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New England Patriots links 5/23/18 - Healthy Rivers, Langi hope to contribute after lost rookie seasons

Daily news and links for Wednesday

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots
Derek Rivers after 2017 preseason loss to Jacksonville
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images



  • Karen Guregian says that with Brady missing, it’s not a pretty picture in Foxboro.
  • Ryan Hannable writes a whopper of a theory as to how Tom Brady’s attitude shift has everything to do with Jimmy Garoppolo not being on the team. He now has the power he’s always wanted and is using it. /Entire football career of being team-first, good behavior, a leader, taking less money, etc... all a sham. Who knew?
  • Ryan Hannable acknowledges that Robert Kraft, (who has actually been in contact with Brady and not wildly theorizing like [cough] some writers [cough]) understands why Tom Brady is missing OTAs, and doesn’t seem concerned.
  • Matt Dolloff reports Julian Edelman looked fast and strong in drills, running smoothly and without restrictions and with no brace on his repaired right knee.
  • Rich Thompson updates us on LB Harvey Langi, who is back on the field, taking it “day by day” after suffering season-ending injuries from a car crash last October.
  • Stephen Hewitt highlights Derek Rivers on how he feels blessed to have the opportunity to contribute after missing last season with a torn ACL.
  • Ryan Hannable notes Duron Harmon explains he switched to No. 21 because he needed change.
  • Mike Reiss notes Bill Belichick’s assignment of off numbers to the rookies is his twist on the now disallowed practice of giving them no numbers, with the same lesson.
  • Mark Daniels reports that without Brady and Gronk, the Patriots’ defense had a field day against Brian Hoyer and the team’s first-team offense. Hoyer went 8-for-18 in full-team drills.
  • Kevin Dillon takes a look at five players who flashed some impressive skills in the first media practice availability: 1. Julian Edelman.
  • Karen Guregian’s Patriots Notebook: Duron Harmon thanks team for support after Costa Rican incident.
  • Kevin Dillon reports Malcolm Mitchell and Dont’a Hightower highlighted a list of players who missed OTAs Tuesday.
  • Zack Cox Patriots Notes: Jordan Matthews learned valuable lesson in forgettable 2017 season.
  • Ryan Hannable’s Tuesday OTA observations: Brian Hoyer struggles, absence of Tom Brady extremely noticeable.
  • Phil Perry’s Observations from OTA practice No. 2: Belichick went out of his way to laud the leadership the team has received during spring work.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Wednesday Patriots Notebook: Edelman looks ready to go.
  • Phil Perry isn’t surprised that Bill Belichick isn’t ‘talking about players who aren’t here’.
  • Dale Arnold says that while Rob Gronkowski has been working out at TB12 the last two days, Brady has not because he’s been out of town.
  • Ryan Hannable notes that Patriots players who were asked, say Brady and Gronk missing OTAs is not a distraction. /well... besides the media asking them all those questions about it.
  • Zack Cox tells us why Patriots fans should be excited about the NFL’s new kickoff rules.
  • Hayden Bird collects everything we know about Tom Brady’s eclectic offseason.
  • Mark Dunphy recaps what Boston sports radio is saying about Tom Brady missing OTAs.


  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Brian Hoyer: Brady’s absence no distraction; “great opportunity” to lead team.
  • Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports) Patriots owner Robert Kraft gives two reasons why Tom Brady is skipping OTAs.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Belichick on Brady: “I’m not going to talk about the people who aren’t here”.
  • Adam Schein ( Schein Nine: High-profile “situations” around the league (in alphabetical order) and what should happen next. Brady and Gronk “situations” included.
  • Brad Gagnon (Bleacher Report) Every NFL team’s biggest reason to look forward to 2018 season. Patriots: Tom Brady is unhappy, and an unhappy Tom Brady is the best Tom Brady. Watch out.
  • Jeremy Bergman ( Post-draft concerns: One burning question for each AFC team. Patriots: Is the offensive line fine after replacing Nate Solder with a rookie?
  • Gregg Rosenthal ( Debrief: What matters -- and what doesn’t -- during OTA season.
  • Danny Kelly (The Ringer) What the salary cap tells us about the NFL’s most extreme teams.
  • Jonathan Jones (SI) NFL’s new targeting rule about to cause a world of officiating chaos.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) NFL confirms linemen coming out of their stance are subject to new helmet rule.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) NFL bans running starts, restricts where players can line up on kickoffs.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL’s new kickoff rule will either save it or kill it.
  • Video ( Breakdown of the 2018 kickoff rule changes. (45 seconds)
  • Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports) The NFL is reportedly discussing a fairly crazy rule for national anthem. /What’s crazy is this leaked example of what owners are thinking.
  • Peter King (SI) A new look for the kickoff; MMQB Mailbag: Readers’ messages of thanks to Peter King.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL wisely not trying to implement “integrity fee”.