According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the Giants are expected to add Patriots linebackers coach Patrick Graham as their defensive line coach.

Patrick Graham

Patrick Graham

According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the Giants are expected to add Patriots linebackers coach Patrick Graham as their defensive line coach.

Graham had been with the Patriots for seven seasons. He coached the linebackers in 2011 and the defensive line in 2012 and 2013 before moving back to linebacker for the last two seasons.

The Yale graduate, who is 37 years old, was seen as a potential defensive coordinator candidate if Matt Patricia were to leave for a head coaching job.

It’s possible Graham feels leaving the organization gives him a better chance at becoming a defensive coordinator.

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Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Let the pre-draft speculation begin.

It appears that the first college prospect to be officially attached to the Patriots this year is Ohio State’s multidimensional offensive threat Braxton Miller. According to NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline, New England, Pittsburgh and Kansas City all apparently like Miller as a second-round possibility.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder made the move from quarterback to wide receiver last season with the Buckeyes, and had 26 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns for Ohio State in 2015. As a quarterback, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 5,295 yards with 52 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

For the third time in three years, the Patriots will have a new medical director.

Stefan Wisniewski has drawn the interest of the Patriots in the past. Could he get a call from New England again? (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Stefan Wisniewski has drawn the interest of the Patriots in the past. Could he get a call from New England this spring if he’s on the market? (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Based on what happened in the AFC title game against the Broncos, it’s clear the Patriots offensive line could use a bit of a boost this offseason. While New England figures to get better up front instantly with the return of injured vets like left tackle Nate Solder and interior lineman Ryan Wendell (if the 29-year-old does return for 2016) and could also get a boost via the draft, there are some intriguing free agents who could be available when the market opens in March. With the understanding that some of these players could ultimately be hit with the franchise tag — as well as the fact that there are other high-priced possibilities New England would likely take a pass on — here’s a list of five relatively realistic free-agent offensive line possibilities for the Patriots to consider this spring.

Stefan Wisniewski: The 26-year-old Wisniewski has been in the league for five seasons — four with the Raiders (2011-2014) and one with the Jags. Not an elite center, he’s distinguished himself by becoming a steady and dependable presence over the course of his career. He’s played in 77 of a possible 80 games in his time in the NFL (according to Pro Football Focus, he’s missed just 19 snaps in the games where he’s been active) and the 6-foot-3, 315-pounder has played both center and guard in the pros, as well as a collegian at Penn State. Considered a better pass protector than a run blocker, Wisniewski was on the Patriots’ radar last spring, as he visited with New England before signing a one-year deal with Jacksonville.

Donald Penn: Penn just completed his 10th season in the NFL, and the 32-year-old certainly fall into the “veteran who wants a crack at a ring before retirement” mode. Considered a good run-blocking tackle who is also steady enough to protect the quarterbacks’ blind side, he’s also developed a reputation for toughness and durability — he’s started every game the last eight seasons. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder has played for the Raiders (2014-2015), Bucs (2006-2013) and Vikings (2006). A quality veteran who could come at a reduced rate.

Evan Mathis: Like Penn, Mathis is a veteran who doesn’t project to be a long-term type of addition, but the 34-year-old could probably provide you with one or two more productive years. The 6-foot-5, 301-pounder ended up moving from Philly to Denver this season after falling out of favor with Chip Kelly, and even though he’s not the elite-level guard that he used to be, he could still be an upgrade along the interior for New England at the right price. More of a run blocker than pass blocker, he could provide a boost for a New England offensive line that desperately needs a bit of old-school nasty when it comes to being physical up front. Over the course of his career, Mathis has played for the Panthers (2005-2007), Dolphins (2008), Bengals (2008-2010), Eagles (2011-2014) and Broncos.

Ted Larsen: The 28-year-old Larsen has a history with the Patriots — the North Carolina State product was a sixth-round pick of New England in 2010 before he ended up in Tampa Bay. He spent four seasons with the Bucs before moving on to Arizona, where, for the last two seasons, he’s been a fairly regular part of the Cardinals’ interior line. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder has played both guard and center, and could provide depth along the interior at multiple spots if New England finds a way to get him back to Foxboro.

Russell Okung: A wild card — he probably won’t be able to return to the Seahawks after Seattle doled out big deals to Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom, and he’ll probably command a pretty sizable deal on the market. But we’ll add him to the list because he’s an intriguing possibility for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he reportedly e-mailed all 32 teams earlier this month informing them that he’s going to have surgery on his injured shoulder, but should be good to go for 2016. (For the record, he said he did that because he’s decided to eschew using an agent and will represent himself this offseason.) The 28-year-old, a 6-foot-5, 310-pounder, has played six seasons in the NFL, all with Seattle, and has started 72 games in that stretch.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Stefan Wisniewski has drawn the interest of the Patriots in the past. Could he get a call from New England again? (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Stefan Wisniewski has drawn the interest of the Patriots in the past. Could he get a call from New England this spring if he’s on the market? (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Based on what happened in the AFC title game against the Broncos, it’s clear the Patriots offensive line could use a bit of a boost this offseason. While New England figures to get better up front instantly with the return of injured vets like left tackle Nate Solder and interior lineman Ryan Wendell (if the 29-year-old does return for 2016) and could also get a boost via the draft, there are some intriguing free agents who could be available when the market opens in March. With the understanding that some of these players could ultimately be hit with the franchise tag — as well as the fact that there are other high-priced possibilities New England would likely take a pass on — here’s a list of five relatively realistic free-agent offensive line possibilities for the Patriots to consider this spring.

