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Ivan Fears on ESPN report on lack of diversity on Pats staff: ‘I don’t think Bill really cares about color’ 07.27.16 at 1:13 pm ET
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Ivan Fears

Ivan Fears

FOXBORO — On Wednesday, Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears responded to an ESPN story that singled out New England as having the least diverse coaching staff in the NFL, saying that in his experience, coach Bill Belichick “has been very good” when it comes to seeing past race.

Fears listed several minority assistant coaches he’s worked with in New England over the last dozen-plus years as examples, including Patrick Graham, Pepper Johnson and Romeo Crennel.

“I don’t think Bill really cares about color,” said Fears, who has worked with Belichick since 2000. “I know how he treats me. I know how he treats the guys on the staff. I think in his mind, really, (if) you do the job, you’re here. You work. That’s what he is. He’s as ‘tunnel vision’ as a guy can be as far as, ‘It’s football.’ He’s not walking around saying, ‘You’re a black guy. I have to have you. You’re a white guy, I have to have you.’

“I don’t care where we are on that list. Guys who left, left on their own. And I think that’s important.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Ivan Fears, Romeo Crennel,
Bill Belichick: ‘Priority’ is to have Jimmy Garoppolo ready for regular season at 12:34 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Wednesday the situation facing the team with Tom Brady set to sit for the first four games of the season, and said the immediate “priority” is to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the 2016 campaign.

“We have finally some definition with Tom’s situation, so our priority now then is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game,” Belichick said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “So that will obviously be a comprehensive process.

“Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back. But in the meantime, we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule, and that will be get Jimmy ready to go.”

Pressed for specifics, Belichick reiterated his main point.

“We’re going to get (Garoppolo) ready the best we can. I don’t know how else I can put it,” Belichick added. “We have some clarity with Tom’s situation, (and) he’ll be our starter when he returns.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
Bill Belichick: ‘My condolences are with the Ryan family’ 06.28.16 at 4:25 pm ET
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The Patriots released a statement from coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday in the wake of the death of Buddy Ryan.

“Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan. It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan family.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Buddy Ryan,
Bill Belichick spending down time on his boat ‘VI Rings’ 06.22.16 at 11:42 am ET
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If you wanted to know what Bill Belichick is up to during the down time between now and training camp, just check out girlfriend Linda Holliday’s Instagram.

Holliday posted a picture Tuesday of Belichick captaining his boat ‘VI Rings.’

And it makes my heart swell when my man is behind the helm of his boat enjoying life! #Workhard #Playhard 💘🚤😍#VIRings

A photo posted by Linda Holliday✨ (@lindaholliday_) on

Read More: Bill Belichick,
Source: Mike Lombardi parting ways with Patriots 06.17.16 at 9:42 pm ET
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Mike Lombardi spent two years with the Patriots. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Mike Lombardi spent two years with the Patriots. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Mike Lombardi, who spent the last two seasons working as an assistant to the Patriots coaching staff, has decided to part ways with the franchise, according to a source.

Lombardi was hired by Bill Belichick following a short stint as GM of the Browns in 2013, as well as a four-year stretch as a member of NFL Media (2008-2012). In addition, Lombardi spent a stretch of time in the Oakland front office as well (199-2007) as well as Philly (1997-98).

Over the last two years, Lombardi was thought to be responsible for helping bring in a few of role players who grew into important puzzle pieces with the Patriots, including running back Dion Lewis and defensive end Jabaal Sheard.

The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Mike Lombardi,
Sean Payton suggests Patriots, Saints will ‘probably’ have joint practices this summer 06.14.16 at 4:22 pm ET
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Looks like Sean Payton and Bill Belichick are going to be able to get some quality time in together this summer. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

Looks like Sean Payton and Bill Belichick are going to be able to get some quality time in together this summer. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

It sounds like the Patriots and Saints are going to be getting together for some joint practices this summer.

On Tuesday, New Orleans coach Sean Payton dropped a hint that the two teams are going to be taking part in joint practices in the days leading up to their preseason game in Foxboro on Aug. 11.

“Bill (Belichick) and I have talked,” Payton told reporters. “We’ll have the schedule at some point, but we’ll probably have a couple days of practice with them prior to that game.”

Payton’s Saints are scheduled to open the preseason at Gillette Stadium versus the Patriots at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 11.

The two sides have met for joint practices before exhibition games twice since 2012. It would be the second series of joint practices this summer for New England — the Bears and Patriots are also set to meet on the practice field in the days before their Aug. 18 game in Foxboro.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, sean payton,
Even Bill Belichick impressed with the receivers: ‘They’ve all showed up and made plays down the field’ 06.09.16 at 4:55 pm ET
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Bill Belichick speaks after mini-camp Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick speaks after mini-camp Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — This week in minicamp has been a chance for the receivers behind Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola to step up.

According to Bill Belichick after the final mini-camp practice on Thursday, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The quintet of Aaron Dobson, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Keshawn Martin and Nate Washington have looked good without the pads on.

All five of those receivers made big plays over the three days, including Dobson and Mitchell, both of whom made acrobatic catches in the end zone for touchdowns. Belichick was taking note.

“Our receivers have been good. We have good competition at that position and they’ve all showed up and made plays down the field, caught the ball well. It’s been good,” Belichick said.

And while Washington is new to the team he’s not new to the type of offense the Patriots run. His experience with former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in Houston showed up this week, as he looked like a receiver comfortable with the routes.

“[With] Nate, they played it in Houston, so he’s kind of familiar with it,” Belichick said. “Those guys have done a good job. I think our receiver group overall has done well – gotten open, caught the ball. Nate and Keshawn have both done a good job.”

Belichick, meanwhile, surprised no one when he didn’t offer an update on the status of tight end/tackle Michael Williams. The Globe’s Jim McBride reported Thursday that Williams suffered an ACL tear on Wednesday and might be headed to injured reserve.

“I don’t think we’re doing injury reports here,” Belichick said. “Maybe the league will require us to do those.”

One of those who might step forward with Williams out is newcomer Clay Harbor.

“Professional. Works hard. He’s a versatile guy,” Belichick said of Harbor. “He’s done a lot of different things. Philadelphia and Jacksonville, he did the same thing, special teams and offense. Hopefully a number of roles if he can do them and get an opportunity to do them.”

Read More: 2016 mini-camp, Aaron Dobson, Bill Belichick, Clay Harbor
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