|05.29.14 at 10:40 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo has initiated a lot of questions about the state of Tom Brady‘s football mortality, but as far as the owner is concerned, the veteran quarterback has a “lot of play left.”
Speaking with the NFL Network Thursday during a break in the action at the team’s Mom’s Football Safety Clinic, Robert Kraft said he hopes that Garoppolo “doesn’t get a chance to start for a long, long time.”
“From my point of view, and I think from our organization, we believe that Tom has a lot of play left,” Kraft said. “The way he takes care of his body, the way he eats, the way he plays, the way he trains, people look up to him.
“At the same time, that’s a position [where] if you don’t have someone strong at that position, look what happened how Tommy took over in that game after 9/11 when we delayed a week? Mo Lewis, our friend from the Jets, took Drew [Bledsoe] out, and if we didn’t have someone like Tommy in our system, it would have been very devastating. In any business, you always need disaster insurance [for] the most important thing. And now we have a young man [in Jimmy Garoppolo] that I hope he’s as good as everyone feels. I also hope he doesn’t get a chance to start for a long, long time.
“His drive and desire and burn — I don’t think people understand the amount of tape he watches and how he prepares. Whatever he feels is the biggest weakness in his game, he addresses them and comes on very strong. He’s gone to eight [championship games] I believe in his career — that doesn’t happen by accident. But we’re privileged to have a great coach and a great supporting cast.”
Kraft was asked if he believes Brady will only wear the Patriots uniform for his entire career.
“I sure hope so,” he said. “We did something creative; he was a visionary and he allowed us to restructure his contract in a way that was good for us. I know I personally and our whole fan base only want to see him always have that flying Elvis or Pat Patriot if we’re doing throwbacks.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|05.29.14 at 8:54 pm ET|
The Patriots have been going through OTAs this week — the third phase of the offseason program. And to this point, the veteran safety has been impressed by the play of Revis, who was acquired in March.
“He’s a good teammate. He works hard and it’s exciting for him to be here,” McCourty said Thursday during a break in the action at the team’s Mom’s Football Safety Clinic.
“I think it’s exciting for him to be here. I think he’s focused on getting better as a player, just like the rest of us. I’m excited for the season this year and for the secondary to start bonding and coming a unit. I think right now, we’re just a bunch of names, and this time — and then in training camp — is when we start to become a unit.”
Revis is one of a few new defensive backs on the roster to this point, a group that includes veteran Brandon Browner and rookie Jemea Thomas. McCourty said that the spring sessions have been “great” when it comes to building a bond with each other.
“I think this time period is great — the coaches can throw as much as they want from us, and [it’s] a learning time,” McCourty said. “I think they’re getting a chance to learn and having to learn on the go. Things are moving fast. I think they’re doing a great job. Along with them is the rookies — they come in and have their little rookie minicamp and now they’re here with us. More is being thrown at them. It’s exciting just seeing everyone out there learning and being back on the field running around.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|05.29.14 at 8:43 pm ET|
Speaking with reporters following an appearance at the team’s first Mom’s Football Safety Clinic, the commissioner acknowledged that it’s becoming very difficult to win a Super Bowl bid for several reasons.
“You know, it’s something that … again, the ownership just finished doing that,” Goodell said. “We awarded a Super Bowl to Minnesota, something that if this community decides it wants to do … it’s competitive. This process is getting more and more difficult, because everybody wants one of these events. We had a great experience in New York, and it’s something that we’ll take up with the membership at some point.”
One thing that the commissioner did not mention is the fact that in this environment, it’s almost par for the course that you have to build a new stadium to land a Super Bowl. New Jersey and Indianapolis did it after building new stadiums, while Minnesota’s new place is set to go up shortly. And Atlanta’s appears to be a lock to host in 2019 after their new venue opens in 2017.
As a result — even in the wake of last February’s relatively successful outdoor game at MetLife in North Jersey — it’s likely a long shot that the Super Bowl will be awarded to Gillette, as it’s still relatively new compared to many current NFL facilities.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|05.29.14 at 8:27 pm ET|
FOXBORO — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell angrily answered charges from NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith Thursday, who accused the commissioner of being party to a credibility gap when it comes to disciplining owners and players.
Smith was referring to the recent case involving Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was arrested in March for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated. In addition, Irsay was allegedly in possession of $29,000 and prescription drugs that weren’t in his name, according to police reports. He has yet to be disciplined by the league.
“The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League,” Smith told ESPN. “What troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of the punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player. There isn’t the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that’s a problem.”
“That’s ongoing, and like I said before, the personal conduct policy applies to commissioners, owners, players, coaches,” Goodell said when asked initially about Irsay. “It applies to all of us. We all have a responsibility to do things the right way. Yes, it’s ongoing.”
