|02.20.17 at 6:00 am ET|
When the Patriots selected wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell in last year’s NFL draft, much was made about him being in a women’s book club while at the University of Georgia and also writing a children’s book, “The Magicians Hat.”
Appearing on NFL Network Friday night, Mitchell said he would like to get the book published through a professional publisher and also work with them on getting a second book he’s written published, too.
“Currently right now, I am trying to work with publishers because I self-published a book while I was in college,” Mitchell said. “I would love to get the message to a broader scope just to share the magic of reading and personal experience I had with it.
“Right now I am trying to work with a publisher to get ‘The Magician’s Hat’ out even more and hopefully they will work with me even more on a second book because I do have one and I am ready to move forward because I feel like reading can definitely help kids and people reach their full potential.”
The book Mitchell wrote in college was about power of books, which can explore dreams and develop creativity. Mitchell had difficulty reading in high school and even struggled once he got to college, but when he had to miss a season with a torn ACL he used that to improve his reading skills and joined a women’s reading club.
On the field, Mitchell proved himself as a rookie. He became the first rookie Tom Brady ever completed a pass to in a Super Bowl and was one of his favorite targets all season.
“Coming in, my main focus was just to make the team,” Mitchell said. “You know, no opportunity is concrete. No situation is promised. And from the time I walked into training camp, I worked as hard as I could not knowing the outcome, but knowing I wanted to be ready just in case anything came.”
The rookie also noted how happy Bill Belichick was after the win in Super Bowl LI — the happiest he had ever seen him.
“He smiled at least for 10 minutes straight,” Mitchell said. “And he gave me a hug. I got a hug. I think that’s the first time we ever touched each other.”
|02.19.17 at 12:34 pm ET|
As it stands now, Danny Amendola likely won’t be back with the Patriots in 2017 considering he is on the books for a base salary of $6 million and the team likely would release him.
But, as Amendola has done each of the last two seasons, the wide receiver could take a pay cut in order to play for the Patriots next year and it would make sense for both sides to make this happen.
Amendola is 31 years old and has only played a full season in two of his nine years in the league, but when he has been on the field with the Patriots, he’s been a valuable asset, especially in the playoffs.
Just look at what Amendola did in Super Bowl LI when the Patriots needed him most.
Playing in his home state, Amendola caught eight passes on 11 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown, as well as converting the second two-point conversion to force overtime. Also, look at what he did in 2014 when the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. He hauled in five passes for 48 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown to help beat Seattle.
Over the last three seasons, Amendola has caught close to 70 percent of the passes thrown his way, which is among the top five among NFL receivers, and always seems to make a big play when the team needs one on third down.
Bottom line with Amendola is when the Patriots and Tom Brady need a play, he always seems to make one.
The Patriots typically carry five receivers on their 53-man roster and Amendola deserves to be one of those five, likely as the fifth. Going into 2017 the Patriots will have Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell definitely returning and then likely two open spots. New England probably will add a younger receiver either through the draft or via free agency, and then Amendola would make the perfect fifth.
|02.18.17 at 4:57 pm ET|
No one is harder on himself than Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones.
Speaking at Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore where he went grew up, Jones reflected on his rookie season and was quite hard on himself.
“I’ll never take credit for something I don’t feel I contributed to,” Jones said of the Patriots winning Super Bowl LI, via the Baltimore Sun. “I was part of the team, but I didn’t feel a part of it.”
Added Jones: “I honestly felt cursed. I reached a point where I didn’t even want to play. I just didn’t have it.”
The Alabama product had fumbling issues when returning punts and was inactive for five of the team’s final six games. As a second-round pick, his issues were particularly frustrating.
“But honestly, it was hell for me,” he said. “That’s the only way I can describe it. I didn’t feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me.”
The rookie was the subject of a lot of criticism both in the media and from the fans. Jones acknowledged it had some impact on him.
“But honestly, it pisses me off,” he said. “You can say shut it out or don’t listen, but I know people are talking, and it’s negative. I’m not a dumb guy. It definitely affects me. What it should do is piss me off in a way that I want to shut them all up.”
Despite his tough first season as a pro, Jones is determined to make 2017 a much different one.
“This is not the end of the world for me,” Jones said. “I have no doubt I’ll be back and this will be a thing of the past. It’s not like I forgot how to play football overnight.”
|02.18.17 at 10:45 am ET|
It’s been a strange past few days for Darrelle Revis.
The Jets cornerback officially turned himself into police on Friday night in Pittsburgh. He is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy. He’s also been charged with making terroristic threats, which is a misdemeanor.
ESPN reports he has been released on non-monetary bond and his next court date will be Thursday. He was ordered to appear at all hearings and told not to have any contact with the alleged victims and witnesses, even on social media. He also has 72 hours to turn in his passport.
