Darrelle Revis became the second member of the Patriots to land on the NFL Network’s Top 100, checking in at No. 37 on the countdown Wednesday night.

A three-time first-team All-Pro who will turn 29 next month, the 6-foot, 205-pound Revis has spent seven years in the league — six with the Jets (2007-12) and one with Tampa Bay (2013). He has 21 career picks to his credit, with his best season coming in 2009 when he had six. He signed with the Patriots as a free agent on March 12 after being released by the Bucs.

Rob Gronkowski was the first New England player to make the list, landing at No. 41.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price assess the Patriots during June’s minicamp, look ahead to July training camp and say the competitive fire still burns in Tom Brady after a story this spring detailing the decline of the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Tom Brady stretches before the start of Wednesday's workout. (AP)

Tom Brady stretches before the start of Wednesday’s workout. (AP)

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second minicamp workout Wednesday on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. The practice ran nearly two hours, and was in steamy heat. Here are a few quick notes:

The following players were not present: wide receiver Aaron Dobson, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, defensive lineman Dominique Easley, wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser, defensive lineman Armond Armstead and defensive lineman Marcus Forston. In addition, tight end Rob Gronkowski, special teamer Matthew Slater and quarterback Ryan Mallett were part of a rehab group — Gronkowski and Slater later appeared roughly midway through practice and ran sprints on an adjoining hill.

– As some other colleagues have noted, there was some dispute about the status of cornerback Darrelle Revis. From this viewpoint, he was on the field with his teammates at the start of practice, but was not with the team at the end of practice. It’s worth noting that there was no singular incident that would suggest a red flag — practice didn’t stop, the medical staff didn’t call for a cart, etc. But on a practice field with almost 100 players and all of them not wearing numbers, it’s not a surprise that even a dynamic presence like Revis can occasionally fall between the cracks.

– There was a higher than usual level of intensity throughout the workout, as both offense and defense took turns woofing at each other throughout the session.

– As for the rest of the roster, the quarterbacks were certainly in focus. Starter Tom Brady — who spoke with the media at length after the session — had a series of really nice throws in the 11-on-11 drills, a sequence of passes to Kenbrell Thompkins, Michael Hoomanawanui and Julian Edelman. That was on top of an impressive play with Thompkins earlier in practice where he lofted a ball up and over the outstretched arms of cornerback Brandon Browner for a touchdown. A really well executed play by both the quarterback and receiver. (Browner did have a nice pass break up shortly after that on a Brady pass meant for Danny Amendola.)

– In addition, it was another day of progress for rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. Like Tuesday, he wasn’t razor sharp — was had a few ugly drops from his pass catchers — but there was improvement from the day before. He had a sweet connection with Justin Jones in 11-on-11s, and he also had great hookup with Reese Wiggins on deep ball late in practice.

– Three more rookie notes: one, guard Jon Halapio is getting more and more time with what appears to be a reasonable facsimile of the starting offensive line, and appears to be holding his own. It’s early, but it’s a good sign for the Florida product, who could be pushing for a spot on the interior of the offensive line. Two, running back Roy Finch had an awesome over-the-shoulder catch. And Jones had an up-and-down day at tight end, with some nice grabs and some bad drops.

– Midway through practice, Wiggins and cornerback Malcolm Butler squared off and started pushing and shoving at end of a play. It appeared that Wiggins took exception to a little extra swat from Butler and they got in each others face and started pushing. Nothing too major, and it was quickly broken up.

– Through early drills, new linebacker James Anderson was working alongside Dont’a Hightower, and he appeared to be picking things up quickly.

– Owner Robert Kraft was on the field for a portion of practice.

– The Patriots are scheduled to wrap up minicamp tomorrow with one session set to start shortly after 11 a.m. However, coach Bill Belichick has canceled the last day of minicamp workouts the last two years. We’ll see if he makes it three-for-three tomorrow.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Tom Brady's work in mini-camp and his response to recent criticism of his play.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Tom Brady's work in mini-camp and his response to recent criticism of his play.

