New England Patriots New England Patriots Talk: Media OTAs Kick Off In Foxboro Share Tweet Published 5 months ago on May 26, 2017 By stephenhilton New England Patriots Talk: Optional Team Workouts Kick Off In Foxboro As of today, OTAs for all 32 NFL teams with the media were officially underway. Every team had to work with their new players to get a feel for how well they will transition to the NFL. The Patriots were fully engaged today with all players attending with the exceptions of [Wide Receiver] Malcolm Mitchell, [Full Safety] Duron Harmon, [Kicker] Stephen Gostkowski and [Middle Linebacker] Dont’a Hightower all not attending. Hightower, Mitchell, Harmon, Gostkowski among those who didn't practice today. — Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 25, 2017 Among the many players today, [Tight End] Rob Gronkowski was in full effort today. It seems that this will indicate that his back surgery that he had this past December is behind him and appears to have made a full recovery. With news of his re-structured contract, which if he plays up to his full ability, will become the most highest paid Tight End in the entire NFL. Gronk was a full go today. Looked good. Cooks beat Butler for a TD late on a Brady pass in full team. — Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 25, 2017 One who was of particular note at the OTAs was [Cornerback] Malcolm Butler. With all the buzz around him this off-season, one would wonder what he would be thinking of how to approach the upcoming training camp, especially with him missing two weeks of voluntary workouts. When commented by the media about Butler’s struggle with contract disputes between him and the Patriots, he stated: “The past is the past,” Butler said. “I’m just here to do a job and do anything to help the team win. Just moving forward. Whatever happens, happens. “Just got to keep working. Ignore the noise and keep working no matter what. You’ve got a job to do no matter where you’re at. I’m glad to be here to do this job.” While Butler seems to be pushing himself further, he has already been established as the #1 Cornerback on the team as he was selected to play 1-on-1 with new [Wide Reciever] Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints. With Stephon Gilmore playing against Julian Edelman fairly establishes where the two are on the depth chart. Overall, the OTAs for players looks promising despite the dreary overcast over Foxboro this morning. Look Brandin Cooks is the #1 receiver after one day of media OTAs pic.twitter.com/3xXicx5eC7 — 🏈Patriots Extra (@PatriotsExtra) May 25, 2017 And in other news, it seems that the Quarterbacks are all present and accounted for with Tom Brady leading the way and backed by Jimmy Garoppollo and Jacoby Brissett. Tom Brady overall had the best of the reps with 9 of 14 completions compared to Jimmy’s 7 of 13 and Brissett only getting 3 of 6 on completion drills today. The players are all likely to improve as summer comes closer and the weather improves. Hopefully, we will be seeing more improvement before cuts began, especially as the new NFL regulations now abolished the roster reduction to 75 players. Instead, teams now only have a ‘cut down day’, where they take a 90 man roster down to a 53 man roster. This will come after the fourth pre-season game and will be finalized within that week. Things will be tough especially a team this loaded for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Patriots wrapped up first media OTA: Brady: 9 of 14Garoppolo: 7 of 13Brissett: 3 of 6 — Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 25, 2017 Related Topics:Brandin CooksfeaturedMalcolm ButlerNew England PatriotsOTAsRob GronkowskiTom Brady Up Next New England Patriots Talk: NFL Rule Changes Set To Be Minimal Don't Miss Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl Interception Still Bothers Richard Sherman stephenhilton Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Continue Reading Advertisement You may like Patriots Still Have A Ways To Go, AFC East Up For Grabs Patriots Talk: NaVorro Bowman Released By 49ers, Possible Pick-up? NFL Talk: Week 6 Picks Don’t Worry About Tom Brady, He’s A Survivor Patriots Talk: Patriots Win Over Buccaneers 19-14 Boston Sports Trifecta, Bruins, Sox, Patriots All Playing New England Patriots Patriots Still Have A Ways To Go, AFC East Up For Grabs Published 4 days ago on October 15, 2017 By Tanner Rebelo Heading into the Patriots-Jets game head coach Bill Belichick stressed on how good the Jets were so far in the young NFL season. In New England’s 24-17 win on Sunday his impression of New York looked correct. Jets QB Josh McCown went 31-47 for 354 yards with a QBR of 84.9. McCown was all over the place making crazy