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Patriots coaches on scouting trail Thursday, including Bill Belichick at Ohio State 03.23.17 at 1:22 pm ET
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There are a number of big school pro days on Thursday, so the Patriots coaching staff was out in full force.

Bill Belichick himself was at Ohio State, catching up with good friend Urban Meyer, as well as Greg Schiano, who is also on staff. Joining Belichick was his son Steve, the Patriots’ safeties coach.

It was a big turn out with a number of other NFL head coaches including Sean Payton, Todd Bowles and John Harbaugh.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was also on the scouting trail, as he was spotted at Notre Dame’s pro day.

Other pro days held on Thursday include: Stanford, Missouri and Utah.

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ESPN names new NFL studio hosts, including replacements for Chris Berman 03.23.17 at 1:06 pm ET
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ESPN's NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season.

With Chris Berman transitioning into a new role, Suzy Kolber, Samantha Ponder and Trey Wingo will assume his previous host responsibilities on ESPN’s NFL studio shows, the network announced on Thursday.

Kolber will now host the entire Monday Night Football pregame show from the site of each week’s game. Ponder is the new host of Sunday NFL Countdown, and Wingo will now host all three days of the annual NFL draft telecast.

“We have three exceptional hosts in Suzy, Sam and Trey, who will usher in this new era of NFL studio coverage on ESPN,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN senior vice president, studio and event production. “They each have a unique style and approach, yet they all share a passion for the game of football that is evident to viewers. We look forward to this group being the face of our NFL studio coverage for many years ahead on ESPN.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Chris Berman, Samantha Ponder, Suzy Kolber, Trey Wingo
Martellus Bennett blasts NFL on Twitter for making players watch video on how to celebrate properly 03.23.17 at 11:49 am ET
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On Wednesday, it was learned the NFL is cracking down again on celebrations and to help with this will show proper ways to celebrate in videos shown to NFL teams during training camp.

This will be included in the video that goes over new rule changes for the upcoming season.

Former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett didn’t appear thrilled with the idea, going off on the NFL on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

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Roger Goodell: Dean Blandino will have final say with all instant replay decisions 03.23.17 at 10:26 am ET
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Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will make the final call with instant replays this season. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will make the final call with instant replays this season. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

The NFL will change the way it reviews plays this season.

Instead of having the referee go off the field and look under the hood at replays, the referee will now get handed a tablet on the field where they can review the play with the assistance of a command center in New York.

Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Thursday morning, commissioner Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will ultimately have the final say with all replays.

“We’re going to centralize the replay back here in New York,” Goodell said. “We want the referee’s input. … He can look at the play, be in communication back in our office with Dean Blandino, and Dean Blandino will have the final decision. We think that will move it much quicker.”

Goodell also said referees will be told to announce the replay decision immediately in the stadium, rather than waiting for the end of a commercial break. This will help speed up play.

“We want to get going. We want to be ready to play,” Goodell said.

The decision to have Blandino be in charge of calls may not go over well with everyone around the league, including referees.

In 2015 an anonymous referee told ESPN current on-field referees weren’t too fond of Blandino.

“The animosity is starting, because he’s having to make the tough decisions and he is a company man and he’s not siding with the officials. The officials kind of feel that, ‘Well, you’ve never been on the field,’” the official said. “It’s a tough position. It’s a no-win situation.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Roger Goodell pens letter to fans addressing changes for 2017 03.22.17 at 2:46 pm ET
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Roger Goodell wrote a letter to fans about potential rule changes next season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Roger Goodell wrote a letter to fans about potential rule changes next season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

The NFL is always looking to improve its game and these changes typically take place in the offseason around the NFL owners meetings.

These will be next week in Phoenix and leading into them, commissioner Roger Goodell has wrote a letter to fans letting them know what the changes could be.

The majority of the changes Goodell wrote about center around the pace of the game.

One of the changes is instead of a sideline monitor for reviews, there will be a tablet brought to the referee who can review the play in consultation with the officiating headquarters in New York, which ultimately has the final decision.

“This should improve consistency and accuracy of decisions and help speed up the process,” Goodell wrote.

Along the lines of timing, there will be a play clock following extra points when TV does not take commercial breaks. Also, they are considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown. Goodell also noted they are going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds and standardize halftime lengths in all games.

There will also likely be fewer commercial breaks.

“We know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it,” Goodell wrote.

The competition committee will meet and vote on a number of rule changes next week.

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Bill Parcells, mentor for Jacoby Brissett, says it’s too early to tell how QB’s skills will translate to NFL 03.22.17 at 2:02 pm ET
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Bill Parcells talked about Jacoby Brissett recently. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bill Parcells talked about Jacoby Brissett recently. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Not many people know Jacoby Brissett better than Bill Parcells.

Parcells has known Brissett since he was a teenager playing at Dwyer High School, which is near Parcells’ winter home in Jupiter, Florida.

He’s taken him under his wing over the years and confirmed to ESPN’s Tony Grossi in a radio interview he recommended him to Bill Belichick before last year’s draft.

New England selected Brissett, out of NC State, in the third round.

“I did speak with Bill about him [Brissett] late in the [draft] process last year,” Parcells said to Grossi. “I thought it [New England] would be a very, very good place for Jacoby because he’s highly motivated much like Brady, and he has the same kind of dedication and work habits. He just needed the proper direction and I thought he’d get it with Bill. Fortunately, he went up there and things so far have gone OK for him.”

As for Brissett’s future in the NFL, Parcells says it’s too early to tell because of the offense he ran at NC State not translating well to the NFL.

“I didn’t really think the system he was in in college was going to translate really well to the pros,” Parcells said. “I would have to see a little more game action, a little more preseason. I think he has attributes that are going to allow him to be successful. But you never know until you see him under fire, and you see him get beat up a little bit, things going bad and how they respond. I think he has a lot of the things necessary to be successful. But I think it’s a little early in the game now to know for sure if it’s going to translate completely.”

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Bill Belichick reflects on Super Bowl LI: ‘Our guys played like champions in the last 20 minutes’ 03.22.17 at 12:09 pm ET
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Bill Belichick reflected on the Super Bowl LI win again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick reflected on the Super Bowl LI win again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick and Mike Krzyzewski are two of the greatest coaches to ever coach in any sport.

Krzyzewski hosts a weekly show on SiriusXM called “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K” and in the episode airing Wednesday at 7 p.m. he had Belichick on as a guest.

Belichick and the Duke coach talked about a number of different things, including the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

“Our guys played like champions in the last 20 minutes, and we really were able to have a lot of things go right, which they needed to pretty much just had to fall the way they did or we would have been in trouble,” Belichick said to Krzyzewski, via NESN.com. “So it was a great year and a great victory for our team.”

As Belichick noted the day after the Super Bowl, the team was five weeks behind in terms of the offseason, but clearly it has caught up with the number of moves made in free agency.

“I really enjoy the different phases of the season,” Belichick said. “Right now we’re in a team building phase with free agency and then next month the draft and then all the players will be in and we’ll start. As you know, you can’t pick up where you left off last year, you’ve got to start all over again, so the kind of starting all over again process has really already begun for us.”

Belichick will turn 65 years old next month, but is showing no signs of slowing down. He says working with so many young people is what keeps him going.

“I enjoy working with young people, that certainly keeps me young, even though the gap’s widening,” he said. “And I do my best to absolutely take on the whole social media thing, you know, head on, on a collision course. But other than that, being with young people certainly keeps you young, and that’s been important for me. I’m sure you feel the same way.”

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