Tag Archives: Sean McDermott

New England Patriots News 2-10, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
February 10, 2019 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 02-10 and AFC East Notes.

 An Emotional Bill Belichick: We are used to seeing to the normally clipped and reserved Bill Belichick over the course of the year, where he always keeps things in perspective and never gets too high or too low. But as the Patriots clinched Super Bowl LIII, all of those shrouds were lifted and we saw the joy for all of the hard work come thru. In typical Belichick style, he gave all of the praise to the players. NFL Films captured it perfectly right here:

Patterson With a Diamond-studded Gift for Brady: Patriots WR/KR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson was obviously very grateful for his 2018 season with the Patriots and especially with Tom Brady. Patterson made a gift of a diamond-studded TB12 logo to Brady after the Super Bowl, which no doubt set him back thousands of dollars. Brady posted a picture of his daughter wearing it on his Instagram page. She saw it and fell in love with it…Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

What a Crowd for the Parade: The Patriots 6th Super Bowl win this week featured a couple of huge crowds which put to rest that the fans were getting blase about the team’s continued success. The turnout for the send-off rally was over 35,000 fans and the Super Bowl parade which had a huge crowd of 1,500,000 fans in downtown Boston. The crowd at the game itself was the first time that the Patriots had a clear advantage in terms of crowd noise. It never gets old or taken for granted.

Did you Know? For the yards are more important than points crowd… The Patriots in SB LIII garnered more yards (407) than their season average (393) against the Rams. While the defense held the Rams to 160 yards fewer (260) than their season average which was 421. When we wrote about the defense coming together late in the season, many scoffed at it. After those last three playoff wins, nobody is scoffing now.

A Return for Amendola? The latest news out of Miami is that the Dolphins are rumored to be moving on from WR Danny Amendola after just one season in South Beach. If that were to happen, could a return to Foxboro be in the cards? Absolutely. And I know a certain QB that would love to see that happen as well.

Close the Roof: With another sound clip from just before the game started, watching Bill Belichick questioning the timing of the roof closure after the flyover shows how detailed the Patriots and their coaches are in preparation for every possible scenario.

Favorite Play of the Game in Super Bowl LIII:

In a game dominated by defense, there are several plays that could fit the bill as favorite plays of the game. The pass breakup by Jason McCourty in the end zone, Stephon Gillmore’s interception, Dont’a Hightower just blowing up Tyler Higbee during the Danny Shelton’s run stuff, but my personal favorite was from Kyle Van Noy.

The Rams rolled Jared Goff out to the right and had three WRs flooding the zone. Josh Reynolds was the main target doing a shallow cross about 3-4 yards off the line of scrimmage with a deeper cross about 12 yards and Cooks running a deep corner route.

Van Noy was supposed to get sucked into Goff which allows his an easy window to complete the pass and have an easier 7-10 yard pass play. But Van Noy recognized the play coming, and slowed up to hit Reynolds with a forearm, flattening him. He then joined the rush after Goff, who had nowhere to throw and was forced out of bounds. It was a tremendous play.

Brian Baldinger from the NFL Network every week does his “Baldy’s Breakdowns” and highlights certain key plays and they are excellent. He calls this particular play here: 

Flores Brings Three Patriots Assistants With Him to Miami:

The Miami Dolphins hired former Patriots de facto Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores this week and Flores has brought three Patriots assistant coaches with him to Miami. Former WRs coach Chad O’Shea will become the Dolphins offensive coordinator. Josh Boyer who coached the NE cornerbacks will handle the same duties in Miami with the added title of defensive passing game coordinator as well. And Jerry Schuplinski, the assistant QBs coach will also handle the same duties there.

Greg Schiano Rumored to be the Next Defensive Coordinator:

With Flores departure for South Beach, the Patriots are looking for a couple of defensive coaches and what was first reported locally by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, the Patriots are reportedly close to signing former Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano as their next DC.

Schiano spent the last two years as the Ohio State DC and is a friend of Bill Belichick’s. But where Schiano is best known for was his time as Rutgers’ head coach. During his tenure there 19 players who played for him made their way to New England.

