|Checking in with some old Patriots at their new addresses||08.03.15 at 11:41 am ET|
With the Patriots taking a day off from camp, that presents us with an opportunity to check in with eight of the players who were on the roster last year who have since moved on to new teams.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis: The Jets cornerback hasn’t taken any passive-aggressive shots at his old employer over the last few days. Instead, he’s been working with the rest of the rebuilt New York secondary over the course of the first few days of camp in Florham Park. The Jets’ Twitter feed provided some cool-looking Vines of some of the one-on-one drills between Revis and wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Cornerback Brandon Browner: Browner, who turned 31 on Sunday, left the Patriots on good terms as a free agent over the offseason (he posted his championship ring and the nice note from Robert Kraft on Instagram last month), but the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder did reveal an intriguing nugget over the weekend: He told reporters that when the Patriots “asked me to take a pay cut, you know, it was time to get up out of there.” He projects as one of the two lead corners in the New Orleans defense for 2015.
Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork: The longtime Patriot signed with the Texans in the offseason and figures to be one of the foundational elements of Houston’s defensive line. Wilfork revealed this week that his daughter Destiny agreed to allow her father to sign with the Texans was if she could meet J.J. Watt. Mission accomplished.
Running back Shane Vereen: While there was plenty of talk initially about potentially utilizing Vereen in more than just a third-down role, it appears now that he’s starting to settle in as the Giants‘ third-down option out of the backfield. Vereen said this week there are a number of similarities between the offense he was a part of in New England and what’s getting used to in New York.
Running back Stevan Ridley: The former Patriots back was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of Jets training camp. Ridley, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last October against the Bills, has expressed optimism that he can get back on the field sooner rather than later, but at the same time, he said in June he does not want to create “false hope” regarding his health. Ultimately, the goal is to be back on the field for Week 1 of the regular season.
|What to make of: New York Jets||07.23.15 at 10:01 am ET|
With Patriots camp opening up on July 30 at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com takes a quick look at each of the Patriots’ rivals in the AFC East, their additions, losses and what each team needs to accomplish in camp.
2014 finish: 4-12, 4th in AFC East
Key additions: Head coach Todd Bowles, GM Mike Maccagnan, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Buster Skrine, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Stevan Ridley, DE Leonard Williams (Rookie)
Camp goals: Give Geno Smith one more chance at the starting quarterback job and see if his spring OTA and minicamp work has earned him frontrunner status at the start of camp over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Leave Rex Ryan drama behind and get in step with the no nonsense approach of Todd Bowles. Have Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall step up and take leadership roles.
What to make of the Jets:
There’s a lot to like about what the Jets did this offseason. They seem finally ready to shift the focus from the entertaining and melodramatic head coaching style of Rex Ryan to the hard-nosed approach of Todd Bowles.
They had the chance to interview Doug Marrone after he stiffed the Bills to collect his 2015 salary guarantee. They did not jump at the first chance to hire away a fellow AFC East rival head coach. Reports out of New York were that they were not impressed with Marrone and that they were looking for more of a seasoned coach with NFL experience, someone who could lead the Jets back to respectability.
Bowles played eight seasons in the NFL as a safety, including the Redskins where he started in Super Bowl XXII. Bowles was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles in 2012, and then for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and ’14. He was the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins for the final three games of the 2011 season with a 2-1 record after the firing of Tony Sparano.
With the firing of general manager John Idzik and Ryan on Dec. 29, the Jets began the process of rebuilding their roster. New GM Mike Maccagnan identified several players, along with some help from owner Woody Johnson. Of course, that’s a thinly veiled reference to the Jets’ owner’s infatuation with all-world corner Darrelle Revis, who was busy with a Super Bowl run with the Patriots.
|Darrelle Revis talks about Patriots, ring ceremony, (almost) retiring||07.22.15 at 9:36 am ET|
Darrelle Revis still has a bone to pick with the Patriots regarding the ring ceremony that was held last month at the home of owner Robert Kraft.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the former Pats cornerback said his mother flew to Boston to pick up his ring at the celebration, held at Kraft’s home in Brookline — he said he had planned a trip to Disney with his children. But Revis maintains that she was not allowed to attend the ceremony.
