Patriots

Patriots 'livid' over character coach Jack Easterby joining Texans, per report

Patriots 'livid' over character coach Jack Easterby joining Texans, per report

The New England Patriots lost a number of high-profile assistants this offseason. So, what's the fuss with their former character coach?

Jack Easterby, regarded as a player favorite and an key member of the Patriots' organization, ended his six-year tenure with New England in February to latch on with the Houston Texans in April as their "executive vice president of team development."

That move apparently didn't sit well with the Patriots, who are "livid" with Bill O'Brien's Texans for hiring Easterby, the Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard reported Wednesday, citing a source.

"This totally pissed them off," another source told Bedard.

According to Bedard, though, the Patriots are most "irate" with Easterby himself for taking his intimate knowledge New England's inner workings to an AFC rival with several former Pats assistants -- including O'Brien -- on staff.

As Bedard notes, Easterby had aspirations beyond character coach and hired the same agent (Bob Lamonte) who represents Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio to pursue them. That's well within his right, but "certain influential members" of the Patriots were incensed that he chose the Texans.

"Easterby has so much intel on the inner workings, including the thought processes of the Patriots, their coaches and players, that he’s much more valuable than any coach, player or scout switching teams," Bedard wrote.

Furthermore, Bedard reports Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son, Jonathan, are particularly upset with Easterby returning for New England's ring ceremony at the Krafts' home earlier this month despite being critical of Robert's alleged involvement in a Florida prostitution scandal.

"The Krafts can tolerate a lot of things, but if you leave for a competitor with state secrets, take issue with some of their personal actions … don’t disrespect their family home by trying to poach someone else on your way out the door," Bedard added.

There's a lot to unpack in Bedard's column, which is worth a full read and also explores the Patriots-Texans tampering war over Caserio. The main takeaway: Circle your calendars for Week 13, when Bill Belichick's Patriots visit Houston for a clash with a bitter backdrop.

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Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

When athletes retire from the sport they've played their whole lives, it's natural for them to miss the competition. That feeling is no different for former Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour.

The Hall-of-Fame hopeful, though, has chosen a unique way to get the competitive juices flowing. On July 11, he finished an impressive 131st at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, taking home $59,295. 

"Once you’re done playing football you still have a competitive drive,” Seymour told Yahoo! Sports. “Poker is an outlet for me where I have a competitive drive, you have to be very cerebral. It requires a lot like it did for me in football – I have to be patient, I have to know how to pick my spots, pay attention to guys’ tendencies. It was just a natural progression after leaving sports at a high level.”

Seymour, according to Yahoo! Sports, learned how to play poker from his father and picked it up at a competitive level shortly after he retired from the NFL in 2012. In last week's WSOP, he peaked at $3.6 million. Seymour said he's used his Super Bowl ring as a chip holder to intimidate competitors at the poker table. He also said he takes advantage of his status as a football legend, often bluffing when opponents assume he'll be an aggressive player. 

“Some guys play me differently because they say, ‘If I knock Richard Seymour out it’s a cool story to tell my buddies’,” he said. “Which I don’t mind that, it just depends on how I’m feeling that day...“My temperament fits poker well; I’m naturally kind of reserved, I’m not super emotional one way or another, so if bad things happen, which they’re going to in poker, it’s about how do you respond?”

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Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Hate them or love them, America has watched the Patriots more than any other team — in any sport — in 2019.

According to sportsmediawatch.com, all 10 of the most-watched sporting events of 2019 were NFL games. No World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals games made the list. Of the 10 highest-rated events, three of them included the Patriots. 

Unsurprisingly, the Super Bowl matchup between the Pats and Los Angeles Rams topped the list with more than 100 million viewers including online streams (in parentheses). Both New England's AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and its Division Round contest with the Chargers also cracked the top-10. 

The television ratings suggest that the NFL is still head-and-shoulders above other leagues in popularity, and the Patriots are leading the charge. 

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