Those players included Devin and Jason McCourty, Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan, and current Patriots safety coach, Steve Belichick. Bill Belichick will always surround himself with players he likes, and the Rutgers connection with Schiano is a testament to that. He and Schiano should get along fine.

Patriots Have Large Free Agent Class in 2019:

As tough as it is moving on from Super Bowl LIII, time marches on and now the team will have a lot of tough personnel decisions to make in 2019. Here is the list, and it is lengthy of the Patriots free agents this year.

Trey Flowers
Trent Brown
Chris Hogan
Cordarrelle Patterson
Phillip Dorsett
Jason McCourty
Eric Rowe
Stephen Gostkowski
Ryan Allen
Malcom Brown
Danny Shelton
LaAdrian Waddle
John Simon
Albert McClellan
Ramon Humber
Brian Schwenke
Ulrick John
Jonathan Jones (RFA)
Josh Gordon (RFA)
Ufomba Kamalu
Cody Hollister

Obviously, the two top free agents are Flowers from the defense and Brown on the offense. Flowers has arguably been the Patriots best defensive player for the past three years and has led the team in sacks in those three. The Patriots will no doubt try to find a way to secure Flowers services but he’s in line for a huge payday and is considered one of the top free agents this spring.

Brown was brought on-board last spring and had never played left tackle. He took over the position early in training camp and never looked back. He was very solid in pass protection and was terrific in run blocking, especially in the postseason. He’s another guy inline for a huge payday.

Hogan will probably be gone although I do believe that the team will make efforts to bring back both Dorsett and Patterson, the latter who did a bit of everything this past season, playing wide receiver, running back and returning kickoffs. Patterson had a combined yardage total of over 1100 in 2018. Dorsett was a forgotten man during the time Josh Gordon was on the team, but contributed down the stretch and had a big TD reception in the AFC Championship Game.

Gostkowski and Allen are an excellent duo. Gostkowski has been here since Adam Vinatieri left in 2006. Allen was outstanding in the Super Bowl, pinning the Rams three times inside their 10-yard line.

It will interesting to see if McCourty returns, there were rumors that he and his brother Devin may retire after the Super Bowl but he played well all season and made a huge play in the Super Bowl, coming from across the field to break up a pass for Brandin Cooks in the end zone. Rowe began the year as the #2 corner before landing on IR after just four games.

Brown and Shelton are the two big guys in the middle of the DL.Both played well down the stretch and into the playoffs. However, after passing on the fifth-year options on both, the team may only resign one. Waddle has been a valuable swing tackle, with the health along the OL this season, he wasn’t used as much.

Simon, McClellan and Humber were brought in mid-season and all filled valuable roles. The team will probably look to retain all three. Jones and Gordon are restricted free agents. And the interesting aspect of Gordon is that he can apply for reinstatement in May of this year.

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Bills Have $80 Million in Cap Space, But Preach Caution:

In a really good piece by Vic Carucci, the Buffalo Bills in the first two seasons under Sean McDermott have been trying to manage expectations and build for long-term sustained success. So with about $80 million in cap space this spring, GM Brandon Beane in a letter to season ticket holders is preaching more caution. The message is to not expect the team to go all-in in free agency for instant gratification.

“The sole focus is to build the Buffalo Bills into a championship contender and help create a culture aimed at long-term, sustained success,” Beane wrote.

That is the correct way to build a winner. The Bills are still a long ways off from being a true contender and now they’ll try to start adding the long-term pieces that they’ll need to surround their young QB Josh Allen.

“The previous two draft classes have begun a new foundation of young players on our roster,” Beane wrote. “We are encouraged by the development thus far by players like Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds, Tre’Davious White and others. Each of them was given an individual plan of improvement at season’s end and they understand they have a lot of work in front of them.

“We have opportunities to improve our team this offseason and the Pegulas, Sean (McDermott) and I are all on the same page and determined to bring winning football to the city of Buffalo. Thank you for your loyal dedication to this franchise.”

Dolphins Hire Flores Who Brings Plenty of NE Coaches With Him:

The Miami Dolphins hiring of Brian Flores is a new change of regime, of which the Dolphins have had plenty but this time they are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with a big New England Patriots presence going to South Beach with Flores, Chad O’Shea, Josh Boyer and Jerry Schuplinski also coming on-board.

One of the more surprising bits of news coming out of Miami is that the Dolphins are planning on moving away from WR Danny Amendola, who they brought in a year ago to bring the veteran presence to the Dolphins locker room. That will bear watching.

Flores, like Belichick is behind the power curve in terms of being far behind in preparation for the NFL Combine, but the Dolphins will be looking to find their next franchise QB and are in need of a true nose tackle either in free agency and the draft.

Jets Coaching Staff Seems Like Perfect Choice for Hard Knocks:

The New York Jets hired Adam Gase as the new head coach for Gang Green. And as Rich Cimini of ESPN has pointed out, there is certainly no lack for potential controversy there.

The full staff, announced Friday by the Jets, includes longtime NFL assistant Joe Vitt, Gase’s father-in-law, and Blake Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

This is where it gets interesting.

Vitt and Gregg Williams were members of the New Orleans Saints’ coaching staff implicated in the 2012 BountyGate scandal. In the bounty hearings, conducted by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Vitt accused Williams of lying in his testimony.

Vitt also said the players didn’t take Williams seriously because of his “false bravado” and “schtick.”

Blake Williams, 34, has a reputation for rubbing people the wrong way. As a St. Louis Rams assistant, he upset people in the organization by screaming at a draft prospect in a scouting-combine interview, a source said. He also was reprimanded multiple times for sitting in the wrong seat on the team bus; he kept sitting in a seat reserved for a senior member of the staff.

The Rams fired him after the 2013 season. Williams has only worked for NFL teams in which his father was on the staff.

Gase also hired Jim Bob Cooter as the Jets running backs coach. With an eclectic group like this with all of the potential fireworks with the coaching staff, I believe that this will be a perfect choice for Hard Knocks this summer.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

Patriots  Week 13  Report Card, Patriots Pummel the Bills 23-3

Steve Balestrieri
December 5, 2017 at 8:30 am ET

The Patriots took care of business in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon using a running game that gashed the Bills for nearly 200 yards behind Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead and the defense which held the Bills woeful passing game to just 85 net yards and three points.

Rob Gronkowski had nine catches for 147 yards and was uncoverable. He also committed a stupid, flagrant cheap shot after the whistle in the fourth quarter that will cost him. If he serves his one-game suspension, he’ll probably miss out on the final of his bonus incentives in his contract which will be expensive.

Simply put, the Patriots outplayed and outcoached the Bills again. Brady improved his record to a ridiculous 27-3 against the Bills and the team clinched a virtual tie for the division. Any Buffalo loss or New England win in the next month clinches the division again for the Patriots. Every spring and early summer we hear the “will this be the year that the Patriots are dethroned in the AFC East?” and this season, even after a slow start, it is essentially wrapped up with four games to go.

With the win, they improve to 10-2, and more importantly, they keep the pressure on the Steelers who will have to win against Cincinnati later tonight to keep pace as the top team in the AFC.

So, we’ll start with the offense and the players can come forward to pick up their grade sheets.

Quarterback: B-

Tom Brady wasn’t sharp, especially in the first half but he and the team heated up in the third quarter and they scored on two impressive drives and put this one away early. Brady ended up with pedestrian numbers (for him), 21-30, 258 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception. The pick was the play that Rob Gronkowski was flagged and suspended for and should have been a penalty (two actually) on TreDavious White.

But Brady missed a wide-open Phillip Dorsett on a deep incompletion to Brandin Cooks, which ignited a mini-brouhaha with Josh McDaniels, but he made a couple of really nice throws to Gronkowski. Brady also slides in the pocket and steps up better than anyone in the business. He has the innate ability to feel the rush and when to step up and slide left or right.

Running Backs: A

The Patriots two-headed monster of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead gashed the Bills defense badly. A week after holding the Chiefs to less than 60 yards on the ground, the Patriots ran for nearly 200 yards.

Burkhead ran 12 times for 78 yards with two scores and added three catches for 25 yards in the passing game. Lewis ran 15 times for 92 yards. Each broke a long gainer as the running game and the Bills were powerless to stop them.

