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Wednesday Patriots Notebook 6/28: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
5 months ago at 11:15 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Wednesday Patriots Notebook 6/28: News and NotesAndrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes for this morning:

Tragic News on Former Patriots QB Mallett

Some sad news came out late Tuesday night as former Patriots quarterback, Ryan Mallett, reportedly drowned while on vacation in Florida.

According to reports, the incident happened while Mallett and a group of friends were swimming on the beach in Destin, Florida.

Riptides were an issue in the sunshine state this past weekend, and it appears that may have potentially been the cause behind Mallett’s death.

“A tourist died in an apparent drowning offshore of Gulf Shore Drive in Destin,” the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement.

“A group of individuals were reportedly struggling offshore when a man went under.”

“He was not breathing when lifeguards found and pulled him out. Tragically lifesaving measures weren’t successful.”

Also on vacation with the former quarterback was his girlfriend, Madison Carter, with the two seemingly just getting started after Mallett recently shared the status of their relationship online.

Obviously, given his time with the team, this news was certainly upsetting here in New England, with Bill Belichick and the Patriots each issuing statements last night, along with many of Mallett’s former teammates, including Tom Brady.

“The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of former quarterback Ryan Mallett,” the club said in a statement.  “Our thoughts are with the Mallett family, his former teammates and all who are mourning his loss.”

“I am extremely saddened by Ryan’s tragic passing,” wrote Belichick.  “My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many people whose lives he touched.”

“We lost a great man,” wrote Brady.  “Thank you for everything Ryan.”

“Praying for the Mallett family and all their loved ones tonight.”

Mallett was selected by the New England Patriots in the the 3rd round (74th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft, and played with Brady and the Patriots for three seasons before being traded by New England to the Houston Texans at the end of the 2014 preseason.

Just Only Recently Started His Coaching Career

The 35-year old former quarterback appeared to have found a love of coaching, with Mallett having recently been working his way up through the coaching ranks at the high school level.

Mallett, who was born in Arkansas and played at the University of Arkansas after transferring from Michigan, had only just received his first head coaching opportunity.

After having previously been the offensive coordinator at Arkansas’ Mountain Home High School for two seasons, Mallett took over as head coach at White Hall High School in 2022.

He was excited about the opportunity to be a head coach, especially for a school that was in the middle of investing a reported $26 million to upgrade the facilities, along with the fact he felt good about the group of kids he was going to be working with.

“First, I know they’ve got kids who can play,” Mallett said at the time. “I always knew I was going to do it [become a head coach]. It’s a good school and a good opportunity, and the facilities are amazing.”

He went 4-6 in his first season, but things seemed to be trending in the right direction as the team was competitive all year despite their record.  Three of their six losses were by seven or fewer points, with Mallett’s team winning their final game against Watson Chapel, 21-14.

The future seemed bright, and the news has certainly appeared to have shocked everyone there locally.

White Hall’s superintendent Gary Williams reacted to the news Tuesday night, calling Mallet “a beloved coach and educator.”

“It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett,” wrote Williams. “Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall School District staff in your prayers.”

Our thoughts go out to Mallett’s family and friends.  Just awful news.

Ryan Offers Insight on Belichick’s Coaching

Former Patriots defensive back Logan Ryan appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday and talked about a variety of topics, which included what it was like to play for Belichick while he was in New England.

Ryan ended up recounting a few stories, one of which included some insight into how Belichick looks at the little things each week, even all the way down to who the officials are and what their tendencies tend to be in terms of how they call the game.

The former Patriot said that how they called things even had a direct impact on how they approached practice in a given week.

“I think the first one would be that we discussed is talking about the referees,” said Ryan.  “Knowing who the umpire is, knowing who the referees are, knowing what penalties they call the most.  And if they’re a crew that doesn’t major in defensive pass interference, doesn’t major in defensive holding, we’re going to try and do that a little bit more.”

