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New England Patriots links 5/26/22 - Home Improvement: Mac Jones, Jonnu Smith primed for Year 2 upgrade

Daily news and links for Thursday

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New York Jets v New England Patriots
TE Jonnu Smith avoids a tackle
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images


  • Mike Dussault talks about how size and smarts give OL Adrew Stueber an edge: The giant seventh-round pick out of Michigan could seize an unexpectedly significant role on the offensive line.


  • Khari Thompson identifies three keys to Mac Jones’ Year 2 leap for the Patriots. 1. Use his legs more.
  • Chris Mason passes along a report from an AFC coach who says Mac Jones is ‘more athletic’ than most think, needs to cut down on ‘lollipop’ throws.
  • Kevin Tame, Jr. (Patriots Country) Kendrick Bourne on speedy rookie Tyquan Thornton: “Bro’ is blazing.”
  • Mark Morse (PatsFans) Patriots position analysis: Offensive line. Post rookie camp moves.
  • Mike D’Abate (Patriots Country) Who’s leader - still - of Patriots defense? As he begins his 13th NFL season, Devin McCourty is keenly aware that each new beginning is a fresh opportunity.
  • Zack Cox thumbnails seven players with the most to prove in OTAs and minicamp, beginning with Jonnu Smith.
  • Tom E. Curran finds a dedicated Jonnu Smith determined to make amends for lost 2021 season.
  • Richard Bernard (Gillette Gazette) Patriots got a steal on defense in the 2021 NFL draft with LB Cameron McGrone.
  • Mark Daniels writes why the Patriots believe they have a hidden gem in linebacker Cameron McGrone.
  • Zack Cox notes that after a season spent largely in the film room and on the sideline, LB Cameron McGrone is ready to show New England what he can do.
  • Richie Whitt (Patriots Country) Roster reload: Which new Patriots will wear old numbers of Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski?
  • Keagan Stiefel explains how the NFL’s updated practice squad rules are favorable to Patriots tendencies.
  • Richie Whitt (Patriots Country) Which Patriots assistant did Bill Belichick block from Raiders? According to a Sports Illustrated report, the Patriots were determined to keep tight ends coach Nick Caley.
  • Jerry Thornton says there’s reason to think Belichick will be his own offensive coordinator.
  • Jerry Thornton finds it amusing how Belichick is using his coaching staff situation to buy up all the real estate in everyone’s heads.
  • Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Mac Jones discusses the transition on the offensive staff.
  • Richie Whitt (Patriots Country) Oddsmakers: Patriots Mac Jones, Bill Belichick longshots for 2022 awards
  • Jerry Thornton passes along some electric fan-suggested alternatives to the Pro Bowl for the NFL’s consideration.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Clare Cooper address the mid-week Mailbag: Kyle Duggar, Marcus Jones, Tight Endage and More. (59 min.)


  • Albert Breer (SI) Mailbag: When and for how long will Deshaun Watson be suspended? Plus questions on rookie of the year favorites, draft busts, Justin Herbert criticism, playing time for Malik Willis and Teddy Bridgewater; More.
  • Joel Corry (CBS Sports) Agent’s Take: Which 2019 NFL Draft picks will get new deals? The history of first-round pick extensions.
  • Tim Kelly (Audacy) Mike Florio has interesting theory for why Patriots won’t name offensive coordinator.
  • Cynthia Frelund ( NFL’s most underappreciated players. Patriots: DT Christian Barmore.
  • Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) NFL Divisional power rankings. AFC East 4th. “But the Patriots are gonna regress, I believe, and possibly substantially.” /Pffttt... : P.
  • Adam Schein ( NFL bandwagons to hop on in 2022: No. 3 Josh McDaniels. No Pats.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) Here’s how far each team will travel in 2022. Patriots 19th-most at 14,373 miles.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) The 49ers possibly move closer to a much-needed Jimmy Garoppolo resolution.
  • Jordan Dajani (CBS Sports) NFL makes practice squad and injured reserve rule changes for 2022: IR players must now sit out four games.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL, NFLPA agree to allow up to eight players to return from injured reserve in 2022.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Bud Grant urges NFL to change rules to reduce the boring parts of games: kneeldowns, fair catches, touchbacks.
  • Owen Poindexter (FrontOfficeSports) NFL bylaw change could keep ownership families in the game.
  • Jenna Lemoncelli (NY Post) NFL considering dropping Pro Bowl after lowest viewership in 16 years.
  • Staff (SportsBusinessJournal) SBJ Unpacks: NFL Plus streaming service is a go this season.
  • Ardi Dwornik (ESPN) ESPN wins 11 Sports Emmy Awards. Included: Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli awarded Outstanding Live Series, and Man in the Arena: Tom Brady wins for Outstanding Documentary Series.


  • Katelyn Newberg (Las Vegas Review-Journal) Gruden’s lawsuit against NFL allowed to proceed.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) NFL loses its first battle to strike down Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Deshaun Watson’s admission of sexual activity with three of the 22 plaintiffs could become a major problem.