Julian Edelman explains why it's 'awesome' to have Demaryius Thomas on Patriots

Julian Edelman explains why it's 'awesome' to have Demaryius Thomas on Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots' wide receiver group looks quite different than it did at the end of Super Bowl LIII in February.

Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and others departed over the offseason. Veterans Demaryius Thomas (free agent) and Josh Gordon (reinstated from suspension) have been added to the roster, along with talented rookies Jakobi Meyers and N'Keal Harry.

Thomas' arrival, in particular, could have a strong impact on the Patriots with his ability to produce on the field and set a good example off the field for the team's younger players.

"I think it's awesome having a guy like Demaryius in there," Patriots wideout Julian Edelman said after Friday's practice.

"He's a veteran-type guy. He's made a lot of big plays in this league. He's had a lot of production in this league. He's played in a lot of big games. Anytime you have someone like that in your room it's awesome. The younger guys get to see how he prepares and how a professional is supposed to look."

Thomas has made an impressive recovery from a torn Achilles injury he suffered playing for the Houston Texans in December. He was cleared to return to practice last month and made his preseason debut in the fourth and final game.

The 31-year-old played well in that preseason matchup versus the New York Giants, tallying seven receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns with rookie Jarrett Stidham at quarterback. More important than the stats was Thomas moving/running well and looking ready to return to game action on a consistent basis.

The veteran wide receiver's status for Sunday night's Week 1 opener versus the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncertain. He's practiced all week but also has appeared on the injury report as a limited participant because of a hamstring issue.

Thomas proved last season before his injury that he's still capable of making a meaningful contribution. He tallied 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games. The Patriots should be thrilled if he's able to give them close to that production in 2019. 

Bill Belichick makes encouraging comments on Demaryius Thomas>>>

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Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady engaged in plenty of trash-talking with his opponents Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods during "The Match" on Sunday. But they weren't the only ones going back-and-forth with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

NBA legend Charles Barkley was a commentator for the charity golf match and didn't hold back from letting Brady hear all about his lackluster performance through the first few holes. On the seventh hole, however, the ex-New England Patriots quarterback birdied a par-5 with what was unquestionably the best shot of the day to silence Barkley. 

The real mic drop from Brady came after the match, though, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB jabbed Barkley for his inability to win a championship during his NBA career.

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Boom, roasted.

Of course, the trash-talking was all just good fun. And it provided phenomenal entertainment while those involved in "The Match" helped raise more than $20 million to go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.

'Man In the Arena' producer sheds light on what to expect from Tom Brady documentary

'Man In the Arena' producer sheds light on what to expect from Tom Brady documentary

Last week it was revealed Tom Brady will have his own Last Dance type documentary titled Man In the Arena.

ESPN will air the nine-episode series, with each episode covering one of the ex-New England Patriots quarterback's nine Super Bowl runs. Gotham Chopra, a name Pats fans may recognize as the director of Tom vs. Time, is a producer for the docuseries which is set to premiere in 2021.

Chopra recently caught up with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB to chat about the upcoming documentary and what fans should expect.

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“It’s not Tom Brady’s Last Dance,” Chopra told Breer. “It’s not that. That may or may not exist 20 years from now, I don’t know. There’s this sort of immediacy to this.… The premise [of The Last Dance] was telling stories about the seasons, whereas [Brady’s], it does feel a little bit more real time. Tom continues to be an active player. So the idea is, ‘O.K., let’s talk about these nine seasons, this incredible body of work across 20 years, and how it’s still sort of affecting him.’”

“Jordan’s sitting on a couch, looking back, literally looking at stuff on the iPad, reminiscing about things. Tom’s kind of, just when you’re talking to him, it’s still very fresh, because he’s still processing a lot of things that may have happened across a season.”

As for who else will make appearances in the series, that remains to be seen. Chopra notes the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the interview process, but important figures in Brady's career such as Bill Belichick and Drew Bledsoe have already been reached out to.

“This is inside the mind of Tom,” Chopra said. “So we’ll ask Tom, I’ll use the most obvious one, 2001, What was it like working with Drew [Bledsoe] that season? Got it, now we go talk to Drew, and get his perspective on that. So yeah, there are other voices, other players, coaches, etc., and people off the field that had a lot of influence across those specific seasons that we’re trying to get. Now, we’ve got the added layer of complexity of getting to those people, like everyone else in the world, we’re dealing with that.”

Along with the Super Bowl appearances, Chopra says Man In the Arena will cover both the "Spygate" and "Deflate-gate" controversies. As for whether Brady's 2020 campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be included in the series, Chopra says there are no plans for that as of now.