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.
Tragedy struck the city of Weymouth Sunday morning when police officer Michael Chesna was killed in the line of duty and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was quick to offer his condolences.
According to WCVB, Kraft stopped by the Weymouth Police Department Headquarters around noontime on Sunday and gave them “words of encouragement.”
Chesna, 42, was killed responding to a call regarding an erratic driver near South Shore Hospital and words of support have been quick to come from all corners of the state, and beyond.
“His death is a senseless tragedy & I ask you to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Gov. Charlie Baker via Twitter.
Police have identified a suspect in the shooting as 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes from Weymouth has been taken into police custody.
In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it.
I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays.
Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them.
It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.
ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick.
While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise.