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Chiefs already talking about potentially facing Patriots in season opener 04.18.17 at 10:24 am ET
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Alex Smith and the Chiefs could be coming to Gillette Stadium to open the 2017 season. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Alex Smith and the Chiefs could be coming to Gillette Stadium to open the 2017 season. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

The NFL schedule is said to be released later in the week, but the thought is the Patriots will be hosting the Chiefs in the annual NFL kickoff game, where the defending Super Bowl champion typically open the season at home on Thursday night.

The Chiefs are already talking like they will be playing in that game.

“It kind of has everything in it,” tackle Mitchell Schwartz said, via ESPN. “It’s the opening week. It will be the only game. Defending champs, going to New England, which has probably been up there as the toughest places to play since those two [Tom Brady and Bill Belichick] have been playing and coaching together.”

Added Schwartz: “Coach Belichick is great. That’s not a guy you really want to face with five months of preparation against you. But our staff has typically done a great job coming off a bye, so we’re pretty good at that type of preparation, too. If that’s how it plays out, it should be a good matchup. Obviously, they want to put a good game out there for the opening game.”

Since Andy Reid joined the Chiefs, they have only played in New England once — the divisional round in 2015 when the Patriots won, 27-20. Kansas City might most be remembered for beating New England, 41-14 in 2014 on Monday Night Football leading to many doubting Tom Brady and the team. And everyone knows how that season ended.

The Chiefs won the AFC West last year for the first time since 2010 and are looking to keep the momentum going.

“We’ve upped the ante a little bit,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think that’s a good thing. To get to play on the big stages, you have to earn that. They just don’t let anybody there. If it happens, we’ll have to be ready for it.”

Tom Brady reportedly doesn’t attend 1st day of Patriots offseason workout program, other stars do 04.17.17 at 8:51 pm ET
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Tom Brady reportedly wasn't at the Patriots' offseason workout program Monday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady reportedly wasn’t at the Patriots’ offseason workout program Monday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

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.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Stephon Gilmore, Tom Brady
With Patriots returning to work Monday, what does offseason workout program entail? 04.17.17 at 1:16 pm ET
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The Patriots kicked off their offseason program Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Patriots kicked off their offseason program Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

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.

Sunday 7: Last week offered fascinating insight into the mind of Bill Belichick 04.16.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Bill Belichick opened up on several occasions this past week. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick opened up on several occasions this past week. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: bill belchick, Jimmy Garoppolo, LeGarrette Blount, Sunday 7
Devin McCourty further explains not going to White House 04.14.17 at 1:15 pm ET
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Devin McCourty further explained why he won't be attending a White House ceremony. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Devin McCourty further explained why he won’t be attending a White House ceremony. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

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.

Read More: Devin McCourty,
Bill Belichick to Urban Meyer: ‘At this point in my career, I want to coach guys I like’ 04.14.17 at 1:02 pm ET
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Bill Belichick had some interesting things to say to Urban Meyer. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick had some interesting things to say to Urban Meyer. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer,
Having both Jason and Devin McCourty on Patriots would be nice, but it likely won’t happen 04.14.17 at 11:12 am ET
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Jason McCourty may not be a fit in New England. (Jim Brown/USA Today Sports)

Jason McCourty may not be a fit in New England. (Jim Brown/USA Today Sports)

When Jason McCourty announced he was being released by the Titans on Thursday, everyone had the same reaction.

Will Jason join his twin brother Devin on the Patriots, and what potential pranks could they play on Bill Belichick as well as the media?

The two have been on record saying they would love to play together on the same NFL team, and the Patriots potentially could be in the market for a cornerback, but while on the surface it may seem like a fit, taking a step back and looking at the big picture it may not actually work out.

First off, the Patriots would only really be in need for a cornerback if Malcolm Butler isn’t around, and at this point, it seems like he will be returning to New England. He hasn’t received any offer sheets and why would a team want to give up compensation and a long-term deal to acquire him when teams could wait a year and sign him as an unrestricted free agent next offseason without giving anything up. Barring a trade, Butler will be back with New England and playing for $3.91 million in 2017.

If Butler is in the mix, McCourty would be competing for the No. 3 cornerback spot with Stephon Gilmore and Butler ahead of him. The Patriots also have Eric Rowe and Cyrus Jones in the mix, so playing time would not be guaranteed for McCourty. This would be a huge change for McCourty who was one of the top corners in Tennessee.

Secondly, the Titans let him go because of financial reasons and not wanting to pay him $7 million this season. The Patriots likely wouldn’t be willing to pay him that much money considering their commitments to Gilmore and others, and why would McCourty take such a big pay cut to fit the Patriots’ needs when he likely will have higher offers from other teams where he would also be assured playing time.

Sure, McCourty could take less money and playing time in order to compete for a Super Bowl and play with his brother in New England, but looking at the the Patriots roster and how they approach contracts, it doesn’t seem like a fit.

Read More: Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty,

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