Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton held joint practices at Gillette Stadium prior to their preseason game in 2012, and it looks like they will be doing

Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton held joint practices at Gillette Stadium prior to their preseason game in 2012, and it looks like they will be doing it again, this time this summer in West Virginia at the Greenbrier resort.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Saints and Patriots will have three practices in West Virginia prior to the August 22 preseason game between the two teams. The game is in New Orleans so after practicing in West Virginia, they will both travel down to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the game.

New Orleans began practicing at the Greenbrier in 2014, providing them an environment with lower temperatures and humidity.

The Patriots had joint practices last season with the Redskins in Washington and the Eagles in Foxboro.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Another player is showing their support for Tom Brady.

Another player is showing their support for Tom Brady.

Even though running back Shane Vereen is now a member of the Giants, the former Patriot is coming out in defense of his former quarterback. Vereen said he had no knowledge of the Patriots’ footballs being deflated.

“I had no awareness of anything that was going on,” Vereen said to the New York Daily News Wednesday. “€œI looked up to Tom. I still do. I think he’€™s a great player. I have the utmost respect for him as a player and as a person. I guess everything will sort itself out.”

Vereen said Brady was one of the first players to reach out to him after he signed with the Giants for three years and just over $12 million.

In regards to Deflategate, some have noted the Patriots’ fumble numbers as they are among the lowest in the league. Vereen said that is a byproduct of hard work in practice.

“We work very hard at our craft,” Vereen said. “We work very hard at holding onto the ball. We did ball drills every day, and I think that’€™s more a product of us and our hard work.”

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable


FOXBORO — Malcom Brown, like the rest of the 2015 Patriots rookie class, is learning fast.

He’s learning a new system. He’s learning a new way of life. And he’s learning about what Bill Belichick expects on a daily basis from his players.

Brown, the first-round (No. 32 overall) pick of the Patriots, was asked about his first impressions of Belichick Wednesday during his introductory press conference on the Gillette Stadium field.

“Great guy. He’€™s my new coach now and he shows everybody a lot of love ‘€“ tough love ‘€“ and sometimes you need that,” Brown said.

Something else that will come in handy – that Belichick will no doubt emphasize – is the value of wearing ear muffs and blinders whenever the news comes on. Blocking out distractions like Deflategate has always been a trademark of a Belichick-coached team. Brown has had the advantage of not being in tune with controversy as he is focused on doing what it takes to impress as a rookie.

“I haven’€™t really been focusing towards that,” Brown said. “I’€™m just here to work. That’€™s all I’€™ve been focusing on is getting better every day and learning the material and getting better and working hard.”

Belichick let all of his rookies know immediately after the NFL draft concluded that he expects everyone to get with the program and that their college days are over.

As for his boss’s boss, Brown was asked what was it like to walk through the offices with Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft on Wednesday for his press conference.

“It was great,” Brown beamed. “Those guys are at the top of the food chain. It’€™s great being around those guys. They sign my paycheck. It’€™s fun when you have somebody that’€™s like that, not just stuck up in an office and won’€™t to talk to you. They’€™re guys that will just sit there and talk to you.”

Despite coming in as a first round pick, Brown also made a point Wednesday that his mind isn’t on replacing Vince Wilfork but rather just working to earn his way onto the roster.

“I haven’€™t really thought about replacing anyone,” Brown said. “I’€™m just here to work. I can’€™t stress that enough, just compete every day and work because nothing is given to you.”

Here were some other takeaways Wednesday:

Q: What jersey number will you wear?

MB: I really don’€™t know right now. All we are in is blue shirts and grey shirts.

Q: With those blue shirts and grey shirts, is it hard to get to know your guys?

MB: It just forces you to learn everybody’€™s name. It forces you to know people because, how are you going to communicate with people you don’€™t know.

Q: How helpful was it to learn a different defensive system last year at Texas in preparing you for the NFL?

