Patriots

Belichick: Patriots have been tracking new addition going back a few years

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Belichick: Patriots have been tracking new addition going back a few years

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a pair of roster spots to fill this week after placing both Nate Ebner and Martellus Bennett on injured reserve.

They filled one with undrafted rookie Jason King, an offensive lineman out of Purdue who spent training camp in New England. Given the injuries to Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle and David Andrews' illness -- and given the difficulty of finding young NFL-caliber offensive linemen -- the addition made sense. 

The other opening went to linebacker Nicholas Grigsby, a special-teamer who could help provide depth in the kicking game after Ebner went down. Grigsby likely won't be a one-for-one swap with Ebner -- who played on five of six special teams units -- but he could potentially help to fill the gaps if the Patriots take a multi-pronged approach to replacing one of their best players in the kicking game. 

Grigsby played in six games with the Rams last season, including one against the Patriots, and joined the Ravens practice squad after being released by the Rams before the start of this season. Now in his second season, Grigsby was undrafted out of Pitt, which is where he first caught the eye of the Patriots front office. 

"I thought at the end of the year last year for the Rams he did a good job for them," Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. "Not just in our game, but kind of that last third of the season. He did a solid job for them. We saw that. When he was released at the beginning of the year this year, we talked about him then. It didn't really work out at that time. Didn't have a roster spot . . . But as time went along, we got into a situation last week where we felt like adding him to the roster last week would benefit the team. We've tracked him from college, from Pittsburgh, to the Rams to here."

The Patriots will practice for the first time with their new addition on Wednesday afternoon.  

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Chris Hogan sees similarities between Tom Brady and Cam newton

Chris Hogan sees similarities between Tom Brady and Cam newton

Chris Hogan wasn't with the Patriots for long, but in three seasons with the franchise, he experienced about as much as you possibly could for that short a time frame. He played in three consecutive Super Bowls and won two while catching passes from the legendary Tom Brady. 

Hogan signed a one-year deal with the Panthers this offseason after he said the Patriots moved on from him, though there are no hard feelings. Now he's working with the talented but inconsistent Cam Newton in Carolina, and has already noticed a key similarity between his new quarterback and Brady, as he told ESPN's David Newton

That competitive nature, it’s there. When it comes time to strap on the pads and play football, their focus is on one goal and that’s winning football games.

Cam wants to win. You can tell that right away from talking to him and being around him.

Newton won the MVP in 2016 and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, but lost to Von Miller and that brutal Broncos defense that featured Malik Jackson, Chris Harris Jr. and DeMarcus Ware just to name a few key contributors.

You have to wonder what would have happened if the Patriots hadn't lost to Denver in that year's AFC Championship game. Super Bowl 50 is the only Super Bowl the Patriots haven't participated in over the last five years. 

Hogan had enough time with Brady to notice what made him great, so if he sees that same competitive fire in Newton, then that has to be a good sign for Panthers fans. We already know Newton has the ability to turn a conference on its head, so there's a possibility we see him and Brady square off in February this coming season You never know. 

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WATCH: NFL Films special on Julian Edelman and his dad will make your Fathers Day

WATCH: NFL Films special on Julian Edelman and his dad will make your Fathers Day

It's Fathers Day, and for most of us who love sports, we've mostly developed that interest through our dad's, and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is no different. 

NFL Films posted a great special on Edelman and his dad Frank and the journey they each went on for the former Kent State quarterback to become the second leading receiver in NFL Playoff history and a three-time Super Bowl champion. 

"I discovered football through my father," Julian said. "My brother played, he was seven years older than me, and my father was coaching him, so I was the kid in diapers running around the practice field and I’ve had a love for it ever since."

The video shows some of Edelman's highlights as a youth football star, donning No. 21 because he thought he was Deion Sanders. However, his opportunities were limited throughout his amateur career due to his size. 

"The thing about Jules is he was really little," Frank said. "He used to come in my room crying in the middle of the night saying, ‘Daddy when am I gonna grow, when am I gonna grow.’ And I said son, don’t worry. 

"He’s fearless, and always had a chip on his shoulder."

As a three-year starting quarterback at Kent State, Edelman threw for 4,997 yards, 30 touchdowns and 31 interceptions to go along with 2,483 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. The only interest he drew as a quarterback was in the Canadien Football League, while the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft to be a receiver. 

"I said, ‘Jules you just got picked up by British Columbia,’ and he goes, ‘I ain’t going I’m gonna be a receiver in the NFL," Frank said. 

Edelman only caught one pass for 11 yards in college, so he and his dad worked seven days a week for Edelman to get up to speed on being a successful receiver. His dad's coaching style was similar enough to Edelman's new coach that he called his dad, "Baby Belichick."

From catching punts with one eye covered and a hand behind his back to using running routes on tennis courts, Edelman's methods seemed to work for him. 

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