Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

FOXBORO — Just six months ago the Patriots hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLIX.

With training camp opening this week it’s a new season and the general message from the team is the Super Bowl is now in the past. Defensive end Chandler Jones admitted it’s hard not to think back to that experience, but he’s using that as motivation to get back there again this year.

“For me, from a personal aspect, it was a lot of fun going through that again,” Jones said. “Trying not to think about it is hard, yeah. But, knowing that task and knowing what you have to do to get back there and do it again makes you that much more hungry. That’s how I feel right now. I am hungry to have an opportunity to go out there and do it again.”

“The motivation is there itself,” he added. “We aren’t trying to focus on the past success behind us. Just the moments we’ve went through and been through. Last year makes you hungry enough to experience those things again.”

Jones reportedly had offseason surgery. It wasn’t reported what the surgery was for, but he did miss six games in the middle of last year with a hip injury.

He was mum answering questions on his health in typical Patriots fashion, as he said he’s just taking things day-by-day.

“Each and every day I am taking it a day at a time,” he said.

Despite the shortened offseason by way of winning the Super Bowl, Jones said it still felt long and was excited to return this week.

“Definitely. I was very excited to get back to football,” he said. “Even though we were one of the last teams to play, it was a very long offseason and he was excited to get back here and we were are at training camp.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots just put the wraps on their second training camp practice of the summer on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. Players were in shorts and shells — pads will come later this week, per the CBA. It was a toasty morning, but not nearly as humid as the first practice of the summer on Thursday. Here are a few quick notes:

Several players remain on PUP and NFI, but the following players were not spotted on the field during the workout: Matt Flynn, Brandon LaFell, Dane Fletcher, Chris White, Ryan Wendell, Chris Barker, Vince Taylor, Caylin Hauptmann and AJ Derby. In addition, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch and Dominique Easley were seen on the sidelines in sweats and shorts. (Branch and Blount were spotted on the far hill beyond the practice field running sprints.) Meanwhile, Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower were on the field and working out, but when the 11-on-11s near the end of practice, the two were running sprints off to the side.

Early in practice, Jimmy Garoppolo was working with some of the lead options in the passing game while Tom Brady was with the offensive linemen. Garoppolo was joined by tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and Scott Chandler, as well as wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce. Chandler and Gronkowski looms as potentially colossal targets when it comes to red zone work — if both stay healthy over the course of 16 games, the Patriots could be one of the best teams in the league when it comes to finishing off drives inside the 20-yard line.

In 11-on-11 work toward the end of practice, the two quarterbacks alternated reps, with Brady getting first crack. In that sessions, Brady was 5-for-10 and Garoppolo was 6-for-12. Brady went to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola most of the time, while Garoppolo used newcomer Brandon Gibson as a frequent fallback option. In two-minute work, Brady went 11-for-13, including a nice connection with Edelman up the left seam. On the other field, Garoppolo went 8-for-11, including completions on his first six plays (two to Josh Boyce).

From a personnel perspective, one of the more interesting sights of the Friday morning session was Jake Bequette wearing a white (offense) jersey and working with the tight ends. The former Arkansas defensive end is entering his fourth year with the Patriots, and hasn’t managed to get much playing time on the defensive side of the ball. He spent some time on offense over the course of the spring workouts, and could be a part of the conversation at tight end before the end of the summer.

Linebacker D.J. Lynch limped off the practice field and to the locker room roughly halfway through practice. It appeared to be a leg or foot injury.

The Patriots continued to shuffle through various combinations with their offensive line, but it was interesting to see that when the starters were in there — center Bryan Stork and tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer or Marcus Cannon — rookies Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason appeared to get a ton of the reps with that group, with Jackson was at right guard and Mason at left guard.

James White, Edelman and Amendola all got reps at punt returner.

Jimmy Mundine and Jonathan Krause jumped offsides in two-minute work and had to run a lap.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick says he’s not worried about exacting revenge on the rest of the NFL.


