Patriots

Patriots coach Bill Belichick releases statement on death of Kobe Bryant

Patriots coach Bill Belichick releases statement on death of Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant certainly left a lasting impact on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick released a statement Tuesday, via ESPN's Field Yates, in which he reacted to Sunday's tragedy in Calabasas, Calif., where Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash.

"This is an extremely sad time for the entire sports community," Belichick said. "In my 45 years in the NFL, I have never witnessed a group as captivated as the day Kobe addressed our team two years ago. The respect and reverence he commanded far exceeded him being a legendary player.

"He was a special person with an unmatched passion, intensity and mentality toward achieving his goals. Kobe's determination led to a brilliant athletic career and paved the way for successes in the next chapters of his life. By bringing joy to millions of people with his extraordinary athletic ability, inspiring people to elevate the standard for anything they do or performing countless acts of encouragement, Kobe Bryant's lasting impact is immeasurable. I hope our collective thoughts and prayers can help provide strength to the families of all the victims of this tragedy."

Bryant spoke to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in May of 2018, and it's clear he inspired those who were in attendance. The Patriots won Super Bowl LIII later that season.

Many other Patriots players, current and retired, have sent their thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, while also sharing some of their favorite memories of Bryant and how he positively affected them. 

Forsberg: Kobe's impact on Tatum hard to quantify

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.

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Does New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore think covering new Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be "light work?" 

It certainly seems that way. Gilmore defended Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper after former Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan called Cooper a "turd" on ESPN's "Get Up."

The 29-year-old called Cooper one of the "toughest receivers in the league to cover," but when a fan responded saying Diggs will be tougher, another fan said he'd be "light work" and Gilmore liked that tweet. 

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Will Diggs really be that difficult for the Defensive Player of the Year to handle? It's tough to say, but Diggs put up some impressive numbers with the Minnesota Vikings before being traded to the Bills.

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In five seasons with the Vikings, Diggs has 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns -- he's had 1,000-plus yards receiving in back-to-back years and has never played a full 16-game season. On the other hand, Gilmore had six interceptions last season with two touchdowns, 44 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. 

With the Patriots and Bills set to meet at least twice next season, it'll be interesting to see how things shake out.