Last week Tom Brady wished Doug Flutie good luck on “Dancing with the Stars” and now Bill Belichick is doing the same.

Belichick recorded the video on Instagram via girlfriend Linda Holliday’s account. Holliday and her two daughters are in Los Angeles for the taping, but Belichick couldn’t make it. The coach did note that Flutie has “great feet.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Welcome back to football.

Via social media — both Twitter and Instagram — the Patriots let everyone know that several members of the franchise were present and accounted for Monday morning when the offseason program began. It’s a group that includes Tom Brady and Rob Ninkovich.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2016 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection. Although the Patriots do not own a first-round pick due to their punishment for Deflategate — and there are restrictions on their ability to trade up — we will include likely first-round picks in case someone slips or the Pats are able to swing a deal.

JOSHUA PERRY

Position: Inside linebacker

School: Ohio State

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 254 pounds

Achievements: 2015 All-Big Ten first team, 2015 all-state AFCA All-Good Works Team member, 2015 Lott IMPACT Senior CLASS Award finalist, 2015 Wuerffel Trophy finalist, 2014 All-Big Ten second team

What he brings: Perry knows how to wrap up in the open field. Over the past two years he has only allowed one broken tackle. He possesses great size for a linebacker at 6-foot-4, and uses it to his advantage. NFL.com says he is “big and physical and has the strength and grit to handle himself at point of attack” while also commenting on his “old-school thumper’s mentality in the box.” Perry has a high football IQ and is very coachable. He was a leader on and off the field for the Buckeyes and that trait is held in high regard by his teammates and coaches. He was Ohio State’s leading tackler in 2014 (124, 8.5 for loss) and had another 100-tackle season in 2015.

The consistent production is something Perry takes great pride in. “I guess you want to get down to production because every team is looking for productive guys, so a guy that can make tackles but just being a bigger guy, a guy that can thump,” Perry said at the NFL combine.”Every team needs one of those. So just some of those things but I also don’t think people … we played on a fast defense with some really good athletes out there but I think people kind of undersell my athleticism a little bit.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: At the NFL combine Perry ran his 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds, completed 20 reps in the bench press, had a 33.5-inch vertical jump and posted a 124-inch broad jump, which was one of the best for his position. Off the field, he is extremely involved in the community and in charitable organizations, which has not gone unnoticed by those around him. “I guess it goes back to doing the right thing,” Perry said. “A lot of the things I do, they seem like a big deal but they’re really simple things and so I just think of it like if I didn’t do those things I’d probably be a bad guy. … It’s just do the right thing and take an opportunity when it’s in front of you.”

Related articles: The Columbus Dispatch: Joshua Perry is living right

Big Ten Network: Joshua Perry on his brother: ‘He’s taught me to go and get it’

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham
Come Monday, it's back to work for Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Come Monday, it’s back to work for Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Welcome back to football.

Starting Monday, the Patriots begin their offseason program, which means that just about the entire roster will be back in Foxboro starting prep work on the 2016 season. Every workout is considered “voluntary” — other than June’s mandatory minicamp, which runs June 7-9 — but unless you have an excuse (say, trying to land a spot on the U.S. Olympic rugby team, for example) attendance is fundamentally mandated. Of course, the players who have workout bonuses as part of their contracts also have some financial incentive to make an appearance as well, so there’s that.

It’s not hyperbole to suggest that a good start to the offseason program this month can set the tone for a good year and vice versa. In the past, there have been players who have struggled out of the gate throughout the spring workout sessions (for health or other reasons) and have found themselves trying to play catch-up the rest of the way. New players and those coming off an offseason dealing with injury issues will certainly bear watching as the workouts stretch through the spring.

The first phase of the program has two weeks of strength and conditioning work as well as rehabilitation workouts. The work is restricted to conditioning — no actual football activity is allowed, and no positional coaches are allowed on the field with players. Instead, strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera will lead the workouts.

The second portion starts the first week of May, and include three weeks of on-field workouts that can include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice on a “separates” basis under the eye of the coaching staff. This mean there can be no contact and no offense vs. defense drills.

The final phase begins in late May, where a series of 10 organized team activities (OTAs) are held, and are set to run through June 16. These sessions are non-contact, but can include offense vs. defense drills with a full coaching staff.

In all, the offseason program wraps up in mid-June, and will mark the jumping off point for the franchise until the start of training camp, which is expected to open the last week of July.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner is taking some time away from football to land a spot on the United States Olympic rugby team, and while he got lit up a few days ago, it appears he found his form Sunday in a 26-0 win over Portugal. Check out the video below.

Patriots special teamer Nate Ebner is taking some time away from football to land a spot on the United States Olympic rugby team, and while he got lit up a few days ago, it appears he found his form Sunday in a 26-0 win over Portugal. Check out the video below.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2016 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection. Although the Patriots do not own a first-round pick due to their punishment for Deflategate — and there are restrictions on their ability to trade up — we will include likely first-round picks in case someone slips or the Pats are able to swing a deal.

