Patriots

White on former high school teammate Dorsett: He works extremely hard

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White on former high school teammate Dorsett: He works extremely hard

Back in 2008. James White and Phillip Dorsett were high school teammates at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As of yesterday afternoon, the duo had been reunited, with the Patriots dealing with the Indianapolis Colts for Dorsett.

“He’s a good dude,” said White as he stopped for a brief chat in the Pats locker room this morning.” He works extremely hard, he’s extremely fast - as you guys probably know. Hey, we’ll wait and see what happens when we get out on the practice field.”

Back almost a decade ago, no one would have expected White to outshine Dorsett as pros. In fact, a couple of years ago, that was also just as unlikely. White didn’t play at all his rookie year, while Dorsett was selected in the first round by the Colts. Now about those projections…White is a Super Bowl hero armed with a new contract. Dorsett is forced to adjust on the fly and carve out a niche here in New England. It’s certainly possible. 

“He's a pretty talented player,” Bill Belichick told us Sunday morning. “He was a first-round draft pick. We'll see. We'll start working with him today and see how it goes.”

St. Thomas Aquinas has a terrific track record. The school has been churning out NFL payers at a higher rate than any high school in the country. They had 9 players on opening day rosters at the start of last year, including 2016 3rd overall pick, Joey Bosa. 

“We had quite a few guys, a lot of guys that have the opportunity to play in this league right now,” said White. “I think a lot of guys on that team were good people, work hard and have had a lot of success.”

The Patriots are hoping the success they’ve had with White translates in a similar manner to Dorsett.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long is donating his salary

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Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long is donating his salary

PHILADELPHIA - Chris Long is donating the rest of his year's salary to increase educational equality.

The Philadelphia Eagles' defensive end already gave up his first six game checks to provide two scholarships for students in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now, he's using the next 10 to launch the Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.

"My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality," Long told The Associated Press. "I think we can all agree that equity in education can help affect change that we all want to see in this country."

Long signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Eagles, including a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million guaranteed. His base salary in 2017 is $1 million.

The charitable initiative encourages people to make donations to improve equal education opportunities. Long began his career in St. Louis in 2008 and played for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last season. Long's foundation has selected four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character.

The four organizations are based in the three communities in which Long has played during his NFL career. The city that raises the most money during the season will receive an additional $50,000 donation.

"There's a lot of opportunities to help out and they're wonderful organizations," Long said. "We have such a great platform as football players and hopefully fans get behind it."

Long grew up in Charlottesville and starred in high school at St. Anne's-Belfield before going to the University of Virginia. He was moved to start the scholarship program following the violent protests in Charlottesville in August.

"Our hometown is a wonderful place and I feel like people got the wrong idea about what the residents of Charlottesville are all about," he said.

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Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

Gronkowski advises Hayward to treat rehab like anything else -- dominate

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski's never suffered a break like the one Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday night, but he has been through enough to know what lies ahead as the Celtics forward stares at a lengthy recovery period.

"I saw it. I mean, I wish him nothing but wellness," Gronkowski said on Wednesday. "Hopefully he heals ASAP. You never want to see that with a player in any sport. When my friend showed me that last night, you get that feeling in your body, like, your heart drops. I wish him well.

"I can't wait to see him back. I know he's going to bounce back. Being here in Boston, he's going to be a hard worker it feels like. I can't wait to see him back."

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Multiple back surgeries, a plate in his arm, a surgically-repaired ACL . . . Gronkowski has put in his share of rehabilitation work. Asked if he'd give Hayward any advice as he embarks on his road back to normalcy, Gronkowski's message was simple.

"Just go into rehab just like you go into anything else. Dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you're 100 percent . . . He wouldn't be where he is now if he wasn't a hard worker. I don't know the guy. Never met him. But it's not something you want to see as an athlete happen to anyone else."

Gronkowski acknowledged that in his experience, one of the biggest hurdles following an injury like that is the mental one. You quickly go from being a powerful athlete to a patient in need of help with even the smallest of tasks. 

"There is a big mental challenge, definitely, with that," Gronkowski explained. "It's not just not being able to be with your teammates and all that. It's outside of football, too. Because it takes away your whole life, going out like that . . . You can't do anything. You can't walk. You gotta have people do [things for you]. You get really frustrated. You just want the people around you to help you out and keep you in the best mindset throughout the whole process."

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