James Develin and James White both were pressed into support status this week but each played a role and the Patriots running game is getting better and better each week. White had five carries for 18 yards and four catches for 32 more. Not bad production for the third man in the rotation this week.

Wide Receivers: C-

The wide receivers this week were a non-factor in the game. Buffalo’s secondary did a great job of bottling them up and taking away the deep chunks and the sideline routes of the wide receivers.

Brandin Cooks had just receptions for 17 yards, Danny Amendola had just two catches for 34 yards. Dorsett wasn’t targeted, however, he was wide open for that big gain where Brady missed him all alone down the left sideline.

Tight Ends: A

Rob Gronkowski once again tortured the Bills defense in Buffalo. He caught fire in the second half and they don’t have anyone that can match up with him. He caught nine passes for 147 yards despite being held and hit downfield on seemingly every snap. But what followed after the pick was inexcusable.

We get that the frustration of seven years is taking its toll on the big guy, but he frankly has to be smarter than that. And while part of the blame has to fall to the referees who let every team clutch and grab Gronkowski on every down, while if he breathes on an opponent an OPI flag is thrown, it doesn’t excuse what he did…at all. Nuff said.

Dwayne Allen had one catch for three yards but has really improved in his run blocking and provided good support in the running game. Jacob Hollister had one target in the passing game and plays a regular role on Special Teams.

Offensive Line: B

The offensive line was missing right tackle Marcus Cannon again as well as swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle and had Cameron Fleming in there this week. Center David Andrews returned this week. The pass protection was a bit iffy this week again. Buffalo, who came in with just 17 sacks, had three on the day and was getting good pressure on Brady.

The running game was clicking again. The Patriots offensive line was winning the battles there and opened up big holes for the backs to exploit. They were getting to the second level and keeping the linebackers off the runners.  

Defensive Line: B

It was a mixed bag for the offensive line who gave up a whopping 183 yards to LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor et al. but it seemed every time they needed a big stop they were getting it. McCoy had just 30 yards in the second half. And the Bills ended up with a total of three points in their own building. The pass rush was once again very good, the Patriots were getting a good push from everywhere. Malcom Brown had a really solid day in his return from injury with a sack, a pair of quarterback hits and a couple of run stuffs.

Eric Lee was victimized a little bit early in the running game, but he ended up having a big day, with an interception inside the red zone, 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hits, a tackle for a loss and two passes defensed. His interception was set up with nice pressure from Alan Branch who pushed his man into Taylor, possibly effecting the throw

Linebackers: B-

Kyle Van Noy who injured his calf in the game against Miami, seeming re-aggravated it in the third quarter and didn’t return. He did have a half sack, a QB hit, and a pass defensed. Elandon Roberts and David Harris had some issues in run support this week, as they got washed out on a few of the Bills running plays.  They struggled a bit in pass coverage as well. Harris had some good pass rushes in the interior and had 1.5 sacks and a QB hit.

Secondary: A

Stephon Gilmore had an outstanding day again. The Bills tried to attack him in his return to Buffalo this week. It failed miserably. Gilmore blanketed Zay Jones all day. Overall the Patriots secondary was outstanding. Buffalo had just 115 yards passing with a net of 85 and 3.4 yard per pass average. The Bills longest play of the day thru the air was 14 yards. Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, and Joe Webb were a combined 15 -34 for 115 yards.

The Patriots secondary had their best game of the year. And the good news was that they got Eric Rowe back in the lineup after missing seven weeks with a groin injury. Rowe shook off the rust and had a pass defensed.

Special Teams: B

There wasn’t a heckuva lot to complain about here. Stephen Gostkowski is on a roll, he kicked all three field goal attempts despite having the wind be a factor in the kicking game. His kickoffs and the resultant excellent coverage by the Special Teams units kept Buffalo deep in their zone all day.

Newly signed Bernard Reedy returned one punt for 11 yards and Geneo Grissom replaced Nate Ebner on the STs roster. For a unit short Ebner, Trevor Reilly and Matthew Slater, they didn’t miss a beat.

