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Patriots News 7/13: Daily Team Notebook

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
4 weeks ago at 12:13 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Patriots News 7/13: Daily Team NotebookDavid Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes on this Wednesday:

– The New England Patriots finally closed the book on wide receiver N’Keal Harry on Tuesday, with Harry getting traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 7th-round pick.  The fact the Patriots got so little for him tells you that Bill Belichick felt it was important to remove him from the equation prior to training camp, which allows the players who will potentially be on the roster in 2022 to maximize their reps.  As it was, the fourth-year wideout was relegated to the third team during OTAs, which certainly didn’t bode well considering what’s transpired at that position this offseason.  They added DeVante Parker and drafted Tyquan Thornton, so it was clear they knew they needed to add talent to that group and the writing was already on the wall heading into camp.  Unfortunately, it’s just too bad the former first-round pick never got things together, but now he’ll get the fresh start he was looking for last offseason.

– Out in Chicago, they appear to be thrilled with the move given that the risk is so little.  The Bears receiving corps is not exactly deep with talent and has a group led by Darnell Mooney, along with Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown and David Moore.  They also selected Velus Jones Jr. in the third round earlier in April.  Harry now becomes potentially one of their best receiving threats, with a chance to earn a role with Mooney as one of their leading targets.  To get a potential first-round talent at the cost of just a 7th-round pick obviously has many Bears fans excited, with the potential benefit being something they hope will give Fields another viable target in 2022.

– As for the Patriots, Harry will go down in history as one of the more frustrating selections of the Belichick era, given that the talent and physical attributes were there but he was just never able to pull it all together.  He appeared in just 33 games in his three seasons in New England, finishing with 57 receptions for 598-yards along with four touchdowns.  His best season came in 2020 with Cam Newton running things, but Harry’s trainer essentially ruined that relationship after blaming Newton for Harry’s shortcomings.  However, rookie Mac Jones couldn’t have done more last season to help him, with Jones hitting him 12 times over 12 games for 184-yards, along with even helping him line up correctly after he lined up wrong.  The fact Belichick kept him around after he demanded a trade last offseason also tells you how much support he had at the top, yet Harry never rewarded them for it.  Needless to say, the former Arizona State receiver now has the change of scenery he’s been seeking and a new place to make excuses.  Good luck to him.

– Former defensive back Jason McCourty offered up his thoughts on the Patriots coaching staff recently on Good Morning Football, giving an honest take about how he sees things.  “You’ll never hear anybody [on the team] say anything in the media … but it’s definitely going to be a big thing. It has to be,” McCourty said via Mike Reiss. “If you’re Mac Jones … who’s the guy you go to and say, ‘I want to run these plays this week’?”  Being the brother of safety Devin McCourty, it gives you a glimpse into what other players are possibly thinking.  As a result, the pressure is already on Matt Patricia and Joe Judge from a football standpoint, but clearly they’re going to also have to earn the respect of the players, who likely have their own concerns heading into training camp.

– Former Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse has decided to call it a career, with the veteran announcing his retirement in an emotional post on social media on Tuesday.  “I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to those who have helped me follow my dream. I am saying goodbye to the game that I love, the game that I have sacrificed so much for and I want to truly say thank you to those who have sacrificed so much for me,” wrote LaCosse.  “This dream wouldn’t have been possible without you.  Thank you to my wife for dedicating yourself to me and our family. We have been through every high and low a 7 year NFL career could offer. You have seen me at my worst and you have seen me at my best. Words cannot describe the support you have shown me and I couldn’t imagine doing this without you by my side. I love you.”  LaCosse spent seven seasons in the NFL, with the former standout from Illinois earning his start as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 2015.  He also played with the Broncos and spent his final seasons in New England in 2019 and 2021 after missing the 2020 season where he opted out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NFL NOTES:

– Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher made a bold statement on the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast where he claimed that there are players out there claiming they have CTE who may not have it, which hs his him frustrated.  “Here’s the problem now with all the guys with the CTE,” Urlacher said, via Mediate.com, “if they do have it, I feel for them, but there’s guys who say they have it just so they can be in the fucking lawsuit.”  As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com points out, there is no lawsuit currently and there’s no benefit to living players since the condition can only be confirmed after their death and an evaluation of the brain confirms it.  Either way, players have already talked about how difficult it is to even make the admission to begin with, so potentially shaming them is something a fellow player shouldn’t be doing.  Especially when it’s the league, not any other player, potentially footing the bill.

– Down in New York, the Giants seem to be making progress under new head coach Brian Daboll, who left a fairly significant void of his own after the former Buffalo Bills coordinator took the head coaching job with the Giants.  So far, his players are pleased with what they’ve seen and defensive back Julian Love talked about the environment under Daboll in a recent interview on Good Morning Football.  “The biggest thing so far has been just transparency from the top down,” said Love via Giants.com. “I think any worker, that’s what you want. You want to know what your boss is thinking, what he expects from you, and that’s what it’s been so far. It’s been great to get to know Coach Dabes. He’s very eccentric, I guess you could say. He has a lot of energy. You can see him wearing his all-black suit every day with the J’s on. He’s a different breed as a coach. It’s been good just to get to know these guys.”  Daboll replaced Judge, who was previously the club’s head coach but was fired back in January after just two seasons.

– Bears long time punter Bob Parsons passed away last Friday at the age of 72.  When it comes to versatility, Parsons definitely fell into that category as he also played tight end and finished his career with 884 career punts, which has remained the franchise record for the Bears.  He also still has the third-longest punt in franchise history after hitting an 81-yard punt against the Patriots during a match-up against New England back in 1982.  He also kicked an NFL record 114 punts in 1981, which remains the league record.  He was originally drafted in the fifth-round out of Penn State and played in 167 consecutive games before being waived by Mike Ditka just before the end of the 1983 season after Ditka apparently learned that Parsons reportedly inquired about a coaching position with the USFL’s Chicago Blitz.  Parsons downplayed the move, later saying, ‘I let the Blitz know I was interested in the special teams over there,’ describing his offer as ‘just a word to let them know.’ Parsons also reportedly said he never actually spoke with Blitz coaches.  According to the Bears website, Parsons remained in the Windy City all the way up until his passing.  Best wishes to his friends and family.


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Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Bob Parsons Brian Daboll Brian Urlacher Byron Pringle Cam Newton Chicago Bears Darnell Mooney David Moore Devante Parker Devin McCourty Equanimeous St. Brown Jason McCourty Joe Judge Julian Love Mac Jones Matt Lacosse Matt Patricia Mike Ditka N'Keal Harry New England Patriots New York Giants Tyquan Thornton Velus Jones Jr.


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