Some New England Patriots news and notes on this Monday:
– The Patriots signed former Chiefs offensive lineman Darryl Williams on Friday, adding additional depth at the center position heading into training camp. New England has David Andrews as the expected starter and already had James Ferentz as the current back-up, as well as undrafted free agent Kody Russey. Andrews was reportedly limited during OTAs but there haven’t been any reports of anything that should be an issue, so it’s likely just the team rounding out their depth before things kick off next month.
– Andrews’ value can’t be overstated. In 2019, when he missed the season after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung, the Patriots weren’t as effective running the football, finishing 25th in the league in average rushing yards per play at 3.8. When Andrews returned in 2020, they were ranked 8th at 4.7 and were 11th in 2021 at 4.4. He brings a physical presence that has been a difference-maker and that’s why seeing him paired up with rookie Cole Strange, who is also a physical player, is going to be so fun to watch this season.
– Rookie defensive back Jack Jones remains one of the more interesting players to watch this preseason, as Jones looked impressive during OTAs and made a solid first impression. The knock against Jones is his size, with the rookie reportedly coming in at 177 pounds and he’ll need to put on some weight heading into camp. But he’s a scrappy player, entering Arizona State at 158 pounds and quickly establishing himself even despite his size. So far, he’s off to a good start here and he looks like he could potentially end up being one of the most pleasant surprises of 2022.
– By now, most people know Jones’ story and his inspiring turnaround. His former college coach, Herm Edwards, took a chance on him after Jones was dismissed from USC due to academic ineligibility, which later saw him arrested for burglary after breaking into a local restaurant. However, even Edwards had a tough time with him. He suspended Jones indefinitely along with teammate Aashari Crosswell in November of 2020 for a “team conducted related matter” and even told ESPN’s Mike Reiss recently, that the rookie had “been a handful”. However, football seems to be what keeps his mind right, and Edwards added that being in Foxboro is “a good spot for him” and he believes good things are ahead.
– Devin McCourty spoke to NFL Network’s Kayla Burton about teammate Mac Jones, who he said is definitely confident heading into 2022. “It’s been fun. He’s talking trash now,” said McCourty via USA TODAY. “He’s got a little swag about him and I think that’s what we’ve all been encouraging him: ‘Mac, just be yourself. You’re the guy here and you’re going to lead this franchise. Do it how you see fit. Don’t try to be like anybody else. Be yourself.’” Considering the man Jones is trying to replace, it’s definitely great advice.
– ProFootballTalk.com had an article looking at the practice of veterans sticking rookies with the bill during team dinners and had a humorous story that involved a former Patriot. Former New England running back Fred Taylor said that during one such outing, Taylor said he watched Tom Brady pull off a pretty expensive prank. “Tom [Brady] would come in there and buy a three, four, five thousand dollar bottle of wine, take one sip, say goodnight,” said Taylor. Taylor went on to say that he witnessed that happening more than once, which helped rack up a bill that ended up being in the tens of thousands of dollars that the rookies then had to pay for.
– Former Chiefs standout Tyreek Hill apparently ruffled some feathers with his comments this offseason about new teammate Tua Tagovailoa‘s accuracy being better than Patrick Mahomes. Those comments seemingly caught Mahomes off guard. Mahomes said “I’m surprised a little” by Hill’s comments, adding, “We loved Tyreek Hill here.”
– Tagovaiola seems to be in a better place after a rocky couple of seasons. Teammate Chase Edmonds said recently that he believes the quarterback was put in some unfair situations the last two years but believes 2022 will be a good one for him. “I think Tua gets an unfair judgment,” said Edmonds. “I think that’s how it is when you play quarterback. I think he was kind of put in some unfair situations the last two years. I think Mike McDaniel is someone who is competent, someone who is going to have a good offensive scheme. We’ve got weapons around him this year. It’s going to be a lot easier. I’m going to say that you’re going to see the Alabama version of Tua that people remember.”
– After losing tight end C.J. Uzomah to the Jets this offseason, it sounds like the Cincinnati Bengals were about as surprised as anyone when Uzomah confirmed he wasn’t coming back. According to a report, the Bengals actually were holding out hope that they’d be able to get him to reconsider even after he had agreed to terms. However, after agreeing to a three-year, $24 million deal in New York, Uzomah apparently had his heart set on playing in that market and hasn’t looked back, leaving the Bengals to then have to go and find a replacement. Uzomah caught 49 passes for 493 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2021.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Aashari Crosswell C.J. Uzomah Chase Edmonds Cole Strange Darryl Williams David Andrews Devin McCourty Fred Taylor Herm Edwards Jack Jones James Ferentz Kody Russey Mac Jones Mike McDaniel Patrick Mahomes Tom Brady Tua Tagovailoa Tyreek Hill