Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

FOXBORO — Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Wednesday the situation facing the team with Tom Brady set to sit for the first four games of the season, and said the immediate “priority” is to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for the 2016 campaign.

“We have finally some definition with Tom’s situation, so our priority now then is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, for the Arizona game,” Belichick said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “So that will obviously be a comprehensive process.

“Tom will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back. But in the meantime, we have to prioritize the first part of our schedule, and that will be get Jimmy ready to go.”

Pressed for specifics, Belichick reiterated his main point.

“We’re going to get (Garoppolo) ready the best we can. I don’t know how else I can put it,” Belichick added. “We have some clarity with Tom’s situation, (and) he’ll be our starter when he returns.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots have added tight end Bear Pascoe and offensive lineman Jon Halapio.

Jon Halapio

Jon Halapio

FOXBORO — The Patriots have added tight end Bear Pascoe and offensive lineman Jon Halapio.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Pascoe has spent seven seasons in the league, having suited up for the Giants, Falcons and Lions. He has 40 career catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns. The 30-year-old Pascoe spent three games with Detroit last year.

Halapio, 25, was a sixth-round pick of the Patriots in the 2014 draft, but was released prior to the start of the regular season that year. The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Florida product, who primarily plays guard, has also spent some time with the Broncos and Cardinals.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

When it comes to Deflategate, he might not be as amped up as his budd

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

When it comes to Deflategate, he might not be as amped up as his buddy Ben Affleck, but Matt Damon still pretty strongly about what the NFL has done to Tom Brady.

Damon, a confirmed Patriots fan, ripped the league’s decision to give the quarterback a four-game suspension while speaking on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Tuesday.

“It’s just the slipshod way that they were measuring these footballs to begin with,” Damon said. “There was absolutely no science involved, they were giving them this cantaloupe test. And when they switched his balls out at halftime of that Colts game, I don’t think people remember that Tommy went out and scored four straight touchdowns with the overinflated balls that they gave him.”

He also warned the league about Brady’s state of mind heading into the Week 5 contest against the Browns.

“Tom’s going to be pissed. And him pissed is a good thing for the New England Patriots’ faithful,” Damon said. “We love seeing him like that. Because he’s as focused a human being as I’ve met anyway.”

See below for more.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Nate Solder

Nate Solder

We won’t get our first look at the Patriots on the practice field until Thursday, but via a team-posted video from earlier in the week, you can already get a sense of who’s on the field.

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, LeGarrette Blount, Nate Solder and Duron Harmon were among those spotted running through drills Monday on the practice fields behind Gillette. When it comes to Solder and Blount, it’s a positive sign, as both saw their 2015 seasons come to a premature end because of injury. In addition, Harmon was in a red non-contact jersey, but the sight of the safety — who was absent from spring workouts — is another positive sign when it comes to the health of the defensive back.

While assistant coaches and some veterans will be made available to the media on Wednesday, the first full day of camp (in front of fans and the media) for veterans and rookies is set for Thursday morning.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots announced Tuesday they will be holding a series of events over the course of the 2016 season to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 2001 Super Bowl team.

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

The Patriots announced Tuesday they will be holding a series of events over the course of the 2016 season to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 2001 Super Bowl team.

The weekly features will run throughout the season and culminate on Dec. 4 with a special reunion of the 2001 team during a halftime ceremony of the Patriots game against the Rams at Gillette Stadium.

“The Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams was the first championship for our team and will always hold a very special place in our hearts,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement issued by the team. “The victory made everyone that ever wore a Patriots uniform or rooted for the Patriots on the bleachers at Foxboro Stadium feel proud to be a fan. I know I am looking forward to reliving some of those great memories throughout the 2016 season.”

The series of tributes will include video segments accessible via the Patriots Twitter feed and Facebook page, and will feature key stories from the 2001 season, including the Tom Brady/Drew Bledsoe quarterback debate, the infamous Snow Bowl playoff game against the Raiders and the events surrounding Super Bowl XXXVI. In addition, there will be “Where Are They Now?” segments on “Patriots All-Access” that will highlight members of that year’s team, as well as a special exhibit at the Patriots Hall of Fame.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Mark the Jets as one team that’s not taking Jimmy Garoppolo lightly.

Asked Monday about the possibility of Tom Brady’s absence opening the door for them in the AFC East, the Jets said all the right things.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

Mark the Jets as one team that’s not taking Jimmy Garoppolo lightly.

Asked Monday about the possibility of Tom Brady’s absence opening the door for them in the AFC East, the Jets said all the right things.

“(Jimmy) Garoppolo can play,” New York coach Todd Bowles told the Daily News. “They don’t worry about who they have. They just have a system in place and they go play football. I think people underestimate that. You still have to knock off the champs. It’s theirs until somebody takes it from them.

“They got a good team,” Bowles added. “It’s not just us. It’s everybody. We split 1-1 (against them last year). They’re a tough team. They’re a tough out. They’ve had a coach and a quarterback and a system in place for a long time. There’s a bunch of ways to skin a cat. They’ve found pretty good ways to skin it. They do what they have to.”

Are the Patriots more vulnerable now without Brady for the first quarter of the season?

”I don’t know,” said New York defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. “I don’t like playing the Patriots when (Brady is) not on the field. I like knocking the top dogs off their chair. Personally, I like the challenge. I like going against the best.  He’s one of the best. Probably the best to ever play.”

That’s not to suggest that Richardson has gone soft on the prospect of his division rivals.

“Just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean I have to be disrespectful to them,” he said.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price