|Tom Brady on D&C: Feelings about Wes Welker’s departure ‘very personal to me’||05.23.13 at 8:00 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to talk about the Patriots’ offseason moves as OTAs begin as well as promote next weekend’s Best Buddies charity event.
The biggest changes on the roster have come at wide receiver.
“There’s quite a few new guys on the roster, certainly at the receiver position, almost the entire group,” Brady said. “So, as many days of practice as we can get, as many opportunities that we can have to actually get out there and throw the ball together in a competitive environment, I think that’s where the improvement comes. We’ve only had two days of practice.
“It’s a very competitive position. I think there’s a lot of positions that are very competitive on our team. I’m excited to see — at this point, the work that we’ve put in, how well it’s paid off.”
The most heralded new receiver is former Ram Danny Amendola, who worked out with Brady in Los Angeles recently.
“Danny, he’s always had a lot of talent,” Brady said. “To watch him out there and play against him — when he was at the Rams he was very productive. It’s been fun to work with him. He’s got the tenacity to him and the drive and the determination and the work ethic. In a short period of time, it’s really easy to see. Like I said, he’s one of those guys where the more we throw, the better we’re going to be. So, we’re trying to always kind of talk and communicate through practice, through OTAs. We threw in the spring a lot, and hopefully as the summer continues leading up to training camp, we’ll get as many reps as we can together so we’re on the same page.”
Amendola has drawn comparisons to departed free agent Wes Welker.
“They’re [at] similar positions, they’re about the same height, they’ve both got very good ability,” Brady said. “Wes was so productive for so long. I think it’s unfair to compare anyone to Wes and what he was able to accomplish in his time here. Danny, he’s just been fun to work with. I think he’s come in really with an open mind and understanding of the way that we as Patriots, the way we need to play.
“Josh [McDaniels] is trying to get everyone on our entire offense up to speed with how we’re going to play offense this year, how we’re going to try to be more consistent than we’ve been the last few years. Danny’s really taken to that; all the receivers have. And all the receivers have really had, like I said, a willingness to come in and work and listen and try to get better.”
Asked his reaction to Welker’s departure, Brady said he understands the business of the league.
“I don’t think anything surprises me any more in the NFL,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough to see things happen at different times with the greatest players of all, whether that’s Wes, or Randy Moss being traded from the Raiders, or Brett Favre playing for the Jets and the Vikings. That’s what happens. Like I said, it’s a very tough, competitive business.
“Nobody appreciated Wes more than I did and what he was able to accomplish for our team. But he’s moved on. He’s in a good situation with another great team and a great quarterback. We’ve always kind of kept in touch, we always will. He’s one of my best friends. I certainly wish him the best.”
Brady has not publicly voiced any displeasure toward management about Welker’s departure, and he explained that there’s a reason for that.
“Of course I have feelings. But those feelings are very personal to me,” he said. “I used to get caught up in anger and frustration and disappointment. But I don’t make the decisions. These things aren’t up to me. At some point you’ve got to realize the things that are out of your control. You’ve just got to let go and focus on my job and what I need to do. Because the game moves on, the team moves on. There’s only so long you can dwell on the past. At some point you’ve got to move forward.
“Like I said, my job for my team is to be the best quarterback, and not the general manager and not the coach and not the owner. It’s to try to go out there and bring my own competitiveness to the field so that those guys that I’m playing with this year can really rely on me and count on me to be the best I can be.”
|Kyle Love has harsh words for Patriots after release||05.21.13 at 1:44 pm ET|
Defensive lineman Kyle Love, was was released by the Patriots last week after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, had some parting shots for New England after his first workout Monday with his new team, the Jaguars.
Via to the Florida Times Union, Love said his diabetes was discovered after a routine blood test. “My mom and dad both have it, so I was bound to get it,” he said.
Love, 26, insisted he did not lose much weight or show up to offseason workouts in poor condition.
“It’s not like I lost 30 pounds,” he said, adding: “I was never out of shape — I participated every day, so I don’t know where that came from.”
Love, who signed a contract extension with the Patriots last summer, was not happy about being released on a non-football injury designation.
“That’s how they run their business up there; veteran guys who have been there for years and put in a lot of work get treated like rookies,” Love said.