MB: It’€™s just reality now. I talked to some guys before I came in here, and they were like, you could be here one day and you’€™re gone the next. That goes for anybody in the building, so there’€™s not one person that’€™s safe. You’€™ve got to just keep your mind open and be adaptable to what’€™s thrown at you.

Q: Have you thought about what it will be like to run on to the field at Gillette Stadium for the first time as a Patriot?

MB: I’€™m not really focused on that right now. I’€™m just out there trying to practice with the guys, getting to know people and making sure I’€™ve got everything down.

Q: Did you have a fan moment when you got here, kind of amazed at the famous players around you?

MB: Not really. I can’€™t be a good teammate if I’€™m focused on all that stuff, this and that. I just go to work. I just use their work ethic to help mine and adapt to theirs because they work hard every day and go to work.

Q: What has Foxboro been like?

MB: It’€™s great. Foxborough is a great place to be ‘€“ quiet, country. You know, I’€™m from the country, so I’€™ll adapt to this area real well.

Q: Will your friends switch allegiances now that you’€™ve been drafted by the Patriots?

MB: Everybody was happy. I’€™ve got to let all that go. That was a one-time thing, the draft day, and I’€™ll just focus everything on coming in here and going to work.

Q: How are your friends going to handle this, though?

MB: They can handle it how they want. I’€™m not with them right now. I’€™m up here with my new teammates and guys that I have to become friends with now. That’€™s all that really matters to me.

Q: Your old coaches say that you’€™re a family man. Where does that come from and how does it help you on the football field?

MB: It just motivates me to play harder and just work harder every day. Family is a real important thing to me because I believe family should stick together. People rely on me, and I want to rise to the occasion.

Q: Have any teammates talked to you about the experience last year in the Super Bowl?

MB: Not really. They’€™re just like us. They come here to work every day and they want us to have the right mindset going into next year. Nobody is really talking about last year; they’€™re talking about the now and the future. They want to work hard, going forward and getting better next year.

Q: Are there any expectations for you to come in and contribute to a championship defense?

MB: Not really. I think the only expectation for me is just to work hard, just as it is for everybody else on the team. They just want everyone to work hard and give it all every day and to leave it all on the field or leave it all in the weight room.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Humility is one of the first traits any Patriots rookie learns. Even first round picks.

That was evident Wednesday as defensive lineman Malcom Brown was finally introduced to the media in a press conference at midfield at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots No. 1 draft pick Malcom Brown stands between Robert Kraft (left ) and son Jonathan (right) Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Patriots No. 1 draft pick Malcom Brown stands between Robert Kraft (left ) and son Jonathan (right) Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Humility is one of the first traits any Patriots rookie learns. Even first round picks.

That was evident Wednesday as defensive lineman Malcom Brown was finally introduced to the media in a press conference at midfield at Gillette Stadium.

It was Brown who declared in a conference call hours after being chosen by the Patriots that he would show that he would be the best draft pick New England ever made.

On Wednesday, the man who will help replace Vince Wilfork admitted getting some unwanted attention over that bold proclamation.

“There’s a lot that’s been going on with all that but I just can’t focus on it,” Brown said. “I’m not really trying to. I’m just trying to work hard, contribute to the team and do whatever I’m asked to do.”

But Brown said he hasn’t been getting too much grief from his new Patriots teammates since everyone is too busy working and trying to get ready for OTAs.

“Everybody is just really focused,” he said. “There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot going on right now, with OTAs. Everybody is just trying to learn, get better and work hard.”

Brown said not even Tom Brady gave him any serious grief about it.

“Nah. Actually, I just walked up to Tom, shook his hand and went to work. Everybody is trying to work right now,” Brown said. “It’s easy to learn right now because we’re doing everything stage by stage. Everybody is just trying to really focus and work towards being better [this] year.

“Obviously, there’s not one perfect player in the NFL but you can also work and get better at many things. After practice, whatever my coaches think I need work on that’s what I will take it to [heart] and will spend my own time working on that, after weights or after practice, get my own time in.”

