Sebastian Vollmer speaks Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Sebastian Vollmer speaks Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Sebastian Vollmer wasn’t about to take the bait.

The 34-year-old veteran offensive tackle took time out from his offseason workout Tuesday at Gillette Stadium and spoke about the process of moving on and building something new for the coming season.

When last we saw the right tackle entering his eighth season in the NFL, he was playing left tackle on a make-shift offensive line that was manhandled by the defensive front of the eventual Super Bowl champion. It was a performance that precipitated the departure of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and ushered in the return of Dante Scarnecchia.

Did the way the season ended last year (losses in Miami and Denver) factor into inspiration for this year?

“It’s a new year. I feel like we don’t need extra motivation for anything,” Vollmer said. “I think we come out here and try to better yourself as a player, as a team, as a group, all that stuff. Putting in these hours and working toward the common goal. Now, it’s getting ready for OTAs next week and then we have training camp coming up and all that stuff. So, it’s a long road ahead. But it’s just doing what we’re told to do and grinding it out, really.

“It’s good. There’s a lot of new teammates, obviously,” Vollmer said of the re-worked offensive line. “It’s exciting for us to get to know them and all get on the same page with OTAs starting next week. Exciting times.”

Exciting indeed. Naturally, everyone wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to have Scarnecchia back in the budiling.

“Obviously, had him my first five years. Excellent coach. Can’t praise him high enough. So obviously, us as players we’re asked to do to the best of our abilities. We’re going to keep that approach the same. Expecting good things. I think he expects the best of us and himself. I think just the way he coaches, detail-oriented. He just gets the best out of you.”

Vollmer downplayed the familiarity aspect of Scarnecchia.

“I don’t know. There are new players at every position in a year,” Vollmer said. “I don’t think that matters too much. I think you kind of re-do your whole thing every year and prepare yourself as good as you can. It’s not like we’re doing something completely new here. So, if you’ve spent a year here or more, there’s some familiarity with the system, obviously. I feel like you approach every year like you’ve never hear it before. I think that’s my approach and I think that might be best for maybe picking up a couple of things you didn’t realize before. I think it’s just starting from scratch and building the foundation again.”

Does Vollmer feel DeGuglielmo was a fall guy in the way the ’15 season ended?

“I think every team has the same goal in mind, especially in this phase now,” Vollmer said. “If ultimately your season comes to a crashing end, it’s never a good feeling. I think you do a lot of self-evaluation of things you could’ve done better. I think in the following year, you try to implement the good things and cut out the bad things. I don’t question anybody’s effort. We all gave whatever we could. In the end, it wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to give the Super Bowl champs all the credit and it’s onto a new year for us now.”

Any chip on the shoulder, individually or as a group?

“Again, I think that all might sound good for the media, playing things up,” he added. “It’s a new year. It’s new people on our team and everywhere in the league. You’re trying to build something new because it’s just not the same team for anybody. I think it’s just starting over.

“I just come in here and work as hard as I can to have a good season.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

It’s been roughly three weeks since a federal court ruled Tom Brady must serve his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Nothing new has happened with the case since, besides Brady and the NFLPA getting extra time to plan their next step.

 

The Ravens reportedly had some illegal padded practice at rookie camp https://t.co/wiq8PMmqvw pic.twitter.com/zuxyLZSnOl

— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 17, 2016

There's still hope Tom Brady won't miss any time to start the 2016 season. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports)

There’s still hope Tom Brady won’t miss any time to start the 2016 season. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports)

It’s been roughly three weeks since a federal court ruled Tom Brady must serve his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Nothing new has happened with the case since, besides Brady and the NFLPA getting extra time to plan their next step.

There are still many questions with the case from a legal standpoint — the biggest being will Brady in fact miss the first four games of the season?

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio had a great breakdown of what is next for Brady. Here are some of the highlights:

— By Monday, Brady and the NFLPA will likely file a petition for a rehearing of the federal appeal. If the petition is granted, Brady likely will able to play the entire 2016 season as the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit hears the case.

— On the other hand, if the petition is denied, Brady and the NFLPA would need to take further action to delay the suspension and persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.

— Brady and the NFLPA would need to ask the Second Circuit for a stay of the suspension while an appeal is prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court. If the request is denied, Brady and the NFLPA would then need to present to the full U.S. Supreme Court, but to the lone Supreme Court justice assigned to the Second Circuit.

— As it stands now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that person, which Florio says is good news for Brady as she typically sides with labor over management. She could be the key to the entire case as if she did issue a stay, Brady wouldn’t have to serve a suspension until likely 2017 at the earliest.

