The Seahawks are still reeling from their loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. In fact, it apparently threatened to tear the team apart this offseason.

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their third OTA session of the offseason, but first open to the media on Thursday morning on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium.

The conditions were not great, as temperatures were in the 50s with rain coming down for most of the session.

Rob Gronkowski was impressive at Thursday's OTA session. (WEEI.com)

Rob Gronkowski was impressive at Thursday’s OTA session. (WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their third OTA session of the offseason, but first open to the media on Thursday morning on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium.

The conditions were not great, as temperatures were in the 50s with rain coming down for most of the session.

Most of the work done was situational, but there was some 11-on-11 work done towards the end of the session.

There were six players missing from the session entirely (OTAs are not mandatory): Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Mitchell, Stephen Gostkowski, Alan Branch, Joe Cardona and Max Rich.

Also, offensive lineman Andrew Jelks and safety Duron Harmon were present, but did not participate, and Jonathan Freeny wore a red, non-contact jersey.

Here are some observations from the nearly 2.5-hour session:

— Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo got most of the reps (roughly 15) during team work, with Jacoby Brissett getting about half as much. Brady showed no signs of being 39 years old, as he made a number of good passes despite the conditions. Garoppolo held the ball a bit too long early on, but picked up the pace as he went. He seems very comfortable with fade passes.

— Rob Gronkowski was a full participant, including making one of the better catches of the day on a pass thrown by Brady. Although OTAs are non-contact, it’s a good sign that he’s participating after back surgery cut his season short last year.

— Brandin Cooks looks like he will fit in well with the offense, as he made a few highlight worthy catches over the course of the session. He went up against Malcolm Butler on a few occasions.

— The team worked on falling on fumbles with the wet conditions where they all gathered together and players went individually, with even Brady participating.

— Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Cyrus Jones and David Jones all saw action returning punts. Cyrus Jones had issues once again, as he dropped a few of them and had others where he couldn’t find the ball. Obviously, the conditions were not ideal, but other players were dealing with them too with no issues.

— D.J. Foster stood out in team drills, making a few great catches.

— Overall, it was a fairly sloppy session with the defense winning the majority of the plays, but that should be expected given the conditions and time of the year.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Malcolm Butler spoke to reporters for the first time this offseason following Thursday’s OTA session and was asked on multiple occasions if he wants to be a Patriot beyond this season.

Malcolm Butler addressed his long-term future with the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler addressed his long-term future with the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Malcolm Butler spoke to reporters for the first time this offseason following Thursday’s OTA session and was asked on multiple occasions if he wants to be a Patriot beyond this season.

The 27-year-old cornerback didn’t give a strong indication one way or another, but that is telling in its self.

“Can’t predict the future,” Butler said. “Whatever happens, happens.”

Added Butler: “I can’t control any of that. Everything is one day at a time. Just take it one day at a time. You can’t predict the future, so just have to go with the flow.”

Butler is under contract as a restricted free agent making $3.91 million this year. The cornerback was reportedly upset this offseason after the team signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year contract, and even visited the Saints with the hope of the Patriots and Saints working out a deal.

“Nothing much, really,” Butler said when asked what his reaction was when the team signed Gilmore. “Nothing much, really. We got a better plater. We got another player. We got another good player on this team. Anything to help the team win I am down with it.”

“The past is the past,” he added. “I am just here to do a job and do anything to help the team win. Just moving forward. Whatever happens, happens.”

Butler will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Even though he may not have liked how the offseason went, he said he is committed to the Patriots for 2017 and will be part of a very good secondary, led by he and Gilmore. He said he’s excited for what is to come.

“Great group,” Butler said. “We’re all learning from each other. We still have a lot of building and communication to do together. Looking forward to it.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
The Seahawks almost traded Richard Sherman this offseason. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The Seahawks almost traded Richard Sherman this offseason. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The Seahawks are still reeling from their loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. In fact, it apparently threatened to tear the team apart this offseason.

In a story for ESPN the Magazine, Seth Wickersham details the growing rift between the Seahawks and Richard Sherman. The All-Pro cornerback, and many other veteran members of the defense, have always felt head coach Pete Carroll was easier on quarterback Russell Wilson than other leaders on the team. Those feelings were amplified during Super Bowl XLIX, when Malcolm Butler picked off Wilson at the one-yard line for the game-winning interception.

Wilson never apologized for the play, saying he would throw to receiver Ricardo Lockette again if the opportunity presented itself.

“It galls the defense to hear Wilson, ever positive, stand behind a podium and insist that the offense “made some great plays” after games in which the Seahawks barely score — and then be propped up as if he were Aaron Rodgers,” Wickersham writes.

Even before the Super Bowl loss, there was palpable tension between Sherman and Wilson. Wickersham recounts an incident at minicamp in June 2014, when Sherman told Wilson he “f—— sucks” after throwing a pick during practice.

The enigmatic Sherman was particularly ornery last season, snapping at teammates and coaches on multiple occasions. Most notably, following a Week 15 loss to the Rams when Wilson was nearly intercepted at the 1-yard line, Sherman ripped into Carroll on the sidelines.

“Yeah, I was letting [Carroll] know. We’ve seen how that goes,” he told reporters after the game, bringing up the Super Bowl XLIX interception three seasons later.