“I remember wearing gloves, the color of the opponent’s jersey, wearing white gloves if they’re wearing white on the road, so we can get away with white gloves, they can’t see the holding as much and just kind of playing the game.  What does the umpire look to call?  We’re not going to do that.  If they’re going to call a lot of holding, then Belichick might put boxing gloves on our hands during the week so we can’t hold at all and practice.  So, you’re going to cover with your feet.”

“So he just did some things I never saw or never did before in my NFL career that I thought was really interesting.  Obviously, I see why because you try and have every advantage you can in the game that’s legal.”

Interesting stuff.

Curran Believes Hopkins is a ‘Must-Have’

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran appeared on WEEI’s Gresh & Fauria on Tuesday and discussed various topics, including some of the club’s issues ahead of training camp.

With Trent Brown arriving out of shape, along with the issues with Jack Jones, the team already has some difficult situations they need to deal with.  Add in the fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster was sidelined during minicamp while recovering from an injury from last season and that Tyquan Thornton was also nursing an ailment, Curran believes that the club needs to make sure it puts its best foot foward when it comes to trying to get a deal done to bring Hopkins here.

“And then you have to look at the wide receiver position,” said Curran.  “Which as we saw at minicamp with JuJu Smith-Schuster still nursing an injury from last year’s postseason, and Tyquan Thornton with a soft-tissue injury that kept him out, you have to project forward and say, ‘O.K., do we have enough at wide receiver?”

“So this DeAndre Hopkins situation still looms as well and the Patriots, as I’m writing write now and will send out to NBC Sports Boston shortly, they’re kind of flush with money right now.  And given the critical nature of this season, given those two other situations at left tackle and cornerback, given that Bill O’Brien is here with an offense that, hopefully, will be better than last year, you shouldn’t be tying yourself down by slow-playing DeAndre Hopkins or nickel and diming that situation. ”

“It’s kind of a desperation buy.  Yes, you might have to swallow hard on aspects like either his contract or his aversion to practicing, but he’s almost a must-have at this point for a team that has now got emerging question marks at three critical spots.”

In his article Curran believes that with so much at stake for both Belichick and Mac Jones, this is the season where Belichick should take a chance on a player like Hopkins, especially after having paid $27 to Jonnu Smith over two years, as well as the $22 million they paid out to Nelson Agholor.

“It is a year to pull out all the stops to ensure the offense can put up a representative effort to reduce the heat on what should be a very good defense,” writes Curran, while also later adding, “the Patriots shouldn’t think twice.”

For now Hopkins seems to still be exploring his options and the possibility appears to remain that he could land here.  Curran, like many fans here in New England, just hopes the team does absolutely everything it can to make it a reality.

2022 On This Day: Edelman/Bennett Rail on Garoppolo

Looking back on stories on this day from a year ago, former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Martellus Bennett gave their thoughts on former quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who clearly frustrated them during his time with the team.

Bennett and Edelman each talked about Garoppolo’s injury during that 2016 season, which had both players upset with how Garoppolo handled himself.

“We lost two games,” said Bennett via on an interview with Double Coverage with The McCourty Twins. “One of them was because Jimmy Garoppolo was being a b*&$#. He decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby [Brissett] came out and played with a f*&#ed up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b*&$# about it all.”

Bennett added that his biggest issue was the fact that Garoppolo reportedly made the decision at the last minute.

“That was the whole thing with him: He didn’t want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s— like that,” said Bennett. “Which, I can’t fault him for that. But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it’s Sunday.”

When asked about Bennett’s comments, Edelman said during an interview with I Am Athlete he wasn’t happy about the situation either.

“I mean, I don’t know, we’re all football players here,” said Edelman. “But Jacoby, he tore ligaments in his thumb in the win against [the Texans in Week 3]. So we go into Week 4 and I guess Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play. Jacoby played with no ligaments in his thumb, which you can’t do that as a quarterback. You can’t grip [the football].”

Edelman said Garoppolo’s decision frustrated him because of the fact he’s played through a lot and seeing Garoppolo not tough it out was something that angered him.

“A lot of guys got mad at it. I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it,” said Edelman. “I sacrificed my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, Grade 3 hanging on by limbs just to play. I can understand why Marty thinks like that.”

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