Coaches: A

Bill Belichick raked Sean McDermott over the coals in their first AFC East meeting on Sunday afternoon. McDermott didn’t come off remotely ready to challenge the Patriots for the division and when they needed to come up with an answer, they chose the Wildcat. That’s how you’re going to beat Belichick and the Patriots? By running the Wildcat? The team was focused, ready to go and had a good game plan that was effectively put into operation.

Josh McDaniels stayed patient with the running the football, and they took what was there. Matt Patricia’s unit gets high marks on Sunday. Buffalo’s best drive was their first one, and they came away with zero points.Overall very good marks for the Patriots. We’re on to Miami.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Bills Look to Erase 17 Years of Frustration Against the Patriots

Steve Balestrieri
November 30, 2017 at 9:42 am ET

The Patriots and Buffalo Bills will meet for the first time in 2017 on Sunday in Buffalo as the schedule makers don’t have the division rivals face each other until December. The rivalry has gone back and forth but the Bills have had a nightmarish record against the Patriots in the Bill Belichick era.

The Patriots won 15 in a row at one point and Tom Brady has held mastery over Buffalo. Brady is 28-3 overall against the Bills but one loss was the season finale in 2014 where the Pats rested many of their starters and Brady played in the first half. But 2017 is a new year and this Buffalo team is still in the playoff hunt as the season enters Week 13. If the Bills are going to end their own 17-year playoff drought, they’ll have to start taking some of these matchups with New England.

A sweep by the Patriots this year would doom any post-season hopes the Bills have. The teams split last year but the Week 4 win in Foxboro last season was against the Patriots #3 QB Jacoby Brissett while Brady was serving his Deflategate suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt. So, the normally raucous crowd will be even louder this week, since the Bills actually have something to play for this week and it will have the crowd and the team fired up.

Here are some things that we’ve identified this week as things to keep an eye on:

Defense Regains its Swagger…. “We’re Back”: The Bills defense had been gashed and gashed badly during the three-game losing streak. In the three blowout losses to the Jets, Saints, and Chargers, the Buffalo defense gave up 638 yards rushing. In all of their other games, they allowed just 616 yards on the ground. Last week, they righted the ship and stuffed the Kansas City running game to the tune of just 57 yards on the ground and 236 yards overall in the 16-10 win in Kansas City.

This led linebacker Matt Milano to reflect on the re-emergence of the defense stating “It got lost,” l Milano said of the defensive swagger, “but it’s back. We’re back.”

The Bills have a young and talented secondary, they’ve gotten very good play from safety Micah Hyde. In the Bills victories earlier in the year, they were generating a ton of turnovers and that’s what they’ll need this week to slow the New England offense and keep up with them scoring wise. Much will have to come from the Bills pass rush which has just 17 sacks on the season. They’ll have to bring pressure on Brady if they’re going to win this one at home.

The Offense Still Goes Thru Shady McCoy: McCoy is averaging a very unMcCoy-like 3.9 yards per carry this season. And he had a rough day against the Chiefs defense running for just 49 yards on 22 carries. He leads the team with 758 yards rushing on the season, with four touchdowns, still good for eighth in the league. So, he’ll be amped up for this one in front of the home crowd, especially with things to play for.

McCoy leads the team in receptions with 46 as well, far ahead of the next most productive receiver in Charles Clay with 29. So the Patriots focus will be on slowing down McCoy this week. The Patriots run defense hasn’t been great and since Buffalo isn’t a dynamic passing team, they’ll be looking to run the ball with McCoy and Tyrod Taylor scrambling, which will set up their play-action passes and bootlegs to the perimeter of the defense.

It is possible that McCoy, who is playing in his ninth NFL season is starting to show some wear on the treads. But the Patriots won’t be looking at him this way and their defense will put him down as the #1 target to slow down. He’s nearly 33 percent of the Bills offense. Buffalo needs a big game from McCoy this week to pull off the upset.

Taylor Has To Step Up His Game…Now: Most people don’t believe that the Bills will carry quarterback Tyrod Taylor into the 2018 season. The Bills are figuring him to be gone by then. The fact that they went with rookie Nathan Peterman two weeks ago kind of confirmed that they are looking to upgrade. Taylor can throw a monkey wrench into their plans by giving them a good reason to hold on to him. He can win out, and bring the Bills a playoff berth, something they haven’t done in 17 years. But he’s going to have to step up and be able to put the team on his back, something he hasn’t been able to do in his three seasons at the helm.

