Patriots

Something to get off his chest: Brady apologizes to McDaniels for outburst

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Something to get off his chest: Brady apologizes to McDaniels for outburst

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady deemed it was time for an apology. A public one. 

When he stepped to the podium on Saturday afternoon, following his team's final practice of the week before flying to South Florida for the Monday night game in Miami, Brady took the opportunity to make a brief statement. 

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"One thing I do want to say first is I want to apologize to Josh for last week in Buffalo," Brady said. "I know our coaches work really hard and they're responsible for putting us in a great position to succeed. So just want to get that off my chest."

Brady and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels were involved in a fiery sideline exchange in the first quarter of their game last weekend against the Bills. Brady appeared to miss open receivers on both first and third-down plays in Buffalo territory, and McDaniels seemed to harp on that fact to Brady when the quarterback came to the sidelines. Something McDaniels said caused Brady to erupt, and the 40-year-old MVP candidate unleashed a series of expletives in McDaniels' direction. 

Perhaps it's all the discussion surrounding his outburst and comparing it to those of players like Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant. Perhaps it's that he has three children old enough to see their dad on television and wonder why he's acting the way he is. 

Whatever the reason, Brady felt bad and wanted to apologize. He did radio interviews on both WEEI and Westwood One during the week, but he waited until he was in front of cameras to get the mea culpa out there. 

"A lot of people see it," Brady said of his lashing out at McDaniels, "and they think the nature of our relationship would be something like that. But it's really the exact opposite of that. I just have been feeling bad all week and haven't had a chance to say it. He knows how much I love him."

Brady has long been open about how he believes in playing with emotion so long as it is channeled properly. He echoed those sentiments again Saturday, and he said his entire team will have to steer its emotions in the right way against the Dolphins on Monday night.

"I think you have to play the game with energy, emotion and enthusiasm," Brady said. "Absolutely. It's just directed in a positive way, toward winning and toward what we're trying to accomplish as a team. I have so much trust in the players and so much trust in our coaches and what we're all trying to accomplish. We all want the same thing.

"To go about that in the right way is what matters the most. We're gonna have to have a lot of enthusiasm, and we should because this is a great atmosphere. It means a lot. We're playing for a lot . . . Hopefully, all that energy is directed in the right way towards being the best team we can be, and me playing my best to help us win."

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Protoypical Patriots: What they want on the O-line - Smart, tough, athletic

Protoypical Patriots: What they want on the O-line - Smart, tough, athletic

Before the Super Bowl, Dante Scarnecchia spoke to a small group of reporters and laid out exactly what the Patriots look for in their offensive linemen.

"We covet three things when we look for offensive linemen," Scarnecchia said. "They have to be smart, they have to be tough, and they have to be athletic enough."

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While there's certainly more to it than that, those are the basics. Check those off the list, and you'll have a chance. Someone like Cole Croston -- an undrafted rookie out of Iowa -- was able to spend the entirety of the 2017 season on the active roster with the Patriots because he met New England's criteria. 

The Patriots have a clear need for depth at offensive tackle after Nate Solder signed with the Giants, but are there players who can come in to be an immediate stopgap on the edge? If so, who are they? And if not, which developmental prospects could be fits?

Here are some names to keep in mind on draft weekend. These "prototypes" have what the Patriots typically look for in terms of size and athleticism up front:

PROTOTYPES IN RANGE
MIKE McGLINCHEY, NOTRE DAME, 6-8, 309


I've been told by evaluators that when it comes to this class of tackles, McGlinchey might be the only one who is truly ready for regular work in the NFL. That doesn't mean others can't develop into starters -- and do so quickly. But it sounds like McGlinchey is already there, particularly in the running game. He has the requisite size that the Patriots look for. Though he's not one of the top athletes in the class (his 28.5-inch vertical is a little under what the Patriots often like), he seems athletic enough (his broad jump, for instance, was 105 inches, which meets New England's criteria). That he comes from a pro-style blocking scheme could also make him a quick fit. Scarnecchia attended McGlinchey's pro day.  

