How Patriots Tight End Stephen Anderson Plans To Earn Tom Brady’s Trust

FOXBORO, Mass. — The easiest way to ensure a roster spot in New England is by impressing the Patriots coaching staff. But earning the trust of quarterback Tom Brady certainly can’t hurt.
Stephen Anderson, who’s fighting for a spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster with fellow tight ends Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks, knows it’s “very important.”

“Any time you can have Tom’s trust, that’s huge,” Anderson said Wednesday. “But you have to put in work on days like this when it’s hot, when the offense isn’t doing well. You have to make sure your assignments are sharp because that’s how you gain that trust. It’s not going to happen in a day. It’s going to happen consistently over time. That’s what we’re all working to do.”
Anderson, who’s listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, is known as more of a receiving “move” tight end. But he bulked up nearly 10 pounds this offseason in an attempt to become more well-rounded as a blocker.
“Any time I get an opportunity to prove myself in any drill, then I’m going to do my best to do that,” Anderson said. “That’s why I’m out here. I wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t. Just really going out here, giving my best effort, remembering my rules, my technique and going back to the tape and taking the coaching, being coachable and then going out and showing out again. It’s very important for me.”
The Patriots’ tight end room took a big hit this offseason when Rob Gronkowski retired. Anderson isn’t fooling himself into thinking he alone or any of the Patriots’ tight ends individually could simply step in for a future Hall-of-Famer.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of competition,” Anderson said. “You can’t replace Gronk. You can only have members that come in and do their individual jobs and not try to do it all. I think as a group, that’s what we’re trying to do and we’re taking some good strides in accomplishing that.”
Anderson has had a solid training camp six practices into the summer.

NFL Rumors: Patriots Interested In Trading For Star Offensive Tackle?

The New England Patriots don’t have a “hole” at left tackle, so much as they have a pair of big question marks. Isaiah Wynn, a first-round pick last year, lost his entire rookie season to an Achilles injury and 6-foot-9 Dan Skipper, a decent training camp story thus far, also is an unknown.
Enter: Trent Williams … maybe.

The Washington Redskins offensive tackle is holding out amid displeasure over his current contract. A seven-time Pro Bowler, the 31-year-old Williams has been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL since entering the league in 2010.
And his holdout might lead to a trade, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported Wednesday, citing a source. Furthermore, people around the league believe the Patriots might get involved if Williams hits the trading block.
Check out this tweet:

The Redskins are having trade discussions regarding tackle Trent Williams, according to a source. Unclear what type of compensation they'd require in a trade. There's a feeling around the league the Patriots would be involved due to depth issues at the position.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) July 31, 2019

That’s all well and good, but trading for Williams won’t be an easy task for New England to complete.
Here’s some context from The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin:

Trent Williams has an $11m base salary this year, and Pats only have $7.49m in cap space. So the Pats would have to do a lot of cap maneuvering before making a trade https://t.co/CYm1sv6reg
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) July 31, 2019

As Trent Brown showed last season and Nate Solder before him, protecting Tom Brady’s blindside is imperative to the success of the Patriots. Having a quality offensive line is important for any team, obviously, but it’s even more true in New England, where the quarterback will turn 42 years old on Aug. 3.
That said, trading for Williams would leave Wynn without a defined role, something no team wants for a top draft pick. Yes, the Georgia product mostly played guard in college, but the Patriots already have Shaq Mason, one of the best guards in the league, and Joe Thuney, an unspectacular yet incredibly dependable player, on the roster. And with the Patriots recently restructuring Marcus Cannon’s contract, it would appear there isn’t an opening at right tackle, either. As for center, David Andrews is a stud and isn’t going anywhere — probably.
Of course, Bill Belichick never has shied away from doing what is best for the team. And if that means trading for a star tackle and subsequently benching a first-round pick all season, so be it. Likewise, if Belichick really believes in Wynn, don’t be shocked if he trades or releases a veteran to make room for the 22-year-old.
Wynn has been a limited participant since the beginning of training camp, raising serious doubts over whether he’ll be up to speed in time for the regular season. That’s a job even the great Dante Scarnecchia will be hard-pressed to pull off.
Perhaps the solution is gifting the legendary offensive line coach a shiny new toy and giving Wynn more time to return to his pre-injury form. Stay tuned.

