Menu - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog

Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/4: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
April 4, 2024 at 6:00 am ET

Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/4: News and Notes(PHOTO: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 6 minutes

Some news and notes for this morning:

Patriots the “Fulcrum” of Broncos’ Decision

Heading into the upcoming draft, the number one question is going to be whether or not the Patriots stand pat and select a quarterback at #3, or potentially move back if their guy is off the board by the time they’re on the clock.

At the very least, it sounds like they have some options on the table.  Jerod Mayo said last week that, “There are, I would say, five or six guys that are just very impressive.  They all bring a certain skill set to the table.  All skill sets that you would want to see out of a quarterback.”  So it sounds like they have more than one name they’re willing to settle for depending on how things fall.

Both Chicago and Washington seem set on taking a quarterback.  Judging by Mayo’s comments, it sounds like that also holds true for the Patriots.  For teams like Denver or Minnesota, two teams who have expressed an interest in possibly moving up, it sounds like the odds of a club being able to pry New England out of that spot doesn’t seem realistic.

Still, Ian Rapoport reports that the Broncos are intent on moving up the board, putting them with both the Vikings and Raiders as possible clubs who could look to try and make a deal.

“We already know the Minnesota Vikings are a potential trade-up team for a quarterback when they acquired that extra first-round pick after that fascinating trade with the Houston Texans,” said Rapoport.  “Over the last several days, that’s spotlighted them as a potential move-up team and I wasn’t sure the Denver Broncos were one of those teams.  I asked Sean Payton, ‘Would he consider them a realistic team to move up?’ and he said, ‘Absolutely.’  He does consider them a team to potentially move up.  Could be from #12 up to #4, or maybe #5, We will see where the fourth quarterback goes, but  I would keep my eye on both these teams and the Raiders as well.”

For Sean Payton, he’s got a lot riding on this.  Denver heads into 2024 with an $85 million dead cap hit after moving on from Russell Wilson and he needs to start getting things with the Broncos moving in the right direction.

(PHOTO: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Cecil Lammey and Andrew Mason of Denver Sports talked about the situation with both New England and the Broncos, noting that what Lammey heard about the Patriots back in January is certainly different than it is now.  Back then, he wasn’t sure the Patriots would necessarily take a QB at #3.  Now, he’s now convinced they will.

As a result, he believes if Payton wants to move up, given that both Minnesota and others could foil their plans, Payton needs to make a move sooner rather.

“If you’re talking about the Denver Broncos and moving up, I mean, good day to be Monty [Ossenfort – Cardinals GM],” said Lammey.  “But if New England’s out of it, if they’re taking a quarterback, I mean, Denver’s got to do this move now, right?”

“You’ve got Minnesota that could leapfrog you. Multiple teams could leapfrog you.  If truly New England is dialed in at three – and this is why the Patriots are almost the fulcrum of the Broncos’ decision – because if they’re staying put, Mason, you’ve got to get to four now.”

Mason said that if Payton is in love with McCarthy, it makes sense for Denver to execute a trade.

“If you want J.J. McCarthy, if you decide he’s worth that.  If you’re in love, you have to do it,” he said.  “We were talking about it last week in terms of if you go to four, you’ve decided you’re in a good spot picking whoever drops, whether it’s Maye or McCarthy, or even Jayden Daniels, if somehow he got past two.  And so, that’s where your evaluation hopefully got you to a point of flexibility.”

“If they are as keen on Drake Maye as this would lead you to believe, then it really is about McCarthy, and how do you value McCarthy?  Do you really value him as someone you have to get?”

Mason reported that this week the Broncos hosted Michael Penix Jr. for a top-30 visit, which followed meetings with both J.J. McCarthy and Jayden Daniels.

Payton admitted he wasn’t at McCarthy’s pro day, but that the two did sit down together in a private visit the next day.

“I wasn’t at J.J.’s pro day, but we had a private the next day where we sent him a bunch of information, spent four or five hours with him, just made him throw all over again,” Payton said. “I think it’s all part of the process. I think it can lead to a more efficient and effective decision.”

It’s certainly an interesting storyline, especially knowing that Payton’s trajectory moving forward with his new team – which could directly be affected by what the Patriots ultimately do – is also riding on it.

Ernie Adams

(PHOTO: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Adams ‘Ernie Cards’ Were Difference Makers

One interesting thing from Ernie Adams’ tenure in New England was the fact that he spent a lot of time looking at film and often came up with potential plays to run in practice in preparation for what an opponent might do against him.

Adams, who appeared in a recent episode of Games With Names with Julian Edelman, was asked to give an example of one of those times where a play they prepared for on one of those ‘Ernie Cards’ came to fruition.

