|Scott Chandler is excited to get to Foxboro and ‘deal with’ Bill Belichick, work with Rob Gronkowski||03.20.15 at 4:53 pm ET|
Scott Chandler knows the situation he’s in coming to Foxboro. He leaves Buffalo where he was clearly the best pass-catching tight end in the Bills’ offense and comes to New England where he will be the second-most recognizable tight end behind Rob Gronkowski.
During a conference call Friday, Chandler called Bill Belichick a straight shooter.
Did Belichick lay out to him what it will mean to be the second tight end in a potent offense behind Rob Gronkowski?
“We didn’t get into that too terribly much,” Chandler said. “I think what I want to do is be part of a team that’s a winning team. Whatever that role that the coaches define for me there, I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.
“I’ve talked to Rob on the field after games and that’s about it. I’m sure we’ll get to know each other and get along well. He seems like a fun guy to be around. Obviously he’s a great player. I’m looking forward to being able to learn from him and watch him do his thing. He’s pretty fun to watch.”
Chandler, like Gronk, is a tall tight end, at 6-foot-7, and – like Gronk – could provide more blocking along the offensive line as he has developed that part of his game.
“I think it’s one of those things that it can be tough, but I’ve been dealing with it for a while now,” Chandler added. “You learn to sink or swim pretty quick in this league. You want to do whatever you can to get low and stay low. It’s hard, but you learn how to deal with it because if you can’t get the job done, they’re going to find someone else.”
Chandler, who signed a two-year, $5.3 million contract on March 13, will be more than happy to make some personal sacrifices to attain more team glory. In five non-playoff seasons in Buffalo, Chandler caught 17 touchdowns, including 28 catches on 42 targets and four touchdowns in nine games against the Patriots.
“I think you go into a game just wanting to do what it takes for your team to win and sometimes that means catching the ball and sometimes that means blocking well,” Chandler said. “I’ve probably had games that I didn’t have very good stats, but they were some of my better games throughout my career. It just so happened that in those games I needed to catch the ball a little bit and I was able to do that.”
Belichick can trust that Chandler has been taught well. Before playing for the Bills, he played his college ball under Belichick’s good friend and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. Read the rest of this entry »
|Wrapping up BC Pro Day: Steve Addazio explains why Eagles provide so many NFL prospects||03.19.15 at 10:55 am ET|
Addazio made his case to NFL scouts and personnel for all 18 of his players on the field under the bubble of Alumni Stadium on Wednesday during Boston College Pro Day. Then he made his case to the media.
“As I said to [scouts], we’re really proud of our guys. We have a bunch of high-character guys here, guys who do things the right way, they’re fun to be around, they’re fun to coach, they’re accountable. There have been past players here have gone on to do very well in the NFL. They’ve done well because they’re bright guys and have a lot of character. So, they have a tendency of having great staying power and lasting.
“And I talked about each one of the guys, the positive contributions they’ve made here, what I think of their top-end potential and all those things. It’s been good. It’s been a good day. Our guys look good and they represent BC really well so it’s fun to watch them compete.”
Two of the leading prospects from Boston College are center Andy Gallik and linebacker Steele Divitto. Neither took part in the 40-yard dash but both participated in other agility drills during the two-hour session at BC. Gallik projects as a first or second-round selection as one of the best centers in the draft. Grad student quarterback Tyler Murphy garnered a lot of attention as one of the best pure athletes on the field.
“A lot of these guys have had multiple workouts now,” Addazio said. “I didn’t know about some of these different combines that are out there besides the one [NFL] combine. I think these guys know that. And they want to do well today but it’s not all or nothing. These things are… it’s still your tape. These are just things that validate your tape. It’s your tape [that indicate] how good a football player are you. And then if you’re kind of marginal guy and they want to make a case, ‘This guy has a great vertical leap or has great broad jump or ‘Did you see how fast he was?!’ Or ‘he gained 27 pounds since the season!'”
|Steve Addazio: Tyler Murphy ready to take on NFL as ‘an elite athlete’||03.18.15 at 11:15 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Tyler Murphy has overcome big odds before.
The quarterback who made a name for himself in one season at Boston College as a graduate student came to The Heights as a quarterback who was tossed aside by the University of Florida.
During Florida’s 2013 homecoming loss to Vanderbilt, Murphy injured his shoulder, and redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg played in Florida’s final 3 games. The 2013 Gators team finished 4-8, marking their 1st losing record since 1979 and the 1st time since 1990 that they didn’t play in a bowl. But if there was one thing the Florida quarterback became known for during his short stint in Gainesville, it was his ability to run with the football.
After the poor 2013 season, Murphy became one of several Florida players who chose to transfer to a different school. He transferred to Boston College in January 2014 as a graduate student.
Boston College coach Steve Addazio, and former Florida offensive coordinator, named him the team’s starting quarterback after the school’s annual Spring game, which served as a tryout for Murphy as well as the other, younger quarterbacks on the team.
Murphy immediately blossomed in his new home. His ability as a running quarterback fit in perfectly with Addazio’s rush-heavy offense. Over the season, Murphy lead the team to a 7’6 record, highlighted by a upset victory over No. 9 USC in October, a game in which Murphy ran for 191 yards. He broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback (both single-season and career), passing BC legend Doug Flutie in only nine games. In the final game of the season against Syracuse, he broke the ACC single-season rushing record by a quarterback with 1,079 yards.
“He’ll have to play that position,” Addazio said Wednesday. “The simple answer is yes. But he can do a lot of things. He is an elite athlete. These guys are all talking about it here. He’s an elite athlete. He’ll do whatever it takes, yeah. Whatever he has to do, no doubt.”
