Patriots

Ferentz-Belichick connection continues as Patriots sign free-agent lineman

Ferentz-Belichick connection continues as Patriots sign free-agent lineman

Bill Belichick knew James Ferentz's dad when James was about the size of a set of shoulder pads. Now James is under contract with the Patriots.

The team announced on Thursday that it signed the free-agent offensive lineman, along with fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise and rookie free agent Sam Cotton

Ferentz checks in at 6-foot-2, 285 pounds and spent the last two seasons with the Broncos. The 27-year-old entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa and spent that season on the Texans practice squad. 

In 2015, Ferentz made it onto the field for 14 games and one postseason game (against the Patriots in the AFC title game) as the Broncos went on to win Super Bowl 50. Last season, he played in seven games for Denver. He was released last week. 

Ferentz's father is Kirk Ferentz, who has been the head coach at Iowa since 1999. Before manning the sidelines for the Hawkeyes, Kirk spent time in the NFL with the Browns and Ravens. Belichick gave Ferentz his first NFL gig in Cleveland in 1993 as the Browns offensive line coach. Ferentz held that title through Belichick's tenure there and moved with the team to Baltimore, spending three seasons with the Ravens. 

Belichick hired another one of Ferentz's sons, Brian, to the Patriots coaching staff in 2009. In 2011, Brian was the team's tight ends coach. The following Ferentz took over as Iowa's offensive line coach, and in January he was named the team's offensive coordinator. 

The Patriots landed a pair of Iowa products as undrafted rookies earlier this offseason, signing offensive lineman Cole Croston and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. 

Trent Brown calls Patriots QB Tom Brady "one of the coolest guys" he's ever met

Trent Brown calls Patriots QB Tom Brady "one of the coolest guys" he's ever met

Trent Brown has played only one season with Tom Brady, but the offensive tackle clearly has a high opinion of the New England Patriots quarterback.

Brown was a recent guest on ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter's podcast "The Road Less Traveled", where he talked about free agency, his 2018 trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Patriots, and more. 

The soon-to-be free agent also was asked about Brady, and he paid the 41-year-old quarterback quite a compliment.

“Tom’s really one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met in my life, and that’s no (B.S.) by any stretch of the imagination,” Brown said. “He’s really a cool guy. That’s really the only way I can say it.”

Brown is one of several current and former teammates to praise Brady over the last year or so.

Former Patriots linebacker James Harrison, who played with New England for just a few months last season, called Brady the "ultimate teammate" in January. Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, during an appearance on FOX Sports 1 show "First Things First" earlier this month, called Brady a "great teammate" and "one of the hardest workers I've ever played with."

It's hard to find a negative opinion of Brady from players who've interacted with him on a daily basis. It probably also helps that Brady is the main reason why many of these guys have a Super Bowl ring (or multiple). 

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Patriots fans will enjoy this video of Tom Brady's top 10 plays in 2018

Patriots fans will enjoy this video of Tom Brady's top 10 plays in 2018

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a lot of criticism during the 2018 NFL season, and a good amount of it was warranted, but the 41-year-old veteran got the last laugh when he held the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIII.

Brady became the first player in NFL history to win six Super Bowls when the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 on Feb. 3 in Atlanta. He didn't play particularly well against the Rams, but he made enough clutch plays with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.

The NFL tweeted a video Monday of Brady's top 10 plays from the 2018 season, including New England's memorable playoff run. Check out it out below:

Brady has been adamant about returning for the 2019 season, when the Patriots will try to become the first team since 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Given the way Brady played in 2018, there are plenty of reasons to believe next season's top 10 plays video will include several memorable playoff moments.

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