Patriots

Do Patriots have NFL's best secondary? Pro Football Focus reveals its rankings

Do Patriots have NFL's best secondary? Pro Football Focus reveals its rankings

The New England Patriots secondary put on a clinic in the team's Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, but is this group the NFL's best?

Pro Football Focus on Tuesday revealed its latest ranking of the best secondaries in the league. The Patriots, despite being very talented and deep in the secondary, came in at No. 5.

PFF ranked the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens ahead of New England. Here's what PFF said about the Pats:

New England returns the entire secondary from what was our second-ranked unit from a year ago. The only worry is how long the McCourty twins can maintain their high-level of play with their 32nd birthday coming in the preseason.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was a 2018 All-Pro selection and the only player at his position to earn an "elite" grade from PFF. J.C. Jackson also impressed at cornerback, while Devin McCourty continued his stellar play at safety. The Patriots ranked fifth in the NFL last season in yards allowed per pass attempt, and they ranked second in opponents' completion percentage.

New England didn't suffer any major losses in the secondary during free agency, and it added talented Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

With a strong group returning, the Patriots secondary could be even better in 2019 as the team tries to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl winner since 2004.

Where Patriots stand on Forbes' 2019 team valuations ranking>>>

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NFL Rumors: Tom Brady was 'Belichick'd out' after 20 years with Patriots

NFL Rumors: Tom Brady was 'Belichick'd out' after 20 years with Patriots

Since Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago, there's been plenty of speculation about why he made the stunning decision to end his New England Patriots tenure.

Perhaps it's as simple as Brady wanting a change of scenery after 20 years in Foxboro. Or maybe it was about the Patriots' lack of offensive firepower, which was evident throughout the 2020 campaign.

New England didn't exactly go all out to keep their six-time Super Bowl champion QB, either. As our own Tom E. Curran has noted, the Patriots made it clear to Brady over the last few years they weren't in it with him for the long-haul anymore.

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Another popular theory, however, is Brady had enough of Bill Belichick's strict coaching style. ESPN's Ian O'Connor added fuel to that fire Sunday in an article that documents the Buccaneers' pursuit of Brady in free agency. O'Connor notes Brady was "Belichick'd out" after 20 years and wanted to play for a player's coach like Bruce Arians.

Here's the full excerpt from O'Connor's piece:

Measured against Belichick, Arians is a stand-up comic with a funny-looking cap and a strange way of managing defeat. "Win or lose, we booze," is Arians' oft-stated philosophy. Though people close to Brady believe that he was looking for a little more humanity in his coaching ("Tom was Belichick'd out after 20 years," said one friend), and that Arians' let's-grab-a-couple-beers-and-sneak-in-nine-holes approach will be a welcome change, some league officials who know all parties wonder how Brady will adjust to a head coach who doesn't quite match Belichick's maniacal hours or attention to detail.

Arians' style is a complete 180 from Belichick's, so it's certainly going to be interesting to see how Brady fits in an entirely different environment. It'll either be a breath of fresh air for the 42-year-old QB, or he'll soon find out that the grass is always greener on the other side.

As for how Belichick and the Patriots will proceed without Brady, that remains to be seen. As of now, it looks like they'll roll with 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham. They also have veteran Brian Hoyer in the QB room (again) and could look to add another young arm via the 2020 NFL Draft.

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Rob Gronkowski may be done with football, but he continues to find ways to entertain us on our television screens.

The former New England Patriots tight end is hosting WrestleMania 36 this weekend alongside WWE star Mojo Rawley. And as one would expect, Gronk brought the energy to start off the two-night event.

“[WWE] picked the right guy [to host WrestleMania], because I know how to start a party on a Saturday night and end it 30 hours later," Gronk quipped in his introduction.

Watch below:

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Between the WWE and his various other ventures, Gronkowski seemingly has been everywhere these last few weeks. He appeared on SmackDown, was revealed as White Tiger in "The Masked Singer," and participated in a virtual beer pong tournament for coronavirus relief.

In other words, retirement seems to be treating the future Pro Football Hall of Famer well.