Pats LB coach: Freelancing wasn't an issue for Collins

Pats LB coach: Freelancing wasn't an issue for Collins

FOXBORO -- Over the last year, no one has spent more time coaching Jamie Collins than Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores. Not even 24 hours after the surprising trade that sent Collins to Cleveland (!!!) for a compensatory pick (!!!), Flores had the misfortune of being trotted out in front of the media to face a series of questions about what he knew and why the hell this deal happened?

-- Curran: A drastic move for a not-so-drastic time
-- Lombardi reiterates: He's just not that good
-- Patricia lauds Collins
-- Butler: 'Shocked. Just shocked' at trade

“I think having been here -- this is my 13 season -- I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, seen some trades happen,” said the respected Flores. “Was I surprised? Any time you trade a player in your specific group, there’s a little bit of surprise, but at same time, if you spend too much time not necessarily worrying about it, but you kinda have to move at some point because obviously we have a long season and we have a lot of improvement we have to make as a team and as a defense. For me, I just start thinking about what are the next things I have to do to help us win some games and play really good, better defense.”

When looking for reasons for the trade, the way Collins plays -- and his reported propensity to freelance -- seemed to be a fair place to start. But Flores wasn’t buying when I asked.

“I wouldn’t say freelancing was an issue,” he said. “Again, Jamie was a very good player, made a lot of plays, helped us win a lot of ball games. Freelancing? I don’t know . . . Did he make mistakes? Absolutely, but again, everyone makes mistakes. There’s not a player in this league that doesn’t make mistakes.

He continued, “He made more plays than mistakes. I will say that.”

Was Collins consistent enough then? Because we know how much Bill Belichick values that aspect in all facets.

“I thought he was a consistent player,” said Flores.

The bye week will help Flores and the coaches put the right pieces in place to fill the void created by the Collins trade. In the meantime, it’s the 13-year veteran of this coaching staff to manage to emotions of the players who shared that meeting room and practice field with Collins every day.

“I think we do what we’ve been doing since Day 1: Come in, work hard, do our job, be attentive in classroom and put the team first,” he said. “You have to put your feelings aside - we all have our personal feelings about the situation -- but at the end of the day, Bill felt like that was the best for the team.”

And no matter how anyone else on the staff or locker room feels, there’s no overruling that.

King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick. 

Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis. 

“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”

More here from's Pro Football Talk. 


Report: WWE trying to sign Rob Gronkowski

Report: WWE trying to sign Rob Gronkowski

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has hinted about walking away from football at 28 and apparently World Wrestling Entertainment is listening.

According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer newsletter, WWE is willing to offer Gronk a "similar style deal" that it offered UFC star Ronda Rousey, who made her WWE debut late last month, is scheduled to be part of its "Elimination Chamber" event Feb. 25 and is being advertised as being part of their WrestleMania signature event April 8.

Gronk was part of Wrestlemania last year (see video below) and his friend, wrestler Mojo Rawley, hinted earlier this week that Gronkowski might be looking to give up football for the ring. Gronk has also reportedly been considering retiring to pursue a movie career.