[0:00:00] ... Welcomed outside Gillette Stadium everybody out Mike for -- joined as always by patriots expert columnist and beat writer for WEEI dot com. Christopher price Chris. The main attraction today -- mini camp says the patriots are winding it down looking ahead of training camp in July. Was Tom Brady he spoke about where he sees his career going I know you had a piece on WEEI dot com. Talk about in ...
[0:01:35] ... would but obviously the fire still burns within him do you think Tom Brady deep down feels he has -- -- I think he always feels like to appoint -- -- but I think that's in ...
[0:02:26] ... gotta be delivered a couple of relays all settlement. There was a touchdown pass the koreans' own crime while one of the 1111 drills are out but over brainer brown he put it in Kimbrel Tompkins ...
[0:02:57] ... stood out for a couple of reasons before we get back to Tom Brady Darrelle Revis you spotted him on the field -- any -- Midway through the the minicamp practice today any. Anything you think comes of that -- at this point no I think I might feel a bit concerned if they do have me to practice tomorrow. If he's not out there but I don't think long term I don't think it's a big issue we didn't seem to carted off for anything so if if there was some sort of red flag was raised -- carted off if you. Kind of pulled up on route they'll be one thing I don't think it's anything at least at this point. All right back to Tom Brady Brady was talking. To us about the fact that. He was very lucky -- to come into the NFL when he did not only did he come in at the same time as Bill Belichick. And learn the playbook where along with telecheck as he was telling us today. A but he was able to go to ...

FOXBORO — Not that he needed it, but Tom Brady was given some inspiration recently when it was written that his game is on the decline and he is no longer among the very elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

On Wednesday, he fired back, sort of.

FOXBORO — Not that he needed it, but Tom Brady was given some inspiration recently when it was written that his game is on the decline and he is no longer among the very elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

“I’m always pretty fired up,” Brady said after Wednesday’s minicamp practice outside a steamy Gillette Stadium. “I think there’s people who always have opinions about us as athletes. You just try to go out there and do your best and you go home at night realizing you left it all out on the field. Some days you don’t play your best but that’s sports. I try to go out there and be the best I can be this year.

“Who were they? Jets fans or Dolphins fans or Patriots fans, I don’t know. Everyone is a little biased. My wife thinks I’ve played pretty good. My mom thinks I’ve played pretty good. It doesn’t matter.”

Sam Monson, of Pro Football Focus, wrote that Brady’s game has been “in decline” for some time.

At the end of Brady’s 10-minute session with reporters, he summarized his motivation and drive to stay on top of his game, bringing up his past, including his selection in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

“You’ve got to do it,” Brady said of his work and work ethic. “You’ve got to put in the time. If you want to be special at this game, then you’ve got to do whatever it takes. Some things come more naturally to certain people. The mental part came pretty naturally for me. I really had to work hard on the physical part [on] what it takes to be an NFL player. There was a reason I was sixth round pick because I didn’t have much ability so I’ve got to try to work hard to improve those things over the years while still keeping my mental game sharp.”

Brady also admitted that his Brazilian supermodel wife, Gisele, will be heading to her homeland to take in the World Cup. His plans are not quite as firm.

“I was watching, yeah. It’s been pretty fun to watch the last week or so,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of good games. We’re pretty focused on the football stuff here but obviously what’s going on in the world in sports is great. I love watching.”

“I’m not sure. I haven’t finalized everything. It’s a busy time. I have three kids at home. They take up a lot of time and energy. I know my wife is heading down there, which will be fun for her.”

Here’s more of Tom Brady from Wednesday’s session with reporters:

On his progress in minicamp this week:

“We’re just trying to get better and make improvements. Every year there’s different challenges, a lot of new players, a lot of new schemes were trying implement. We’ve had our good days and our bad days. Hopefully we can really build on them. Training camp starts pretty quickly. It’s that time of year where we’re ending the spring camps and really be quickly into the summer camp. I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for all of us.”

On working with Jimmy Garoppolo:

“I really enjoy working with him. I think he’s obviously a very talented young man. It’s been fun to be out here [with him]. He works hard every day. He’s been out here at practice. Ryan Mallett, one of my good friends, he’s missed a couple of days. We’ve got a good quarterback room. I think everyone displays good leadership and a good positive attitude. We try to be the ones that are held accountable for our actions. If the quarterback messes up it’s hard to make a good play. The more the quarterback can do the right thing on the field, whether that’s a ‘MIKE’ call or whether that’s anything involved with the scheme or the physical action of throwing the ball to the right guy in the right coverage and making the right read, that’s what playing quarterback is all about.