Wickersham says the loss to New England was so stinging, because it robbed the Seahawks defense of its opportunity to be remembered as one of the game’s all-time great units. After beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle was one score away from knocking off Tom Brady the following year. It would’ve been one of the greatest runs in NFL history.

“[Sherman] is always looking at what other people are doing,” a former assistant coach told ESPN. “He’s made it personal. It’s your fault we’re not winning. It wears guys thin.”

As the Seahawks prepare for another season, Sherman and Carroll appear to be on the same page. But the team didn’t hide its attempts to shop Sherman this spring, including a highly publicized flirtation with the Patriots.

Despite all of the internal strife, the Seahawks have been able to reach the Divisional Round in two consecutive years. But they may never return to the promised land.

The Patriots didn’t just end the Seahawks’ Super Bowl dreams on Feb. 1, 2015. They may have ended their hopes at a dynasty.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Tom Brady helped Phil Mickelson with his golf swing. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady helped Phil Mickelson with his golf swing. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Last week it was learned Tom Brady has helped PGA Tour golfer Phil Mickelson with his swing.

On Wednesday, prior to the Dean & DeLuca Invitational he explained what exactly Brady said to him.

“Overload, underload. It’s about how to create speed, how to retrain and reprogram your governor for speed,” Mickelson said to reporters. “I’ve been doing a lot of the same stuff, and he just kind of explained how he applied it to football and throwing and arm velocity.”

The “overload, underload” concept is a technique Brady learned from QB coach Tom House. Mickelson uses it as well.

“We have, Sean Cochran and myself, been doing it for a few years,” Mickelson said. “I think they’ve been refined over the years. I think Tom has really refined it and applied it to other sports other than baseball and other than just throwing, to golf.”

The first round of the Dean & DeLuca Invitational begins Thursday morning.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was very adamant the Patriots would not trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, and he was proven right.

Adam Schefter believes the Patriots will hold on to Jimmy Garoppolo. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter believes the Patriots will hold on to Jimmy Garoppolo. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was very adamant the Patriots would not trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, and he was proven right.

Now, while he isn’t as demonstrative as he was with the Patriots not trading the quarterback, he believes the Patriots will keep Garoppolo beyond the 2017 season.

The Patriots backup will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and Tom Brady will be 40 years old.

Schefter gave his thoughts on Bleacher Report’s “Stick to Football” podcast.

“This is interesting on a lot of levels because there was so much Garoppolo conversation during the offseason,” he said. “I don’t think that the Patriots ever considered trading him, and I know when the reports came out that they weren’t dealing him there were people who were instantly skeptical. ‘Oh, this is just trying to raise the price for the Patriots. Nobody is offering —‘ No, they were never trading Jimmy Garoppolo. Period. That was the case in February, and in March, and in April. It didn’t stop teams from calling to inquire, but there wasn’t a team out there that was going to be able to put together an offer that would have changed the Patriots’ thinking with trading Jimmy Garoppolo.

“Now, again, going forward, how is that going to operate and how is that going to work — will the Patriots risk losing Jimmy Garoppolo? My own sense is no. They are going to figure out a way one way or another to keep him there — whether that means signing him to an extension, or franchising him, or making it work. We’ll see how that plays out. I don’t think they are going to lose him. I don’t think they want to lose him. I think they recognize how good they think he is — many of us don’t know that right now because we haven’t seen him play on a consistent basis. They have. They’ve watched him practice. They’ve seen him in practice. They know what he is and isn’t capable of. They are big believers in him.

“Again, I’d like to say this, Tom Brady, that Super Bowl was 28-3 at one point, and if that game had continued on that course, the offseason would have been dedicated to people talking about is it time to replace Tom Brady with Jimmy Garoppolo? When Tom Brady turned that game around, not only did he win a Super Bowl for the Patriots, he stayed off all the [naysayers] that would have come, I believe if they would have lost that game as decisively and as one-sided as it was at one point in time. He’s 40 years old. He’s going to be 40 years old this year and he is the greatest quarterback of all-time. None of that is in dispute, and he may play for five or six more years, he may do that, but the chances are he’s not going to because nobody has ever done that before. I’m not going to challenge the great Tom Brady in any way. I would never challenge that guy ever, but father time usually wins that battle. If he can beat father time, he’s ever more incredible than we think he is. We’ll see.

“Again, I think the Patriots recognize they have what they believe is a commodity and a successor in the wings and they have developed him, put a lot of time in him. They don’t want to lose him. I don’t know how they work it out, but somehow some way something tells me they will find a way to get it done.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
The Browns have hired Ryan Grigson. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

The Browns have hired Ryan Grigson. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

After being fired by the Colts, Ryan Grigson has found another job in the NFL, as the Browns have hired Grigson as a senior personnel executive for the team.

“Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group,” said executive vice president of football Operations Sashi Brown in a statement. “He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years. We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff.”

Grigson was fired as the Colts’ general manager in late January.

In New England, Grigson is most known as the man who started Deflategate by alerting the NFL of suspicisons the Patriots were using underinflated footballs before the 2014 AFC championship game.

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

Blog Author: 
WEEI