INDIANAPOLIS -- When it came to their front seven, the Patriots showed multiple defensive looks last season, shuffling between a three-man front and a four-man front depending on personnel and opponent.

INDIANAPOLIS -- For a guy who’s given to making bold statements, Jets coach Rex Ryan may have made his most interesting one yet on Thursday at the NFL scouting combine: no Super Bowl guarantee this year.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was asked about the impending free agency of wide receiver Wes Welker, and said that the team is “going through the process” when it comes to Welker and the rest of New England’s free agents.

The combine is one of the most underrated events on the NFL calendar. A rare opportunity for the media to meet with top-flight prospects, coaches, personnel men and agents, it’s the real kickoff to an offseason that will continue with the start of free agency, league meetings and the draft.

The Patriots announced Wednesday that they have released offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger and defensive tackle Mike Wright.

The Pats signed Wright out of Cincinnati after he went undrafted in 2005. He was with the Patriots for seven seasons, but played in only one game last season before being placed on injured reserve with his latest concussion. 

Ohrnberger was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. Though he became popular for his twitter account leading up to the Super Bowl, he played in only five games over his three seasons in New England. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released a statement through his Facebook page regarding the death of his mentor, Tom Martinez, who passed away Tuesday.

Wrote Brady: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of my coach, mentor and friend. Coach Martinez’s invaluable assistance and support will never be forgotten and will always have a lasting impact on my life. The time we spent together remain some of my fondest memories. His legacy of commitment, toughness and determination will live on forever."

Renowned Bay Area quarterbacking guru Tom Martinez, who worked for several years with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, died Tuesday on his 66th birthday, reportedly of a heart attack he suffered during a dialysis session.

Just two weeks after the Super Bowl, the NFL offseason kicks into high gear this week. Teams can start placing the franchise tag on players Monday (a process that concludes March 5), and starting Thursday, the Patriots will join the rest of the league at the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Brian Ferentz, who served as the Patriots tight ends coach in 2011 and spent the last four seasons in the New England organization, has decided to take a new position as the offensive line coach at the University of Iowa, working for his father Kirk.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock held a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. The Patriots are picking 28th and 31st overall in the first round and have two picks in the second round, and Mayock said they would be wise to focus on defense early.