“That’s the role and responsibility for our team, is whoever plays that position has to take a strong leadership position. There’s no one else going to do it if the quarterback doesn’t do it. That’s a trait that all the good quarterbacks have. Jimmy has very good leadership skills.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

For all of the furor that was made over what the Patriots lost in their passing game last offseason, it’s worth mentioning that things are considerably different this offseason.

Duron Harmon got the bulk of the reps with the starting secondary on Tuesday. (AP)

Duron Harmon got the bulk of the reps with the starting secondary on Tuesday. (AP)

FOXBORO — It was hard not to notice the conversation.

At one point in Tuesday’s minicamp session, with the rest of the defense off on other parts of the practice field, four defensive backs stood together with a member of the New England coaching staff. There were cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, along with safety Devin McCourty. Once Browner is done with his four-game ban for PEDs, this is the trio that will likely serve as the foundation for the Patriots secondary in 2014.

The fourth part of the quartet? Second-year defensive back Duron Harmon.

So what’s your move when you’re a part of a conversation like that, Duron?

“Really, just me listening,” he said a little sheepishly when asked about the scene following Tuesday’s practice.

“You have guys that are All-Pros — what can I really say?” he added. “I’m in my second year, and these guys have played a lot of football and a lot of great football at a high level. It’s really a great chance for me to just sit back and soak up a lot of that wisdom from those three guys.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick cautioned people not to read too much into personnel groupings and on-field action throughout the OTAs and minicamp, but by the looks of things on Tuesday, it certainly appears Harmon has the inside track on the safety spot opposite McCourty, The Rutgers product, who played both corner and safety last season, had two picks and four passes defensed in 15 games in 2013, and certainly showed enough to be considered part of the rotation in the secondary for 2014.

But a series of events — starting with the offseason release of veteran safety Steve Gregory and continuing with the addition of Revis and Browner — have led to Harmon moving from backup corner to injecting himself into the mix at strong safety.

While the 6-foot, 198-pounder isn’t a classic hitter in the typical strong safety mold, he’s already put in plenty of work studying some of the best safeties in the game in hopes of getting up to speed as fast as possible. He said Tuesday he spent the bulk of the offseason watching film on safeties like Seattle’s Earl Thomas, Indy’s Antoine Bethea, Tampa Bay’s Dashon Goldson and Cleveland’s Donte Whitner, as well as McCourty.

“One of the things that I did was just pinpoint a few safeties I thought were very, very good in the game, and I watched them,” he said. “I tried to watch different techniques that they utilized. I tried to watch how they play, how they play physically, how they play at the line of scrimmage. How they play in the deep part of the field. And just seeing what type of football players they are and try and utilize that and put some of it in my game.

“Also, I just went over different coverages that we were in and just drilled myself going over different formations, watching film and keep drilling stuff into my head so it can all be second nature to me when I get on the field.”

Coverages and calls are two of the most important parts of the job at safety, and the 23-year-old said Tuesday he learned a lot from Gregory. Now, it’ll be left to the second-year man out of Rutgers to take on a more vocal role in helping make sure some of the veteran players are where they need to be on defense.

“There are so many different things that can change,” Harmon said of working at safety as opposed to corner. “Mot only the coverages, but getting other people lined up straight. You have to get them the calls. You have to get them different calls. You have to let them know if its an empty check. There’s so much more to being a safety in the NFL than it is in college. the complexity of it all is very big. It takes time to be able to master everything.

“You have to be vocal back there, because the defense is leaning on you for a lot of the checks, a lot of the calls. So you have to be able to be very vocal and very talkative.”

The Patriots do have a history of shuffling their corners, with McCourty the latest success story when it comes to making the move from corner to safety. Harmon has already leaned on McCourty throughout the process, and anticipates doing more of that going forward.

“He’s very, very smart, so it’s very, very easy. He knows his playbook in and out,” Harmon said of his fellow Rutgers alum. “Being with him, it helps me because I get to see the checks he makes and what he sees. I sit by him and see, just talk to him when we’re going over the film to see what he sees, to see why he made that decision or what made him do that or what made him do this.

“I think I’m doing well,” he added. “That’s something that comes with experience. When you’re a rookie, stuff comes so much faster, but now, I’m able to slow a lot of stuff down and it’s not coming as fast.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price


FOXBORO — Jimmy Garoppolo is getting up to speed with the high-powered Patriots offense with each passing day. These days include two-hour sessions during minicamp outside Gillette Stadium.