Goodell added that there are “several players” who face murky futures because of ongoing issues. In those cases, the league has yet to rule.
“We’d like to get the facts. We’d like to be thorough. And we’d like to understand them,” he added. “Charges were just filed last week. So … I don’t believe there’s a credibility gap. Judge us when we make our final determination, which we undoubtedly will. And so will everybody else. That’s fair. But don’t make judgments until we’ve had the opportunity to do what’s in the best interest of everyone, which is get the facts.
“Everybody wants process. DeMaurice Smith talks about process all the time. Process is important.”
|05.29.14 at 12:27 pm ET|
Hernandez was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon and entered pleas of not guilty to seven charges related to the 2012 double-murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
According to the prosecution, on July 16, 2012, Hernandez drove up alongside the victims’ car and fired five rounds from a .38 caliber revolver into the vehicle, killing both de Abreu and Furtado and wounding another passenger.
The incident apparently started earlier that night after de Abreu bumped into Hernandez at the Cure nightclub in Boston, spilling Hernandez’s drink.
“They’re both strong prosecution cases,” Manion said, adding: “It was his car, the car was at the scene, it was his gun, he was present and we have the spilled-drink motive. It is a bone-chilling recitation of an ambush assassination of a guy that bumped into him while dancing and spilled the drink. It’s just breathtaking. They’ve got the cooperating witness, Alexander Bradley. … What’s their defense? There is no defense.”
|05.29.14 at 12:01 pm ET|
Cross “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis with a dose of life in the NFL, and you’ve got Julian Edelman‘s new YouTube show, “Burgertyme.” Here’s the initial episode, with special guest star Chandler Jones.
|05.29.14 at 11:49 am ET|
With the spring practice sessions now in full swing, there are a handful of players who have spent some time in the system who are on what could be called a preliminary roster bubble. It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of football between now and the start of the regular season, and so these players will have plenty of chances to turn things in their favor. But at first glance, here are five vets who need a good spring and summer to solidify their spot on the roster.
Defensive end Jake Bequette — Bequette has been a non-factor in his first two seasons in the NFL. He’s been a game-day inactive for 25 of a possible 32 regular-season games in that stretch. With the acquisition of veteran Will Smith this spring, there’s more urgency to Bequette’s situation. He needs to take advantage of his reps this spring and summer and display the consistency that made him the 90th overall selection by the Patriots in 2012.
Defensive end Michael Buchanan — While Buchanan might not have the same sense of urgency around his situation as Bequette — Buchanan just completed his first year — he still needs to turn thing up a notch this spring if he wants to be considered a key part of the defense in 2014. The arrival of Smith and the fact that Buchanan dropped off the radar screen at the end of last season combine to make it imperative that the Illinois product has a good spring and summer if he wants to be a part of the regular defensive rotation in the fall.
Defensive back Tavon Wilson — According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson played just 19 defensive snaps in 2013. Nineteen. (As a refresher, he was the 48th overall pick in the 2012 draft.) For a team that was in need of some help at safety over the course of the season, this doesn’t bode well for the Illinois product. To be fair, he did end up being a core member of New England’s special teams unit. And he should get every opportunity to compete for the strong safety position this spring and summer, considering the depth at that spot is woefully thin, at least at this point. Regardless, anyone who ends up playing less than 20 defensive snaps over the course of the whole season and only has two inactives on the year … that doesn’t bode well for their future.
Tight end D.J. Williams — The tight end uttered one of our favorite quotes of 2013. Shortly after he was acquired, he was asked about the New England offense: “It’s just the terminology,’ Williams said. ‘The concepts are pretty much the same. It’s just called different. It’s like trying to pick up Spanish. This offense is very attractive and if you found a very attractive Hispanic lady, you’d pick [her] up pretty quick.” Right now, Williams figures to be on the back end of the depth chart, but if the Patriots do end up picking up free agent tight end Dustin Keller after June 1, he could be trying to woo someone else in some other locale come training camp.
Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins — We covered many of the reasons that the heat could be on KT going into his second year here, but when it comes to personnel and scheme and packages — as well as measuring overall special teams value — it’s clear that Thompkins could use a couple of good months. New England usually heads into the season with either five or six wide receivers on its roster — if the Patriots choose Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson, that’s four. Matthew Slater is a receiver in name only, but the special teams captain still needs a position, so we’ll award him the fifth spot. The last spot could come down to Thompkins or Josh Boyce, and Boyce has demonstrated special teams value while Thompkins has not. (Things could change if the Patriots tweak their personnel in some other offensive skill position areas — one fewer back or tight end.) Right now, it appears that Thompkins needs a good couple of months to solidify his spot on the roster.
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