Patriots

Antonio Brown memes feelings for Patriots, has an ally in ex-Pats CB

Antonio Brown memes feelings for Patriots, has an ally in ex-Pats CB

Antonio Brown wants more attention -- specifically from the New England Patriots.

One day after suggesting the Patriots re-sign him in an Instagram Live video, Brown was back on social media, conveying that he misses playing in New England via a popular meme.

View this post on Instagram

Mood

A post shared by Boomin (@ab) on

The free-agent wide receiver posted the meme just before the Patriots kicked off their Thursday night game against the New York Giants, which undoubtedly is no coincidence.

Brown spent less than two weeks with the Patriots, appearing in one game before the team released him on Sept. 20 as he battled multiple allegations of sexual assault, sexual misconduct and intimidation of a victim.

New England didn't pay Brown a large portion of his salary following his release, and the 31-year-old since has filed a grievance against the team seeking that unpaid money.

Brown said Wednesday on Instagram the Patriots should let him "earn" his money by re-signing him, and on Thursday, former Patriots cornerback Darius Butler seconded Brown's proposal.

It seems highly unlikely New England re-signs Brown after the drama he caused in Foxboro. But that clearly won't stop him from bugging everyone about it.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Jerod Mayo details how he uses social media to motivate Patriots linebackers

Jerod Mayo details how he uses social media to motivate Patriots linebackers

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is notoriously averse to social media.

But that doesn't mean his assistants can't hop on Instagram every once in a while.

Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo has done exactly that, frequently posting motivational and thought-provoking messages to his Instagram story throughout his first season as an NFL assistant.

Turns out those posts aren't just for cheap likes. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Mayo admitted to our Phil Perry that he uses the messages in part to motivate the Patriots' linebacking corps.

"I read a lot. Sometimes people need those nuggets," Mayo said. "I don’t like to post about just things, material things. I just like to drop little nuggets of wisdom, and I’m hopeful, honestly, that my linebackers see those posts. It definitely helps motivate me."

Whatever Mayo is doing to motivate New England's linebackers, it's working: The "Boogeymen" arguably have been the best linebacking corps in the NFL through nine games, with Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy playing some of the best football of their careers.

That group is being tested amid the Patriots' toughest stretch of the season -- five straight games against NFL playoff hopefuls -- but Mayo hopes his social media messages can play a small part in keeping morale high.

"The season is long. Sometimes you need those words of encouragement," Mayo added. "It’s definitely an up-and-down season, even though we’re sitting here at 8-1. Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and realize that, and some of those quotes helps with that."

Credit Mayo for utilizing a tool that was much less relevant when he played in New England from 2008 to 2015. Mayo has seen first-hand how social media has changed NFL locker room dynamics -- to an extent.

"I remember when I first came into the league, you think about the room: Junior Seau, Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi -- guys who had flip phones," Mayo said. " ... They weren’t even really thinking about social media. So, when you would go in the locker room, I would say that just the overall vibe, you were in there playing cards and things like that.

"Now, the younger generation, they’re checking their social media and things like that. But I think the players around here do a good job, when they’re in the building, really focusing on football."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Why fans will like referee assignment for Patriots vs. Eagles Week 11 matchup

Why fans will like referee assignment for Patriots vs. Eagles Week 11 matchup

NFL players and fans have complained at various points in the 2019 season about the abundance of penalties called, but based on the referee crew assigned to officiate Sunday's Week 11 matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, we shouldn't expect to see many flags flying at Lincoln Financial Field.

Referee Bill Vinovich and his crew have been assigned to work this much-anticipated game, and as ESPN's Mike Reiss notes, this group has called the fewest penalties per game in the league this season.

The Patriots have committed the sixth-fewest penalties on offense and the fifth-fewest penalties on defense through 10 weeks. 

The defending Super Bowl champions rarely beat themselves, but that wasn't the case in their most recent game -- a 37-20 loss on the road to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. New England committed seven penalties in this defeat, and a few of these mistakes proved costly.

A game with fewer penalties should benefit the Patriots for a few reasons, one being they have more talent than the Eagles on both sides of the ball. If Vinovich's crew lets the players play, New England should take care of business. Oddsmakers are confident in that outcome, too, as they've pegged the Patriots as 3.5-point road favorites.

The Patriots also have an 8-3 record in games Vinovich has officiated since he became a referee in 2004, including a Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Tom E. Curran's latest AFC Power Rankings>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.