days seeing the club start off with non-padded practices while saying the process will be similar to how it was in the spring before they turn the corner heading into next week.
“We’re excited to get going. We obviously have a long, long way to go,” said Belichick. “We’ll just take it one step at a time. But it’s good to get the players in that have been in for a few days. The rookies and the quarterbacks, some of the other veteran players that are here and we’ll have the full complement of the team coming in today.
“Really, this is a continuation of the spring, it’s kind of like the minicamp days were, we’re obviously not in pads here for several days and the scheduling is pretty much what it was in the spring during that minicamp period. We’ll be really continuing what we did there until next week and kind of turn the corner and get into a little different tempo in practice.”
Belichick said that this year will be more like 2019, although the protocols regarding COVID-19 remain stringent and they’ll continue following the guidance and requirements by the league. However, he’s looking forward to getting back into things, which will kick off tomorrow morning when the team takes the field at 9:45 am for the first time on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.
2) Belichick was obviously asked about the current situation with Stephon Gilmore as well as the trade request by receiver N’Keal Harry, and as expected, he declined to answer any questions.
“Not going to talk about contracts or personal situations,” said Belichick.
He was also asked about the current status when it came to the percentage of players who were vaccinated, with Belichick saying that the club will abide by the league requirements and that the decision for a player or coach to be vaccinated are “individual decisions” and they’ll simply do whatever they need to in order to comply with the NFL’s guidelines.
“I don’t know, quite a few of them, most of them, probably,” said Belichick when asked what percentage of his players were vaccinated. “Whatever the protocols are, we’ll follow them. Those are individual decisions, there are categories for everybody, so wherever they fit, they fit.”
As for the starting quarterback situation, Belichick wouldn’t get into details but did imply that there may, indeed, be an opportunity for someone other than Cam Newton to potentially seize the starting role.
“Every one of us has to go out and establish our level of performance, in whatever our role or capacity is,” said Belichick. “It’s a new season. We’ve done some things in the spring, but this is really the start of football season in terms of the team-building part here in training camp. We all have a lot of work to do, that includes all of us. Until we go out and do anything, it’s pretty much a clean slate.”
Inlcuding the quarterbacks?
“Including the coaches and all the players,” said Belichick.
So there you go.
3) Former Patriot Richard Seymour will enter the Patriots Hall of fame on October 23rd, and there was another name that was included that’s certainly nice to see.
Former Patriots Cheerleading director Tracy Sormanti, who passed away from multiple myeloma back in December, will be honored posthumously with her induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame as the first woman to be included with that honor after she spent 32 seasons with the team.
“Tracy Sormanti was one of my first hires after I bought the team and, for the past 27 seasons, she was one of our greatest ambassadors,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “No one was more passionate about the Patriots and committed to using our brand to connect with fans than Tracy. She loved preparing her teams for their performances, both on and off the field, and did so with great compassion and conviction. Her countless contributions spanning the past three decades have entertained and positively impacted the lives of so many in our communities. It is an honor to select Tracy as a Patriots Hall of Famer and to know that her legacy will be preserved for generations to come.”
Those who would like to attend will be able to do so at what is a free event held at the stadium, which will be held the Saturday before the Patriots take on the Jets the next day at Gillette Stadium.
4) It sounds like former Patriots receiver Chris Hogan has an itch to get back on the field in the NFL, and he’ll be putting his pads back on with a new club this season.
According to published reports, Hogan will be joining the Saints in New Orleans, which comes after he spent time this year on the lacrosse field.
His return to the NFL came after Hogan worked out for the Saints recently and impressed enough where the team offered him a contract. The Saints reportedly worked out several receivers on Sunday, with Hogan apparently being the one that stood out.
The veteran receiver will reportedly start the year on the PUP list after undergoing ankle surgery. The 33-year old will be sidelined for a while, with his recovery reportedly expected to last into the early portion of the season.
Hogan spent three seasons in New England, joining the team in 2016 before signing in Carolina following the 2018 season.
5) The Patriots were apparently interested in Deshaun Watson, with Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain revealing that New England was among eight teams who did some due diligence on the embattled quarterback prior to the draft.
“The Patriots were one of the teams that inquired about him, then, of course, they took Mac Jones,” McClain said via NBC Sports Boston. “Four of those eight teams took quarterbacks in the first round. I think that Miami would have taken him in a heartbeat in a trade, but I don’t think the Texans are interested in Tua Tagovailoa.”
As far as where Watson might be headed, it sounds like Philadelphia maybe a possibility as the Eagles have come up quite a bit in recent trade rumors.
The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia wrote about the possibility of the Eagles acquiring Watson and believes that despite his issues, turning Philadelphia back into a winner will cause fans to quickly forget about that.
If the Eagles do trade for Watson, their strategy will be to assure the public that they’ve done their own investigation and are comfortable with making him a member of the organization. They will point to the legal process and the NFL’s investigation playing out. They will set expectations for Watson to be a leader on the field and in the community.
But GM Howie Roseman has talked often about how Philadelphia is a unique market. He and owner Jeffrey Lurie will have to answer questions about whether they interviewed the alleged victims. If the answer is no, they’ll have to explain why. If the answer is yes, they’ll have to explain what they heard that still made them comfortable adding Watson.
It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the Eagles have been so heavily linked to Watson. Perhaps the organization wants to assess what kind of storm might be coming if they were to make the move. The truth is the Eagles know the kind of power they have over their fan base. They might get crushed in the media. There might be a segment of fans who say they are done with the team if Watson becomes the quarterback. But the Eagles know that the majority of fans find ways to rationalize all kinds of things — especially if the team they’re rooting for is winning.
Watson still faces an uphill battle with 22 pending civil lawsuits but if the Texans do decide to move on, seeing him potentially head out of the conference would certainly be good news for Patriots fans who would likely be quite happy to see another talented quarterback leave the AFC.
We’ll close this out with a funny video from former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead, who in seen competing with his kids and beating them with a long putt, telling everyone that he’ll never “just let my kids win” and that you “Gotta compete!” He then proceeds to toss them all in the pool after the victory:
I will NEVER just let my kids win! Love them too much to just let them win. Gotta compete! If one of them makes the putt they push me in the pool and if i win i throw them in. Pink swim cap in honor of swimming in the olympics. pic.twitter.com/9Ip1i6XArI
— danny woodhead (@danny__woodhead) July 27, 2021
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick New England Patriots