Stefan Wisniewski: The 26-year-old Wisniewski has been in the league for five seasons — four with the Raiders (2011-2014) and one with the Jags. Not an elite center, he’s distinguished himself by becoming a steady and dependable presence over the course of his career. He’s played in 77 of a possible 80 games in his time in the NFL (according to Pro Football Focus, he’s missed just 19 snaps in the games where he’s been active) and the 6-foot-3, 315-pounder has played both center and guard in the pros, as well as a collegian at Penn State. Considered a better pass protector than a run blocker, Wisniewski was on the Patriots’ radar last spring, as he visited with New England before signing a one-year deal with Jacksonville.

Donald Penn: Penn just completed his 10th season in the NFL, and the 32-year-old certainly fall into the “veteran who wants a crack at a ring before retirement” mode. Considered a good run-blocking tackle who is also steady enough to protect the quarterbacks’ blind side, he’s also developed a reputation for toughness and durability — he’s started every game the last eight seasons. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder has played for the Raiders (2014-2015), Bucs (2006-2013) and Vikings (2006). A quality veteran who could come at a reduced rate.

Evan Mathis: Like Penn, Mathis is a veteran who doesn’t project to be a long-term type of addition, but the 34-year-old could probably provide you with one or two more productive years. The 6-foot-5, 301-pounder ended up moving from Philly to Denver this season after falling out of favor with Chip Kelly, and even though he’s not the elite-level guard that he used to be, he could still be an upgrade along the interior for New England at the right price. More of a run blocker than pass blocker, he could provide a boost for a New England offensive line that desperately needs a bit of old-school nasty when it comes to being physical up front. Over the course of his career, Mathis has played for the Panthers (2005-2007), Dolphins (2008), Bengals (2008-2010), Eagles (2011-2014) and Broncos.

Ted Larsen: The 28-year-old Larsen has a history with the Patriots — the North Carolina State product was a sixth-round pick of New England in 2010 before he ended up in Tampa Bay. He spent four seasons with the Bucs before moving on to Arizona, where, for the last two seasons, he’s been a fairly regular part of the Cardinals’ interior line. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder has played both guard and center, and could provide depth along the interior at multiple spots if New England finds a way to get him back to Foxboro.

Russell Okung: A wild card — he probably won’t be able to return to the Seahawks after Seattle doled out big deals to Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom, and he’ll probably command a pretty sizable deal on the market. But we’ll add him to the list because he’s an intriguing possibility for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he reportedly e-mailed all 32 teams earlier this month informing them that he’s going to have surgery on his injured shoulder, but should be good to go for 2016. (For the record, he said he did that because he’s decided to eschew using an agent and will represent himself this offseason.) The 28-year-old, a 6-foot-5, 310-pounder, has played six seasons in the NFL, all with Seattle, and has started 72 games in that stretch.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

For the third time in three years, the Patriots will have a new medical director.

Speaking with CSNNE.com’s Phil Perry, Dr. Matt Provencher said he’s stepping down from his position as the chief of sports medicine at Mass General hospital and thus will no longer serve as medical director for the Patriots.

“This means that I will have to give up the best job I’ve ever had in my life and that was working with the Kraft Group, the Kraft family, Bill Belichick and his staff and the Patriots training staff,” Provencher told CSNNE.com. “This is a family decision. I was humbled, honored and grateful to be a part of the organization. It was the closest thing to working with the Navy Special Forces and SEAL teams that you could get. The commit to excellence, commitment to mission and commitment to teammates and doing the job well was unparalleled. It was a unique environment and I’m deeply indebted for the opportunity. It was a family decision for us and a great, great opportunity.”

Provencher will take a position at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He originally took over for Dr. Thomas Gill at the end of last season.

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

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Ryan Hannable

NFL Network analyst and former offensive lineman Brian Baldinger talked to us about the state of the Patriots offensive line, and how he’d go about fixing it. He also added his voice to the growing chorus that the Patriots missed an opportunity to hit Rob Gronkowski on the two-point conversion that would have tied the game.

“When it comes to the comeback, the shame of all of this is on the two-point conversion, Gronkowski was wide open,” Baldinger said. “But they had run the exact same play for a touchdown. On that play they doubled Gronk. So [Tom] Brady just assumed that running the same play — all they did was flip it. When they flipped it and ran to the other side, Brady just figured they were doubling Gronk, and he never even looked at him. It was the easiest two-point conversion they could have had.”

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Christopher Price

How will the Patriots address their running needs in 2016? (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)Everyone not in a cave knows the Patriots are a pass-first offense with one of the best in the game firing passes all over the field.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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Joe Montana, not Tom Brady, named quarterback of the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Joe Montana, not Tom Brady, named quarterback of the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

With this being Super Bowl 50, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors have chosen the ‘€œSuper Bowl 50 Golden Team,’€ celebrating the best overall career performances in the Super Bowl.

From a Patriots perspective, the biggest thing that stood out was Joe Montana being named the quarterback over Tom Brady.

In four Super Bowls, Montana threw for 1,142 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, winning all four of his games. In six Super Bowls, Brady has thrown for 1,605 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, winning four of the six games.

Adam Vinatieri was the the only unanimous selection and the only active player selected.

For a complete list of the team, click here.

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

DraftKings DraftKings has your shot to play for FREE in the $1 Million Fantasy Football Contest THIS SUNDAY! First place takes home $100,000! FOR FREE ENTRY, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable