|06.19.15 at 12:14 pm ET|
The last unsigned Patriots draft pick has come to terms with the team.
According to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Friday, Malcom Brown has agreed to sign his four-year rookie deal with the Patriots.
As of Friday, Brown was just one of four first round picks remaining unsigned by their respective teams. The others were quarterback Marcus Mariota (Tennessee), OT Ereck Flowers (New York Giants) and safety Damarious Randall (Green Bay).
Brown played in all 13 games as a true freshman at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, recording 25 tackles. He took over as a starter his sophomore year in 2013, starting all 13 games. He finished the year with 68 tackles and two sacks, and won the team’s Joseph W. Moore Tenacity Award for Defense along with Jackson Jeffcoat.
This past season at Texas, his junior year, Brown remained a starter. He finished the season with 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by The Associated Press and the league’s coaches.
He also received consensus All-American honors, and was named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as best defensive player in college football, and the Outland Trophy.
Brown finished the year as the Longhorns’ season leader in tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles.
After his junior season, Brown declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft and was taken with the 32nd and final pick in the first round by the Patriots.
First round DT Malcom Brown has agreed to terms with the #Patriots on his 4-year rookie deal, source said.
‘ Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 19, 2015
|06.18.15 at 5:20 pm ET|
The Patriots announced Thursday they released rookie tight end Logan Stokes.
Stokes, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent from Louisiana State on June 11. He began his college career at Northeast Mississippi Community College for two seasons (2011-12) before transferring to LSU for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was utilized mainly as a blocking tight end during his time at LSU. He played in 13 games last season and caught his only reception on a three-yard touchdown pass in LSU’s 10-7 win over Ole Miss.
|06.18.15 at 11:39 am ET|
FOXBORO — In many ways, Jake Bequette symbolizes and embodies the “Patriot Way.”
Bequette was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Patriots to provide some quality depth and versatility at defensive end, a position he mastered at Arkansas.
But the impact and production many in the coaching staff projected on the defensive side never has materialized. In three NFL seasons, he has played in just eight games (all over the first two seasons), without recording a sack or tackle. He was released by the Patriots on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of final roster cuts. But Bill Belichick and staff still saw potential.
Bequette re-signed with the team’s practice squad shortly after the 2014 cuts and earned a Super Bowl ring for the Patriots after spending the entire season on the practice squad, a unit for which he still retains eligibility this season.
It was during the ’14 season that the Patriots began thinking outside the box on Bequette. They saw a player with good hands and a very smart head and the ability to pick up schemes quickly. They starting toying with the idea of moving him to tight end while continuing his work on special teams. After all, Belichick loves versatility.
Jake Bequette the tight end was born. The plan has continued this spring in OTAs and this month’s minicamp. So far, so good.
“Jake works hard. I think he’s really into it,” Belichick said after the final minicamp practice Wednesday. “He wanted to do it, wants to do it and he’s worked really hard at it. The techniques are different, but he played on the end of the line on defense, so he has some familiarity with that kind of spacing over there if you will and what it looks like on the other side of the ball.”
It’s a new take on an old financial adage: Lack of past production doesn’t guarantee future failure. It’s one of the foundations of the Patriots under Belichick. Don’t give up on a smart player or staffer willing to work hard at whatever assignment you give him. Belichick believed that as far back as Cleveland, when he gave his “slappies” like Kirk Ferentz, Ozzie Newsome and Nick Saban a chance to prove themselves valuable in the organization as scouts and coaching assistants.
|06.17.15 at 6:42 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss backup quarterback Matt Flynn, his role behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, the maturation of Brian Tyms, the role of Danny Amendola going forward and the closing of Patriots minicamp on Wednesday.
|06.17.15 at 6:29 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Even though the Patriots won the Super Bowl last season, it was a year to forget for running back Tyler Gaffney.
A 2014 sixth-round pick out of Stanford University by the Panthers, Gaffney tore his meniscus during training camp. The Panthers tried to sneak him through waivers, but the Patriots put in a claim and Gaffney was now not only out for the season, but with a new team.
“Pretty frustrating,” Gaffney said of suffering the injury. “I had never been injured before. Never had any sideline — maybe a sprain, but definitely an eye-opening experience, but I had a bunch of guys kind of help guide me through once I was here standing on the sidelines.”
“A little different, somewhat unexpected,” he added of being claimed by the Patriots. “Nonetheless, you take the cards you’re dealt with and I am happy to be here.”