The real question is will an NFL team see enough from Murphy to either take a chance with a late-round pick or (more likely) sign him as a rookie free agent?
|Steve Addazio: Andy Gallik is ‘going to have a great future’ in the NFL||03.18.15 at 9:55 pm ET|
CHESTNUT HILL — Of the 18 players on the field turf of the bubble-covered Alumni Stadium, no one has a bigger and brighter projected future in the NFL than center Andy Gallik. And his coach at Boston College made that much clear Wednesday during BC’s annual Pro Day workout.
“Andy’s going to have a great future playing,” Steve Addazio said of the All-ACC center. “Everybody likes him. His film doesn’t lie. He has really good film. He’s done well in the different workouts he’s had. The line coaches that have met with him or worked him out like him a lot. I’m sure he’s going to do well.”
Gallik is a pure center capable of playing guard but that’s not where Addazio, an offensive line guru himself, sees the stout lineman playing at the next level.
“He’s not strictly a center. He can play guard but he’s uniquely a good center,” Addazio said. “But he sure could play guard but he’s just got that knack. To watch him snap. To watch him shotgun snap a ball for example, or under center snap it and pull to the perimeter, I think he’s gifted. He’s one of the better guys I’ve seen do that. It’s just natural for him. He’s got great balance and he can run. I don’t know what the 40-times are but when you watch him on film, he runs well when he pulls and I think that’s a unique ability he has. And he’s bright. He calls every protection.”
Gallik’s resume is beyond impressive. He started all 12 regular-season games at center. He was named one of six Rimington Trophy finalists, awarded to the nation’s top center. He earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and second-team honors by the head coaches.
He also earned All-New England recognition by the area’s writers and named to ESPN.com’s All-ACC Team. He earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after leading the Eagles to 452 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and 506 total yards in the 37-31 upset of No. 9 Southern California (Sept. 13). Gallik graded out at 85 percent (BC coaches scale) and had three knockdowns in the victory. He was a key member of the offensive line that produced the 14th-best rushing attack in the nation, averaging 251.8 yards per game, second-best in the ACC.
|Poll: How much will Pats miss Vince Wilfork?||03.16.15 at 4:07 pm ET|
|Report: Stevie Johnson visiting Patriots||03.16.15 at 11:37 am ET|
The “targeting” of Stevie Johnson picks up in earnest this week.
Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 IN Washington, who reported the Patriots were targeting the former Bills wide receiver, is reporting the wide receiver will be in Foxboro on Monday.
The 28-year-old Johnson left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. This week, he was released by the 49ers after a disappointing season.
Before 2014, Johnson earned a reputation as one of the better route runners in the game. While with the Bills, Johnson caught four touchdown passes in nine games against the Patriots. The Patriots are looking for another perimeter passing threat to join Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and the recently restructured Danny Amendola.
In seven seasons, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season. Johnson would figure to immediately be ahead of Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey on the depth chart.
— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 14, 2015
|Latest NFL Friday Free Agent Roundup: Reggie Bush visits Patriots, Mike Wallace traded to Vikings, Percy Harvin signs in Buffalo||03.13.15 at 9:39 pm ET|
After a quiet start to the day, Day 4 of NFL free agency heated up late Friday afternoon, including a few moves and rumors with definite Patriots implications.
— The Patriots may have their man to replace Shane Vereen. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the Patriots hosted Reggie Bush on Friday. The third-down back who is still a multi-talented weapon and pass-catching specialist, visited the 49ers on Wednesday. Rapoport reports that with the Patriots losing out on Percy Harvin and C.J. Spiller in New Orleans (read below), there’s more of an opportunity (read: budget) to sign Bush.
— Ben Roethlisberger took a major step Friday toward spending the rest of his career with the Steelers. The team announced that the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback has signed a new five-year deal. He was set to hit free agency after the 2015 season, but general manager Kevin Colbert said recently he was confident the two sides would come to terms. On Friday, Colbert made good on that plan. With Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton and Jay Cutler getting juicy new deals in the last two years, Roethlisberger was due a reasonable $11.6 million in 2015. Multiple reports hint that figure could double under this new contract.
— DeAngelo Williams has a new home. The veteran who spent his first nine seasons with Carolina, will join Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Williams announced the move on Twitter on Friday and the Steelers confirmed the two-year deal.
— Mike Wallace will no longer be a concern of the Patriots in the AFC East. The Dolphins traded the receiver and a seventh-round draft pick to the Vikings in exchange for a fifth-round pick, the Dolphins announced Friday afternoon. Wallace, you’ll recalled, benched himself in the season finale against the Jets. He also came with a $9.85 million salary. The Dolphins get rid of his salary while moving up two rounds on the final day of the upcoming draft. Two years ago, Wallace’s father said the Vikings actually offered his son more money after he signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Dolphins in free agency.
— Percy Harvin will be staying in the AFC East. The Bills added to their offseason free agency spree by signing the 26-year-old receiver to a one-year deal worth around $6 million, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Harvin joins an offense that suddenly has Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy. FOX Sports was the first to report the news. Of course, the quarterback position remains a huge question mark in Buffalo as Rex Ryan will have to choose between Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel.
— Earlier in the day, the big move came when defensive lineman Nick Fairley signed with the Rams after being let go by the Lions this week once they added former Ravens lineman Haloti Ngata. The Patriots were reportedly interested in Fairley, as they look to bolster their defensive line. The Rams were set to introduce new quarterback Nick Foles Friday morning and before the press conference began they announced the Fairley signing. Read the rest of this entry »