LeGarrette Blount: No return, no hard feelings, no regrets

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LeGarrette Blount: No return, no hard feelings, no regrets

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- LeGarrette Blount wanted to stay in New England. He openly campaigned for a contract. Instead, the Patriots decided to place the rarely-used veteran free-agent tender on the bullish running back just prior to the free agency deadline last May. 

It raised eyebrows across the league but ensured the Pats would get Blount to count toward the league’s compensatory pick formula for the upcoming 2018 draft. That scared a few suitors away, but not the Eagles. They made a deal with the 31-year old and have been satisfied with the results. So has Blount, who says he harbors no ill will toward the Pats for potentially restricting his options.

“It’s a business, man,” he said Thursday from the Super Bowl in Minnesota. “You treat it like any other business. Guys get hired. Guys get fired. Guys get let go. Guys don’t get contracts renewed. It’s like any other business. You just can’t take it personal. I don’t take it personal. I still love Bill [Belichick]. I still love RK [Robert Kraft], you know, Tom [Brady], whatever . . . they handle their business differently than everyone else.”


Still, with teams like the Giants, Lions and Ravens reportedly all backing away from the table because of that tender, was it hard not to be pissed off at the Pats ‘unique’ way of operating?

“I don’t hold grudges against anybody. I’m a pretty happy guy,” said Blount.

That was evident to his new team. Blount’s energy can be infectious, and center Jason Kelce noticed that right away.

“Just an awesome teammate to have,” he said. “Not only is he a great player, the downhill, physical running style he brings, but he’s also just a great personality a guy that is fun to be around. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really started to appreciate guys like that -- with colorful personalities that always seem like they’re in a good mood. It’s uplifting.”


Blount said he had no trepidation about coming into a new locker room and wondering how he would fit. 

“I’m not going to change for anyone,” he told me. “Fortunately for me, I was welcomed with open arms. Everybody embraced me and I got close with a lot of guys early.

“I smile all the time. There’s not a lot of times where you catch me not smiling. I don’t know how you couldn’t like me.”

His teammates and the city of Philadelphia will love him even more if he continues to build on a postseason resume that has seen him score in each of the team’s first two playoff games and help lift the Eagles to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.


Patriots' Josh McDaniels raises notable strategy concern of games without fans

Patriots' Josh McDaniels raises notable strategy concern of games without fans

Bill Belichick isn't the only New England Patriots coach who leaves no stone unturned.

Among the many adjustments the Patriots will have to make this season, they may have to play games in empty stadiums, as the continued spread of COVID-19 could prevent fans from attending games in 2020.

New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked Friday how a fan-less atmosphere may change how he runs the offense, and he gave a pretty revealing answer.

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"If it's quieter, I think there's some things you probably have to protect," McDaniels told reporters in a video conference. "You can't change your language. It's like, if we know English, we can't teach them Spanish before Week 1.

"I think you probably will self-scout yourself a little bit more with the television copy (of the game film), because they have the mics all over the place. So, you have to be careful (about) how much of what you're saying is easily detectable. I think it's more about protecting yourself and not giving everything away week after week."

McDaniels makes a good point: A quiet stadium without fans means teams could eavesdrop on opposing offensive coordinators to listen to their play calls, either during the game or while watching the television replay on film.

Under normal circumstances, offensive coordinators usually cover their mouths with their play sheets to prevent teams from reading their lips, but that precaution might not be enough if an in-stadium microphone picks up what they're saying anyway.

It's unclear how McDaniels and other coordinators will guard themselves against this potential subterfuge, but it's no surprise that Bill Belichick's longtime coordinator is considering all scenarios entering an unprecedented season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.

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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami (FL). He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel and Myles Bryant.

UPDATE (6 p.m. ET): The Patriots are sending a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to Detroit in exchange for Jackson, per the NFL's transaction wire.