KOLTON MILLER, UCLA, 6-9, 305


Length. Athleticism. Experience in a varied offense. Miller seems to have just about everything the Patriots look for. There seem to be some technique issues that Scarnecchia will have to work with to get Miller ready to go, but he's physically impressive. His 40 time (4.95 seconds) is more than quick enough. Same goes for his 31.5-inch vertical and his 121-inch broad jump. The jumps are significant because they show explosiveness, which for linemen -- who have to operate with force in tight spaces and explode out of their stances in pass protection -- is important. Miller told me at the combine he was scheduled to meet with New England. 

CONNOR WILLIAMS, TEXAS, 6-5, 296 


Williams has been deemed a guard by some because his size isn't necessarily ideal to play on the outside. And if he were drafted by the Patriots to play tackle, he'd be on the smaller side. But at 6-5 he's about the same height as Matt Light, and his arms (33 inches) are just a hair shorter than Sebastian Vollmer's (33 1/4). Athletically, he hits every standard. His 40 (almost five seconds flat) and jumps (34-inch vertical, 112-inch broad jump) were all very good. Belichick has a good relationship with Texas coach Tom Herman, and Williams reportedly paid the Patriots a visit during the pre-draft process. 

BRIAN O'NEILL, PITT, 6-7, 297 


O'Neill, like Miller, is another athletic prospect who will need some time. The former tight end is a little light compared to players the Patriots have drafted in the past. (Even Tony Garcia, whose knock against him was that he was light, weighed 302 pounds at the combine last year.) But athletically there are some eye-popping traits. He ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash and had a 7.14-second three-cone drill. His jumps were good but not out-of-this-world (28.5 vertical, 107-inch broad). 

BRADEN SMITH, AUBURN, 6-6, 315


How much does arm length matter? If the answer for the Patriots is "a heckuva lot" then Smith may not be deemed a fit. His arms measured 32 1/4 inches, which would be shortest for any tackle they've ever drafted. Otherwise? He's just about what they're looking for. Trusted player in the SEC. Tough. Good height. Good athlete. He ran a 5.22-second 40, benched 35 reps, jumped 33.5 inches and broad-jumped 113 inches. 

IMPERFECT BUT INTRIGUING
TYRELL CROSBY, OREGON, 6-5, 309
 


Crosby measured in at 6-4 and one-half inch, earning him the "6-5" listing by a hair. And his arm-length (32 1/4 inches) are short. But athletically he's solid -- 30-inch vertical, 105-inch broad jump -- and he's considered to have good toughness. Late on Day 2 could be the right time to pounce if he's available. 

JAMARCO JONES, OHIO STATE, 6-4, 299


Jones is short but his arm length (35 1/8 inches) might make up for what he lacks in height. Athletically he's not outstanding. His 40-yard dash time is slower than what the Patriots typically like (5.5 seconds), and his jumps were nothing to write home about (24-inch vertical, 102-inch broad jump). But the Ohio State connection, where the coaching staff has obvious connections to New England and the offense is relatively balanced, could help him get drafted in the middle rounds. 

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Reports: Patriots open with Texans at Gillette

Reports: Patriots open with Texans at Gillette

The Patriots will open the regular season by hosting the Houston Texans at 1 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, according to multiple reports.

The NFL scheduled will officially be released tonight at 8, but Jeff Howe of The Athletic, among others, tweeted the 2018-19 schedule earlier Thursday. 

Marc Bertrand of 98.5 The SportsHub, host of the Patriots radio network's pre- and postgame shows, was first to tweet some of the schedule details, including the opener.

The Patriots beat the Texans 34-16 in an AFC Divisional Playoff game in January in Foxboro and lost to Houston 36-33 in Week 3 of the regular season at Gillette. Rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 game but missed the playoff game after a season-ending ACL injury in October. He's aiming to return for the season-opener.

The Week 3 Sunday night matchup with the Lions will be a reunion with former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, now the head coach in Detroit.

The Pats have back-to-back prime-time games with a Monday night matchup in Buffalo on Oct. 29 and a Sunday night game at Gillette against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers Nov. 4.

After a bye in Week 11, the Patriots finish with mainly AFC East opponents in four of their final six games. There's also a rematch with the Steelers at Pittsburgh in Week 15 on Dec. 16, almost exactly a year after New England won there 27-24 after an end-zone interception and controversial reversed call on apparent Steelers TD to help clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

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