throws while making stupid throws at the same time. His up and down performance led to two interceptions while also keeping them in the game right until the end. McCown wasn’t perfect but he was able to expose the weakened Patriots secondary on numerous occasions. Statistically, he outplayed Patriots QB Tom Brady who had a QBR of 80.7 with a 20-38 for a 257-yard day. The Patriots winning the game to move their record to 4-2 with 11 straight road victories is huge, but they are still aren’t having success in all 3 phases of the game. New England’s defense which has been suspect every single week so far looked ok against the Jets. But the defense was bailed out by the Jets offense which lacks the real weapons to compete in the NFL on an offensive level. On offense, the Patriots have been up-and-down so far this season with 30+ point games followed up by 2 less than stellar performances. Having Rob Gronkowski back and snagging 2 touchdowns is huge. But going to him on 10 targets for 6 receptions is way too much. Gronk led New England with those 10 targets, injuries and lack of depth continue to force Brady to go to him which has already caused Gronk to miss a game this season. The bottom line is the weak link on offense this season is Dwayne Allen. Allen has been a negative factor as the backup tight end. He hasn’t been anything close to what Martellus Bennett gave the team last season. Allen’s failures in both the passing and blocking game have caused Brady to get hit an immense amount this season. Having a zero factor tight end causes Gronk, a great blocker, to go out and catch the ball more instead of blocking. Allen was a bad trade for New England, almost as bad as the David Harris signing. Only reason Harriss still has a roster spot is the $1 million guaranteed he is owed this season. Despite GM Belichick’s failures this offseason, the injuries on both sides of the ball has killed the Patriots through 6 games. It is actually impressive that they are 4-2. What is important is that New England has yet to play their best ball, the real question though is if they will ever do so this season. Now by now, you have likely questioned why I stated that the AFC East is still up for grabs. Here is why. Still, long ways to go in this NFL season, but the AFC East is currently close. Teams in the division have overplayed but one could envision a team like Miami or Buffalo going 9-7 this season. Hell one of them could even go 10-6. Of course, New England should be able to best that type of record, but what if they don’t? What if Gilmore never really pans out? The communication never improves? Hightower gets hurt again and exposes a weak LB group? Brady goes down? Wideout injuries continue? Gronk goes down? No real backup tight end? The list of questions through 6 games for the Patriots are crazy. Usually, at this point, many of these types of issues will start to be answered. But from the start of the season till now it feels as if the questions are mounting instead of being answered. 4-2 and atop that AFC East is great. But one of these years the Patriots will be surpassed, could it be this season? Maybe not, but the Patriots still have a ways to go to prove they belong atop the division standings come January. Continue Reading New England Patriots Patriots Football Talk: Week 6 Win Against the Jets Published 4 days ago on October 15, 2017 By Christian Bullock The Patriots were down by 14 Points in the 1st Half against the Jets. It didn’t look good. They started out slow, getting the ball after a New York Jets TD score for the 1st possession of the game. It was a real struggle for the Team. Their Defense struggled, their offense struggled. It was difficult sustaining a drive. They made mistakes and Tom Brady threw an interception. It looked to be disappointing. But don’t call a TB12 Game over before 60+ Minutes. He can make any comeback happen, give him time on the clock and he can make miracles happen. They were down in the 2nd Quarter but like other games this Season they played their best in the 2nd Quarter. Then the tides began to turn. And they got a drive going and had a TD Rush from Dion Lewis from the 1 yard line. It was just what they needed to get fired up. The Patriots Defense held the Jets to 14 Points for the rest of the half. And with 40 seconds left to go they got a Defensive INT by Macolm Butler, before Halftime. It was the start of an avalanche by the Patriots. Tom Brady threw to Brandin Cooks and got to the 1 yard line. It was an excellent pass and was delivered right to the WR. Over the shoulder and close to a score. Then Tom Brady went to Rob Gronkoski, he just missed him in the end zone. Luckily he went back to Gronk again for the 2nd down and goal. Touchdown! It