Nick Buoniconti Was New England Native, Legendary Patriots, Dolphins Player

Local football fans should remember Nick Buoniconti as one of their own.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer died Tuesday night at age 78. The New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and the Pro Football Hall of Fame mourned the former linebacker’s death Wednesday via social media.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Buoniconti. pic.twitter.com/xif4HjsDXr
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) July 31, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Nick Buoniconti. pic.twitter.com/kcgtLRWzo7
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 31, 2019

Remembering Hall of Famer and NFL Legend Nick Buoniconti #RIP pic.twitter.com/Ctf4jZZAWN
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 31, 2019

Hall of Famer and NFL Legend Nick Buoniconti has passed away at the age of 78 #RIP @MiamiDolphins @Patriots pic.twitter.com/7wrkI8jIcV
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 31, 2019

Buoniconti was a Springfield, Mass., native who starred at Cathedral High School before going on to play college football at Notre Dame. The Boston Patriots drafted him in 1962, and he played seven seasons with the team, including four at an AFL All-Star level.
The Patriots in 1969 traded him to the Dolphins, where he would spend the next seven seasons. He marshaled Miami’s defense for two Super Bowl-winning seasons, including the undefeated 1972 campaign.

He was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1992 and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Buoniconti accomplished much off the football field. He was an attorney, sports agent, president of U.S. Tobacco and also hosted HBO’s “Inside the NFL” between 1980 and 2001. He also co-founded The Buoniconti Fund, which works to cure paralysis.

Tom Brady Dishes On Josh Gordon, Bulking Up Over Offseason, Replacing Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO, Mass. — Exactly one week after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reported for training camp, he addressed the media for the first time this summer.
Here are our top takeaways from Brady’s media session:

— Brady had some fun with questions about his contract, which expires after this season.
— Brady was spotted throwing passes to Josh Gordon, who’s indefinitely suspended, this offseason.
“There wasn’t many opportunities, but he was around, and I needed someone to catch,” Brady said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing with him and obviously hope everything works out for him. I’m hoping the best, certainly.”
— Brady made it a goal to bulk up this offseason, but now it seems he’s trying to find a balance between strength and pliability.
“I focused on a lot of things,” Brady said. “I really did. I think there was a lot of — every year has its different challenges. I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more. I worked pretty hard at that. It was good. I still realize when I got here I wanted to be a little more fluid and get back to the fluidity that I’m used to too. There’s a difference between getting really dense and obviously being more pliable, and that’s really been my focus.”
— Tight end Rob Gronkowski retired over the offseason. The Patriots will have to readjust at the position with Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Lance Kendricks, none of whom caught passes from Brady last season.
“He’s a great player, and to replace great players, that’s not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree,” Brady said. “You can’t just go out back. You have to find guys that come in and want to put the work in, want to contribute. Between the guys we have out here now which is Ben, Matt, Stephen, Ryan Izzo, Lance, who we just got, those guys are trying to do everything they can do. They’re all new players, so we’ve got to figure out how to get them up to speed with what our expectations are, the level of competition on a daily basis.”
— On top of the turnover at tight end, the only wide receivers back from last season are Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. Brady is trying to jell with Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers, Ryan Davis, Gunner Olszewski, Dontrelle Inman, Danny Elting and Damoun Patterson.
“There’s a lot of turnover every year,” Brady said. “We deal with the turnover, and there’s a lot of new guys trying to assimilate into what we’ve done here for a long time. It’s really up to them to get up to speed, and everyone here has got to help them get there between the coaches, the veteran players, the leaders. It’s our responsibility to get everyone on the same page and doing the right thing and trying to help us in whatever way we can to help us move the ball down the field and score some points.”
— And don’t worry. Brady, who turns 42 years old on Saturday, is still having fun.
“Definitely. Absolutely. I have a great time,” Brady said. “Football is — I love the sport. I’ve loved playing it since I was a kid. It would be hard to imagine me doing anything else in life. I love playing ball. To still be out here at 41, soon to be 42, it’s a pretty great thing for me.”

