Just a quick rundown on this Friday due to time contraints, but here’s a look at today’s top stories.
Patricia facing a firestorm in Detroit – As if trying to install your system and culture into a new team isn’t difficult enough, former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia finds himself dealing with an incident during his college days from 22-years ago that is creating quite a mess for him.
The incident stemmed from a sexual assault charge he and a friend were faced with while on spring break back in college where, according to the Detroit News, the two became friendly with a girl they met and later allegedly barged into her room and sexually assaulted her.
They were each indicted in 1996 by a grand jury on aggravated assault charges, which as the original report points out, actually could have carried a sentence of up to life in prison, citing a Texas statute.
Instead, the accuser opted not to testify, so the charges were ultimately dismissed.
Patricia maintains his innocence and on Thursday said he was “falsely accused” while expressing frustration over the story resurfacing, with the Lions standing behind him. Multiple media outlets reported having tried to reach the accuser, who has maintained her silence to this point.
It’s a difficult topic and unfortunately, since it was her decision not to testify and not a jury finding him innocent that ultimately resulted in things going away, he’s most likely not out of the woods quite yet.
For now, Patricia says his focus remains the same as he tries to continue getting ready for the season.
“I would never condone any of the behavior that was alleged and will always respect and protect the rights of anyone who has been harassed or is the victim of violence,” he said. “My priorities remain the same — to move forward and strive to be the best coach, teacher, and man that I can possibly be.”
Parcells Expresses Regret on Leaving the Patriots – Bill Parcells was the one who initially started New England’s resurgence in the late 1990s, but it was his decision to go to New York that ultimately opened the door for Bill Belichick to become the team’s future head coach, which has obviously worked out well.
For Parcells, the situation that unfolded in his final season was frustrating because he had built a strong nucleus of players who shocked everyone by earning a Super Bowl berth that season, only to fall to the Packers in a game that was competitive until a kickoff return for a touchdown helped Brett Favre and company eventually pulled away.
“I regretted leaving the Patriots because there was a pretty good young team,” Parcells told The Athletic via USA TODAY. “We had a young quarterback, we had Curtis Martin, a premier back. I had a lot of speed at receiver, a great tight end, a young, up-and-coming defense: Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi. We had Troy Brown and Adam Vinatieri. That was a long time ago. I don’t think back. Temporarily it bothered me. I’d probably do things differently now if I had to do it again.”
Parcells couldn’t replicate his success with the Jets and Belichick ultimately has gone on to win five championships, so there’s likely some frustration with seeing how things worked out after his departure.
As they say, everything happens for a reason. Fortunately, fans in New England certainly have no regrets after seeing the incredible run of success that will likely someday go down as the greatest era in franchise history for this football team.
Bielema To Join Team During Minicamp – Former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has been spotted at various Pro Days with the team and it sounds like he’ll continue to be around the organization for the foreseeable future.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Bielema will reportedly be involved with coaching duties when the team begins its rookie minicamp.
There’s been a lot of speculation regarding his connection to the team and the Patriots have yet to clarify his role, but Bielema, who is reportedly a close friend of Belichick, appears like he could potentially become part of the coaching staff given how things are playing out.
If it works out, it’s certainly a great opportunity for Bielema to rehabilitate his career. He’s coming off a five-year tenure at Arkansas that saw him finish 29-34 as a head coach, with the team letting him go in January. He made out well on the deal, with published reports saying the school is paying him $11.935 on his buyout to be paid through 2020.
Odds and Ends: The Patriots released OL Jason King on Thursday, who was signed by the Patriots to a future contract back in February. King is a 6’4″, 310lb offensive lineman who was originally a rookie free agent out of Purdue and joined the team last year on May 5, 2017 … Drew Bledsoe and Celtics guard Terry Rozier have developed a friendship after Milwaukee Bucks player Eric Bledsoe said he didn’t know who Terry was. As a result, Terry called Eric “Drew Bledsoe”, and then took it further after showing up wearing a Patriots Bledsoe jersey. Now the former quarterback is planning on potentially naming a wine after him. “The Terry Rose may be the thing. Watch out,” Drew said. “I’m going to have to talk to him. We can bring him out to Washington, develop a profile and come up with a Terry Rose. It’s going to have a great finish.” The two reportedly finally met before game five. Good stuff. … The final suspect involved in the Rob Gronkowski burglary was finally arrested Thursday morning. Shayne Denn, 26, of Tewksbury Mass, apparently has quite the history. According to Wilmington (Mass.) Police, Denn was also suspected in connection with a crime spree that included using a pickup truck to smash through the wall of a store. Thankfully, his latest run of crime should come to an end and he’ll now hopefully spend some time behind bars.