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As Patriots hit reset button at cornerback, coach Josh Boyer sounds ready for challenge

06.11.15 at 5:32 pm ET
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Josh Boyer likes what he's seen from the New England corners to this point in the offseason. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Josh Boyer likes what he’s seen from the New England corners to this point in the offseason. (Elsa/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — For a guy who just lost his top three cornerbacks, Josh Boyer is pretty upbeat.

The Patriots cornerbacks coach saw Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner walk in free agency and Kyle Arrington released this past offseason. But he understands the reality of the situation — the only thing that’s permanent in the NFL is change.

“I think each year is new, and it’s a natural transition, a natural progression,” he said after an OTA session on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “I think everybody that’s here — players, coaches, I think everybody understands there’s going to be turnover. There will be things like that. Again, it’s just an all-new start.”

That all-new start includes veteran free-agent pickups Robert McClain, Bradley Fletcher and Derek Cox, as well as rookies Darryl Roberts and Jimmy Jean. They join a group of returnees that includes Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, as well as former practice squadder Justin Green.

“I think all of our guys in our group have worked extremely hard, whether it’s in the classroom or the weight room,” Boyer said of the new additions. “The field work (and) the offseason coaching sessions we get to do out here.

“Again, when you get to a competitive situation in training camp, that’s what you’ll see. The chemistry that you’re building. Right now, you’re just trying to see if guys can pick up this, can they pick up that.”

Boyer indicated Thursday that there’s been some good carryover for the veterans, even during these early stages of the season.

“I think it’s like anything else in any other profession. I’m sure all you guys have had experience at other places — there’s some carryover, and then, there’s things that are different,” he said, gesturing toward the media. “I think it’s the same for the guys who have come in from different programs. I think there’s a little bit that carries over, and then, I think there’s a little bit that’s new.

“I think the important thing for all of our guys to remember is whether or not it’s corners or safeties, linebackers, defensive line, offensive players. It’s for everybody to get on the same page. That’s how you build a team, and this is just the infancy stages of building a team. And that’s really what we’re trying to do.”

On Thursday, a lot of the focus was on Butler, who was disciplined for missing the first OTA workout because of a missed flight, and was subsequently forced to sit out practice sessions. He was back on the field in front of the media for the first time Thursday, and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.

“I think Malcolm has had a productive offseason. I think he’s been pretty productive. What we’re asking him to do, I think he’s improving,” Boyer said of Butler. “(But) I think we need to continue to improve. I think (Butler) needs to continue to build on that. And then when I think when we get to training camp and get into a competitive situation against our offense and we start working a little bit against the Saints, I think you’re going to see some things there. Not just Malcolm (but) everybody in our group.

“All that stuff will play out in time.”

Read More: Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Josh Boyer, Kyle Arrington

Poll: What do you think of Patriots’ punishment of Malcolm Butler?

06.11.15 at 5:00 pm ET
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Patriots announce series of roster moves

06.11.15 at 4:49 pm ET
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The Patriots announced a series of roster moves on Thursday afternoon. In addition to the news of the release of tight end Tim Wright and quarterback Garrett Gilbert, New England also released rookie wide receiver Zach D’€™Orazio. The Patriots also signed three rookie free agents: linebacker D.J. Lynch (Bowling Green), tight end Jimmay Mundine (Kansas) and tight end Logan Stokes (Louisiana State).

Lynch, 22, played in 48 games with 26 starts at Bowling Green and finished with 230 total tackles. The 6-foot, 252-pounder, had his best season as a junior in 2013 when he started all 14 games and was named All-MAC after finishing with a team-high of 83 total tackles.

Mundine, 23, played in 45 games with 19 starts at tight end and closed his career as Kansas’€™ third-ranked tight end in terms of yards and receptions with 1,082 yards on 86 receptions. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder, has the most touchdowns by a tight end in school history with 11. Last season, Mundine started in all 12 games and set a single season record for a tight end in school history with 584 receiving yards.

Stokes, 22, began his college career at Northeast Mississippi Community College for two seasons (2011-12) before transferring to LSU for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was utilized mainly as a blocking tight end during his time at LSU. He played in 13 games last season and caught his only reception on a three-yard touchdown pass in LSU’€™s 10-7 win over Ole Miss.

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Read More: D.J. Lynch, Jimmay Mundine, Logan Stokes,

Report: Patriots sign quarterback Matt Flynn

06.11.15 at 4:18 pm ET
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Matt Flynn reportedly is set to join the Patriots after two stints with the Packers. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Matt Flynn reportedly is set to join the Patriots after two stints with the Packers. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — One day after working him out, the Patriots have reportedly signed quarterback Matt Flynn.

