Tanguay: Brady memorial?? We're better than this, New England

Tanguay: Brady memorial?? We're better than this, New England

Did Tom Brady die? Did I miss something? Did TB 12 overdose on B-12, or perhaps choke on an avocado pit? Didn’t Alex know the Heimlich? Maybe Gisele hit him over the head with his $200 nutrition manual. 

When I saw the over-the-top tribute to Brady on the Gillette Stadium lighthouse, I didn’t know whether to laugh or throw up. I chose the former, a much cleaner option and better for my blood pressure.

I must admit that I'm not a fan but a professional (by definition) who has become tainted over the years. Mrs. Tanguay, on the other hand, remains a fan. Sporting her favorite Julian Edelman T-shirt, she chirped, “Oh, that is so cool! Did you see what they did for Tom at the stadium?” Yeah, I grumbled, and I took out the trash. 

We are better than this, New England. Patriots fans can live without Tom for four weeks. It remains to be seen if the Patriot offense can, but we don't need to become Honkville for a month. If you became all jacked up because Brady’s picture and number were on the stadium lighthouse, you are either a pink-hat (like my wife) or under the age of 12. 

I wish I could have heard Bill Belichick’s profanity-laced mumble when he first saw “The Memorial” to Tom. When Brady blew out his knee in 2008 against Kansas City, coach and player both knew the season was done. Bill never looked at Tom once as his starter limped to the Patriot locker room. Same deal here. There's no way in hell Belichick wants any sign or mention of Brady over the next four games. Bill was asked about the lighthouse and responded with, “Decorative or marketing things and so forth are not part of the team’s preparation. Our focus is on Arizona.” Decorative. I love when Bill get pissed, and -- believe me -- this pissed him off. And it should have. 

Hopefully, this was not an attempt by the team to make fans forget that Robert Kraft stood down to Roger Goodell and the NFL during Deflategate. It's over, and the Patriots and Brady lost. Plus, any reasonable person knows Kraft did the right thing (because he did, he's on the commissioner’s special committee of five). Robert knows how to keep his enemies closer. 

So, enjoy the Brady memorial at Gillette. Hopefully, this thing will be gone soon. 

Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

File photo

Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

Johnny Manziel said 10 days ago, "I'd go to New England in a heartbeat," when asked about the Patriots as a potential landing spot.

That seemed like wishful thinking at the time, but they're taking a look at him...along with 12 other NFL teams, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. 

Tom Brady's current backup Brian Hoyer is, like Manziel, an ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback. Manziel would again be competing with Hoyer for the Pats' No. 2 job should New England take a chance on "Johnny Football", the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, who's been out of football the past two years because of substance abuse and emotional problems.

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman had it at 12 teams watching Manziel work out at the University of San Diego and said the Patriots gave Manziel a weigh-in.


Patriots re-sign offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle

Patriots re-sign offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle

The Patriots have agreed to re-sign offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, his agent Scott Casterline confirmed on Twitter.  Waddle hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year began and made a visit to the Cowboys earlier this week. In the end, though, he chose to return to the team that claimed him off of waivers at the end of the 2015 season.

Waddle, who turns 27 in July, appeared in 12 games last season for the Patriots. He was the first right tackle the Patriots turned to when Marcus Cannon suffered an ankle injury mid-season against the Chargers. He ended up playing 51 snaps against the likes of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram without allowing a sack. He then started the next three games against the Broncos, Raiders and Dolphins and held star rushers Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Cameron Wake -- all of whom rush primarily off of the offensive right -- without a sack. 

Injuries forced Waddle (380 snaps on the season) to split the right tackle position with Cameron Fleming (543 snaps), but he was the primary backup when healthy. Waddle started the Divisional Round playoff game against the Titans but suffered a knee injury and was removed for Fleming. 

Both Fleming and Waddle visited the Cowboys this week, and the fact that Waddle has re-signed with the Patriots may impact Fleming's decision moving forward. 

The Patriots went to great lengths to build tackle depth last season, and adding Waddle to the roster helps them retain some of that depth after losing their left tackle, Nate Solder, to the Giants via free agency. Waddle could be an option on the left side, but the vast majority of his work since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2013 has been on the right side. 

The Patriots now have Fleming, Marcus Cannon, Cole Croston, Tony Garcia and Andrew Jelks on their depth chart at tackle. Croston, Garcia and Jelks are all headed into their second years as pros. Croston remained on the 53-man roster all season -- an indication that the Patriots liked him enough not to expose him to the waiver system -- but did not see meaningful snaps. Garcia and Jelks both missed the entirety of the 2017 season on reserve lists. 

Once the Patriots lost Solder to the Giants, it seemed to be of paramount importance that the Patriots re-sign either Waddle or Fleming. Behind Cannon, there were simply too many question marks not to have one return. The Patriots could opt to draft a tackle, but this is considered an average year at that position in that there are few ready-made NFL players and several developmental types.

Before the Super Bowl last season, I asked offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia how the team was able to manage offensively with backups at right tackle for much of the season. 

"It's not like [Fleming and Waddle are] not good players," Scarnecchia said. "They are good players. Their skill set seemed to fit that position pretty well. They have the traits that we covet. And they're both really smart guys, very willing learners, and they're both driven to be good and they want to play good. And I think all those things have manifested themselves when they've been out there playing. And we've been very, very pleased with what they've done for us this year, essentially splitting that position."

Asked about the aspects of the game the Patriots worked on with both Waddle and Fleming last year, Scarnecchia said, "For us it transcends everything. Obviously run-blocking and pass-blocking. They're both good at those things. Are they great at those things? No. But they've been able to steadily improve over the last two years to the point where we put them out there and no one's worried. And it's been that way the whole season after Marcus got hurt. Yeah they've done a nice job for us."