Norling – IFW: A Snake bit the Cobras

This week has been a huge clusterf*ck in indoor football and thanks to the National Arena League it’s been made even worse.

If you haven’t already heard the Carolina Cobras locker room was robbed last weekend during a game in Westchester, NY against the New York Streets. Valuables amounted to $3,000 worth of personal belongings including a NAL Championship ring.
Norling – IFW: A Snake bit the Cobras
The Cobras, who we’re up 46-0, ended the game and left due to their safety (completely understandable, more so if you’ve ever been robbed).

Nothing really big broke for most of the week until the suspect was caught, and they happened to be a Streets employee.

The NAL then decided, on the same day as the person was caught, to announce the punishment handed down. The league fined Cobras Head Coach Billy Back, suspended him for one game, and gave a forfeit victory to the Streets!

Yep that’s right the team who was down 46-0 at halftime and whose employee robbed the visiting team got a win out of the ordeal. ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME NAL!? How does this make ANY sense!? Short answer it doesn’t and everyone with a brain knows it.

First off saying that the coach had no authority to end the game goes against every sport and league I’ve ever dealt with. Along with this my understanding is a league operations manual has never been given out to any player, coach, or team staff, which makes the NAL even worse. This league has had issues from second number 1 and it’s made it look bush league and penalizing a team who was ROBBED and WINNING is just stupid even makes the AAL look more professional.

To the NAL, congratulations, you have officially won the IFW F*ck Up of the Year award and supplanted Project Fanchise (gag) as the biggest joke in Indoor Football in recent years. I’d say don’t be stupid but you’ll manage something just as bad soon, may the Football Gods have mercy on your soul. But don’t count on that because they show no mercy, especially to stupid.

My good friend Adam Lamprecht also had some things to say, from a fan’s perspective.

When NAL Commissioner Chris Siegfried released the league’s statement, he took full responsibility for the situation, which he should, because if I recall, the league provides security for these games, and security basically f***ed up.

But then, the commissioner goes on to say that not only were the Streets fined, but also the Cobras and Coach Back, with Back being suspended one game for, and I quote, “conduct detrimental to the best interests of the league –  for not finishing the game.”

To top it off, the league then stated that it would be a forfeit win for the New York Streets, despite them being down 46-0 at halftime, and while they could’ve pulled off a Buffalo Miracle, it probably wasn’t going to happen.

I’m sorry, but with that, the NAL has lost most, if not all, of their credibility. I understand league protocols and policies and all that crap, but Billy Back was looking out for the best interest for his players.

They were not going to be in the best frame of mind going into that second half. And who would blame them? I wouldn’t be thinking about the game, I’d be more worried about my stuff that was stolen, and if more of my stuff could be stolen.

If they’re not in the right frame of mind for a game, that could lead to injuries, fights, or worse. Back’s decision made me respect him a whole lot more than I already did, as I feel he’s one of the best coaches in the indoor world, right up there with Kurtiss Riggs, Kevin Guy, Dixie Wooten, Clint Dolezel, and a few others.

So Congratulations, Commissioner. You’ve turned your league into a LOLcow. You punished a team that was looking out for its players, and you didn’t really address the real issue: A team had prior burglaries and didn’t even report it to the local authorities before it happened a second time.

The Streets should be booted from the league, and you should issue a public apology to the Cobras Organization, and Coach Billy Back. But none of that will happen, because this is the world of indoor/arena football, where shady s*** is the norm for this business.The post Norling – IFW: A Snake bit the Cobras appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

