|04.17.17 at 8:51 pm ET|
Monday marked the official start of the Patriots offseason workout program. While they are voluntary, typically many stars attend.
One star who wasn’t in attendance Monday was quarterback Tom Brady, this according to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran.
But don’t worry, he will be there Tuesday, as he’s returning from a family vacation. Also not in attendance was Malcolm Butler, but he couldn’t attend even if he wanted to since he hasn’t signed his first-round tender.
There were several key players in attendance, though.
Courtesy of a Patriots.com video, we were able to spot Rob Gronkowski, Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman James White, among many others. The workouts center around strength and conditioning and coaches cannot be present, just the strength and conditioning ones.
This is Phase One of the offseason program.
For more information on the nine-week program, click here.
|04.17.17 at 1:16 pm ET|
It’s officially on to 2017 for the Patriots, as their offseason program began Monday at Gillette Stadium.
Attendance is voluntary for the nine-week program, except for the three-day minicamp from June 6-8.
There are three phases to the program, and per the NFLPA, each phase is four hours a day for four days a week.
Phase 1 (two weeks): Strength and conditioning. Coaches aren’t allowed on the field and the team can only mandate two hours for players to be at the facility. Then, players can choose another two hours to lift weights.
Phase 2 (three weeks): Football drills. Coaches can now be be on the field, but helmets are not allowed and the offense cannot line up against the defense.
Phase 3 (four weeks): OTAs and mandatory minicamp. There are two weeks of OTAs followed by minicamp and then the final week of OTAs. The offseason program officially ends June 15 and the team doesn’t return until training camp, which begins in late July.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|04.16.17 at 9:02 pm ET|
How did Bill Belichick celebrate his 65th birthday on Sunday?
Enjoying himself with girlfriend Linda Holliday in Jupiter, Florida on what looks to be a boat checking out a lighthouse.
With the draft just over a week away, and offseason program beginning Monday, this seems like Belichick’s last getaway, at least for a few weeks.
|04.16.17 at 2:21 pm ET|
On Easter Sunday, Tom Brady posted to social media an overhead shot of him on the field with the caption: #patsnation 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
It seems it was a post to remind everyone the quarterback has won five Super Bowls and also comes on the 17-year anniversary of him being selected No. 199 overall in the 2000 NFL draft.
|04.16.17 at 6:00 am ET|
1. Maybe Bill Belichick is opening up as he gets older. Last week, the now 65-year-old (he turned 65 on Sunday) gave a very insightful interview to CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, the wife of good friend Jack Welch, and also shared some interesting information while being the keynote speaker at Ohio State’s coaching clinic. One of the bigger takeaways from his CNBC interview was when he played a word-association game and the word football was brought up. “More sport than business. But it is a business. That I respect the game for the game and the sport,” he said. It’s become more and more clear over the years Belichick isn’t too fond of the business side of the sport, and the less emphasis put on the actual game (color rush games, extra media appearances, rule changes, etc.). Ultimately, getting so fed up with this could be what forces him into retirement, not age. Speaking to Urban Meyer before the Ohio State clinic, Belichick said at this stage of his career, he wants to coach only players he wants to coach. Perhaps this was a driving force for trading Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones and keeping Dont’a Hightower, as Hightower has a higher “Football IQ” than those other players and doesn’t come with any extra baggage. For Belichick, it seems he would rather have a less talented/athletic player if he knows he can take coaching and knows how to play the game the right way. This could be something to monitor both this year and beyond as it seems with his age he wants to eliminate any BS with his teams and have things solely be about football.
2. Also at Ohio State, Belichick said he considers each coach on his staff like a head coach. “The way I see a football staff being put together is that it’s a group of head coaches,” he said, via Cleveland.com. “The head coach is the head coach, and he has certain restrictions in the program that he’s running — whether it’s academic, salary cap, players in that district, budget constraints, whatever they happen to be. The coaches below that, coordinators, are really head coaches of their respective side of the ball: offense, defense, special teams. Position coaches are really head coaches of the positions they coach, that group of players.” This is consistent with what his coordinators have said over the years, where he gives them the freedom to do what they want, and the narrative that Belichick runs the entire team simply isn’t true. Sure, the coaches need to check in with Belichick each week to go over things, and ultimately Belichick has the final say, but the assistant coaches and coordinators can be themselves and do things their way.
3. It appears the 2017 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, as Lions president Rod Wood mistakingly revealed last week at a press conference. Obviously from a Patriots viewpoint the game that will stand out most is who they will host on Thursday, Sept. 7 in the Kickoff Game. It’s been reported it won’t be the Falcons after the Panthers, the Super Bowl loser last year, didn’t like facing the Broncos in a rematch to open the 2016 season with everything that came with the game (Super Bowl banner ceremony, etc.). Also, Atlanta is opening its new stadium so it’s likely the NFL would want that in a primetime game. There really are not many good options for the game, so if we had to guess now, it would seem the Chiefs will be coming to Gillette to open the 2017 season.
|04.14.17 at 1:15 pm ET|
Immediately after the Super Bowl, Devin McCourty made it known he would not be going to the White House when the Patriots get honored.
The Patriots will be going next Wednesday and on Friday, speaking at an event at Boston University, McCourty further detailed why he will not be going.
“For me, it was just the different things that come out of the White House or the administration just didn’t agree or align with some of my views,” McCourty said, via ESPN’s The Undefeated. “I talked to Chris Long. I thought he said it the best. He has a young son. And he said, whatever happens from this administration, he doesn’t want his son to grow up and say, ‘Dad, you knew that was the wrong thing to do at the time. Why did you do it? You knew what was right.'”
“And you look at it now, I’m a new dad. And my daughter is growing up in this country…How will I explain to her why is there a photo op of me shaking someone’s hand if I didn’t agree with him? … I think it’s an individual decision. I think everyone on our team has the right to go or not go. But I think you should do what’s best for you. Do what you think is right.”
Other players who have already said they won’t be going include Long, Dont’a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch and Martellus Bennett.
|04.14.17 at 1:02 pm ET|
With Bill Belichick about to turn 65 years old and being in the NFL since 1975, often times many wonder what keeps him going and why he still does what he does.
Over the years Belichick has needed to adapt to the landscape of the league changing and perhaps going out of his comfort zone with a few concepts, but in the end he does things that make him happy.
Thursday night Belichick appeared at the Ohio State coaches clinic hosted by Urban Meyer where he was the keynote speaker. When introducing him, Meyer passed along a thought Belichick shared with him which gave some insight on how Belichick has put together recent rosters.
“I’m always amazed how he takes these non-stars and makes them stars. He takes these players that you haven’t really heard much about and all of a sudden they’re making great plays in the biggest games of the year,” Meyer said, courtesy of Land of 10. “I started asking him about it and he made this point to me and I shared it with our team. He said, ‘At this point in my career, I want to coach guys I like. I want to coach guys I want to be around and that’s it.’ He said, ‘I’m not going to coach anybody else.’”
Added Meyer: “He surrounds himself with players who he likes to coach. That’s a life lesson for me when I go out and recruit now and when I talk to our players. I’m at a point in my career where it’s the same thing. I want to be around people I like to coach. That’s the selfless, tough individuals that will help your team win.”
Perhaps this gives some insight into why the Patriots traded Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones recently. Maybe Belichick just was tired of their attitudes. Typically, Belichick has always valued players who have been captains in college and while may not be the most skilled, get it done in other ways and are simply good guys to have on a team.
Now, it appears we know why.
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