Chip Kelly pays Bill Belichick a visit at Patriots OTA practice

Chip Kelly pays Bill Belichick a visit at Patriots OTA practice

FOXBORO -- Former 49ers and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly made a trip to Foxboro to take in Patriots practice on Tuesday. 

The Patriots have hosted a number of visitors this spring during OTA practices. The Boston College women's lacrosse team made their way to the fields behind Gillette Stadium before playing in the NCAA national semifinals. Members of the USA Rugby program were spotted during one session. Coaches from the University of Florida and Vanderbilt University trekked to New England. Former Bruins and Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton, now the Panthers vice president of business operations, was a guest as was Spurs vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams. 

Kelly was accompanied by Maryland head coach DJ Durkin on Tuesday. Kelly was fired at the end of last season by the 49ers after going 2-14 and has been hired by ESPN to serve as a college football anaylst. 

Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly have had a friendship that extends back to Kelly's days as an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire. Kelly made trips to Foxboro then that continued when he became the head coach at the University of Oregon. The two exchanged ideas on Xs and Os, but Belichick has said that Kelly has also shared ideas that go beyond that and into other areas of running a program. 

When Kelly was fired by the Eagles toward the end of the 2015 season, Belichick publicly came to the defense of his friend and in the process criticized impatient owners who aren't willing to stick with a head coach trying to overhaul a program. 

"I would say it’s really disappointing," Belichick said at the time. "I mean Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach. I think he does a great job. I think he’s done a good job with that team. It’s disappointing to see. Or Josh [McDaniels] in Denver. There are a lot of examples, but pretty much everybody is on a one-year contract in this league.

"I don’t know how you build a program in one year. Chip is a great coach. He’ll end up somewhere and he’ll do a great job there. I’d say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren’t really doing too much for anybody else, either."

Tuesday's visit is an indication that the relationship between Kelly and Belichick is still going strong, and that Belichick still values Kelly's insight. 

QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense


QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Jerod Mayo breaks down the best way for Patriots to attack Jaguars defense

Jerod Mayo talks with Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry about the Patriots AFC Championship matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

(2:00) Jerod Mayo gives his X’s and O’s breakdown of the Jaguars defensive schemes and traits.

(5:00) Jerod gives his opinion on how the Patriots offense should attack the Jaguars defense.

(8:30) Could Gronkowski be the key to the Patriots offense? What would be the best way to use him?

(15:00) Does the Jaguars defense have a weakness against vertical routes?

(17:00) Jerod Mayo explains why James White could be a key once again for the Patriots. 

(21:00) Will Jaguars change their defensive scheme after allowing 42 to the Steeler?

(23:00) Will much will the Jaguars having the ‘nothing to lose’ mindset impact the game?

Jaguars have Ramsey's back


Jaguars have Ramsey's back

Enough has been made of Jalen Ramsey’s bold proclamation that the Jaguars are going to win the Super Bowl despite the fact that they’re aren’t even on that stage yet.

I know it’s not how the Patriots do business but other teams do. Does it generally work? Well, no one can match the Pats sustainability but that doesn’t mean that style can’t be effective in shorter windows.

Look at the Seahawks or Ravens. Even the Giants could be boisterous. That leads me back to the Jags, who have Ramsey’s back.

“We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this,’’’ said defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

“The man has confidence in his team,” added Abry Jones, also a defensive tackle. “What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he’s saying anything that’s not true.”

“He does things very passionately,” Calais Campbell told the Rich Eisen show. “You feed off that. When you see a guy who loves the game as much as he does, you can’t help but fall into the same mentality.”

That is what makes Ramsey different from say Mike Mitchell, the Steelers safety who ran his mouth weeks ago about beating the Patriots in the AFC title game and then stood outside the Jags locker room and yapped about what a long day the visitors were in forSunday. How’s that working out for Mitchell now? He’s at home while Ramsey is about to play in his biggest game as a pro.

“He’s going to talk, but he’s going to show up,” Yannick Ngakoue said. “I just don’t like people talking all week. You talk reckless, man, and you lose. It is what it is.”

That is not an indicator to the Jags that Ramsey is looking ahead.

“He’s just happy,” noted Ngakoue. “He understands we have a giant in front of us and he’s got to pay all of his attention to this team. We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl…We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”

Of course, Ngakoue, the gifted edge rusher on that fearsome front 4, had some pointed words to the Steelers after that 45-42 win Sunday saying “real people don’t say nothing. Real people are quiet but then throw the first punch…they thought they were bullies today. We were the bullies. See you next year.”

That’s not Ramsey’s modus operandi however. He got under A.J. Green’s skin so much that the normally peaceful Bengals wideout threw punches at the Jags corner during the game and reportedly wanted more after the game. Then - and now - Jacksonville seems okay with it so long as the All-Pro corner continues to deliver the goods.

“Everybody has their own persona,” said Leonard Fournette. “Whatever motivates them. We aren’t worried about two weeks ahead of us. We aren’t worried about the Super Bowl. It’s the next game. It’s Sunday in New England.”