FOXBORO — Bill Belichick says he’s not worried about exacting revenge on the rest of the NFL.

The working theory in the wake of Deflategate is that the Patriots coach would try to fire up his team and blow out the competition, much in the same way they did in 2007 after the Spygate scandal.

But Belichick insisted Friday before Day 2 of camp that that is the furthest thing from his mind.

“Right now, I’m really focused on what we’re doing today, not thinking about the past, not last week, not last year, not some other year,” Belichick said. “We have to prepare our team for the opener and a 16-game regular season schedule. We can’t do a lot of that right now. It’s not the time for it.

“I’m not going to worry about next month, next year, six years from now, six months from now or anything else. I know that’s real important to everybody else but it’s really not very important to me. It’s not really important to our football team. With all due respect, it’s not something I think about, I care about though that seems to be really important to everybody else. It’s just not on our radar.”

Belichick addressed a number of other topics, including his reaction to Day 1, which ended with a vocal correction toward the end of camp on special teams.

“Definitely underway after getting going yesterday with everybody out there,” Belichick said. “I think it was a first step. We made some corrections yesterday and try to build on that this morning and build on what we did yesterday. Just keep going here. We have a long haul, long way to go, one step at a time. We just keep trying to grind it out, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I think these guys have a good attitude, trying to get better, trying to do what we tell them to do, try to make the corrections. Hopefully, we’ll be able to string some days together that are good and keep getting our team ready.”

Another correction from Day 1 came when Jimmy Garoppolo, by his own admission, made a “terrible” read on an interception by rookie safety Jordan Richards. It was Richards that Belichick gave some praise to on Friday.

“We didn’t really see a whole lot of him in the spring. He didn’t come in till late,” Belichick said of the rookie out of Stanford. “Missed part of the OTAs, finishing up school. He’s a smart kid, picks things up quickly and seems to be a pretty instinctive player. He kind of has a good feel for the ball and awareness. He’s a good communicator back there. We’ll see how it goes.”

As for Garoppolo, Belichick said the important lesson to learn is to make an adjustment and move on to the next play.

“We talk about that with the entire team,” Belichick said. “We’re all going to make mistakes out there and we’ve got to move on to the next play. That’s what football is, a new down, a new distance, a new field position, offense, defense, special teams. Something changes, usually, unless you replay a down. It’s a new situation. It’s always about moving on. We all make mistakes. We all have bad plays out there, bad calls, something we screw up but it’s always about moving ahead. We talk to the whole team about that. It’s every position.

“Everybody has got to do it and he’s certainly in that group. But I wouldn’t exclude anybody because we all have them.”

Friday also featured more questions to Belichick about how the team is doing with its focus with Deflategate questions and airplanes flying around.

“We’re in Day 2 of training camp,” Belichick said, in classic razor sharp form. “That’s where we are. My feeling is try to get the team out there and have a good day of practice in the second day of training camp. I can’t speak for 90 players and another dozen or so coaches. I speak for myself. I’m here trying to my job. Everybody is trying to do theirs. That’s what training camp is for.”

As for the “Cheaters Look Up!” plane from Thursday, hired by a Jets fan website, Belichick wouldn’t even acknowledge it.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What plane? I’m just trying to coach the football team,” Belichick said.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO –€” Linebacker Dane Fletcher, who was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list at the start of training camp, will “likely” start the regular season on PUP because of a torn ACL he suffered late last year, according to a league source.

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 1:  Dane Fletcher #52 of the New England Patriots lines up during a game against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dane Fletcher re-signed with the Patriots this offseason. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO –€” Linebacker Dane Fletcher, who was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list at the start of training camp, will “likely” start the regular season on PUP because of a torn ACL he suffered late last year, according to a league source.