According to the police report, early Monday morning Pittsburgh police officers found two men unconscious after an incident with Revis. Those men told officers they had a verbal altercation with Revis, but didn’t know who had punched them. Revis threw a cellphone belonging to one of the men into the street, but police saw the video afterwards and that was when Revis was charged.
Revis’ attorney Blaine Jones told ESPN he believes Revis has a “very good case.” He described his client as serious, somber and “ready to answer charges.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|02.17.17 at 10:29 pm ET|
After it was reported as a possibility earlier in the week, it looks like it will actually happen.
According to Chris Low of ESPN, Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll will be named the University of Alabama offensive coordinator.
Daboll was highly regarded in New England, as he was thought to be the coach to take over as offensive coordinator whenever Josh McDaniels were to leave the job. He has plenty of NFL experience, including being an NFL offensive coordinator with a number of teams — the Browns (2009-10), Dolphins (2011) and Chiefs (2012). He has been with the Patriots since 2013.
He also has a connection with Nick Saban, as he served as one of his graduate assistants when Saban was at Michigan State.
Also, with Bill Belichick being a close friend of Saban he likely recommended Daboll to Saban, while also likely helping Daboll decide whether or not to take the job.
As for who replaces Daboll in New England?
Belichick usually promotes within his staff, so look for coaching assistants Nick Caley, Mike Pellegrino or Cole Popovich to get consideration.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|02.17.17 at 4:14 pm ET|
Two years ago, talking heads across the sports radio dial lambasted Bill Belichick for allowing Darrelle Revis to sign with the Jets in free agency. But now, all of the rage seems foolish. Letting Revis walk was one of the best decisions Belichick has ever made.
The latest lowlight for Revis came last weekend, when he may have knocked out two men during an early morning fight in Pittsburgh. According to police, the now-washed up cornerback had an altercation with two men who recognized him and approached him at 2:43 a.m. Sunday. One of them took out a cell phone and started recording Revis, who took the device and threw it onto the street. An unidentified male then came to Revis’ aid. The 22-year-old and 21-year-old victims say they were knocked unconscious shortly thereafter. Their story is corroborated by witnesses.
Revis, 31, is facing charges of robbery, terroristic threats, conspiracy and aggravated assault. His attorney, Blaine Jones, told the NFL Network Thursday Revis wasn’t the aggressor.
Long before last Sunday’s scuffle, Belichick’s decision to discard Revis was vindicated. Some say that happened the moment the Jets signed the veteran corner to a five-year, $70 million deal with $39 million guaranteed –– an obscene contract the Patriots would’ve never forked over.
After showing some signs of regression in 2015, Revis became a liability last season. It started Week 1, when Bengals wideout A.J. Green burned him for 12 catches and 180 yards. His performance didn’t get any better from there. The following week, he was torched by little-known Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin for an 84-yard touchdown pass in prime time on Thursday Night Football. On and on it went.
Tyrod goes DEEEEEEEP.@flashg88dwin beats Revis for an 84 yard TD!
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2016
During his lone season with the Patriots, Revis was a lockdown No. 1 corner. Quarterbacks who targeted him in 2014 were 33 of 76 (43.4%) for 523 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 53.8 rating. That stellar play is a big reason why the Patriots steamrolled their competition in the second half of the year and won Super Bowl XLIX.
Letting Revis leave that offseason was bold, especially because the Patriots replaced him with Malcolm Butler. The undrafted rookie made the game-winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX, but was still relatively untested. But now, two years later, he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the game. Revis, meanwhile, was picked apart all season long in 2016. Quarterbacks who targeted him last season posted a passer-rating north of 100.
For the price of $600,000, Butler vastly outperformed Revis and his $17 million base salary. Beat writers are now calling for the Jets to cut Revis outright, and eat the $6 million they still owe him.
The way Belichick played the Revis situation is a reminder the Patriots’ dynasty is about more than Tom Brady. That kind of deft personnel management –– signing Revis to an one-year, $12 million deal with $20 million team option so he could rebuild his value –– is a big reason why the Patriots have been able to stay on top for 15 years.
Belichick preaches the importance of value. The way he handled Revis embodies his brilliant team building philosophy.
|02.17.17 at 2:13 pm ET|
Michael Floyd was arrested for DUI in December after falling asleep at the wheel and on Friday he learned his punishment.
The wide receiver pleaded guilty to extreme DUI and has been sentenced to 120 days in jail. The other six charges against him were dropped.
Fox 10 reports 24 of the days will be served at Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the other 96 will be home detention.
Floyd also has to do 40 hours of community service and was fined over $5,000.
The receiver was released by the Cardinals the week of the incident and was claimed off waivers by the Patriots the next day. He played in two regular season games with the team and the divisional round in the playoffs. He was inactive for the AFC title game and Super Bowl LI.
Floyd is currently a free agent, and for more on his future in New England click here.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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