ESPN reported Thursday afternoon that the team has signed the seven-year veteran as a back-up plan for back-up Jimmy Garoppolo. With the suspension of Tom Brady looming, the team will likely be in need of another quarterback on the roster, at least to open the season.

On Wednesday ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini reported the Patriots worked out veteran quarterback. Thursday afternoon, Russini reported the deal was done.

Flynn made a name for himself in 2013 with the Packers when he led them to to a 2-2-1 record in his five appearances, including a remarkable 37-36 comeback against the Cowboys to keep the Packers‘ playoff hopes alive with Aaron Rodgers out with an injury. The Packers did not re-sign him following last season.

In 51 career NFL games, Flynn has completed 219-of-357 passes for 2,541 yards and 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Currently behind Brady on the depth chart, the Patriots have Jimmy Garoppolo and Garrett Gilbert. All three have been taking reps at Patriots OTAs. Patriots mini-camp begins on Tuesday in Foxboro.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Flynn, New England Patriots, nfl

Josh McDaniels: ‘He’s the same Tom Brady I’ve always had a chance to coach’

06.11.15 at 4:03 pm ET
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Josh McDaniels addresses reporters after Thursday's OTA at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/

Josh McDaniels addresses reporters after Thursday’s OTA at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — No one inside Gillette Stadium works with Tom Brady on a consistent basis as much as Josh McDaniels. Not even head coach Bill Belichick can give the kind of insight and perspective on the superstar quarterback that the Patriots offensive coordinator can provide.

That’s why it was interesting to hear from McDaniels on Thursday following the last OTA practice before mini-camp about what he sees as Brady’s mindset in this spring of Deflategate.

Does McDaniels see any type of indication that the off-field issue is a distraction or on his mind during practice?

“No, no. He’s the same Tom Brady I’ve always had a chance to coach at this time of year,” McDaniels said. “He’s working extremely hard. He’s got a great attitude. He’s had a very good spring and a very positive influence on our offense and our team. He’s doing everything he can every day to get better so nothing different than every year I’ve had a chance to work with him in the past.”

Much has been written and said about the Patriots, most of it unflattering, this offseason. But McDaniels said he’s been able to tune most of it out, probably taking a cue from his quarterback.

“I try to control the things I can control and don’t really worry too much about the things that are said outside of our building,” McDaniels added. “I know that he’s working hard every day to try to be the best player he can be and we’re trying to do that with every one of our players. I think our attitude has been great this spring in terms of the work we’ve put in and we’re looking forward to continuing to have another good three or four practices before the completion of mini-camp. I think what we’re trying to do and what we’re focused on is really trying to make ourselves a better team at this point.”

With a Brady suspension still looming, the Patriots are trying to make sure they’re prepared.

Part of that preparation is giving enough first-team reps to Jimmy Garoppolo and making sure third-string QB Garrett Gilbert is ready, should the need arise. There’s even been a report that the Patriots brought free agent Matt Flynn in for a workout. But Flynn aside, McDaniels’ focus is on the three quarterbacks he has to work with now.

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Read More: Deflategate, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots, Tom Brady

Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Malcolm Butler discipline, Brandon Spikes release

06.11.15 at 3:36 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the OTA disciplining of Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler for missing a flight back to Boston, the release of linebacker Brandon Spikes and what to look for as mini-camp begins next week.

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Chris Price, Malcolm Butler, Mike Petraglia

Stevan Ridley: Patriots ‘made a mistake’ when it came to Deflategate

06.11.15 at 2:45 pm ET
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Former Patriot Stevan Ridley said Thursday that his old team “made a mistake” when it came to Deflategate.

Speaking with the media shortly after the end of the Jets offseason program, the running back — who left New England as a free agent in the offseason after four years with the Patriots to sign with the Jets — was asked about the ongoing scandal.

“They made a mistake,” Ridley told reporters who asked about the Patriots. “The best thing that can happen is that they deal with that on their own. That has nothing to do with the New York Jets, and this is where I am now. At the end of the day, the Super Bowl champs are the Super Bowl champs. The football is deflated or not, it took a lot of hard work to get there. I’m not saying they’re right; I’m not saying they’re wrong. But what I am saying is you can’t take away that they got that title.”

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Read More: Deflategate, Stevan Ridley,
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