Patriots

Patriots players' 'ignore the noise' mantra will apply to Robert Kraft situation

Patriots players' 'ignore the noise' mantra will apply to Robert Kraft situation

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- What’s the best way to put out a fire? You deprive it of air.

That approach to crisis management has served the Patriots very well on myriad occasions through the years.

And that promises to be the same approach the team will employ when it comes to the charges of soliciting prostitutes in Florida that are being leveled at Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“Bill [Belichick] talks about it all the time when distractions or different things come up,” Jason McCourty said Sunday during an interview at the InterContinental San Juan where the McCourty twins are staying during a goodwill trip to the island. “He says, ‘Whoever’s dealing with it, you allow them to deal with it.’

“There’s no comment than we can make on somebody else’s situation that’s going to help it,” McCourty added. “It doesn’t do anything. If another guy is dealing with a situation you can just say, ‘I’m talking to him, communicating with him, wishing him well and hoping everything works out.’ There’s nothing I can do to help that person. Looking at it through that lens helps to minimize it in your world because you have your own responsibilities and priorities to take care of.”

MORE ON THE McCOURTYS

All the Belichick mantras — Do Your Job, Ignore the Noise, Control What You Can Control — apply.  

Since this instance involves the man who signs their checks rather than someone they share a huddle with, the impact on the players is arguably less tangible than, say, the suspension of Josh Gordon.

It’s not that Kraft isn’t an important figure to the players. He is, as Devin McCourty stated Friday. And if the case continues, there will be points at which it’s very much in the news.

Imagine the circus if Kraft is suspended by the league for the start of the 2019 season and the Patriots’ prime-time season opener and Super Bowl banner unfurling takes place with the owner in exile? That will be a topic, to say the least.

But not one the players will be expansive on.

MORE ON THE McCOURTYS

“The team does a good job of separating football and a personal side,” said Devin McCourty. “You spoke of the [Aaron] Hernandez situation. There wasn’t a guy in that locker room that wasn’t affected. Nobody was saying, ‘I don’t care.’ But you have to understand that when it’s time to go to work you have to go to work.

“I think that’s how the team’s always been,” Devin continued. “Whether it’s the Deflategate nonsense or when Tom [Brady] got suspended in 2016 or Julian [Edelman] this year, those can be seen as distractions. But when the time comes to work, we just work. We don’t care who’s there, who’s not there, what we have to do differently, we kind of treat it as if an injury’s happened. You don’t know who’s gonna be there from one week to the next. And even though in your personal time you might reach out and do what you can, when it’s time to come in and play football, that’s our focus.

“We have goals of the day, goals for the year and guys understand that that’s what they need to focus on so they keep their job and so we can have as much success as we can.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NFL draft rumors: Patriots have shown a 'ton of interest' in QB Will Grier

NFL draft rumors: Patriots have shown a 'ton of interest' in QB Will Grier

The New England Patriots currently are slated to close out the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft with pick No. 32, and after passing on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson in a similar spot in last year's draft, could they use this season's first-rounder to select Tom Brady's eventual successor?

Grier is one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft and could be selected anywhere from the mid-to-late first round to the early portion of the second round. What level of interest do the Patriots have in Grier with Thursday night's first round fast approaching? Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst reported an update Monday:

The New England Patriots have shown a ton of interest in Grier and could draft him as the first round closes out. The New York Giants also like Grier, and he could be their fallback plan if they don’t take a signal caller in Round 1. The Carolina Panthers also have an infatuation with Grier and will consider him in the second round.

Would the Patriots really take Grier in Round 1, or is this a smokescreen designed to trip up opposing front offices?

The Patriots do need a quarterback of the future. Contrary to what we've seen from Tom Brady in recent seasons, the 41-year-old quarterback will, at some point, start to break down and eventually retire. There aren't any great candidates already on the roster to play the role of Brady's successor, so drafting a QB this weekend makes a lot of sense for New England.

Grier played really well for the Mountaineers last season. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,864 yards with 34 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He reportedly visited with the Patriots earlier this month, as did Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock could be available on Day 2 of the draft as well.

Click here for our final 2019 Patriots mock draft roundup>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

2019 Patriots mock draft roundup: Final first-round pick predictions for No. 32

2019 Patriots mock draft roundup: Final first-round pick predictions for No. 32

The New England Patriots will be a team to keep a close eye on during the entire 2019 NFL Draft.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a robust treasure chest of picks, 12 to be exact, including six over the first three rounds. He has the draft capital to trade up for an impact player in Round 1, or trade down and continue stockpiling selections.

The Patriots had two first-round picks in 2018 and struck gold at No. 31 with Georgia running back Sony Michel. Michel played well in the regular season before improving his performance in the playoffs with six rushing touchdowns in three games, including New England's only touchdown in Super Bowl LIII.

Which players do the experts expect the Patriots to target in the first round Thursday night in Nashville?

Click here for our final 2019 Patriots mock draft roundup>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.