|03.25.14 at 11:08 am ET|
ORLANDO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick refuted the idea Tuesday that the Patriots have acted inappropriately when it comes to injury reports.
After they signed elsewhere as free agents this month, former Patriots Aqib Talib and Brandon Spikes both hinted that New England can play fast and loose with injury information. Spikes said the Patriots decision to put him on injured reserve at the end of the 2013 season was a ‘false report,’ and added ‘that’s just how things go’ in Foxboro when it comes to injuries.
As for Talib, he said he was listed with a hip injury, but in truth, it was a quad issue.
‘The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa,” Talib said after signing with the Broncos. ‘The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury … but that’s how [the Patriots] do things.”
Asked Tuesday morning at the league meetings if the Patriots falsified injury reports, Belichick quickly replied.
“I don’t agree with that,” Belichick said. “No. Never.”
|03.25.14 at 10:16 am ET|
ORLANDO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick made some news this week at the league meetings with four proposed rules changes, and he talked about all four Tuesday morning during the AFC coaches breakfast.
“All four things are things that I’ve brought up to the competition committee in previous years, [but they’ve] never been put in front of the membership,” he said. “This year, it’s been put in front of the membership and we’ll see how they feel about those things, and whatever the league and the membership decides to do, obviously we’ll do. … I think a lot of the things that we’ve proposed are concepts — not married to a specific proposal per se, [but] could definitely be amended.”
– Moving the line of scrimmage for point-after attempts out to the 25-yard line.
“I think there are other people that voiced a similar opinion to mine, but again, there was no proposal from the Competition Committee for years. I mean, it’s been two decades, and the extra point conversion percentage is over 98 percent. Six of the last nine years, it’s been over 99 percent. In the last decade, there hasn’t been a field goal under 20 yards that’s been missed in 10 years. So, when the extra point was part of the game originally, we had players in other positions who were kicking, surfaces were a lot less ideal than what they are now. It was a tougher play. Now, we’ve made it a non-play, and I don’t think non-plays are good for the game. Just like I don’t think putting the ball on the 40-yard line and kicking into the end zone, or even putting on the 35, and having over 50 percent touchback rate. I don’t think that’s an exciting play. I can’t imagine the fans waiting to see a 99 percent extra point, and then an over 50 percent touchback play. Personally, I don’t think that’s great for the game.”
– The extension of the goal posts.
“Certainly, the goal posts are outdated. Virtually every kicker at the combine can kick them over the top of the goal posts [and] some of those guys aren’t even going to be in the league. I’d say every kicker can do that.”
– Make every play — except scoring plays — reviewable.
“I’m not proposing more challenges. All I’m saying is, as a coach, if you want to challenge a play, I think you should be able to challenge it. And why does it have to be limited to, I don’t know, there’s four or five pages in the rules book of plays that can be challenged, and now this year there are more proposals to amend that probably because of one or two plays that happened in the league last year. I think eventually, each year, there’s going to be some other circumstance, situation that comes up and we’re gonna want to add that. I mean it’s four to five pages of plays that challenge procedure. Every year it gets amended and it’s hard to keep it straight. I can’t get it right. We have a coach that’s responsible for that on game day to know exactly … I don’t know how the fans could possibly get it right if the coaches can’t get it right. For the officials themselves, it’s challenging. I think it simplifies it. And I understand it’s a judgment call. So, if I throw a challenge on an offensive holding play and they look at it, and they don’t think it’s holding, I lose the challenge. But if it’s an egregious play, I don’t see why it should not be allowed to be challenged when it affects the outcome of the game. I think we can find multiple, multiple examples of plays for example where the offense isn’t set, that if the officials could look at it, it’s very clear that they’re not set, that would nullify what subsequently happened. I can think of many situations where that would have affected the outcome of the game. So, why plays like that can’t be challenged, why other plays can’t be challenged, I think is … if we fundamentally want to try to get the games right and the plays right, then I don’t see why they should be excluded. Even though they’re judgment calls, but if you’re willing to use a timeout on that, I think you should be able to do that. It’s not going to slow the game down. It’s no different than if you challenged another play. So, I’m not looking for more challenges or anything else, just if you think it was a call that was missed, that you should have the opportunity to have the officials review it. That’s all. I don’t know if anybody agrees with that or not, but that’s the proposal.”
– The addition of cameras near the end zone to better determine whether or not the ball has crossed the plane of the end zone.
“The camera idea we’ve been talking about for years, but that’s never been formally discussed by the membership. … We just spent, whatever it was, how many millions of dollars on the replay system. I mean, there’s a thousand cameras in every stadium, so that if somebody spills a beer on somebody, we have it on record, right? Maybe we could have a bake sale. Raise some money for the cameras. Do a car wash.”
|03.25.14 at 9:45 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 205 pounds
Achievements: 2013 second-team All-SEC selection (Associated Press, coaches)
What he brings: Scouts say that Landry has strong reflexes and ball-handling skills. While he has good size and speed, the general feeling is that Landry needs to bulk up more. He only started in 12 games at the college level. He did not help his cause at the NFL combine, posting the slowest 40-yard dash time of all wide receivers at 4.77 seconds. He attributed the slow performance to a right hamstring injury that he suffered during the sprint.
Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3
Notes: Landry, 21, had five 100-yard games as a junior in 2013, finishing the season with 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is considered one of the top wide receivers in LSU’s history with 137 catches for 1,809 yards and 15 touchdowns in 40 games. … As a senior at Lutcher (La.) High School in 2011, Landry set a record at the Under Armour All-America Game with eight receptions, good for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The Advocate: Slow 40 time might not hurt Jarvis Landry in draft
The Times-Picayune: What the national media are saying about LSU draft prospects
Video: Here is a video highlighting Landry’s career with LSU
|03.25.14 at 9:31 am ET|
Wilfork reportedly requested his release earlier this month, and a story from the Boston Herald Monday indicated he had taken down his nameplate and cleaned out his locker at Gillette Stadium. While owner Robert Kraft seemed to sound an optimistic note about Wilfork’s status on Monday, Belichick wouldn’t comment on the matter on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to talk about anything with any of our specific players, I’m not going to get into that,” Belichick said when quizzed about Wilfork during the AFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings. “If you have any questions about Vince, you should ask Vince, or [questions about] any other players, you should talk to those players.
“You need to talk to him about any of those statements,” he added when pressed further on Wilfork. “I think you should verify first.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|03.25.14 at 9:07 am ET|
Speaking at the AFC coaches breakfast at the annual meetings, Belichick didn’t sound “super excited” like owner Robert Kraft did on Monday when talking about the free agent haul, but was upbeat when speaking about the pickup of Revis.
“I think he’ll help our team,” Belichick said of Revis, who was signed as a free agent earlier this month. “He’s a good player [who] does a lot of things well. We’re looking forward to working with him.”
Belichick acknowledged that Revis was a traditional free agent pickup, saying that the Patriots believed the veteran cornerback was a “potential release,” but they weren’t 100 percent sure until Tampa Bay officially cut him loose.
“We try to keep tabs on all the players — we know the ones that are potentially [unrestricted free agents] going into the process, we know guys that are potentially non-tendered players,” Belichick said. “Some of those guys get signed back, some of them get tendered, some guys we think are going to get tendered don’t get tendered — there’s a little bit of movement there at the end and then some players get released.
“We thought he was a potential release, but we didn’t know that. They could’ve kept him, but they didn’t, so when they didn’t, that’s the process,” he added. “You never know exactly how free agency is going to go — there’s always twists and turns.
“Darrelle is a good player. We’ll see how it comes together with us, what his role is and how exactly he fits in our scheme and so forth,” Belichick added. “We’ll just have to see how that comes together.”
Belichick also touched on the acquisition of free agents Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell.
“He was a productive player in Carolina [and] had some skills that we liked when he was coming out of LSU. We’ll see how it goes,” Belichick said of LaFell. “Obviously, [we] felt he was a good player and that’s why we signed him.”
On Browner: “Rare size for a corner. … Obviously, there’s a lot of things that we liked about it or we wouldn’t have signed him. It’s the same thing when we draft a player — we have to work with him, have them put it together and see how it comes together with that player on our team. But that’s a process we have to go through. Obviously, there’s things we liked, or we wouldn’t have signed him.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|03.24.14 at 6:52 pm ET|
ORLANDO — The Patriots were awarded a fourth-round compensatory pick on Monday, the 140th overall selection. It will be the 27th compensatory pick in franchise history since the league started awarding them in 1994.
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. (Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.) The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four, and the picks always take place at the end of the assigned round. (For more details, check out the release from the NFL here.)
For those of you who might think compensatory picks are relatively small potatoes, it’s worth reminding folks that quarterback Tom Brady was selected with a compensatory pick in the 2000 draft. (Of course, the Patriots also used one on Hakim Akbar in 2001, so it kind of cuts both ways.)
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ current draft situation:
Round 1, 29th overall, assigned
Round 2, assigned
Round 3, assigned
Round 4, assigned
Round 4, compensatory
Round 5, no pick — dealt for defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga
Round 6, acquired in Sopoaga trade
Round 6, assigned
Round 7, assigned
|03.24.14 at 5:33 pm ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Offensive guard
Weight: 304 pounds
Achievements: 2013, 2012 All-Pac-12 first team
What he brings: Su’a-Filo has experience at both tackle and guard, playing every game as a freshman in 2009 as a tackle and (after a two-year Mormon mission) every game in 2012 as a guard. He alternated between 2013 at guard and tackle. Su’a-Filo isn’t superior in any aspect of his game but is solid in both pass and run protection. He has average size for an NFL guard. Su’a-Filo is considered explosive and good in pulling.
Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2
Notes: Su’a-Filo declared for the 2014 draft as a junior, but he’s already 23 years old. He missed the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons at UCLA because he was on a Mormon mission to Florida and South Alabama. … Su’a-Filo won three state championships at Timpview High School in Provo, Utah from 2006-08.
Los Angeles Times: Xavier Su’a-Filo keys UCLA’s protection plan
Deseret News: Xavier Su’a-Filo returns from LDS Mission to find new UCLA football landscape
Video: Here are 2013 UCLA highlights of Su’a-Filo.