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Five Patriots/NFL Things to Know For 4/11: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
1 month ago at 10:40 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Five Patriots/NFL Things to Know For 4/11: News and NotesDavid Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes on this Monday:

1) Much was made about Mac Jones’ workout with his fellow receivers down in Florida last week, but it sounds like that workout was essentially old news.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jones had already been hard at work this offseason, with the quarterback and his teammates already holding a handful of throwing sessions in Massachusetts.

One notable bit of information was the fact that Jonnu Smith was reportedly part of those earlier workouts, with Smith being a key name that some were talking about after he wasn’t spotted with the group that met in Florida.

Coming off a year that saw him struggle to get on the same page with Jones throughout the season, the fact he wasn’t seen was a topic of discussion.  However, it sounds like Smith has already quietly been working with Jones locally this offseason.

Last week’s group included Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, J.J. Taylor, with recent acquisition DeVante Parker joining in shortly after the team made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to bring him to New England.

2) Greg Bedard took a look at the Patriots current depth chart in his Sunday notes column and pointed out that despite some of the chatter, the club currently has enough talent to go out there and compete with their current group.

Bedard believes Bill Belichick went out and addressed several positions, leaving them with not a lot of glaring needs heading into the draft.

He breaks it down as the following:

Offense

QB: Mac Jones
RB: Damien Harris
HB: Jonnu Smith
TE: Hunter Henry
WR1: DeVante Parker
WR2: Nelson Agholor
WR3: Kendrick Bourne/Jakobi Meyers
LT: Isaiah Wynn
LG: Yasir Durant
C: David Andrews
RG: Mike Onwenu
RT: Trent Brown

Defense

REdge: Matthew Judon
RE: Deatrich Wise/Christian Barmore
NT: Davon Godchaux
LE: Lawrence Guy
LEdge: Josh Uche/Ronnie Perkins
LB: Ja’Whaun Bentley
LB: Mack Wilson
CB: Malcolm Butler
CB: Jalen Mills
SCB: Jonathan Jones
FS: Devin McCourty
SS: Adrian Phillips
3S: Kyle Dugger

Obviously, there are still some big questions still in need of answers, including the following:

a) Offensive line remains a big question mark on the offensive side of the football, with both guard and tackle on the left side still in need of depth.

b) Cornerback is also obviously a question mark, as after being away from football for a year, it’s tough to say where Malcolm Butler will be physically in order to handle the rigors of a now 17 game season and possibly beyond.  They have enough depth to field a potential starting roster, but not much beyond that.  Jalen Mills was a terrific role player but it feels like a big ask if he has to start covering top targets.  Jonathan Jones is in a contract year and was already playing well, but they definitely need to add some youth to this group.

c) Linebacker is the other question.  They need speed here, with last year’s 5th round pick, Cameron McGrone, being one of the more interesting names to keep an eye on.  Looking back at some of the reports from the draft, McGrone received a lot of praise with some analysts calling him “insanely athletic”, with terrific sideline-to-sideline speed.  Newcomer Mack Wilson is also athletic, with Raekwon McMillan being another player who might help them.  Still, adding another in the draft would seem to be a priority.

There’s a long way to go and quite a few names still unsigned, which Bedard pointed out will likely change as players will likely try and grab a spot before teams fill them prior to both the draft and OTAs.  But as it stands, they’ve got a formidable group.  It just happens to be one that still has several important questions still left to answer.

3) With both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge set to reportedly handle much of the coaching load on offense this year, some have wondered why Belichick hasn’t brought back Bill O’Brien to help in that area given Jones’ familiarity with him at Alabama given that it would be an obvious fit.

Bedard apparently found out the reason, and also talked about it in his notes column.

Finally got to the bottom of the Bill O’Brien mystery, and why he’s not back here as offensive coordinator. A) O’Brien made a two-year commitment to Saban. B) Belichick just wasn’t going to put Saban, his good friend, in the position of giving his blessing on O’Brien leaving. Sure, you and I can say it shouldn’t be that hard to pick up the phone and say, “Hey Nick, you can just tell me no and I’ll go away … but do you think you could stand to lose Billy?” That seems reasonable and follows the old adage of it never hurts to ask … but Belichick knew that wouldn’t be fair to put Saban in that position, so he didn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Now, don’t rule out O’Brien for next season if the Matt Patricia-Joe Judge plan does not work well.

So it sounds like the possibility isn’t completely off the table, but it just seems like it won’t be something we’ll see happen until at least 2023, depending on how things go this season.

4) Saturday’s news about Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was shocking to say the least, with the former Ohio State standout losing his life after being hit by a vehicle in Florida.

Haskins was reportedly on hand for workouts with his teammates, with the quarterback trying to compete for a starting role for Pittsburgh following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger this offseason.

News reports have had limited details on the accident, with the latest being that Haskins was struck by a dump truck after exiting his vehicle on a highway in Fort Lauderdale and trying to cross before being struck and killed.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Indiana Miranda told ESPN that Haskins was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic,” Miranda told the network in an emailed statement.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin released a statement on the passing of his player, which everyone within the organization is still struggling to process.

“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” wrote Tomlin. “He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken.”

Haskins was just 24-years old.

5)  We’ll close this out with something a little lighter.  Out in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s future remains questionable but apparently there’s a fan who is doing her best to document his remaining time with the team.

According to a report from ABC Channel 7 out of San Francisco, 49ers fan Rita Oak started a campaign on Twitter where she’s drawing photos every day of the quarterback until he’s traded.

She’s done some fairly humorous ones, including the following:

She apparently started this back on March 17th and her Twitter account has already added over 5,000 followers.  Many of her ideas are coming from suggestions she gets on Twitter, which she said she draws on her iPad.

“I draw them (the drawings) on my iPad using on Pro Create (app),” she told the news station.  “I mean I try to make fast drawings, but at this point some of the references are turning a little bit more detailed and complicated so I think I spend at least one hour a day drawing the Jimmy G drawings.”

It’s tough to say how long she’ll be doing it for, especially considering recent reports that have indicated that they’re actually potentially willing keep him on the roster for this season if a trade doesn’t eventually come to fruition.

For now, you can view the full article on her here.


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Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Devante Parker Dwayne Haskins J.J. Taylor Jakobi Meyers Jimmy Garoppolo Kendrick Bourne Mac Jones Mike Tomlin Nelson Agholor New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers


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