AUSTIN JOHNSON

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Penn State

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 314 pounds

Achievements: 2015 All-Big Ten second team, 2015 Reid Robinson Award winner (team’s most outstanding defensive lineman), 2014 All-Big Ten honorable mention

What he brings: Johnson has ideal size for his position, while still maintaining exceptional mobility. He penetrates the middle of the defensive line and is extremely disruptive in the backfield. Opposing offensive lines often dedicate multiple blockers to him in order to seal him off, but NFL.com writes that he “won’t give in against double teams” while he “fights hard to hold his ground and maintain integrity of his gap.” While Johnson’s specialty is run stuffing, he has a keen eye for detecting screen passes and disrupting them before they can fully develop. He is known as a hustler and a relentless competitor on the field. He has shown a knack for improvement, as his tackle total jumped from 49 in his sophomore year to 78 in his junior year (second most for an FBS lineman). “As I progressed through college, I think I got better with my footwork, my hand placement, my striking, getting in that mindset to run to the ball, to be that factor on the field, to run sideline to sideline as a big guy,” Johnson said at the NFL combine. “It’s hard to see that sometimes in a lot of other defensive tackles. I guess a weakness that I talked about with some coaches that we had informal meetings that we had last night was pad level, just sort of looking for where the ball is and going. I know I like to run to the ball and try to make a play, but sometimes it’s better to stay low and stay on your man.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: At the NFL combine, Johnson ran his 40-yard dash in 5.32 seconds, completed 25 reps in the bench press, had a 99-inch broad jump, recorded a 7.04-second three-cone drill and ran his 20-yard shuttle in 4.75 seconds. Johnson’s sister Kennedy is a basketball player at Michigan State. Johnson played on the hardwood in high school, winning Cap-Atlantic Player of the Year in his senior year. He also completed his degree in three years at Penn State, where he majored in journalism. His goal is to get into broadcasting once he finishes his football career.

Related articles: Jacksonville.com: Penn State DT Austin Johnson doesn’t lack confidence

247 Sports: Penn State DT Austin Johnson starring away from the spotlight

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2016 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection. Although the Patriots do not own a first-round pick due to their punishment for Deflategate — and there are restrictions on their ability to trade up — we will include likely first-round picks in case someone slips or the Pats are able to swing a deal.

AUSTIN JOHNSON

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Penn State

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 314 pounds

Achievements: 2015 All-Big Ten second team, 2015 Reid Robinson Award winner (team’s most outstanding defensive lineman), 2014 All-Big Ten honorable mention

What he brings: Johnson has ideal size for his position, while still maintaining exceptional mobility. He penetrates the middle of the defensive line and is extremely disruptive in the backfield. Opposing offensive lines often dedicate multiple blockers to him in order to seal him off, but NFL.com writes that he “won’t give in against double teams” while he “fights hard to hold his ground and maintain integrity of his gap.” While Johnson’s specialty is run stuffing, he has a keen eye for detecting screen passes and disrupting them before they can fully develop. He is known as a hustler and a relentless competitor on the field. He has shown a knack for improvement, as his tackle total jumped from 49 in his sophomore year to 78 in his junior year (second most for an FBS lineman). “As I progressed through college, I think I got better with my footwork, my hand placement, my striking, getting in that mindset to run to the ball, to be that factor on the field, to run sideline to sideline as a big guy,” Johnson said at the NFL combine. “It’s hard to see that sometimes in a lot of other defensive tackles. I guess a weakness that I talked about with some coaches that we had informal meetings that we had last night was pad level, just sort of looking for where the ball is and going. I know I like to run to the ball and try to make a play, but sometimes it’s better to stay low and stay on your man.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: At the NFL combine, Johnson ran his 40-yard dash in 5.32 seconds, completed 25 reps in the bench press, had a 99-inch broad jump, recorded a 7.04-second three-cone drill and ran his 20-yard shuttle in 4.75 seconds. Johnson’s sister Kennedy is a basketball player at Michigan State. Johnson played on the hardwood in high school, winning Cap-Atlantic Player of the Year in his senior year. He also completed his degree in three years at Penn State, where he majored in journalism. His goal is to get into broadcasting once he finishes his football career.

Related articles: Jacksonville.com: Penn State DT Austin Johnson doesn’t lack confidence

247 Sports: Penn State DT Austin Johnson starring away from the spotlight

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham
Ben Volin calls Giardi and Price to discuss the Pats. He lists some of the reasons and stories he's heard that led to the Patriots cutting ties with Dominique Easley. He discusses some of the other recent moves the Pats have made, his thoughts on their strategy heading into the NFL draft, the upcoming regular season schedule and more.