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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: South Carolina RB Mike Davis

03.25.15 at 1:34 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 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.

Mike Davis (Todd Bennett/GettyImages)

Mike Davis was plagued by injur (Todd Bennett/Getty Images)

MIKE DAVIS

Position: Running back

School: South Carolina

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 223 pounds

Achievements: 2013 All-SEC second team

What he brings: One of Davis’ valuable assets is his compact frame that, combined with his power and agility, might help him find a starting spot in the NFL. He accelerates quickly through holes, according to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, and is patient enough to let holes develop as well. NFL.com praises him for his ability to create separation in the back field and to the perimeter and mentions that his acceleration and spin move help him run.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-4

Notes: Davis was bothered by nagging injuries for much of 2014, and one NFC South scout told NFL.com that he wasn’t the same player this past season. He carried the ball 199 times for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014. The year before, he rushed 203 times for 1,183 yards and 11 TDs. Rang wrote that Davis wore down in 2013, which is why he struggled last season, and noted that it might raise questions about his handling of an NFL workload. His brother, James Davis, was a running back at Clemson and bounced around the NFL from 2009 until 2011.

Related articles:

Mike Davis’ move to go pro was with mom in mind 

South Carolina back Mike Davis draws high praise

Video: Here are highlights of Davis vs. Missouri in 2014.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Mike Davis,

Judge in Aaron Hernandez case will allow some jailhouse phone calls

03.25.15 at 1:07 pm ET
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Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh said Wednesday she will allow some of Aaron Hernandez’s phone calls from jail to be used by the prosecution in its murder case against the former Patriot.

Hernandez’s lawyers had asked for those conversations — including those with his fiancee and Dolphins offensive lineman Mike Pouncey (a former University of Florida teammate) — to be excluded. The prosecution said it did not plan to use the calls with Pouncey.

Garsh said she would rule later on which calls could be included.

Also Wednesday, Garsh said prosecutors are “about a week or so” away from resting their case in the trial, which has gone on for eight weeks.

Hernandez is accused of killing Odin Lloyd in June 2013.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Report: Sebastian Vollmer had offseason shoulder surgery

03.25.15 at 10:11 am ET
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For the Patriots, linebacker Dont’a Hightower isn’t the only player to have offseason shoulder surgery.

According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer underwent shoulder surgery after the Super Bowl. The surgery has reportedly altered his offseason to more of a focus on rehabilitation rather than a traditional workout regimen.

The report adds the surgery was to Vollmer’s labrum, although it was never serious enough to keep him out of game action. Vollmer is spending time at Gillette Stadium now rehabbing the injury and is expected to be ready “for action when it counts.”

Vollmer was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft and has spent all seven seasons in the league with the Patriots, emerging as one of the better right tackles in the league.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Sebastian Vollmer,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Fresno State FS Derron Smith

03.25.15 at 9:38 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 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.

Derron Smith (Harry How/Getty Images)

Derron Smith (top) is a little small for an NFL free safety, but his production can’t be questioned. (Harry How/Getty Images)

DERRON SMITH

Position: Free safety

School: Fresno State

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 197 pounds

Achievements: 2014 Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, 2013 All-Mountain West first team, watch lists for Bednarik and Thorpe Awards for best defensive back, 2012 All-Mountain West first team

What he brings: Smith is applauded by experts for his awareness and ability to read offenses. Scouts like his ability to match up with receivers on the line as well as in high coverage. The biggest concern for many is his size, which may create problems defending tight ends and tall receivers. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says Smith “lacks ideal size for the position but checks off just about every other box teams will be looking for.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-4

Notes: Smith suffered a season-ending broken arm in the third game of his 2011 sophomore season. ESPN.com ranks him as the second safety and 67th overall in the draft.

Related articles:

Record Gazette: Smith looking forward to NFL

NFL.com: Smith improving his game

Video: Here are Smith’s interceptions throughout his career at Fresno State.

Read More: 2015 NFL Draft, 2015 Potential Patriots, Derron Smith,

Report: Jets file tampering charges against Patriots for Robert Kraft’s Darrelle Revis comments Monday

03.24.15 at 8:56 pm ET
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The rivalry continues.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Jets have filed tampering charges against Robert Kraft and the Patriots based on the owner’s comments Monday about Darrelle Revis who is now a member of the Jets.

“€œWe thought we made a very competitive offer,” Kraft told reporters while speaking at the NFL owners meetings. “I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots — we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines.

“We had hoped it worked out. It didn’€™t.”

