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Patriots Hall of Fame finalists: Raymond Clayborn, Ty Law, Bill Parcells 04.16.14 at 11:36 am ET
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Ty Law believes in the 2012 Patriots. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Ty Law is one of three finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Patriots announced Wednesday that former defensive backs Raymond Clayborn and Ty Law and ex-coach Bill Parcells were named finalists for the team’s Hall of Fame.

Fans can vote on which individual deserves to be the 2014 inductee starting Wednesday and continuing through May 15. The winner will be announced in early June.

Clayborn played for New England from 1977-89 before finishing up with two seasons with the Browns and was named to the Pro Bowl three times (’83, ’85, ’86). A first-round draft pick (16th overall) out of Texas, Clayborn finished his career with 36 interceptions (tied with Law for the team record) and 555 interception return yards (second to Law’s 583). He also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. As a rookie in 1977, he set single-season team records with three kickoff returns for touchdowns and a 31.0-yard return average.

Law played 10 seasons for the Patriots (1995-2004) as part of a 15-year NFL career after being drafted 23rd overall out of Michigan. A four-time Pro Bowler (;98, ’01, ’02, ’03), Law won three Super Bowls in New England. He returned a Kurt Warner pass 47 yards for a touchdown in the Patriots’ first Super Bowl win over the Rams in 2002. He holds franchise records for interceptions (36, tied with Clayborn), interception return yards (583) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (6). He became the first Patriot to lead the league in interceptions when he had nine in 1998.

Parcells coached New England for four seasons and led the team to the playoffs twice, including a run to the Super Bowl in 1997. He was named Coach of the Year for his performance in 1994, when the Patriots won their final second regular-season games to clinch their first playoff berth in eight years. In 1996 the Patriots won a then-franchise-record 11 games and their first division title in a decade. They eat the Steelers and Jaguars to advance to the Super Bowl for the second time in team history before losing to the Packers. Parcells, who is the only coach to lead four franchises (Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys) to the playoffs and three different teams (Giants, Patriots, Jets) to a conference championship game, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year.

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Former Patriot Joe Andruzzi on M&M: ‘We’re going to finish what we started’ at Boston Marathon 04.15.14 at 12:47 pm ET
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Former Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi, who helped injured bystanders at the finish line after last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the attacks. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Andruzzi was at the finish line to support individuals running on behalf of his charity, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, when the bombs hit. He had been at Forum restaurant but moved shortly before one of the bombs exploded in front of the establishment.

“A lot of emotions, especially driving in today and being here today for the tribute,” he said. “Just when those memories kind of trigger in your brain and things comes to mind and you start thinking of what-ifs and things like that. You’ve got to push that aside and try and make it all positive. Seeing the faces here today and seeing the survivors and hearing some of their stories, it’s truly amazing what they’ve done in a year.

“For us as a group, an organization, how we’re moving forward. We’re going right back to Forum this year. We’re going to finish what we started and we’re going to stay strong and get out and cheer all of Boston Strong.”

Andruzzi said he thinks about last April 15 frequently, especially considering he and his wife could have been in the direct line of fire had he not decided to move closer to the finish line.

“Many times,” Andruzzi said. “The times of my wife standing right on the fence line looking for our runners, looking past the Forum restaurant, making sure they’re all right, cheering them on, taking a photo. Finally one of our youngest runners was coming through, and probably a half-hour before the bombs went off we chose to go down to the finish line. We were standing about 20 yards from the first bomb site.

“Seeing everything go down and go through and making our way back to Forum when my wife pointed out the three young girls trying to carry a woman on their back. That’s the infamous picture you guys all have seen. I ran over and said, ‘Let me help.’ The faces of the young girls in those pictures probably explains more of the story than anything — just the scariness, everything that was going on at that moment. And then finally walking her to the ambulance, making it back down to the Forum and finding out that the bomb was right in front of Forum was pretty heart-wrenching for me. Knowing that my whole staff, board members, we invited cancer patients, and all our runners’ families were there. Not knowing if everybody was OK, it was pretty scary.”

Andruzzi said he’s looking forward to being at Forum next Monday and taking a big step in the healing process.

“I think I’m more or less getting through today and putting those memories behind and making new memories now and moving forward, because once again, we can’t live in that fear,” he said. “We’ve got to move forward and prove people wrong, that we are coming back there as a community stronger than ever. And hence the two words: Boston Strong.”

