Patriots

Brandon Bolden's vow of silence: Don't mention Dolphins' win over Patriots

Brandon Bolden's vow of silence: Don't mention Dolphins' win over Patriots

FOXBORO -- Brandon Bolden is taking a vow of silence. When it comes to the Miami Dolphins' win over the New England Patriots late last season . . . he isn't saying a damn word. 

"I legit don't talk about it," he said. 

Bolden played just four offensive snaps for Miami in Week 14 last year, but had two carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns in a game the Patriots lost on the final play -- effectively preventing them from having home-field advantage through the playoffs. 

Pretty big performance, right? Something you might joke about with your friends now that time has passed, right? Especially since the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl, right? 

Nope. Bolden has been mum on the whole deal since re-signing with New England earlier this offseason.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," he said Thursday when asked about that game during a back-and-forth with reporters. "I woke up Monday morning and got a lot of tweets and stuff saying, 'I can't believe you did that!' 

"I'm like, 'I don't know what happened.' But that happened, and here I am, ready to work."

Bolden acknowledged he had essentially closed the book on returning to the Patriots once he left. Then he figured playing for the Dolphins -- and helping the Dolphins beat the Patriots -- wouldn't help his chances at a return. 

But the Patriots came calling earlier this offseason, and he said the choice to come back to a place he spent the first six years of his career was "easy." He noted that even his old locker -- complete with oversized boom box -- is essentially the way he left it last year. 

Bolden was a core special teamer his last two seasons in New England, as was the case in Miami last year. He's taken a total of 22 carries over the last three seasons combined, his two big-play carries against the Patriots last year included.

His role should be similar in 2019 now that he's back in Foxboro, but the Patriots were thin at times in their backfield last year. If they need him to do anything offensively, Bolden said, he'd be ready. 

"Whatever they ask me to do," he said. "That's kind of how I've been. That's how I came into the league. That's how I wanna be. Whatever you need me to do, that's what I'm here to do." 

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Tom Brady leaves motivational comment on N'Keal Harry's Instagram

Tom Brady leaves motivational comment on N'Keal Harry's Instagram

Tom Brady's future with the New England Patriots is currently up in the air. But at least he's still taking some time to give his Patriots teammates some love on social media.

N'Keal Harry dropped a post on Instagram Friday night that had a picture of him in workout gear at a football practice facility. And the caption with the photo simply read "Cookin' Up".

Here's a look at the post, per Harry's official Instagram account. 

View this post on Instagram

Cookin’ Up👨🏾‍🍳🔥

A post shared by N'Keal Harry (@nkealharry) on

That post should be encouraging enough for Patriots fans, as Harry had some nice moments as a rookie and if he continues to put in work, the first-round pick should improve heading into his second season.

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But Brady weighing in on Harry's post with a motivational comment? That could be even better news for Patriots fans.

Brady's comment read: "Going to be a great year for you" and he tagged Harry's handle in it. Here's a screenshot of the comment, per NESN's Zack Cox. 

That's certainly a nice gesture and it seems Brady is continuing to support his (perhaps soon-to-be-former) teammates despite his uncertain future.

However, skeptics of Brady's potential return will point out that the QB said only "it's going to be a great year for you" when talking about Harry's upcoming season. He could've said us had he known that he was returning to the team, but it's also highly unlikely that he was thinking about that minor difference when posting the comment.

Either way, Brady's future with the Patriots is murky and it remains to be seen what will happen come the official start of free agency March 18. For the time being, at least he's staying in touch with his teammates on social media.

Xavier McKinney on NFL Combine meeting with Patriots: 'It was a little tough, a little awkward'

Xavier McKinney on NFL Combine meeting with Patriots: 'It was a little tough, a little awkward'

The New England Patriots have been the subject of many NFL Combine meeting stories over the years. And 2020 has been no different.

Notably, the team told one tight end prospect that he had a "loser's mentality" at one point in their interview. They also asked one of the quarterback prospects how he would feel to replace Tom Brady. And an LSU tight end said that he was "kinda scared" in his meeting with the team.

Some haven't minded the meetings. And one Clemson Tiger actually "felt comfortable" talking to the Patriots.

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Still, the same can't be said of former Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. 

McKinney had a formal meeting with the Patriots at the combine and he called his interview with New England "tough" and "awkward".

"That was one of the harder meetings that I had. It was a little tough, a little awkward," McKinney said, per Nora Princiotti of The Boston Globe. "But Vinnie Sunseri was in there so it just made me a little more comfortable just knowing that I’ve been in the room with him plenty of other times. It was a good meeting though."

Sunseri joined the Patriots coaching staff this offseason but the former Alabama safety had previously served as a graduate assistant with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban before. So, he had a connection with McKinney, which eased his nerves a bit.

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But McKinney said he just felt "uncertain" about the meeting coming out of it.

"Just towards the end, I wasn’t sure if they enjoyed the meeting or if I did well," McKinney said. "You kind of walk out of these meetings kind of uncertain sometimes. But I think that’s just how it goes. You just try to do the best you can."

McKinney has a good point and players often are unsure about what teams think of them. That's by design. Some teams really don't like to tip their hand in the lead-up to the draft, and the Patriots are certainly among those that keep their intentions close to the vest. 

So, it's well within the realm of possibility that the team liked McKinney. They just may not want him to realize that right away.

McKinney had 95 tackles, three sacks, and three interceptions in his final season at Alabama. He's expected to be one of the first safeties off the board and our own Phil Perry mocked him to the Patriots in his first NFL mock draft of the offseason in January.