Patriots

Could this former Patriots receiver's son be the next Patriots receiver?

Could this former Patriots receiver's son be the next Patriots receiver?

One way to get a feel for just how long Bill Belichick has been head coach in New England? Players who were kicking around the league in the early portion of Belichick's Patriots tenure have children Belichick has the opportunity to draft in April. 

Last week we touched on the fact that Randy Moss has a son entering the NFL Draft as a tight end out of LSU. Thaddeus Moss could end up being a mid-to-late round option for a team in need of a tight end. 

This week? Another former Patriots receiver has a son who's putting on a show in Mobile, Ala. for this week's Senior Bowl. 

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Belichick never had a chance to coach Shawn Jefferson. The longtime NFL wideout with over 7,000 career receiving yards left the Patriots via free agency for the Falcons after four years in New England.

His first year with Atlanta, 2000, was Belichick's first as head coach of the Patriots. (The two did overlap in Foxboro in 1996, when Belichick coached defensive backs under Bill Parcells.)

But might Jefferson's son end up a Patriots draft target?

Van Jefferson, from the University of Florida, has been one of the most impressive performers at his position at this year's Senior Bowl. The week's practices — thoroughly covered and broadcast by NFL Media these days — has allowed Jefferson to put his nuanced skills on display against some of the best defensive backs in the country. 

After a strong showing on Tuesday in the week's first practice, Jefferson was one of the best pass-catchers on the field again Wednesday.

Despite lacking the athleticism of some of the others at his position who will be considered first-rounders this year — it's thought to be an incredibly deep class at receiver — Jefferson has made plays this week both down the field and at the intermediate level by understanding leverage and making contested catches.

"He is a route technician on a level that has the corners tripping over themselves," The Athletic's Dane Brugler wrote this week. "And it is tough to blame them because they haven’t faced many players at the college level with Jefferson’s detailed patterns. Instead of pure speed, he relies on pace, tempo and purpose, making every step matter and tying defenders in knots."

Jefferson spent three years at Ole Miss before transferring to Florida. The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder finished his collegiate career with 2,159 yards and 16 touchdowns. He caught 49 passes for 657 yards and six scores in his final season.

Belichick and his coaching staff are in Mobile for college football's premier postseason all-star game. Perhaps what they see from the Florida wideout with some Patriots connections will push them to consider him on draft weekend to bolster a receiving corps that needed all the help it could get this season.

Or not. Jefferson's father is currently assistant head coach and receivers coach for the Jets.

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

The New England Patriots are facing a lot of unusual uncertainty at quarterback this offseason.

Tom Brady is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year NFL career and it seems legitimately possible that he may not return to the Patriots. At the moment, it's unclear where he'll end up and there won't likely settle on a landing spot until mid-March.

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But as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport pointed out on NFL Now, the Patriots are expected to have some more conversations with Brady and his agent, Don Yee, during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week.

Though (Brady and Yee) have had some conversations with the Patriots since the Super Bowl, the playoffs, and all that, they haven’t really gotten into any hard-core negotiations. It is possible that begins here in Indianapolis. The two sides are expected to meet as, of course, every agent and every team meets. It should be the starting off point for real dialogue over the course of the next month. Either way, nothing's expected to happen until right up in the cusp of free agency. At that point, all sides should know what Brady’s plans are.

These rumors at least demonstrate that the Patriots are doing what they can to speak with Brady ahead of free agency. And as Tom E. Curran said on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, it makes sense for the team to do this.

It makes sense that they get after it now because the guy's going to be a free agent in less than a month. And you better start moving forward with 'Okay, Tom, what do you want? Here are the things we're planning to do. Are you in, or are you out?' and then start talking numbers.

Curran would go on to say that he "wouldn't imagine [the meeting] to be climactic" if it does, in fact, happen. So, for those hoping that the Patriots will be able to lock up Brady ahead of free agency, it still seems highly unlikely to happen barring a chance of heart.

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent on March 18 and he is unlikely to last long on the open market. Though the 2020 free agent quarterback class is loaded, Brady still tops the bunch because of his history of high-level play and ability to win championships.

 

Report: Former Patriots great Kevin Faulk to coach running backs at LSU

Report: Former Patriots great Kevin Faulk to coach running backs at LSU

The New England Patriots have seen a lot of their former players go into coaching at the end of their careers. And another has recently landed a prominent coaching position in the collegiate ranks.

According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic, former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk will be on the LSU coaching staff next season. Fittingly, Faulk will coach the team's running backs.

As Feldman mentioned, Faulk had been serving as the director of player personnel for the Tigers in each of the past two seasons. But now, he'll get his chance to coach along with Ed Orgeron and the defending national champs.

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While LSU is coming off a national title, they will be losing many players to the NFL, the most notable of which is Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Faulk will have his work cut out for him in the running back room, as the team's top rusher from 2019, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, is heading to the NFL as well.

But if anyone can get the most out of the LSU backs, it's Faulk. The former second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft played collegiately at LSU and will be familiar with the program after playing there and working in player personnel for two years. And given his versatility as a player, he should be able to help coach up the LSU running backs in all facets of the game.

Faulk spent his entire 13-year career with the Patriots and was one of the league's best receiving backs during his day. He totaled 3,607 rushing yards, 3,701 receiving yards, and 31 total touchdowns in 161 regular season games while also earning three Super Bowl wins. He was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2016.