Tom Brady Puts Onus On Patriots Newcomers After ‘Frustrating’ Camp Practice

FOXBORO, Mass. — Sloppy hands and some ball-hawking secondary play resulted in a rough showing Wednesday for the New England Patriots’ offense.
Patriots wide receivers and tight ends combined to drop at least five passes during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, and members of New England’s defense racked up 12 pass breakups across all competitive periods, including 10 by cornerbacks. Duron Harmon also hauled in an interception late in practice off a deflection by fellow safety Terrence Brooks.
It’s foolish to draw any broad conclusions based on one training camp session, but Wednesday’s nicely illustrated the issues facing this Patriots team, which boasts a potentially dominant D but an offense with several question marks following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement and a revamping of its receiving corps.
“We’ve got a very good defense this year,” quarterback Tom Brady said during his post-practice media scrum. “Those guys are challenging us every day. It’s hard to complete passes on our secondary — that’s just the reality. So it’s actually great work for our offense to see how we measure up against a very good defense. Days like today are frustrating for us, and we’ve got to learn from the corrections and try to come out and have a better day tomorrow.”

Of the 15 receivers and tight ends currently participating in Patriots training camp, only two have caught a pass from Brady in a game: Phillip Dorsett and Ben Watson, the latter of whom is facing a four-game PED suspension to start the season. With top target Julian Edelman sidelined with a broken thumb, Brady stressed the need for the newcomers to get with the program.
“There’s a lot of turnover every year, and you deal with that turnover,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of new guys trying to assimilate into what we’ve done here for a long time. It’s really up to them to get up to speed, and everyone here has got to help them get there.
“Between the coaches, the veteran players, the leaders, it’s our responsibility to get everyone on the same page and doing the right thing and trying to help us in whatever way we can to help us move the ball down the field and score some points.”
The most high-profile of those newcomers is first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry, who’s shown flashes of brilliance during his first NFL camp but has struggled with consistency. Wednesday’s practice encapsulated the young wideout’s uneven performance thus far, with his three drops from Brady in 11-on-11s — including one particularly egregious one on a shallow cross and another after he’d beaten star corner Stephon Gilmore down the sideline — overshadowing the two highlight-reel catches he pulled in.
Slot receiver Braxton Berrios and tight ends Watson and Matt LaCosse also dropped Brady passes during a 7-on-7 drill. LaCosse, who had one drop last week but otherwise has been solid in camp, is the current favorite to start in Gronkowski’s old spot in Week 1.
That roster battle is far from settled, however.
“(Gronkowski is) a great player, and to replace great players, it’s not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree,” Brady said. “You can’t just go out back. You’ve got to find guys that come in, want to put the work in, want to try to contribute, and between the guys we have out here now — which is Ben, Matt, Stephen, Ryan Izzo, Lance, who we just got — those guys are trying to do everything they can do. They’re all new players, so we’ve to figure out how to get used to (and) up to speed to what our expectations are and the level of competition on a daily basis.”
Defensively, slot cornerback Jonathan Jones led the way with three of the Patriots’ pass breakups. Second-round draft pick Joejuan Williams and undrafted rookie D’Angelo Ross tallied two apiece, and Gilmore, Duke Dawson, J.C. Jackson and defensive end Keionta Davis each had one.

Camille Kostek Opens Up On Dating Rob Gronkowski: ‘It Just Feels Good’

Rob Gronkowski might be lovable, but is he truly easy to love?
According to his girlfriend, supermodel Camille Kostek, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Kostek recently opened up about her relationship with the retired New England Patriots star in an interview with Fox News. Like anybody, Kostek just wants to feel her partner is as supportive as they are fun to be around.
“Yes, my boyfriend is Gronkowski, but it would feel good to have support from any guy I’d be dating,” she said. “There’s no point in being a relationship if the two of you don’t support one another.
“ … I think the timing is so interesting. Just a couple of months before I got the (Sports Illustrated) cover, Rob retired. And we both didn’t know that this was going to come. But it’s definitely cool for me to have him here to celebrate and see a little bit of what my life is like and the people that I work with. I introduced him to some of the other models, my friends within the industry and (editor) MJ Day. It just feels good. A relationship always feels good when you have your man supporting you.”
Kostek also views Gronkowski — one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history — as a motivating presence in her life.
“Rob has been one of my biggest motivators,” she said. “I constantly see the work he takes on, both on the field and off. He’s definitely someone I admire. I see the goals that he sets and I’m constantly trying to set greater goals myself. I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up to his legacy, but it’s definitely something that keeps me going.”
A former Patriots cheerleader, Kostek first was linked to Gronkowski in 2015 after she left the team.
“We first got in touch once I resigned from the team,” she said. “I always knew who he was before I was even a cheerleader. I knew who he was on the roster. I just never paid any mind.
“Once I resigned is when we finally met.”
The rest, as they say, is history.