If there’s one theme Brown kept repeating over and over it was the “hard work” needed to acclimate to the Patriots system in Foxboro.

“This is a great honor to be here and just to contribute to a team that’s hard-working and get in the program and work with them,” he said. “You get in here and I got in here two weeks ago and right from the get-go you see the hard work and you see everything that’s thrown at you. You have to grasp it and go.

“I just had to focus and get ready to go to work. Really, it’s just getting in with the guys and everybody is taking you under their wing and everybody wants you to work hard out there. You really have no choice but to work hard because everybody is going to compete.”

The biggest help Brown said he has had so far is from veterans who already know what is expected to get ready to defend the Super Bowl title.

“Very welcoming,” Brown said of the vets. “Everybody wants somebody that will work hard and help the team win games. As long as you have that mindset, everybody is happy with you. Everything is fast but everybody helps and contributes to helping you learn everything and get on track with the vets.

“I just really want to work hard and just become the best player I can be, and wherever may lead me, that’s where it will lead. But right now, just trying to work hard.”

Brown has moved up to New England but his family, which includes his wife and two children are still back in Texas.

“Whenever we have time, I’ll get them up here and we’ll start look for houses,” Brown said. “As of right now, I’m just trying to work and focus on what I’m doing. I have more than me to support right now. There’s a lot of people depending on what I have to do and it motivates to play hard and just to work hard just because I have people leaning on me.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Patriots No. 1 draft pick Malcom Brown stands between Robert Kraft (left ) and son Jonathan (right) Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Patriots No. 1 draft pick Malcom Brown stands between Robert Kraft (left ) and son Jonathan (right) Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Humility is one of the first traits any Patriots rookie learns. Even first round picks.

That was evident Wednesday as defensive lineman Malcom Brown was finally introduced to the media in a press conference at midfield at Gillette Stadium.

It was Brown who declared in a conference call hours after being chosen by the Patriots that he would show that he would be the best draft pick New England ever made.

On Wednesday, the man who will help replace Vince Wilfork admitted getting some unwanted attention over that bold proclamation.

“There’s a lot that’s been going on with all that but I just can’t focus on it,” Brown said. “I’m not really trying to. I’m just trying to work hard, contribute to the team and do whatever I’m asked to do.”

But Brown said he hasn’t been getting too much grief from his new Patriots teammates since everyone is too busy working and trying to get ready for OTAs.

“Everybody is just really focused,” he said. “There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot going on right now, with OTAs. Everybody is just trying to learn, get better and work hard.”

“Everything is just on the fly here. Everything is on the go. You’€™ve got to learn, but you’€™ve got to take time out of your day to learn the stuff, too. You can’€™t expect to get it all in during meetings. You’€™ve got to be able to manage your time and learn everything.

Brown said not even Tom Brady gave him any serious grief about it.

“Nah. Actually, I just walked up to Tom, shook his hand and went to work. Everybody is trying to work right now,” Brown said. “It’s easy to learn right now because we’re doing everything stage by stage. Everybody is just trying to really focus and work towards being better [this] year.

“Obviously, there’s not one perfect player in the NFL but you can also work and get better at many things. After practice, whatever my coaches think I need work on that’s what I will take it to [heart] and will spend my own time working on that, after weights or after practice, get my own time in.”

If there’s one theme Brown kept repeating over and over it was the “hard work” needed to acclimate to the Patriots system in Foxboro.

“This is a great honor to be here and just to contribute to a team that’s hard-working and get in the program and work with them,” he said. “You get in here and I got in here two weeks ago and right from the get-go you see the hard work and you see everything that’s thrown at you. You have to grasp it and go.

“I just had to focus and get ready to go to work. Really, it’s just getting in with the guys and everybody is taking you under their wing and everybody wants you to work hard out there. You really have no choice but to work hard because everybody is going to compete.”