Even though he missed the entire season after being placed on injured-reserve, Gaffney did everything a player normally does, except practice and play in games. The Stanford grad sat in meetings, watched film, studied the playbook, etc.
With the team losing running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen via free agency, there are available spots at the running back position. Currently battling with Gaffney are Jonas Gray, LeGarrette Blount, James White, Brandon Bolden, Dion Lewis and Travaris Cadet.
The running back will now lean on his experiences from last year.
“Anybody who gets a head start we’ll say on the playbook on any team in the NFL is going to benefited from it,” Gaffney said.
The Patriots rotate their backs in and out arguably more than any team in the NFL, not being a team known as having one feature back. One week it could be one player getting a lot of action and the next week it can be someone completely different.
Gaffney said all he can do during OTAs and minicamp is show the coaches what he can bring to the table.
“You put your best effort out here, and it’s up to the coaches,” he said. “Whatever you can bring to the table you’d like to bring, and from there it’s on them.”
With OTAs and minicamp now wrapped up, next on the Patriots’ offseason schedule is training camp and being another step closer to actual football. With Gaffney missing all of last season, he more than anyone can’t wait.
“Man, I am excited,” Gaffney said. “Last year was a little different than this year, so I am real excited.”
|06.17.15 at 5:42 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bill Belichick sounds like a man who’s ready for some R & R.
After coaching his team to a Super Bowl win in early February, then preparing for free agency and the the draft on a very compressed schedule (albeit very happily) and then getting to know his new personnel through offseason workouts and OTAs, the Patriots coach decided Wednesday that two days of minicamp was enough.
He called off the final day of minicamp on Thursday and decided that the next time he needs to see his team on the field will be for training camp in July. As WEEI.com’s Chris Price detailed, it was another full day of work for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Does Belichick feel the team has accomplished what he wanted to over the course of OTAs and mini-camp?
“Well you can see, we’ve got a lot of stuff in,” Belichick said. “We’ve done a lot of things. We’ve gotten into more situational football each day. We’ll just keep building on that. It’s good to expose it to them once and then the next time around hopefully it will come a little bit quicker.”
On Wednesday, there were some moments when players on opposite sides seemed to get into it, jostling and getting hands up in the non-contact teaching practice.
“Yeah, we don’t really need that. We’re just trying to teach things,” Belichick said. “The competition will start in training camp. There will be plenty of it there. If these guys want to get after it and hit somebody, there will be plenty of chances in training camp ‘ more than they want.”
What has Belichick taken away from the two minicamp practices?
“I think it just gives us a little better evaluation of how the players are handling things mentally, their assignments, there’s more things they have to worry about and the communication, their communication as a team from the signal callers on out to each of the different groups of players,” he said. “It’s not an evaluation of the physical part, but it’s an evaluation of the mental part and their ability to think quickly, process information, handle different situations and communicate individually and as a group.”
As for letting his team go, which he announced after meeting with reporters on Wednesday, even Belichick knows proper perspective.
“We’re not going to conquer the world this week,” Belichick pronounced. “But, we can just keep pushing forward on all the basic situations and then as many of those extra ones as we can get to just puts us that much further ahead down the road.”
|06.17.15 at 5:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For wide receiver Brian Tyms, it was an interesting summer last year.
He was signed by the Patriots on July 27, despite being suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. But, that may have actually helped him make the team out of training camp and then he was added to the roster once the first four games of the season passed.
This year was different for Tyms as he was able to have a full offseason in New England.
“It’s tremendous,” Tyms said. “Last year I came in and was just catching on as I went. Now I actually know the stuff so you actually pay attention to more detail, more things that have to do with route depth, certain situations. It’s big.”
The 26-year-old finished last season playing in 11 games, but only catching five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, which occurred in Week 6 in Buffalo, a 43-yard hook up with Tom Brady — a great over the shoulder catch, which he showcased his speed on.
With a wide receiver depth chart including Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell and Aaron Dobson, Tyms appears to be battling with Dobson for the final wide out spot on the roster. With LaFell out of all of OTAs and minicamp with an apparent foot injury, Tyms has received a lot of work with Edelman and Amendola and done everything he can to prove he deserves to play alongside them.
Despite his work in earlier sessions, Wednesday wasn’t his best day, although it’s worth noting he spent extra time after the session catching balls from a machine on his own.
“Me personally, I don’t feel I did as best as I could or should have done,” Tyms said. “I hold myself to a really high standard and I feel as though when the ball is thrown my way I have to make a play. So when I don’t make it, it’s whatever, I feel bad. I have a lot of stuff to look at on film. A lot of stuff to work on after this minicamp.”