A look at his stat sheet would put Taylor in the upper half of the NFL’s QB hierarchy. I’d dispute that. Taylor has a good completion percentage and very rarely turns the ball over. They like to roll him out where he can make the safe passes that are right in front of him. And he has the option to run, where he can make plays with his legs. When the Bills running game with McCoy is thriving, he puts up nice numbers. But he’s never been able to show the ability to put the team on his back and win games when the running game has slowed. He plays it safe, checks down too often and is too frequently completing passes short of the sticks on third down. This week and the game in New England later in December, Taylor can help himself out by putting the team on his back. Throwing for an average of 182.5 yards per game and 20 points won’t win many games against New England. The Bills have been outscored in every quarter but the fourth this season…that will have to change and it starts with Taylor.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Sunday New England Patriots News 4-2 AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
April 2, 2017 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here are your Sunday’s New England Patriots news 4-2, & AFC East Notes.

Hey, Tom, The Check is in the Mail, Brady Cashes In:
Tom Brady received a nice check on Friday, with his second bonus installment coming due Friday from the new deal he signed last spring. His bonus installment? $14 million dollars. Brady’s extension that he signed a year ago had him receiving the cash in two lump sums, $14 million at the time of his signing and the second installment on March 31.

Not that times are tough in the Brady household these days. Besides his pay and endorsements worth about $6 million in 2016, his wife has a tremendous business portfolio and earned an estimated $30.5 million last year.

That would be a ton of avocado ice cream.

Belichick Ditches League Meetings for Scouting Trips:
When it comes to the league meetings and the coaches’ breakfasts every season, Bill Belichick has always made it clear, he’d rather be having a root canal than attending one of those events.

He typically eschews those and this year had a perfect excuse. Right after the Super Bowl, Belichick said that both he and the Patriots were “about five weeks behind” everyone else’s NFL Draft prep.

Well, he’s been taking care of those items. Shortly after he was seen exchanging pleasantries with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Belichick was seen at a couple of different Pro-Days scouting would-be Patriots. And who could blame him?

The league typically treats a Patriots-suggested rule change at the league meetings like kryptonite. But when someone else reiterates the same rule change Belichick did a year or two later, suddenly it is a wonderful idea. For the latest rule change fiasco let’s ask a Patriots player what he thinks.

Shea McClellin Lets His Feelings Known on the New Non-Leaping FG Block Rule:
One of the most athletic plays you could have seen during the 2016 Super Bowl run was the field goal block by Shea McClellin against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. McClellin timed his leap perfectly and blocked a FG attempt by Ravens kicker Justin Tucker for his first and only miss of 2016.

McClellin dusted off his leaping act against the Falcons during the Super Bowl but the officials incorrectly called that he leaped over the center and not the guard and the Patriots were flagged for 15 yards. Now the NFL has deemed those plays illegal under the guise of “player safety”. We won’t get into a long discussion on this other than to say, isn’t it designed to avoiding contact with other players?  Things that make you go hmmm. One thing that won’t is McClellin’s feeling on this which was perfect.

Would the Patriots Kick the tires on Dion Jordan?
Big news out of Miami was the Dolphins released Jordan this week with a failed physical designation and of course, as with any other big name free agent, it immediately set the tongues wagging that the Patriots should scoop him up. But the problem with Jordan has always been, just that. He’s been a big name but not a big producer.

Jordan was the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 draft, and the 6’6, 248-pound edge rusher was all the rage back then. He ran a 4.60-second 40-yard dash, a 7.02-second 3-Cone Drill time, a 4.35-second short shuttle, a 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump and a 32.5-inch vertical leap at the Combine that year.

But his production never matched his hype and he’s only played in 26 games in four seasons. He missed the entire 2016 season with an injury and 22 more due to numerous violations of the performance enhancing drug rules by the league.

The Patriots have been a consistent spot for a number of players to breathe new life into their careers. Could Jordan be the latest? Sure, but something tells me they pass.