The biggest help Brown said he has had so far is from veterans who already know what is expected to get ready to defend the Super Bowl title.

“Very welcoming,” Brown said of the vets. “Everybody wants somebody that will work hard and help the team win games. As long as you have that mindset, everybody is happy with you. Everything is fast but everybody helps and contributes to helping you learn everything and get on track with the vets.

Is there one specific teammate or group that has helped Brown with the learning curve?

“There’€™s not just one,” Brown said. “Everybody is contributing to me learning, everybody on defense ‘€“ linebackers, safeties ‘€“ I can talk to anybody and they’€™ll give me advice on something. I just really want to work hard and just become the best player I can be, and wherever may lead me, that’s where it will lead. But right now, just trying to work hard.”

Brown has moved up to New England but his family, which includes his wife and two children are still back in Texas.

“Whenever we have time, I’ll get them up here and we’ll start look for houses,” Brown said. “As of right now, I’m just trying to work and focus on what I’m doing. I have more than me to support right now. There’s a lot of people depending on what I have to do and it motivates to play hard and just to work hard just because I have people leaning on me.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Rob Parker, formerly of ESPN and The Detroit News, joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss his column at FanBuzz.com in which he calls for Tom Brady to admit his guilt in Defla

Rob Parker

Rob Parker

Rob Parker, formerly of ESPN and The Detroit News, joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss his column at FanBuzz.com in which he calls for Tom Brady to admit his guilt in Deflategate and accept his suspension. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Parker said he believes Brady should be suspended eight games, twice as many as the suspension the Patriots quarterback was given by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He denied having any bias toward Brady or New England that affects his position.

“I don’t know Tom Brady. I have no reason to hate Tom Brady,” Parker said. “It’s just the idea that — and people can pooh-pooh it all they want — when you mess the integrity of the rules — and I believe, in the stuff that I read, that Tom Brady instructed the ball boys to do his dirty work — it makes no other sense whatsoever that a ball boy would take the air out of a football. Even the greatest football quarterbacks have all come and said the same thing: That’s something that would be instructed by Tom Brady. I just think he’s lying and got caught.”

Parker said Brady should have acknowledged from the beginning that he played a role in the deflation, and then it would have been over quickly, with a much lighter punishment. Now he suggests Brady accept his four-game suspension and put this issue behind him.

“Stop trying to save face. Just own up to it,” Parker said. “Bob Kraft has already given up the fight, and I think he was even more stern about it and mad and angry, huffing and puffing, but he gave in. Tom should just give in, accept your punishment and move on.”

Parker acknowledged that the evidence against Brady is circumstantial — indicating the texts from the ball boys were key — but he said that’s enough to convince him of Brady’s guilt.

“People in Boston, more than anybody, should know that, because you just saw in the [Aaron] Hernandez trial, where Robert Kraft testified, a murder trial, he basically lost on circumstantial evidence,” Parker said. “A lot of people get way harsher penalties in the criminal justice system on circumstantial evidence.”


Brady cooperated with NFL investigators to a degree, spending time answering questions but refusing to turn over texts from his cell phone.

“If you really were going to fight for your name and your reputation, you would be willing to work with investigators,” Parker said. “When Tom does not work with investigators and won’t work with them to clear his name, I have an issue with that. Now, people can say whether, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t give up my phone,’ but if my good name and my reputation that I’ve put up all these years is going to get trashed and all I have to do is show them that I don’t have any texts or phone calls from these guys — and the other problem I had is why is Tom Brady, who first claimed that he didn’t even know who the ball boys were — that was his quote, that he didn’t even know who they were. . . . And to have phone calls and texts between those guys. . . . And also the signing of the merchandise as payment and all that stuff. It all adds up when you look at it, because it just makes no sense that the equipment guys are doing this on their own.”

To read Jerry Thornton’s response to Parker’s column, click here. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar