Ivan Fears

Ivan Fears

FOXBORO — On Wednesday, Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears responded to an ESPN story that singled out New England as having the least diverse coaching staff in the NFL, saying that in his experience, coach Bill Belichick “has been very good” when it comes to seeing past race.

Fears listed several minority assistant coaches he’s worked with in New England over the last dozen-plus years as examples, including Patrick Graham, Pepper Johnson and Romeo Crennel.

“I don’t think Bill really cares about color,” said Fears, who has worked with Belichick since 2000. “I know how he treats me. I know how he treats the guys on the staff. I think in his mind, really, (if) you do the job, you’re here. You work. That’s what he is. He’s as ‘tunnel vision’ as a guy can be as far as, ‘It’s football.’ He’s not walking around saying, ‘You’re a black guy. I have to have you. You’re a white guy, I have to have you.’

“I don’t care where we are on that list. Guys who left, left on their own. And I think that’s important.”

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Wednesday that both Tom Brady and  Jimmy Garoppolo will “get plenty of reps” throughout training camp.

Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels

FOXBORO — Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Wednesday that both Tom Brady and  Jimmy Garoppolo will “get plenty of reps” throughout training camp.

McDaniels said that even with Brady facing a four-game ban, when it comes to all three quarterbacks on the roster — including rookie Jacoby Brissett — each one of them will get a lot of opportunities this summer.

“We usually split them up pretty evenly. We don’t put anybody in first or second groups of third groups or anything like that at this point,” McDaniels said of the way reps are distributed at this time on the calendar. “What we really try to focus on is getting everybody opportunities to work on their fundamentals and techniques, to work with the different players that are on our team, because we don’t know right now who is going to be doing what necessarily, six or seven weeks from now.

“They’re both going to get plenty of reps. So will Jacoby. We’re going to do what we’ve normally done in the past. All those guys have things we can get better at, and we’re excited to coach them all and work with every one of them.”

McDaniels was asked if the sense of clarity around the quarterback position — as opposed to the same time last year — makes it easier to prepare for the season.

“It’s always good to know what you’re dealing with, so in that regard, we have an opportunity to focus on the things that, as we go through camp, maybe we need to do more of or less of,” McDaniels said. “But that really happens at all positions. Not just the quarterback position. As an offense and as a coordinator, you have to continue to focus on what your group needs through camp anyway. It’s always good to have an idea of what you may be dealing with, but as we all know in our game, it’s one play here, one play there, an injury here, an injury there, and then things change dramatically from week to week and day to day.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Wednesday the situation facing the team with Tom Brady set to sit for the first four games of the season, and said the immediate “priority” is to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the 2016 campaign.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Wednesday the situation facing the team with Tom Brady set to sit for the first four games of the season, and said the immediate “priority” is to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the 2016 campaign.

“We have finally some definition with Tom’s situation, so our priority now then is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game,” Belichick said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “So that will obviously be a comprehensive process.

“Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back. But in the meantime, we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule, and that will be get Jimmy ready to go.”

Pressed for specifics, Belichick reiterated his main point.

“We’re going to get (Garoppolo) ready the best we can. I don’t know how else I can put it,” Belichick added. “We have some clarity with Tom’s situation, (and) he’ll be our starter when he returns.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots have added tight end Bear Pascoe and offensive lineman Jon Halapio.

Jon Halapio

Jon Halapio

FOXBORO — The Patriots have added tight end Bear Pascoe and offensive lineman Jon Halapio.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Pascoe has spent seven seasons in the league, having suited up for the Giants, Falcons and Lions. He has 40 career catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns. The 30-year-old Pascoe spent three games with Detroit last year.

Halapio, 25, was a sixth-round pick of the Patriots in the 2014 draft, but was released prior to the start of the regular season that year. The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Florida product, who primarily plays guard, has also spent some time with the Broncos and Cardinals.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

When it comes to Deflategate, he might not be as amped up as his budd

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

When it comes to Deflategate, he might not be as amped up as his buddy Ben Affleck, but Matt Damon still pretty strongly about what the NFL has done to Tom Brady.

Damon, a confirmed Patriots fan, ripped the league’s decision to give the quarterback a four-game suspension while speaking on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Tuesday.

“It’s just the slipshod way that they were measuring these footballs to begin with,” Damon said. “There was absolutely no science involved, they were giving them this cantaloupe test. And when they switched his balls out at halftime of that Colts game, I don’t think people remember that Tommy went out and scored four straight touchdowns with the overinflated balls that they gave him.”

He also warned the league about Brady’s state of mind heading into the Week 5 contest against the Browns.

“Tom’s going to be pissed. And him pissed is a good thing for the New England Patriots’ faithful,” Damon said. “We love seeing him like that. Because he’s as focused a human being as I’ve met anyway.”

See below for more.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Nate Solder

Nate Solder

We won’t get our first look at the Patriots on the practice field until Thursday, but via a team-posted video from earlier in the week, you can already get a sense of who’s on the field.

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, LeGarrette Blount, Nate Solder and Duron Harmon were among those spotted running through drills Monday on the practice fields behind Gillette. When it comes to Solder and Blount, it’s a positive sign, as both saw their 2015 seasons come to a premature end because of injury. In addition, Harmon was in a red non-contact jersey, but the sight of the safety — who was absent from spring workouts — is another positive sign when it comes to the health of the defensive back.

While assistant coaches and some veterans will be made available to the media on Wednesday, the first full day of camp (in front of fans and the media) for veterans and rookies is set for Thursday morning.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price