was remarkable and just what the Pats needed at that right time. Gronk would go on to catch 6 out of 10 targets for 83 yards. And he would get another TD in the 2nd Half. He high stepped his way into the end zone. This is a guy who is uncoverable and boy did he show up today. Making it [21-14]. The Pats would kick a Field Goal in the 4th Quarter, Steven Gostkowski made up for that Field Goal that he missed in the 2nd Quarter. This made it [24-14], giving New England a 10 Point lead. Some notables were on the Team were Brandin Cooks who would go on to get 93 Yards on 6 catches out of 9 targets. And Danny Amendola who had a good game with 40 Yards on 3 Receptions. Also Dion Lewis with 52 Yards on 11 Attempts and 1 TD. The Patriots would go on to hold the Jets to a Field Goal in the 4th Quarter. They got a lucky call on a called turnover in the end zone on replay. Yeah it was really controversial but you know the Pats have been in murky waters before. And you know what on the replay of the Jets TD score was reversed. Wow, what a relief! The Patriots would get another INT and put this game away just like that! It became Tom Brady’s 187th Regular Season Win, which is a new NFL Record, it was 212th Win including the Playoffs also an NFL Record. He is the best of the best, and he showed it today on the road. With this Win the Pats go 4-2 on the Year and tops in the AFC East Division. Next Week they play in Foxboro against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday October 22, at 8:30 pm on NBC Sunday Night Football. Continue Reading New England Patriots Patriots Talk: NaVorro Bowman Released By 49ers, Possible Pick-up? Published 4 days ago on October 14, 2017 By stephenhilton Patriots Talk: NaVorro Bowman Released By 49ers, Possible Pick-up? It’s somehow shocking that NaVorro Bowman is released from the San Fransisco 49ers in an unexpected move from new General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Many teams are likely going to look into Bowman, but there are too many teams whose defense would love a guy like him. However, according to the public statement from the 49ers from GM John Lynch: “We talked at length with NaVorro about the direction that each party wanted to go in. And that’s what we left that meeting. Since then, we’ve been working in earnest to find that trade partner. We had a couple of things that, a couple teams that were very interested. Came very close to happening. Ultimately, we were working with NaVorro and his representation, Drew Rosenhaus, to try to get this thing across the finish line. We wanted NaVorro, we felt like he had earned the right to have some options and some choices that he deemed the right ones for him. In the end, he chose that he would rather look at all 31 teams and we granted his request there. So, we’re going to go ahead and release NaVorro Bowman.” This seems to be a situation where the San Fransisco 49ers couldn’t hold onto Bowman any longer due to frustrations with the coaching staff. This was later explained: “Just a little context as to how this all came about; NaVorro spoke publicly about his frustration with the strategy that Kyle and his staff have put together to try to get the best out of NaVorro, in our minds, and have it be best for NaVorro and for our team. Drew spoke to me on Monday night and indicated his frustration on behalf of NaVorro and I told him that I had talked with Kyle and his staff and that we were convicted, that we felt like this was the best thing for him, which in response Drew communicated that if that’s the case NaVorro would prefer to be traded.” This seems to be a case of the players and the coaching staff not approving of neither situation. Right now, Bowman is not a savior or player that can make a difference based purely on his physical play. For the last several seasons Bowman has been suffering much over his seven-year career. The 29-year old missed all of the 2014 season due to an ACL and MCL tear sustained after the 2013 NFC title game (which was on their way to Super Bowl 47). In addition, he ended his 2016 campaign on injured reserve with an Achilles’ tear. It’s very clear that the reason he didn’t get many offers is due to his on-the-field performance so far this season and his injury history. Right now, Bowman has struggled in coverage this season and allowed 11 of 13 passes thrown his way to be completed for 113 yards and a touchdown. His main strength is his instincts, straight football IQ and leadership (which is very similar to David Harris). Many have been thinking of him as a potential pickup but for now, the Patriots have nothing to lose thus far, so they can at least give his agent a call. 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