Some news and notes for this morning:
Patriots Lose Two OTAs Due to Rule Violations
So much for getting a little news out of Foxboro this week.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots have reportedly been penalized by the NFL due to a violation of offseason rules, which has led to the league hitting them with the loss of two OTA practices.
The first canceled practice will reportedly be today’s session in Foxboro, which was highly anticipated due to the fact it was the first one open to the media. This latest news slams the door on fans getting any insight on this year’s group of players, while club also reportedly will lose a practice next week as well.
As far as what the specific rule violation was, that’s yet to be reported. However, in this phase of OTAs, teams are permitted a total of 10 sessions, with the understanding there is no live contact permitted. That rule is part of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, with the NFLPA actively monitoring that.
Still, with no representatives actively in the building, the next question is obviously how it was reported. The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan appeared on NBC Boston Thursday night and discussed it, and he believes it could very well have been reported by one of the club’s own players.
“You look at the past, last year the Cowboys, too physical in practice. Two days, Mike McCarthy, $100,000 fine,” said Callahan. “I don’t think we’ll ever find out if Bill Belichick got a similar fine. 2021, the 49ers, Jaguars, same deal. Some sort of rule. I mean in 2021, it was also Urban Meyer running the Oklahoma drill in June, which is kind of like, what the hell are you doing? Low and behold, he gets fired seven months later. But I think this is either something that they knew about going in with the risk, or you have a new guy, a veteran you brought in, or someone who has just had enough of it as they’re trying to install a new offense, and said, ‘this is too much.'”
Callahan reported during the appearance that the second session they’re losing is Tuesday’s practice, which has also been canceled.
Meanwhile, Michael Holley suggested it could have come due to players who spent too much time with coaches, which he felt could have possibly been the cause.
“I’m not going to guess a person, I’m going to guess a situation,” said Holley. “Because you’re not allowed to get into coaches, and the playbook, and playbook installation, playbook study, I’m guessing it’s something like that. You’ve got a new offensive coordinator, you want to get Mac Jones going, you want to get the quarterbacks on board, it may be something like that.”
In the meantime, it’s obviously a frustrating situation, especially for a team with so much at stake heading into this season. Given the restrictions, time is incredibly valuable, and as a result of this, they’re instead without two days of work that they’ll now need to somehow make up.
New Player Numbers Revealed
With the club posting some pictures from the team’s recent workouts, it looks like we at least know which numbers some of the new players will initially be wearing ahead of training camp.
First-round pick Christian Gonzalez was donning the number 50, which was the same number Mac Jones wore temporarily during his rookie season, while JuJu Smith-Schuster wore the #7, and Mike Gesicki wore #88.
Unfortunately, with the recent news of the club’s violations, it will likely be a bit before we get any further look at players. Patriots.com’s Evan Lazar reported Wednesday night that the next potential practice that will be open to the media is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, May 31.
Patriots Images Already Appearing in Frankfurt
Now that the Patriots are set to play a game in Frankfurt Germany, it didn’t take long for the marketing to begin.
According to one fan, one of the streetcars is already featuring the club’s colors, including an image of Matthew Judon and Mac Jones, who were the two players appearing on the side as it passed by.
Matt Judon & Mac Jones on a streetcar in Frankfurt, all in Patriots colors. The New England Patriots are already promoting their NFL Germany "home game" against the Indianapolis Colts on November 12, 2023 (Week 10). Love it!pic.twitter.com/Xvy5pgBNOw
— René Bugner (@RNBWCV) May 25, 2023
The Patriots will be taking on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10 on November 12th at Deutsche Bank Park, which is their first game in Europe in over a decade. Clearly, the city is already promoting the contest, with New England having previously been awarded marketing rights for the country as being an official “home market” for the club.
Scarnecchia impressed by New OL Coach Klemm
Former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is certainly well respected here in New England and it appears he’s got plenty of faith in new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm’s ability to get a better performance out of that unit in 2023.
Scarnecchia recently appeared on the “6 Rings & Football Things” podcast earlier in the week and said he was impressed with Klemm’s attention to detail, as well as the way he conducts himself.
“Adrian went into coaching right after he got done playing. I think he’s had a really good career in college,” said Scarnecchia via Pats Pulpit. “I remember I went out to work out a player at UCLA, and Adrian was the offensive line coach. I sat at a distance and watched him coach the whole practice. He’s a detailed guy. He’s tough. He doesn’t have much patience for guys that aren’t working hard. I was really impressed with the way he went about his business.”
Klemm, who was drafted by the club in the second round of 2000, was actually Bill Belichick’s first-ever selection as head coach. He played five seasons in New England, all of which were played under Scarnecchia before retiring in 2006.
Belichick also had praise for Klemm when asked about Klemm earlier this offseason.
“Yeah, I think he’ll do a good job for us,” said Belichick. “Smart guy. Played in June [Jones]’s offense. Has a really good understanding of, I’d say some of the more complex things on the offensive line. I think he’s performed well in his coaching positions at various spots.”
Former Patriots RB Retires
Former New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill reportedly retired this week, with Hill’s tenure with the club having been brief but it ended up leading to the end of his NFL career.
Hill played with the Cincinnati Bengals for four seasons and joined the Patriots ahead of the 2018 season, which ultimately ended up being his final one.
After having gotten off to a good start carrying 4 times for 25 yards (6.3 avg), as well as catching one pass for 6-yards, Hill suffered a torn ACL in the club’s first game of that season against the Texans. The play happened following a 25-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski on just their second play of the third quarter, which saw the tight end fumble the football. During the play, Hill suffered the injury while trying to make a tackle and was was actually hit by teammate James Develin, who had gone in low to try and make the hit but instead hit Hill.
And just like that, Hill’s season – and apparently his career – came to an end.
New England went on to win the game 27-20, but Hill ended up on injured reserve while the Patriots went on to finish the season as Super Bowl champions. The one positive is that Hill did reportedly receive a ring as the result of his brief contributions, albeit it certainly didn’t work out the way he obviously hoped.
The now-former NFL running back posted an announcement on his Instagram page, where he confirmed that injury was the one that ended his time in the league.
“Unfortunately due to the injuries I sustained September 9, 2018, I will no longer be pursuing my career in professional football,” wrote Hill. “That’s right I’m retiring from the game that we all love so dearly, it’s been one hell of a journey and I wouldn’t have been close to enjoying it without my family specifically my Mother, my coaches and all the great teammates I was blessed to play with. Now the fun part of life starts for me but in the meantime I will be doing everything in my power to help the next generation in our game so we all can continue to enjoy our great sport for decades to come.”
Posted Under: Patriots News