The owner continued to say how he hated losing Revis, but trusts Bill Belichick to make the right decisions for the organization.

“As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose [Revis],” Kraft told reporters Monday at the NFL owners meeting in Arizona. “But our real focus is what goes on in the fall and winter. I put my faith and respect with Bill [Belichick]. We have a lot of discussions, and he’€™s done pretty good the last 15 years. The fan in me argues all the time with him, but he has a pretty good record.”

Kraft was asked if he was talked out of matching the Jets offer by Belichick.

“No. I listen to what he says,” he said. “We discuss things thoroughly, but he has done a pretty good job. Once again, the emotion and fan in me, you want to keep all the good players and we have a salary cap. I know what it’€™s like when you lose a game in the fall and the winter, so the emotion of the spring has to have some discipline if you want to be good long-term. I think he’€™s proven to be a pretty good manager of our resources.”

This is likely in response to the Patriots filing tampering charges against the Jets for Woody Johnson‘s comments about Revis back in December.

Tampering rules prohibit: “€œ[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’€™s player to that player’€™s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.”

Read More: Darrelle Revis, New York Jets, Robert Kraft, Woody Johnson

NFL passes 5 new rules, including ‘Julian Edelman rule’

03.24.15 at 7:49 pm ET
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The NFL is continuing to take player safety seriously, and to further the trend the league passed five new rules directed to player safety on Tuesday at the league meetings in Arizona.

In the Super Bowl Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman took a huge shot over the middle of the field from Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Edelman appeared dazed, but stayed in the game, still appearing dazed a few plays after. With one of the rule changes, that may not have happened.

A rule passed Tuesday now says there will be an injury spotter, who can stop the game if he/she sees a player may have suffered a brain injury. The ATC spotter (athletic trainers) would be able to notify the side judge who can then call a medical timeout to remove the player from the game.

“You’€™d have to talk to the medical people about that. I was coaching the game,” Bill Belichick said of the play and if he thought Edelman should have came out of the game.

The other four changes are:

1. Defensive players can no longer push teammates at the line of scrimmage on punts.

2. Peel back blocks are banned.

3. Once a pass is intercepted, receivers now have defenseless receiver protection.

4. Running backs can no longer chop block a defensive player engaged by the waist outside the tackle box.

It’s worth noting Belichick’s proposal for fixed cameras on all boundary lines to aid in instant replay was tabled to allow for additional time for research and development.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Julian Edelman,

Bill Belichick stresses ‘competition’ and uncertainty when talking free agent signings

03.24.15 at 5:11 pm ET
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Jabaal Sheard is one of players the Patriots signed via free agency recently. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jabaal Sheard is one of players the Patriots signed via free agency recently. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick was in midseason form Tuesday morning speaking for the first time since the Super Bowl, talking for over 40 minutes without saying much at all at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL’s owners’ meetings in Arizona.

According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Belichick answered “I don’t know” 23 times, and said “We’ll see” another 23 times.

Before getting on the coach for his lack of expansion, he really was just being honest when it comes to the new players the team has signed recently with their roles because with it being late March and the season not starting for another roughly six months, even Belichick doesn’t know how things will shake out for them in the Patriots’ system, especially since he hasn’t coached any of these newcomers before.

For example, Jabaal Sheard. The Patriots signed the former Browns outside linebacker/defensive end as their biggest signing of free agency so far. Sheard recorded 8.5 and seven sacks in the league before a slight dip the past two years. Even with his production in Cleveland, Belichick truly doesn’t know how things will work out once he puts on a Patriots uniform.

“We’€™ll see how it goes. He’€™s been a productive player,” Belichick told reporters.

Will he be more of a defensive end or an outside linebacker?

“We’€™ll see how it goes,” said Belichick.

The same goes for veteran tight end Scott Chandler, who should serve as a nice complement to Rob Gronkowski, but like with Sheard, Belichick didn’t commit to anything.

“€œHe’€™s been a productive player. We certainly had a lot of trouble with him. We’€™ll see,” Belichick said.

When it comes to replacing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner at cornerback, the Patriots have signed two veterans in Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain. Given it was Belichick’s first time speaking following any of the offseason acquisitions, he was asked about Fletcher and McClain.

With how deep the Patriots are at corner, no job is safe, and Belichick certainly didn’t speak like either were even guaranteed a spot on the team.

“We’€™ll see how it goes,” said Belichick. “Competition, and see how the competition turns out. I don’€™t know.”

“There is competition at every position every year. It’€™s no different than any other year,” he added.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Jabaal Sheard, Scott Chandler,
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