|05.30.14 at 2:14 pm ET|
Branch played a combined seven seasons on two separate occasions in New England with Tom Brady as his quarterback, and won a pair of Super Bowls with him. Since the Patriots drafted quarterback Jimmy Garopolo in the second round of this month’s draft, Brady’s window as signal-caller has been questioned on multiple occasions.
Branch sees no end to Brady’s career anytime soon.
“Tom’s window is when Tom is ready to hang it up,” Branch said. “That’s being very open and honest about it. Tom is a hard-working guy, and I think when Tom is ready to hang it up, that’s when he’ll do it.”
Branch does, however, believe that Patriots made a good decision in drafting Garoppolo.
“They have to do what’s in the best interest of the organization,” Branch said. “I think that’s what they did. To add another quarterback obviously picks up the competition level with [Ryan Mallett] and the young man. I think Mallett’s ready to go. I think he’s ready to make that next move.” Read the rest of this entry »
|05.30.14 at 1:56 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Darrelle Revis is already one of the guys.
After coming off the field Friday afternoon following an OTA session, he was getting a hail of good natured abuse from his new teammates, who were celebrating the fact that the new corner was the one drawing the attention from the media.
No worries for the former All-Pro, who was soaking it in.
“This is a new adventure for me,” he said, sweat dripping from his face after a workout that lasted for almost two hours in sweats and helmets. “I’m just happy to be a part of the Patriots organization. I’ve known them from playing in New York for six years, and it’s good. This is something in my journey. Like I said, I’m just happy to be here.
“Every defense has their kinks and they do things different and have different schemes. Right now for me, this is my third team, and I’m just trying to absorb everything right now and take a step back and learn everything I can to get prepared for the season.”
Following the session, Revis touched on a number of issues, including his initial impressions of his first couple of months in the New England organization.
“From inside out, it’s totally different,” he said. “There are things that you didn’t expect — how this organization is [run] — from top to bottom. You have to [take] your hat off to Mr. Kraft for how this organization operates. They want to be a winning organization. I’m happy those guys gave me an opportunity to come in here and be a part of it.”
Here are a few more highlights from his Q&A with the media:
Read the rest of this entry »
|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.”
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