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Tom Brady recounts firsthand view of Back Bay fire on D&C: ‘It was just a tough day’ 03.27.14 at 9:29 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watched Wednesday’s horrific Back Bay fire from his nearby home, and he checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to talk about his experience and his respect for the first-responders, especially the two firefighters who lost their lives battling the blaze. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

 

“I can’t express my gratitude and thanks enough to all the first-responders and the people that were there fighting that fire all night last night,” Brady said via phone while driving to Gillette Stadium. “I had a firsthand view of all the action and was just blown away by the bravery and the teamwork that they really displayed. I’ve lived in the Back Bay for a long time, and that was one of the scarier days. I feel so badly for the families of the two firefighters that were lost. And obviously all the men that were associated with fighting that fire yesterday, losing one of their close friends.

“We as athletes think that we’re heroes, but when you witness firsthand what I saw yesterday, you realize who the real heroes are in this world, and that’s the people that work hard to protect our lives and protect our safety, our freedoms in America. Certainly the firefighters and Boston Police and the state troopers.

“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Brady said his wife, Gisele Bundchen, initially alerted him to the fire, and he quickly realized the seriousness of the situation.

“I was in my bedroom. I’m about four doors down from [the building that was on fire],” he explained. “My wife and my daughter were in the house. My wife [said], ‘Look outside, there’s a fire.’ I looked out the front of our house and could see the flames, and then kind of went back to my room and then went back about two minutes later and just saw it growing. At that point I had gone to the back part of the house, from my deck, and could see kind of what they were up against. At that point all the fire engines were coming down the street. I was watching for obviously a long time. At one point I saw a pretty big explosion of flames, and a lot of the firemen were coming out of the building. That’s when I really got nervous. I felt so badly for them.

“Our lives were never in jeopardy at all thanks to those men, brave men who were there fighting that fire for us. That was a very intense day of weather and wind. You just can’t imagine all those things that really happened and how quickly those things can get out of control. I have such a newfound respect for nature and what it’s all about and under those conditions for those men to watch them try to put out the fire in freezing conditions and all the different elements they had to deal with. There’s no way to prepare for things like that. They gave everything they had, and a few of them paid the ultimate price.

“My respect and sincerity and love and admiration of what they do — it’s hard to put it into words.”

Brady said he watched the fire for a little while before deciding to leave his home for a safer situation.

“Once I saw all the firefighters getting out of the house, I told my wife, ‘We’ve got to go.’ We went just down the street to our friends’ house,” he said, adding that they then watched the news for updates before returning around 7:30 p.m. “I came back a few hours later just to kind of see what was going on. It was just a tough scene. It was just a tough day.”

An emotional Brady said he feels for the firefighters who lost two comrades, Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh.

“You just think of how strong an event that is when you realize that a lot of your things, your house could just be gone. And you’ve got to think about, obviously our lives is what’s most important. And the firemen who risk their lives. That’s who I just can’t pay enough respect toward,” he said.

“I drive by the fire station in the Back Bay on Hereford and Boylston. I’ve driven by that fire station thousands of times in all my years in the Back Bay. That was the group that was closest to the action and were the first ones into the building. I can’t obviously thank them enough and understand the tragedy that that fire station’s gone through.”

Added Brady: “Those firemen, they’re in my thoughts and prayers all day, and my family. Without them, it could have been a very tragic day for not only the houses in the neighborhood and the lives of people, but they kept everybody safe. That’s really where I can’t thank them enough.”

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Julian Edelman on WAAF: ‘It’s a good day to be back’ with Patriots 03.18.14 at 1:20 pm ET
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Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who agreed to a new four-year deal with the Patriots over the weekend, told WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show that he’s happy to be returning to New England after dipping his toes in the waters of free agency. To hear the interview, go to the WAAF audio page.

“It’s a good day,” Edelman said from his California home. “It’s a good day to be back. It’s awesome that I get to be there for another four years.”

Added Edelman: “It’s a great situation how everything worked out. I can’t wait to get started and get back into town and jump on the horse, because we got knocked off last year, and get back to work.”

A native of the San Francisco area, Edelman had a visit with the 49ers last week, but he said his heart was with the Patriots.

“It wasn’t that tough [to decide], to tell you the truth,” Edelman said. “You go on these visits and these trips and everything and you see these wonderful organizations. I got to go home and see the Niners, and I grew up a huge Niners fan, but being in New England for the last five years, that’s just home. That’s just home for me right now. Just the way, the mentality, the team, how everything’s done, the scheme, the players, the locker room, the fans — it’s something that I couldn’t leave. I’m really glad that we were able to work something out and bring me back.”

With the Patriots, Edelman reunites with fellow Northern California product Tom Brady.

“When you get to come to work and play with one of the best, it makes it a lot easier,” Edelman said. “Especially with the kind of player and person Brady — along with a lot of other guys on the team. The teammates were definitely a huge part of that. Having the year that we had last year, we got so close and we overcame adversity and all that stuff. Hopefully we’re going to build on that and do even better.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On the acquisition of Darrelle Revis: “He’s the best in the league. There’s usually like two or three types of corners in the National Football League. You have guys that are long, lanky, that are good at the line of scrimmage, quicker than fast, long speed, good transition. When he’s healthy he seems to have all that. He’s always very tough to compete against. It’s great to have him join the team.”

On Vince Wilfork reportedly asking to be released rather than rework his contract: “I can’t speak on that. Personally, that’s not my job on this team to make those kinds of decisions and that stuff. Obviously Vince is a great player. He’s a good friend of mine. Of course you want a guy like that around. But I don’t know what’s going on between them.”

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Ian Rapoport on M&M: Brandon Browner told people he accepted Patriots’ offer 03.14.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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Ian Rapoport

Ian Rapoport

NFL Network/NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Patriots’ pursuit of cornerback Brandon Browner and other NFL free agent news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Rapoport reported Thursday night that Browner appeared to have a deal in place with the Patriots, but that’s since been called into question.

“Here’s what I know: Last night Brandon Browner told people very close to him that he had agreed to take the Patriots’ offer,” Rapoport explained. “At that point he was in New England, and my understanding is he is still in New England right now [shortly after noon]. He did have some visits scheduled, according to what his agent Peter Schaffer told Albert Breer in between periods of his men’s hockey league game in Denver. … I was told early this morning that the Redskins visit was then canceled, because they knew he was going to do a deal with New England. And then his agent has been saying the plan is still to go to the Redskins, and now the visit may be back on, after they initially canceled this morning.”

Added Rapoport on the likelihood of the deal getting finalized: “He agreed to a deal, according to people close to him last night. So, I would say the chances are pretty good, regardless of where he visits.”

As for how Browner would fit in, Rapoport said the veteran had some issues last season but the Patriots could be a good fit. Browner would have to sit out the first four games as part of his NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

“He’s an interesting player,” Rapoport said. “He’s big, he’s physical. Really struggled last year with the Seahawks. They were weighing all options, including releasing him last year. Then he got hurt and then he got suspended and they didn’t have to worry about it — they played Walter Thurmond and they won the Super Bowl.

“So I think his play is certainly a question. But you come to New England, he’ll only be allowed to do what he does. So I think it’s probably a good place for him. I think he knows it’s a good place for him, which is why he wants to come to New England. We’ll see what happens from there.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Darrelle Revis’ business manager confirms deal with Patriots 03.13.14 at 10:22 am ET
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A day after warning that reports of Darrelle Revis agreeing to a deal with the Patriots were premature, Revis’ business manager confirmed the move.

John Geiger tweeted Thursday morning: Now it’s Official. @Revis24 has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots!

<blockquote lang=”en”><p>Now it&#39;s Official. <a href=”https://twitter.com/Revis24″>@Revis24</a> has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots !</p>&mdash; John Geiger (@JohnGeiger_) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JohnGeiger_/statuses/444108275311992832″>March 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Revis reportedly will make $12 million on the one-year deal, less than the $16 million he was scheduled to make with the Buccaneers before they released him Wednesday after one season in Tampa Bay. Revis spent his first six NFL seasons with the Jets.

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Patriots announce signing of TE Michael Hoomanawanui 03.12.14 at 1:24 pm ET
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Michael Hoomanawanui

Michael Hoomanawanui

The Patriots on Wednesday made official the signing of tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who had been an unrestricted free agent.

The team did not announce terms of the deal, although it was reported earlier in the week that it was for two years.

Hoomanawanui, 25, has played four seasons in the NFL, including the last two in New England after being picked up as a free agent in 2012.

A fifth-round draft pick of the Rams out of Illinois in 2010, Hoomanawanui is known primarily as a blocking tight end. He has 37 catches for 474 yards and four touchdowns in 43 career games. Last season he played 13 games and had 12 receptions for 136 yards and one TD. He caught three passes for 39 yards in the Patriots’ two playoff games.

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