Patriots

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots have FaceTime session with University of Rhode Island WR

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots have FaceTime session with University of Rhode Island WR

Could the Patriots be going local in the draft as they search for wide receiver help?

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University of Rhode Island receiver Aaron Parker told WPRI-TV's Yianni Kourakis on Tuesday that he had a FaceTime session with the Patriots last week. 

"Me and the wide receivers coach talked about how I am doing through these times, how I am still training, breaking down some film with me, breaking down some coverages -- just seeing how I am doing," Parker said. "Embracing the process, stuff like that."

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With Joe Judge, who had been receivers coach, gone to become head coach of the New York Giants, it's unclear who that receivers coach was who spoke with Parker. Troy Brown, who worked with the receivers last season, is a possibility. 

Parker, 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, led the Colonial Athletic Association with 81 catches for 1,224 yards and became the second player in school history to reach 3,000 career-receiving yards. He's projected as a fourth- to sixth-round pick. 

“I just want to show the scouts that coming from a small school, I could play in the NFL and I can play with these big-name guys,” Parker told the Providence Journal before the NFL Scouting Combine in late February.” I’m going out there to compete with the best of them.”

Parker's fellow Rhode Island receiver Isaiah Coulter, who is Parker's cousin, is also a draft prospect. The two receivers and URI offensive lineman Kyle Murphy attended the combine. A URI player hasn't been drafted since 1986.  
 

McCourty twins address Drew Brees' flag comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

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File photo

McCourty twins address Drew Brees' flag comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

Drew Brees has taken plenty of heat lately due to the comments he made about players "disrespecting the American flag" by kneeling during the national anthem.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback was asked during an interview with Yahoo! Finance about players kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America. Brees answered, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country."

It didn't take long for the veteran QB to get backlash for those insensitive remarks. A number of Brees' NFL peers, including both Devin and Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots, scolded him for his comments.

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On Thursday, the McCourty twins delved deeper into the subject on a special edition of their Double Coverage podcast titled "Bridge To Action." Following an enlightening interview with former FBI special agent M. Quentin Williams, which you can watch below, the McCourtys addressed the Brees situation. 

"Everybody's been in an uproar over Drew Brees' comments, and obviously we've responded on Twitter," said Jason McCourty. "Somebody had asked earlier, 'do we forgive him?' and I don't think any of this thing is about forgiveness. It's not about Drew Brees, it's not about Jason or Devin McCourty, it's about realizing, 'Alright, here's an issue and we need to find a solution for that issue.' Like, you don't have an issue with Drew Brees when he makes those statements. You have an issue with that train of thought, and that thought is what we're trying to move away from.

"So as soon as anyone who has that thought is willing to dive in and learn, and open up dialogue to talk about -- because I think sometimes we subconsciously have thoughts that we don't know we have, and then we say some things that we may have to take some time to go back and self-reflect ... Maybe I need to look inwardly and see like, 'Hey, maybe I'm not looking at this thing the right way. And I think when we're able to do that, there's no animosity or hostility toward anyone because that's not what we're trying to do. It's about there's an issue, and we want to fix this issue."

Devin McCourty doubled down on what his brother had to say and mentioned that he doesn't have anything against Brees. Rather, he hopes this will help the 41-year-old and others like him look at the situation from a different perspective.

"It's not about forgiving or hating," said Devin. "Like, I've never hated Drew Brees. I don't even know Drew Brees. So it was never about that. It was just, how can we get people to now not look through those lenses. And he's a guy who if he doesn't look through those lenses, he can get a lot of other people to feel the same way. So hopefully some good turns out from that."

Brees has since issued an apology for his comments, saying they "lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy."

Beyond the McCourty twins' comments on Brees, their interview with Williams is well worth the watch. Williams is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Dedication to Community, whose mission is to "empower individuals and communities to achieve their business and societal goals through the spirit of entrepreneurial enterprise and community advocacy. The McCourtys and Williams had a mindful conversation about the recent killings of unarmed black men, the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, and the next steps to implementing positive change in the United States.

Did Jarrett Stidham confirm he's been working out with Julian Edelman?

Did Jarrett Stidham confirm he's been working out with Julian Edelman?

What do you do after your quarterback and best friend leaves you after 11 seasons together to join another team?

You start training with his replacement.

That's apparently what New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is doing with Jarrett Stidham following Tom Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this spring.

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Stidham, the Patriots' expected starter at QB in 2020, posted an Instagram story Wednesday reacting to Milwaukee Brewers utility man (and former Boston Red Sox fan favorite) Brock Holt, who tagged Edelman and Stidham in his own Instagram story while catching passes from a friend on a baseball field.

Holt wrote, "I'm here if you need me @jarrett_stidham8" in his initial post while jokingly comparing his hands to Edelman's.

Stidham's reply: "We've been at it.. Where you at bro?!"

Is Stidham referring to himself and Edelman as "we" and suggesting they've been working out together (aka "been at it") this offseason, then jokingly inviting Holt to join them?

That appears to be the case, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss, who noted that Stidham and Edelman are both in Massachusetts and have been meeting up regularly.

That's not ground-breaking news -- Brady has been running drills with his Bucs teammates for weeks -- but it's still notable considering Massachusetts has stricter social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic than some other states, which has limited Patriots' players ability to meet in person.

It's also a good sign to see New England's No. 1 receiver getting on-field work with Stidham, who appears locked in as the team's starting QB for 2020.

Brady's departure arguably impacted Edelman more than any other Patriot: The 34-year-old caught 100 passes from Brady in 2019 for a career-high 1,117 receiving yards and was the QB's clear favorite target.

But Edelman apparently isn't sulking over Brady's absence as he puts in work with New England's new QB1.