“If that’s how they want to do things, that’s fine,” Revis says. “I’m not going to waste my time on it.”
Revis addresses several other things in the story, including the fact that he initially thought about retirement following a torn ACL at the start of the 2012 season.
“I did think about retiring,” Revis said. “I had never been seriously injured before, and I didn’t know how to handle it.”
He also shared some of his feelings about his return to New York.
“I feel like I’ve been on the road the last two years,” he said. “I never wanted to leave. I’m coming home.”
The story is set to be released Wednesday.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
The offseason is rarely quiet for Super Bowl champions. Such would have been the case for the Patriots regardless of Deflategate, but the circus that’s accompanied the NFL’s handling has overshadowed what would have been an eventful offseason anyway.
Here’s a timeline of every major (non-Deflategate) event regarding the Patriots this offseason:
Feb 2: Rob Gronkowski begins another summer of Gronk with Jimmy Kimmel appearance
The veteran tight end has made the rounds this offseason, also appearing on Kelly & Michael and Celebrity Family Feud.
March 5: Vince Wilfork announces he won’t return
The 2004 first-round pick announced in a tweet that the team had declined his option, making him a free agent the next week. He ended up taking a two-year deal with the Texans on Marc 16.
March 9: Re-signed Devin McCourty
The 2010 first-round pick got a five-year, $47.5 million contract.
March 10: Lost Darrelle Revis, declined option on Brandon Browner
The Pats let Revis get to free agency by declining his $20 million option for next season. That led to the former Jet returning to his first employer on a five-year, $70 million deal with $39 million guaranteed.
Without Revis, the Pats opted to move away from playing press coverage, so they declined Browner’s option and let him sign with the Saints.
March 11: Released Kyle Arrington, signed Brandon Gibson
Arrington was a solid slot corner for the Pats over the years, but the 29-year-old struggled in the Super Bowl before being replaced by Malcolm Butler. He signed on with the Ravens.
March 12: Signed (and later released) Chimdi Chekwa
Not the only free agent signing who didn’t make it through the offseason. Among others, former Redskins tight end Fred Davis experienced a similar fate.
March 16: Signed Scott Chandler
The former Bill figures to give the Patriots the best 1-2 punch they’ve had at tight end since Aaron Hernandez was released.
March 18: Signed Brandon Spikes for a very short time
Spikes’ Patriots reunion lasted less than a month before a motor vehicle incident involving Spikes’ car resulted in the Pats to cut bait. He was eventually charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, operating a motor vehicle negligently to endanger, speeding and failure to stay within marked lanes.
March 18: Signed Bradley Fletcher
The former Eagle figures to compete for a starting job on a New England team that’s thin and young at cornerback. Read the rest of this entry »
|A familiar ring: Current, former Patriots gather for lavish ceremony to celebrate Super Bowl XLIX win||06.14.15 at 11:19 pm ET|
In the latest chapter of an eventful offseason, the Patriots got their Super Bowl XLIX rings in a ceremony at Robert Kraft’s home in Brookline on Sunday night, part of an evening that included several former players reuniting with their old mates to celebrate the championship.
“I have been blessed to host four Super Bowl ring ceremonies, and just like the rings we present, we have tried to make each ceremony a little bigger and a little better than the one before,” Kraft said. “Football is the consummate team sport. These championship rings represent all that the team endured and overcame together. The players on this team will forever be bound by the memories this ring represents.
“The presentation of the rings is one of my favorite moments. I love watching the expressions on the faces of each of our players and the range of emotions they experience when they see the ring for the first time and the pride they all have when they put it on. Tonight’s celebration is really a culmination of a job well done.”
Of the four ring ceremonies, this was the third held at Kraft’s home. The one held in June 2002 to celebrate the win over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI was part of a team get-together at a private waterfront ceremony at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
While former players like Vince Wilfork and Tim Wright apparently made the journey to celebrate with their now ex-teammates, one former player who was not present was cornerback Darrelle Revis. According to one report, the cornerback was going to send his mother to pick up his Super Bowl ring because he had a “prior commitment.” However, a team spokesman indicated that Revis’ mother was not in attendance. (There was a report that Revis’ mother had been turned away at the entrance. That report was denied by a source.) For what it’s worth, Revis’ absence didn’t appear to put much of a damper on things — at least by the looks of the Twitter accounts of various players.
According to the team, in 2003 and 2004, when the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls, the championship rings were adorned with 104 and 124 diamonds respectively. This year’s rings, handcrafted by Josten’s, features 205 diamonds, and are cast in white gold. On one side, the recipient’s name sits atop the ring, along with the years of the franchise’s previous Super Bowl Championships in ’01, ’03, ’04 and 2014. Each player’s number, encrusted in diamonds, sits just above the Gillette Stadium logo. The other side of the ring features a Super Bowl XLIX logo with the final score, 28-24, on the left and the team’s overall record, 15-4, on the right.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be handing out the Super Bowl jewelry Sunday night at his Brookline home but one of the key players who helped make it possible will not be on hand.
His mother, Diana Gilbert, will take his place and receive his first Super Bowl ring on his behalf.
Revis signed a five-year, $70 million contract with $39 million guaranteed on March 10. The Jets were the subject of an investigation by the league into tampering, after charges were filed by the Patriots. Jets owner Woody Johnson made comments about Revis, who was still under contract with New England at the time and Johnson was fined $100,000.
The Jets’ counter-investigation into Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s comments about Revis upon re-signing with New York was subseqently dismissed by the NFL.
‘ Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 14, 2015
|As Patriots hit reset button at cornerback, coach Josh Boyer sounds ready for challenge||06.11.15 at 5:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For a guy who just lost his top three cornerbacks, Josh Boyer is pretty upbeat.
The Patriots cornerbacks coach saw Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner walk in free agency and Kyle Arrington released this past offseason. But he understands the reality of the situation — the only thing that’s permanent in the NFL is change.
“I think each year is new, and it’s a natural transition, a natural progression,” he said after an OTA session on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “I think everybody that’s here — players, coaches, I think everybody understands there’s going to be turnover. There will be things like that. Again, it’s just an all-new start.”
That all-new start includes veteran free-agent pickups Robert McClain, Bradley Fletcher and Derek Cox, as well as rookies Darryl Roberts and Jimmy Jean. They join a group of returnees that includes Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, as well as former practice squadder Justin Green.
“I think all of our guys in our group have worked extremely hard, whether it’s in the classroom or the weight room,” Boyer said of the new additions. “The field work (and) the offseason coaching sessions we get to do out here.
“Again, when you get to a competitive situation in training camp, that’s what you’ll see. The chemistry that you’re building. Right now, you’re just trying to see if guys can pick up this, can they pick up that.”
Boyer indicated Thursday that there’s been some good carryover for the veterans, even during these early stages of the season.
“I think it’s like anything else in any other profession. I’m sure all you guys have had experience at other places — there’s some carryover, and then, there’s things that are different,” he said, gesturing toward the media. “I think it’s the same for the guys who have come in from different programs. I think there’s a little bit that carries over, and then, I think there’s a little bit that’s new.
“I think the important thing for all of our guys to remember is whether or not it’s corners or safeties, linebackers, defensive line, offensive players. It’s for everybody to get on the same page. That’s how you build a team, and this is just the infancy stages of building a team. And that’s really what we’re trying to do.”
On Thursday, a lot of the focus was on Butler, who was disciplined for missing the first OTA workout because of a missed flight, and was subsequently forced to sit out practice sessions. He was back on the field in front of the media for the first time Thursday, and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.
“I think Malcolm has had a productive offseason. I think he’s been pretty productive. What we’re asking him to do, I think he’s improving,” Boyer said of Butler. “(But) I think we need to continue to improve. I think (Butler) needs to continue to build on that. And then when I think when we get to training camp and get into a competitive situation against our offense and we start working a little bit against the Saints, I think you’re going to see some things there. Not just Malcolm (but) everybody in our group.
“All that stuff will play out in time.”
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