Tom Brady Has Fun With Follow-Up Questions On Expiring Patriots Contract

FOXBORO, Mass. — For the first time in Tom Brady’s career, the New England Patriots quarterback is entering the last year of his contract.
Brady’s deal expires after the 2019 season, and he doesn’t seem too worried about it. In fact, after a stock answer on playing in New England, Brady had some fun with a few follow-up questions.

“I’ve had such a great experience over a lot of years,” Brady said. “I appreciate this team and the opportunity it gave me in 2000. I play for a great coach, Coach (Bill) Belichick. Josh (McDaniels) and I have a great working relationship. I love Mr. (Robert) Kraft and his family. We’ve had just incredible success. So, hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Brady was asked if he’s comfortable going year to year.
“I mean, we’re all day-to-day if you think about it,” Brady said smiling. “None of us are really promised anything, so I’m trying to do the best I can do today and just let those things sort themselves out.”
Brady, who led the Patriots to a Super Bowl LIII victory last season, then was asked if he believes he’s earned a new contract.
“Have I earned it? I don’t know,” Brady said. “That’s up for talk-show debate. What do you guys think? Should we take a poll? Talk to Mr. Kraft. Come on.
“We’ve got a great relationship, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Danny Etling’s Position Change To Pay Off For Patriots, ESPN Predicts

The New England Patriots will reap rewards from Danny Etling’s willingness to step out of his comfort zone.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss offered this “bold training camp prediction” Tuesday, writing the reigning Super Bowl champions will win at least one game this season due to the former quarterback’s switch to wide receiver. Etling spent his entire rookie season on the Patriots’ practice squad but he has changed positions early in training camp in order to find a role on the 53-man roster. Reiss believes the gamble will pay off.
“This has been one of the unique stories of training camp, as the former LSU quarterback is experimenting with a receiver-type role in addition to special teams duties,” Reiss wrote. “He hasn’t looked out of place, and his work ethic (often staying after practice for extra repetitions) is one obvious example of the type of team-first, hard-grinding culture Bill Belichick has created (and why keeping Etling around makes sense).
“Etling faces long odds to earn a place on the initial 53-man roster (I’d estimate 10%), but a spot on the practice squad is a much greater possibility. Anything can happen from there over the course of the season. All it takes is one play to make a difference, and it wouldn’t be shocking it Etling makes it — at some point — in his new role.”

Etling’s teammates praise his athleticism last week and revealed he performed well in 2018 as a scout-team receiver. Although Etling might surprise NFL fans by contributing as a wideout, his teammates and Reiss won’t be shocked at all if he does.

MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox ‘Most Intrigued’ By This Reliever Ahead Of Deadline

Asking prices can reach exorbitant heights near the trade deadline, something the Boston Red Sox know all too well.
This year, high costs reportedly dissuaded Dave Dombrowski and Co. from pursuing their top target on the reliever market.

San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith is the reliever who “most intrigued” Boston leading up to Wednesday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, according to Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam. However, the asking price for the rental closer was beyond what the Red Sox felt comfortable paying.
Smith is 3-0 with a 2.72 ERA to go along with 26 saves this season for the Giants. He was named to his first All-Star team in July.

In the last week, the reliever that most intrigued the Red Sox has been LHP Will Smith, with multiple scouts watching him. But the Sox found the asking price for a rental – Smith is a free agent this fall – was too high.
— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) July 31, 2019

So, where does that leave us?
The Red Sox reportedly remain interested in Daniel Hudson, among a slew of other relievers. As for star right-hander Edwin Diaz, don’t get your hopes up of seeing Boston swing a trade for the New York Mets closer.
Click here to follow our MLB trade deadline live blog >>