Speaking of passing…

Patriots will not Draft Joe Mixon:
The Patriots and Robert Kraft have not backed down from their stance on bringing in domestic abusers, unlike the NFL. According to numerous sources, Mixon isn’t even on the Patriots draft board and will not be drafted by New England later this month.

Speaking to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Kraft didn’t mention Mixon by name but did say this: “While I believe in second chances and giving players an opportunity for redemption, I also believe that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right,” Kraft said.

“For me, personally, I believe that privilege is lost for men who have a history of abusing women.”

Patriots Uniforms Changed Drastically 24 years Ago…for the Worse:
On Friday, the Patriots celebrated a 24-year anniversary on the date they announced a drastic uniform change that altered the way the team would look right up to the present day.

On March 31, 1993, then owner James Orthwein unleashed a new color pattern and logo to go on the helmet and the Flying Elvis was born. Instead of red, white and blue, the Patriots went primarily to blue with silver pants and red numbers and were pretty awful as uniforms go.

The team later tweaked them, changing over to a much better look to what they have now. But no uniform will ever replace the Pat the Patriot.

Kony Ealy Will Benefit Being in the Patriots System:
One of the more interesting notes from the league meeting was a quote about Kony Ealy from his former coach in Ron Rivera. The two questions about Ealy was never one of talent, but one of consistency and his ability to take to coaching. Rivera pretty much hit #2 square on the head.

“More than anything else is just really do what he’s told,” Rivera said. “I think being around a program like what coach Belichick has established in New England will be really good for him. I think it will be an opportunity for him to grow and take another step. I think it’s a good situation. I really do.”

“The biggest thing, more than anything else, is to do things the way coach Belichick wants them done.”

While some have viewed Rivera’s comments as a shot across the bow with his being traded to New England, the final word from his coach seems to point to him needing a fresh start to realize his potential.

“They’re getting a guy, I think, who hasn’t truly tapped his potential,” Rivera said. “He showed it. He flashed it in the Super Bowl. If they can get him back to that point, I think they’ll get a very explosive pass rusher.”

East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:

Bills Hire Image Consultant for Coach Sean McDermott:
The Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs for 17 straight seasons and that makes for some strange happenings when it comes to the front office. Rex Ryan was jettisoned as Head Coach and Sean McDermott was brought in. Somehow GM Doug Whaley survived the offseason amid pressers where he left media members with the assumption that no one was in charge at the Bills headquarters.

Now with the hiring of an image consultant for McDermott, the new image is that the Bills will have one voice and that will belong to the coach, not the GM and not the ownership.

Whaley’s demotion of sorts is a no-brainer after basically throwing his owner under the bus during the search for Ryan’s successor. Former ESPN exec Gerry Matalon will work with both McDermott and Whaley and it is expected his role will increase.

But more than anything, the Bills need to start winning. Winning immeasurably will help their image.

Miami Signs Safety Tim McDonald:
The Miami Dolphins made an intriguing addition to their defense on Friday by signing former Rams safety Tim McDonald to a one-year contract.

But McDonald won’t be able to make a contribution until November. He’s facing an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. McDonald has vowed that this will never happen again but his suspension may have turned other teams off from signing him.

McDonald, 26, is just entering his prime and is considered a hard-hitting, aggressive safety at 6’2, 217-pounds. The thinking is, Miami, who won 10 games a year ago, will want McDonald for the season-ending stretch and hopefully a return trip to the postseason.

Jets’ Bowles Will Be “Heavily Involved with the Offense” in 2017:
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke at the league meeting this week and said that for the first time in his coaching career that he’ll be involved with the offensive side of the ball, both during the week and on game day.

“I’ve been in meeting rooms up until this point, and I will continue to be involved,” Bowles told the media in Phoenix on Tuesday. “I’ll be probably heavily more involved than I’ve been since I’ve been here.”

“It’s just the way I feel as a coach, and have evolved to, and where I need to be,” Bowles added. “To understand everything from that [offensive] standpoint, I need to be heavily involved.”

With Bowles in the hot seat in his third season after a disastrous 2016, the move makes sense. His predecessor, Rex Ryan, always spoke about getting more involved in the offense for both the Jets and Bills and has now been fired by both.

But first, he really needs to find a quarterback.

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