Edelman pointed out that a lot of that work would irritate players, but it often made a difference.  So Adams cited a game in 2011 where the club repped a particular play in practice he had seen previously ahead of their meeting against Miami, and thanks to that situation in practice, the Patriots were ready for it.

“We were playing the Dolphins, it was probably around 2011, because Brian Daboll – of course, he was with us for a number of years – was the offensive coordinator and I was thinking, ‘What is Brian going to do?'” said Adams.  “They had the throwback to the quarterback off the shotgun.”

“So we ran that in practice, and people were all, ‘What the hell, what is this?’  Well, they ran exactly that play in the game.  And the fact we had seen it meant that we could react to it just in time to make the play on defense.”

“Because it’s happening so fast.  If you’ve got to think, ‘it just went by me.’  You’ve got to be able to anticipate.  In fact, one of the great lines for coaching football, somebody I have great respect for, Tom Landry, who would say, ‘anticipation beats reaction every time.'”

“Think ahead.  ‘Hey, we know this is the situation, this is what we’ve got to watch out for,’ and that just makes a world of difference instead of just being out there playing, ‘Oh my God, the play just went by me.’  You’ve seen a lot of guys, they’re always half a step late, and that just doesn’t work.”

Edelman agreed, and while it was obviously tough to go through all that preparation week in and week out, Edelman believes it’s what made those teams special.

“Guys would b**h and complain,” said Edelman.  “But then when it came to game day, like Ernie said, it’s in your subconscious. It’s built in your subconscious so you react and you’ve seen the play, it becomes deja-vu.  On this technique, this happens. Oh, I see this guy, I saw it in practice, I saw it in the walkthrough and it allows you to play fast.”

“And that’s something that I always tell everyone, what made our teams was our practice and our ability to really take those meetings – it’s hard to get 30 guys to really buy in and go over plays and plays – but that’s what made us, us.”

Good stuff.

Odds and Ends

Former Patriots assistant coach Joe Judge is apparently headed back to the college ranks.  According to On3Sports’ Zach Berry, Judge is headed to the SEC and will join Ole Miss’ coaching staff.  Judge’s decision is an interesting one given his relationship with Bill Belichick, who is still exploring his options from a broadcasting standpoint heading into 2024. … Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell’s quote last week when it comes to moving up was interesting.  O’Connell said, “We need another team to be complicit,” which was the phrase he used last week at the annual NFL owner’s meeting in Orlando regarding a trade up the board.  While moving up feels like their preference, they’re keeping their options open.  “I like the flexibility that those two picks give us,” said GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.  “I don’t think they lock us into any one strategy.” … One recent Mock by Field Yates has Arizona taking Marvin Harrison Jr. at 4 and then having the Vikings move up to #5 to take McCarthy.  That is, of course, if Eliot Wolf ultimately doesn’t elect to grab McCarthy should Drake Maye be sitting there at #3, which seems to be the consensus among people here in New England. … According to Spotrac, the Patriots still sit with the highest amount of cap space in the NFL with $47 million, ahead of both Washington ($43 million) and Tennessee ($34 million).  While some are frustrated with free agency, New England remains with room to work with should an opportunity arise down the road, whether it’s a trade during draft weekend or with a team during camp as other clubs begin running into issues.  We’ll obviously have a better sense of what that might be in a few weeks, as the draft will likely have a significant impact on their approach over these upcoming months.

Wednesday Patriots Notebook 4/3: News and Notes

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

  • Subscribe
    Notify of

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

  • More Patriots News Headlines:

    Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/4: News and Notes

    Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/4: News and Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    Heading into the upcoming draft, the number one question is going to be whether or not the Patriots stand pat and select a quarterback at…
    26 mins ago
    Wednesday Patriots Notebook 4/3: News and Notes

    Wednesday Patriots Notebook 4/3: News and Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    Former Patriots staffer Ernie Adams appeared on Games with Names with Julian Edelman recently, giving some terrific insight on some moments during his interview.
    16 hours ago
    Bedard: Time For Patriots Owner Robert Kraft To Step Down

    Bedard: Time For Patriots Owner Robert Kraft To Step Down

    By: Ian Logue
    In a recent article, Bedard wrote, "Kraft has been and continues to be one of the most powerful owners in the biggest professional sports league…
    2 days ago
    Patriots Dugger Frustrated With Transition Tag

    Patriots Dugger Frustrated With Transition Tag

    By: Ian Logue
    One interesting bit of news on Monday was a report by Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, who reported that free agent safety Kyle Dugger…
    2 days ago
    Tuesday Patriots Notebook 4/2: News and Notes

    Tuesday Patriots Notebook 4/2: News and Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal has started beating the drum for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to step down, with NBC Sports…
    2 days ago

    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")