Good morning, here are your Sunday’s Patriots news 7-9, & AFC East Notes.
We hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July, Independence Day holiday but did you know (courtesy of my desk calendar) that on July 4, 1960, the Patriots opened their first training camp at the UMass campus and had 350 players attend? And we think that 90 is a lot to follow when camp opens.
It has been a week without any big breaking Patriots news… after this off-season, I keep watching the NFL transaction wire to see if they’ve made any new moves.
Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola have used the down time before training camp to work on their chemistry even harder than normal. The three were seen on social media at Brady’s Montana residence catching passes and working on their timing. They were also seen mountain biking with a group of other men, which were impossible to identify since they all wore biking helmets with face shields.
Josh McDaniels will drive the official Toyota Camry pace car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, leading the drivers to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton’s 301.
Sorry to hear that Kerry Byrne’s long relationship with the Boston Herald is coming to a close after 19 years. Byrne penned a weekly food and beer column for the Herald at a time when beer was considered something only for knuckle-draggers in culinary circles. My how times have changed. He also is the owner of the outstanding Cold, Hard, Football Facts website.
Kerry’s food columns were especially perfect during football season as nothing goes better with football than food and beer. I’ve known him for several years, and have been a guest on his podcast on Patriots.com and co-hosted a Mikey Adams Show at WEEI with him. And he’s one of the truly nice guys in the business. All the best Kerry. Something tells me though, that he won’t be a free agent for very long.
Brady Coming Out With a Book in September…on How to Be Like #12:
Tom Brady has had a busy offseason, besides the normal appearance with Aaron Rodgers and others at the Kentucky Derby and his Best Buddies Football Game, he was off to China, throwing footballs to his son at the Great Wall and to Japan matching up with a Sumo wrestler. Now he’s penning a book that will be released in September.
The book, released by Simon and Schuster will be called “The TB12 Method: How To Achieve A Lifetime Of Sustained Peak Performance.” This offering from Brady according to his publishers will be “a gorgeously illustrated and deeply practical ‘athlete’s Bible’ that reveals Brady’s revolutionary approach to sustained peak performance for athletes of all kinds and of all ages.”
The hardcover version will cost fans $29.99, while an e-book will cost $14.99. Now you know what to buy every hardcore Patriots’ fan for Christmas or for a birthday.
Brady also posed with the Stanley Cup and the resulting outcry of protest from Western PA was hysterical. Brady and the Patriots are firmly in the heads of Pittsburgh fans and the comments are typical of what one would expect.
Ndamukong Suh, the Gift That Keeps Giving:
Someone in Miami’s front office needs to muzzle Suh when it comes to talking about the Patriots. And while his comments when taken as a whole are pretty innocuous, he once again had to know what writers around the country were going to focus on. Suh on Monday stated the Patriots “they’re definitely beatable as everybody is in the league.”
This was a few weeks after his “Miami will never be scared of the Patriots” speech. We get that confidence is high in Miami after a 10-6 season and a playoff berth. But when the other team has won the division 14 times in the last 16 years and has beaten you 11 of the last 14 times you’ve faced, then take a page out their book and defer any comments about that team (New England) and talk about yours….
David Harris Contract Details:
Our buddy Miguel (@Patscap) who is the PatsFans.com resident expert on all things Salary Cap-related when it comes to the Patriots has posted a piece that breaks down the contract details of LB David Harris’ deal with New England. Harris’ deal for the 2017 season breaks down as follows:
Signing bonus: $1,250,000 (prorated over 2 years $625,000 in 2017)
2017 base salary: $1,000,000.
2017 roster bonus: $500,000 (46-man active roster bonus – $31,250 per game).
Since Harris was active for 15 games this bonus counts $468,750 against the 2017 cap or $31,250 times 15 games.
2017 LTBE playing-time incentives – $750,000. Please note that LTBE is short for likely to be earned.
Manning Revelations Mean Little at This Point:
Former Colts OL Tarik Glenn dropped a bit of a bombshell this Tuesday when he stated that the Colts were using illegal hearing aids during Peyton Manning’s rookie season to help him deal with crowd noise.
“We were playing on the road, it might have been Peyton’s rookie year, and it was really loud,” Glenn told the Indy Star. “Peyton [Manning] hadn’t mastered the silent count, so [former OL Coach] Howard Mudd had us wearing these hearing aids that were supposed to muffle the crowd while projecting the quarterback’s voice.”
While Patriots fans on social media were demanding their pound of flesh this week, nothing is going to get done about that now. That was 19 years ago and what exactly could the league do about it now?
Another story making the rounds was Manning begging out of a blowout loss to the Patriots when he was still a very young QB. According to former QB Coach and now HC of the Arizona Cardinals Bruce Arians, Manning asked to be taken out late in the 4th quarter of an obvious loss. Arians described the moment in a new book, “The Quarterback Whisperer” hitting the bookstores on July 11.
“Midway through the fourth quarter of the game, with the outcome already decided, Peyton was so frustrated that he asked for mercy. He wanted to be pulled from the game.”
“‘F–k no, get back in there,’ I told him. ‘We’ll go no-huddle and maybe you’ll learn something. You can never ask to come out. You’re our leader. Act like it.'”
I’m sure plenty of young QBs and great ones have gone thru that sort of thing in their younger days. But you’ll never see one guy asking to come out, win or lose, rain or shine. Even in practice. Enjoy the era folks.
Did you get a chance to check out our Early Patriots 53-man Roster Projection from last week? There will be some tough decisions to make for the coaches this summer. Two of the UDFA players I have making the roster so far are Harvey Langi and David Jones but there is a long way to go.
East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:
Bills Building Themselves in McDermott’s Image and Positions to Watch in TC:
The Buffalo Bills jettisoned Rex Ryan after the season and hired Sean McDermott as their new head coach. And while much of their philosophies are close, (active, aggressive defense, power running game), McDermott is quickly putting his own personal stamp on this team.
Buffalo has had a massive turnover in personnel this spring, the third most in the NFL. Sometimes these things take time, Bill Belichick said it took him two years to get the players he wanted on the team and that would have been the 2001 season. And we all remember how that team turned out.
The Bills have some interesting positional battles that will take place at training camp later this month. Among them is at linebacker; although all three starters (Ramon Humber, Preston Brown, and Lorenzo Alexander) return, the team added Reggie Ragland from Alabama in this year’s draft. They also signed free agent Gerald Hodges who is athletic and very good in coverage.
Big Season Loom for the Dolphins and Tannehill:
The Miami Dolphins have stuck with QB Ryan Tannehill thru thick and thin for five full seasons. He played and started all 16 games in his first four years before getting injured and missing three games in 2016. He’s entering his sixth season and the Dolphins are committed to him thru 2017.
He is under contract for the next four years for a modest $73 million against the salary cap which will look better as the cap increases. Is he the answer as a franchise QB? The 2017 season will have a lot to say about that. He’s shown flashes of very good play in his career but has not shown that he can be the guy to lead a team deep into the playoffs and carry a team on his back. With the roster they have surrounding him, if he’s going to jettison that image this will be the year.
Having a second season to work with Adam Gase will also answer a lot of questions when it comes to his long-term viability. One thing is for certain, he’s not going anywhere and he shouldn’t be in 2017.
Jets’ Hackenberg Will be Under Scrutiny in 2017:
The New York Jets have been searching for a franchise QB for a long time and the rumors that they may “Suck for Sam” as in USC QB Sam Darnold may have hit a snag this week. It was rumored in various publications that the Trojans’ QB may opt to spend both eligible seasons playing in college rather than coming out early.
If that is the case then they’ll need to see what they have rather quickly in QB Christian Hackenberg. Gang Green knows first-hand what it is like to be rejected by the league’s overall #1 pick. In 1997, they held the first pick and Tennessee QB Peyton Manning opted to return to college for his final season. He was taken by the Colts with the #1 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.
With 38-year old Josh McCown as the veteran in the wings, the Jets can afford to let Hackenberg play his way either into or out of the job in 2017. Time will tell.