Mike Reiss shines the spotlight on Aaron Hernandez' rookie season, and speculates why his year was "front-loaded", both in terms of production and playing time.
First 8 games - Games played: 8; Receptions: 34; Average snaps/game: 47.0
Last 8 games - Games played: 6; Receptions: 11; Average snaps/game: 18.3
Hernandez' dip in the second half of the year (starting in Pittsburgh) could have been tied to several factors, from his hip injury, to Rob Gronkowski's steady improvement, to his own performance. This also showed up in the playoff loss to the Jets when he was on the field for 24 snaps, well behind tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Alge Crumpler.
So when assessing Hernandez's overall body of work and areas of improvement for 2011, this figures to be high on the list: Finishing stronger.
Bill Wagner (Annapolis Gazette) Belichick bolsters Touchdown Club tribute.
The Steve Belichick Award was created to recognize coaches whose contributions are much greater than mere strategies or schemes and whose impact stretches past the athletic arena. The elder Belichick shunned the spotlight while serving as a Naval Academy assistant from 1956 through 1989. He handled opponent scouting and coached special teams while working for six different head coaches.
Steve Belichick, who was also a tenured professor at the Naval Academy, became a beloved figure to countless Navy football players. Bill Belichick, who grew up analyzing film with his father, said his father loved when former Navy greats such as Joe Bellino, Roger Staubach and Phil McConkey returned to Annapolis to visit.
"My father loved to coach, loved the game and loved interacting with the players," Belichick said. "Nothing means more to coach than when a player comes back and tells you how much you meant to him. It's important that every coach at every level understands what a big impact they can make on young people."
- PFW Staff debate: Pass rusher: Youth or experience?
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) What now for Patriots after another one-and-done playoff?
- Patriots All Access - 2/18/11: Viewers will go behind the scenes at the 2011 Pro Bowl in Hawaii on an offseason edition of Patriots All Access. (18.58 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Best of 2010: Unfamiliar role. (3.55 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Best of 2010: Special teams play. (4.13 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Offseason update from Foxborough. (4.15 min. video)
- Mike Reiss reports Aaron Hernandez underwent surgery on his right hip after the 2010 season, he told kids Sunday at a football camp directed by his brother.
- Ian Rapoport says Aaron Hernandez is now in recovery mode. The surgery is not expected to delay his participation in training camp.
- Tom E.Curran notes the hip surgery undergone by Aaron Hernandez this offseason was similar to the operation that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas had last summer.
- Zac Boyer (Hartford Courant) Hernandez provides an assist: Patriots tight end helps at brother's camp.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and with the Patriots.
- Tom E. Curran shares five NFL thoughts for Feb. 21.
- Ron Borges sees the NFL owners' scorn of its players as the major stumbling block in eluding the first protracted labor fight in 24 years.
- Jeff Howe asserts that the labor uncertainty shouldn't prevent the Patriots from negotiating with Logan Mankins.
- Christopher Price tells us what the Patriots look for at the Combine.
- Mike Reiss analyzes well how the Patriots stack up to their competition when it comes to the Draft.
- Mike Rodak offers an updated look at where the Patriots stand in the Draft over the next two years.
- Mike Reiss talks about the Patriots All-Access program that featured behind-the-scenes footage of Belichick wearing a microphone at the Pro Bowl.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Four NFL coaches stand alone as the decade's best.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Possible NFL lockout 10 days away.
- Gary Mihoces (USA Today) Expert: NFL labor deal possible 'within next week or so'.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Work stoppage could force pay cuts, layoffs to NFL assistant coaches.
- N. Jeremi Duru (Yahoo! Sports) Lockout will be financial reality check for many NFL players.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Jets will begin furloughs in event of lockout.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Mediation for NFL, union may ease stances.
- Albert Breer (NFL.com) NFL, NFLPA reps meet for fourth day of mediated discussions.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) 18-game season: $500 million issue: Not what fans, players want but a key to the CBA.
- Gary Mihoces (USA Today) New CBA could bring with it an 18-game NFL regular season.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Mike Ditka says "crazy" 18-game season idea is all about the money.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Get your mocks off: Pre-Combine roundup.
- Michael Lombardi (NFL.com) Teams must focus on talent over need with free agency clouded.
- Mike Mayock (NFL.com) Combine: Best defensive end class I've seen.
- Toni Monkovic (NY Times) Mike Mayock's thoughts on Combine.
- Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) Ingram remains cream of RB crop heading into Combine.
- Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) Combine offers pass-catching prospects a chance to separate.
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) Expect Newton to cement his draft status at Combine.
- Joe Fortenbaugh (Nat'l Football Post) The need for speed: Nine players have run under 4.3 in the 40-yard dash since 1999 - where are they now?
- Len Pasquarelli (Fox Sports) Peyton could be highest-paid player.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: A NFL season retrospective.
- J.J. Cooper (NFL Fanhouse) Lions nailed by NFL for tampering, will lose Draft pick.
- Bob Cunningham (Philadelphia Inquirer) Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs to retire due to neck injury.