As always with this case, stay tuned.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

At an average of 316.4 pounds, the Patriots have the 13th-heaviest starting offensive line. And at an average height of 6-foot-5, New England is tied for the second-tallest starting offensive line.

By way of comparison, four other teams have an average height of 6-foot-6, good enough for tops in the league. (Chargers, Steelers, Chiefs and Saints). The shortest? Nine teams have a starting line that averages 6-foot-4. At an average of 327.2 pounds, the Raiders have the heaviest starting offensive line. San Diego (327), the Niners (322.8), Rams (322.8) and Seahawks (320.2) all round out the top 5 when it comes to highest average weight. At the other end of the scale are the Falcons (304.4 pounds) and Texans (304.8)

The numbers were assembled by the crew over at SB Nation (check out the link for the breakdown for the entire league), and utilize the starting lineup projections at Rotoworld.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Danny Amendola took a beating during the 2015 season.

Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola took a beating during the 2015 season.

This is why it’s not much of a surprise that he had offseason surgery on both his knee and ankle, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. The report adds both surgeries occurred after the playoffs and he still is rehabbing. The ankle injury was a bone spur and deemed a “quick fix.”

It is unknown at this time how long the injuries will keep Amendola out. There’s hope he will be ready for training camp, but nothing — even Week 1 — is guaranteed.

Amendola suffered the knee injury against the Bills in Week 11 and missed two games — Week 12 at Denver and Week 16 at the Jets. He finished the season with 65 catches for 648 yards and two touchdowns.

The receiver recently took a pay cut as his contract is now two years worth $7.35 million with $750,000 more in roster bonuses/catch incentives. He was scheduled to have a base salary of $11 million over the next two seasons before he restructured.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

With the number of trades the Patriots have made with the Bears of late, it’s evident the two organizations have a strong working relationship.

The relationship is strong enough that the two teams will have joint practices at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 15 and 16 prior to the Aug. 18 preseason game. It will be the second preseason game of the season for both teams.

With the number of trades the Patriots have made with the Bears of late, it’s evident the two organizations have a strong working relationship.

The relationship is strong enough that the two teams will have joint practices at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 15 and 16 prior to the Aug. 18 preseason game, the Patriots announced on Monday. It will be the second preseason game of the season for both teams.

Bill Belichick is a big fan of joint practices, but typically will only have them with teams he has a good relationship with and it appears the Bears and coach John Fox are now in that category.

Joint practices are now an annual occurrence for the Patriots as they’ve partnered up with the Saints the most times, including last year in West Virginia. The Patriots host the Saints in the first preseason game, which may be too early to hold joint practices this year.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Bill Belichick continues to rely heavily on former Rutgers' players like Devin McCourty. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick continues to rely heavily on former Rutgers’ players like Devin McCourty. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick still has a soft spot for the Scarlet Knights.

The Patriots’ roster is at 90 players, and while it will obviously continue to grow and evolve and change as the regular season draws closer, at this point on the calendar, no school is better represented than Rutgers. Five former Scarlet Knights — Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan, Jonathan Freeny and Kevin Snyder — are currently on the Patriots’ roster, making them the school of choice.

Four different schools have at least three players on the New England roster: Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina State and Stanford. (It’s been a big offseason for the Wolfpack, as three former N.C. State players: defensive lineman Markus Kuhn, offensive lineman Joe Thuney and quarterback Jacoby Brissett were all added within a month or so of each other.) Sixteen different schools are represented with two players, while everyone else is tied with one.

Check out the complete list below:

Rutgers — 5
Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina State, Stanford — 3
Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Eastern Illinois, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Kent State, Marshall, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pitt, Texas Tech, UCLA — 2
Alabama A&M, Arizona, Boise State, Brown, Cal, Colorado, Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, LSU, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan State, Missouri State, Monmouth, Navy, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Sacramento State, Southern Miss, Tarleton State, Temple, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Tiffin, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Alabama, Western Michigan, Wisconsin — 1

When it comes to the roster breakdown by conference, the Patriots are currently led by Big 10 players (17). The SEC is a close second (16), while the Pac 12 (12), ACC (10) and American Athletic Conference (7) round out the Top 5. A complete list is below:

Big 10 — 17
SEC — 16
Pac 12 — 12
ACC — 10
American Athletic Conference — 7
Conference USA, Big 12 — 5
Mountain West — 3
Ohio Valley, Mid-American, Missouri Valley — 2
Southwestern Athletic, Ivy League, Sun Belt, Big Sky, Mid-American, Gulf South, FCS, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic, Lone Star — 1

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price