Love, who had 65 tackles in 41 games over three years with the Patriots after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State in 2010, said he has more energy “since I cut out the sweets and a lot of the carbs” and is ready to move past his experience in New England.
“My wife asked me how I felt after the whole thing went down, and it was bittersweet,” he said. “You’re sad, but then you’re happy at the same time. I’m just trying to move on and not really worry about what happened.”
|Tedy Bruschi selected to Patriots Hall of Fame||05.21.13 at 9:31 am ET|
The Patriots announced Tuesday that Tedy Bruschi has been voted into the team’s Hall of Fame in fan balloting. Bruschi and former radio play-by-play caller Gil Santos will be inducted on Aug. 11. Bruschi also will be honored at halftime of the home opener against the Jets on Sept. 12.
“We knew when we drafted him in 1996 that ‘Bruschi’ was going to be a fan favorite in New England,” owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “But he was so much more than that. During the most successful era in the history of the franchise, Tedy was the heart and soul of the defense and proved to be a champion, both on and off the field. He was a high-energy, tenacious defender whose playmaking abilities helped propel the Patriots to three Super Bowl championships in four years. His remarkable and courageous return to the field following a stroke only added to his legend and solidified his place among the most iconic Patriots in franchise history. We look forward to celebrating his induction with our fans.”
A 19-person nomination committee comprised of media, alumni and staff selected three candidates for the Patriots Hall of Fame in April: coach Chuck Fairbanks, offensive tackle Leon Gray and Bruschi. Fans had a month to vote at patriots.com.
Bruschi, selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 1996 draft, helped New England to an AFC championship in his first season. He went on to appear in four more Super Bowls during his 13-year career.
A two-time All-Pro selection (2003, ’04), Bruschi finished his career with 1,110 tackles, 30.5 sacks, 12 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles in 189 games (139 starts). He is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns.
|Ex-Patriot Chad Johnson surrenders to police in Florida||05.20.13 at 1:22 pm ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver Chad Johnson turned himself in to police and was arrested Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on charges that he violated probation. His bail was set at $1,000.
An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month after Johnson failed to meet with his probation officer and did not show proof of enrollment in a domestic violence education class. He has another hearing set for June 3.
Johnson, 35, is serving a year of probation following an altercation with his now ex-wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada. Johnson, who was known as Chad Ochocinco during his brief and unsuccessful tenure in New England, allegedly head-butted Lozada during an argument last August, one month after they were married. Lozada filed for divorce shortly thereafter.
Johnson was released by the Dolphins after the incident and has not played since.
|Patriots sign 19 rookie free agents, including Rutgers CB Brandon Jones||05.03.13 at 11:07 am ET|
The Patriots announced the signing 19 rookie free agents Friday, including another defensive back from Rutgers.
After drafting Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon (as well as linebacker Steve Beauharnais) last week, the Pats inked Scarlet Knights cornerback Brandon Jones to compete for a spot in a secondary that already includes Rutgers alumnus Devin McCourty. Jones, who stands 6-foot-1, recorded a team-high five interceptions last season and was a standout special teams player.
Other undrafted players signed by the Pats are: punter Ryan Allen (Louisiana Tech), fullback Ben Bartholomew (Tennessee), defensive lineman Dewayne Cherrington (Mississippi State), safety Kanorris Davis (Troy), offensive lineman Elvis Fisher (Missouri), tight end Brandon Ford (Clemson), defensive lineman Cory Grissom (South Florida), running back Quentin Hines (Akron), offensive lineman Josh Kline (Kent State), offensive lineman Chris McDonald (Michigan State), wide receiver T.J. Moe (Missouri), cornerback Stephon Morris (Penn State), linebacker Ian Sluss (Portland State), offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch (Penn State), tight end Zach Sudfeld (Nevada), wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (Cincinnati), defensive lineman Joe Vellano (Maryland) and long snapper Mike Zupancic (Eastern Michigan).
Following are bios on the players from the Patriots media relations staff.
Allen, 23, began his career at Oregon State before transferring to Louisiana Tech. The 6-2, 215-pounder was named the Ray Guy Award-winner in 2011 and 2012, becoming the first player to claim the award in back-to-back seasons.
Bartholomew, 23, played in 31 games with 13 starts during his career at Tennessee. The 6-2, 252-pounder also participated in shot put for the Tennessee track and field team.
Cherrington, 22, began his college career at Holmes (Miss.) Community College where he was a two-way standout before walking on at Mississippi State. The 6-3, 335-pounder earned a scholarship in his final year in 2012.
|Poll: Should Patriots pursue Tim Tebow?||04.29.13 at 11:12 am ET|
Tim Tebow was released by the Jets on Monday, just over a year after New York acquired him from the Broncos. There has been some speculation that the Patriots might have an interest in signing Tebow.
There are some obvious connections, as Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was coaching the Broncos when Denver drafted Tebow, and Bill Belichick is known to have a good relationship with Tebow’s former college coach at Florida, Urban Meyer. Aside from that, Tebow could give the Patriots offense another dynamic with his ability to run the wildcat.
Working against Tebow is the fact that his presence can be a distraction for a team, as was the case in New York. Plus, Tebow has indicated he wants to get regular snaps at quarterback rather than be a part-time contributor.
Should the Patriots sign Tim Tebow?
- Yes (56%, 1,050 Votes)
- No (44%, 828 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,878
|Former Patriot Matt Chatham on M&M: ‘For some reason God spared us’ from death at Marathon||04.17.13 at 12:46 pm ET|
Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham, who helped victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday for an emotional recounting of his experience. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Chatham and another former Patriot, Joe Andruzzi, were near the finish line to support marathoners who were running to raise money and awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which aids cancer patients and their families. Chatham has estimated he was about 15 feet from the second explosion, yet he escaped relatively unscathed and was able to assist those who were seriously injured — including one woman who lost a foot in the blast.
“There’s still some people that we haven’t gotten word; I know the families probably want their privacy,” Chatham said. “But my wife and I are still laying awake at night wondering about that woman that we carried out, because she was one of the many that were really badly injured.
“There’s so many people from [the Andruzzi charity team] that were there helping. Our first instinct — the blast was in front of us — we were trying to get people off the street. Most of the carnage was right there in front of you. We were trying to get people back in the building. As I mentioned, I think there were some reports that Joe and I were helping people at the finish line; his deal was up there, we were back and more involved in the second blast.
“Our situation was there were a lot of I guess more of it being entrepreneurial, just makeshift, MacGyver-type situations. One of our friends was pouring drinks on a man that was burning, just trying to figure out ways to get him out. The woman that happened to move to the back of the alley way, I had to carry her because her foot had been blown off. She ended up at my wife’s feet. Like a nice husband and wife couple, we’re bickering about if I should be helping people in the street or if we should help people who had fallen in the restaurant. My thinking at the time was that the woman had simply tripped, and we just needed to help get her up and keep people moving. Then we turned and realized that she had had pretty traumatic injuries.
“It just speaks to sort of the chaos that’s around it. All of our sort of recollections will probably continue to meld here in the next several days and weeks. I think my account initially, I assumed she was blown into our area. But from accounts from some of the people near us were telling me that she actually crawled to that spot and needed to be carried. We’re really uncertain. It’s just that — I know it’s not war, but that fog of war kind of feel.
“Again, so many heroic things that happened that day. I’m just a tiny part of it. It really doesn’t seem right.”
Added Chatham: “If there’s anything good that came of this, I just think the volunteers that are involved in this thing are incredible people. The fact that we ended up carrying people out was just because we were there. We tend to hang out with all the kind of people that would always carry people out. I don’t know anyone that would have stepped over those people and not aided them.”
Chatham said the charity team members he’s spoken with are of the same frame of mind, that they are grateful to be alive and ready to make more of a difference going forward.
“The rest of the foundation and all the people that were there close and that for whatever reason are still here, most of our conversations have surrounded around how blessed we are and how we were out there for a good cause to begin with, and this seems like another lease on life,” he said. “It’s like we really have more good work to do. For some reason God spared us. For some reason that bomb didn’t make those few more feet back. I think we all feel like now’s the time to get to work and really make something positive out of all of this.”
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