Good morning, and here are our Sunday Patriots news 6/18 and notes for this week.
First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there. With the state that our world is in, we are in dire need of more great dads and moms out there.
We wish you all a safe and happy Father’s Day surrounded by loved ones. While we all kept an eye on the news waiting for (hopefully) word of a signing by DeAndre Hopkins, on Friday night came breaking news of the wrong variety.
Jack Jones Ignores His Own Advice:
Patriots’ cornerback Jack Jones was arrested at Logan Airport for attempting to bring two loaded firearms onto an aircraft in his carry-on baggage.
According to Mass. State Police, Jones, 25, was charged with two counts of the following offenses:
- possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of the airport
- possession of ammunition without a firearm identification (FID) card
- unlawful possession of a firearm
- carrying a loaded firearm
- possession of a large-capacity feeding device.
The high-capacity feeding devices in question are magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Any magazine which holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition (for rifles and pistols) is forbidden. However, if a person holds a Massachusetts license to carry, then they are allowed to purchase a magazine of greater than 10 rounds provided if the magazine was purchased prior to September 13, 1994.
The Patriots released a statement about the incident saying,”We have been notified that Jack Jones was arrested at Logan Airport earlier today. We are in the process of gathering more information and will not be commenting further at this time.”
Jones flashed great potential as a ball-hawk in his rookie season in 2022. He followed that up with a very good spring, and, at the end of off-season workouts, which was Friday, seemed poised for a starting position in the secondary in 2023. Now, that may certainly be called in question.
Jones will be arraigned next week in East Boston District Court. His bail was set at $50,000. Occupying or attempting to occupy the secure area of an airport while knowingly carrying a prohibited weapon is punishable by up to 2.5 years in a house of correction or five years in state prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. The TSA also can levy fines up to about $15,000 for this case.
Just about a month ago, Jones chastised NBA star Ja Morant after he was suspended for the second time (25 games) for openly displaying firearms in public on social media.
“@JaMorant dumb.. you letting social media and yo pride ruin yo real money. Put them guns down and run that money up. Make one of yo homies sign up for security or concealed carry if you feel like you need it that bad.. but you the bread winner you gotta start acting like it..”
Sage advice from the Patriots’ CB, some of which he should have followed himself.
Quick Hitters For the Patriots and NFL News:
DeAndre Hopkins: DHop visited the Patriots this week, and it created a buzz around Gillette after the minicamp was over. Many were looking forward to seeing Hopkins in a splattered paintball shirt after Bill Belichick canceled the final day of the minicamp and reportedly took the team paintballing.
And while reportedly the meeting went well, Hopkins left without signing a contract, preferring to apparently wait until late July to make his decision. However, Hopkins did set tongues wagging with his shared post on his Instagram page. Hopkins posed in the Patriots’ locker room with Matthew Judon and had a photo taken under the title of “La Familia.” He knows how to generate interest for sure.
D.J. Fluker: The former #11 draft pick of the then-San Diego Chargers in the 2014 NFL Draft was in Foxboro for a workout with the Patriots this week but hasn’t been signed to a contract.
Fluker spent four years with the Chargers before bouncing around with the Giants, Seahawks, and Ravens. He last appeared in the NFL in 2020, primarily due to weight issues. Those issues were traced to his diet, an area which he has made great strides in rectifying.
Fluker tipped the scales at about 340 pounds during his time in the NFL. He has recently lost over 40 pounds, and videos filmed of his workouts have shown a much improved (physically) player.
Whether or not he signs with the Patriots remains to be seen. But with the minicamp showing of Trent Brown, it might merit a second look for the Patriots. But Fluker has made his wishes well known.
“I just want a chance!” Fluker said.
Patriots 4th & 2 Podcast: If you haven’t listened to our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2”, in a bit, please check it out. Patriots 4th & 2 is expanding. Russ will join Derek and me occasionally but is going to focus on frequent (about daily) short podcasts during the week once training camp and the season begin. These will be about 15-20 minutes in length and focus on one topic mainly. That will bring more great content from the crew. Derek and I will also join Russ from time to time as well.
This week Derek and I talked about the 2023 offense as it is currently constructed, Trent Brown’s minicamp, and of course DeAndre Hopkins. I also appeared with Pats beat writer Mike D’Abate on his excellent “Locked On Patriots” podcast. And getting back in football mode, it was good to catch up with Murph and Clare on “One Patriots Place.” on @E2gsports.
Russ Francis/Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame, and the fact that especially Francis isn’t is an absolute travesty. Francis and the Raiders’ Dave Casper changed the game with how teams used the tight end position…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens.
“Unicorns” Becoming the Face of the Defense —
Back in March, Jonathan Jones tweeted out that “Positionless football is the future of the NFL.” Then this past week, the ever-quotable Matthew Judon spoke about “Unicorns” on the Patriots’ defense.
“We have unicorns, for real,” Judon said after practice on Tuesday. “It’s going to be easy for us to match up with any offensive personnel.”
Bill Belichick has always coveted versatile players on his team, and the feeling has always been the more a player can do, the more valuable he is to the team. So, whether you choose versatile, positionless or unicorns, the Patriots’ defense looks to be a fun one to watch as they’ll no doubt confuse some opponents with different looks from the defense.
Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, and rookie hybrid Marte Mapu can play safety or in the box as a linebacker. Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, and the much-maligned Myles Bryant can play cornerback or safety. Marcus Jones can do that as well as play offense and special teams as a kick returner.
While the defense lost a key contributor and QB of the secondary, Devin McCourty to retirement this spring, the versatile defenders will all have to fulfill a role to adjust to do the many things McCourty could do, especially in the realm of communications.
It was an area that Peppers touched upon after practice earlier this week. “We lost great leadership and communication in Devin, but it’s on all of us to pick it up,” Peppers said. “He led by example.
“I think, personally, you kind of knew where Devin was going to be most of the time. He inserted, he rotated down, but for the most part you knew — 80 to 90 percent of the time — he was going to be in the post. Now, you don’t know where anybody’s going to be.” That is what the spring and training camp practices are for. For working out those kinks and details, and while we may see some of those crop up, with the excellent depth of veterans in the secondary, this should be ironed out.
Peppers was high on the potential a rookie like Mapu makes for the unit.
“You don’t know if he’s at ‘backer or safety now and we’re talking pre-snap, it might look one way to the offense; we run the same play but we just flip two guys, and now it looks like a completely different defense. That just kind of keeps spinning the dial.
“We have a lot of continuity going on. We only lost one player — a great player — but we know each other really well. So, we’re just trying to build off of that and take the next steps where we can.”
The defense was very good last year, but in adding three impact rookies with their first three picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, (Christian Gonzalez, Keion White, and the aforementioned Mapu) this unit should be a Top-10 unit.
“He’s every bit as good as anybody I’ve ever coached against,” Belichick said. “He’s got tremendous ball skills. He catches everything, has great hands, and he’s long so he’s never covered. Even if he’s covered, there’s a place where the ball can be that he can get it and still make the catch. Great coordination on the sidelines, and he doesn’t really look it but he’s a strong kid.
“He’s a very smart football player, very savvy. But his ball skills are at the very elite level with guys that I’ve seen in this league. He’s up there with whoever the top guys are, the Cris Carters of the world and guys like that.”
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on DeAndre Hopkins, who visited Foxboro but left without signing a contract.
“Talent sets the floor; Character sets the ceiling.” Bill Belichick
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Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick DeAndre Hopkins DJ Fluker Jack Jones Matthew Judon New England Patriots Patriots Trent Brown