The 28-year-old Fletcher, who spent four seasons with the Patriots before signing with the Bucs and spending a year with Tampa Bay last year, re-signed with New England this past offseason. The 6-foot-2, 244-pounder figures to work as a backup linebacker with the Patriots this season behind the likes of Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins and Dont’€™a Hightower.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Days after Tom Brady‘s suspension was upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell, Giants owner John Mara has

Days after Tom Brady‘s suspension was upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell, Giants owner John Mara has taken the league’s side. Mara said that Goodell had a difficult decision decision to make, and that “he did his job.”

“Listen, the commissioner had a very difficult job to do here, but at the end of the day, I think he made a decision on the evidence and the facts that were before him without regard for the profile of the player or his personal relationship with the owner,” Mara said, via the New York Daily News. “You know what? That’s what he’s paid to do. He did his job. We could argue about whether it was fair or unfair, but he had to make a very tough decision under very difficult circumstances and he did it.

“And I know that this was an unpleasant situation for him here, to be dealing with the best player in the league and dealing with an owner who has been as good as any owner in the league and somebody he has a close personal relationship with,” Mara continued. “He had to make a tough decision here.”

While Brady and the NFLPA have extended the drama by taking the NFL to court, alleging that the suspension was unfair. Mara didn’t like the move, calling it a ploy to continue the saga.

“[The lawsuit] is just going to drag this thing out into the fall, and that’s not good for anybody,” Mara said.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, after agreeing to accept the league’s penalty, came out firing on Wednesday and said that he “was wrong to put [his] faith in the league.” Mara was empathetic to Kraft’s passion.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Robert Kraft and I understand he’s very emotional about this and feels very strongly about it,” Mara said. “He’s trying to protect his player and I get that.”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, who reported in January that the NFL determined that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the AFC championship game were 2.0 pounds under the minimum pressure allowed by the league — information that turned out to be inaccurate — refused to join the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, canceling his scheduled appearance after becoming frustrated with

Chris Mortensen

Chris Mortensen

ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, who reported in January that the NFL determined that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the AFC championship game were 2.0 pounds under the minimum pressure allowed by the league — information that turned out to be inaccurate — refused to join the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, canceling his scheduled appearance after becoming frustrated with the hosts’ promotion of the interview.

“You guys made a mistake by drumming up business for the show and how I would address my reporting for the first time,” Mortensen told D&C. “I will not allow WEEI [Robert] Kraft or anybody to make me the centerpiece of a story that has been misreported far beyond anything I did in the first 48 hours. Maybe when the lawsuit is settled, in Brady’s favor, I hope, we can revisit. Don’t call.”

The show reached out to Mortensen anyhow, but the call went directly to voicemail.

Despite the fact that the details in Mortensen’s report turned out to be false, he never deleted nor corrected the tweet in which he broke the news that sparked a wave of anti-Patriots sentiment across the nation.

The tweet read: NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources.

D&C host John Dennis reported that NFL vice president of game operations Mike Kensil (a former longtime Jets employee) was the source for Mortensen’s information, noting that Kensil reportedly told a Patriots equipment employee during the game that the team was “in big [expletive] trouble.” Kensil had been alerted to concerns about the pressure in Patriots footballs by Colts general manager Ryan Grigson.

During his comments prior to the opening of training camp Wednesday, Robert Kraft criticized the league for leaking false information that turned public sentiment against the team. The league never attempted to correct Mortensen’s report, although it was confirmed as inaccurate in the Wells Report in May, two months after the true readings were revealed.

Adam Schefter, appearing on the D&C show Thursday, defended his ESPN colleague and deflected the blame to the NFL sources who provided and confirmed the information.

Said Schefter: “If you had [Mortensen] on, I guarantee he’d have an explanation for it. Again, I have the utmost respect for him, so I’d have to let him explain why he did what he did. … If that is indeed the case that one, two, three high-level individuals intentionally misled him to try to smear the Patriots, I say more shame on those people than Mort, but that’s where I would side.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar