Patriots

Patriots Talk Podcast: What exactly are the Patriots up to right now?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: What exactly are the Patriots up to right now?

Needless to say, it's unusual for the New England Patriots to have so much down time in January. Typically, they're playing in the AFC Divisional Round. And the AFC Championship Game. And often, the Super Bowl.

But this year, they were eliminated in the Wild Card Round for the first time since 2009. And now, they have a lot of time on their hands.

And while their early playoff exit was surely discouraging, the Patriots could stand to benefit from this extra time.

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On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed how the Patriots could utilize the extra time and the positive impact it could have on the organization.

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Curran pointed out that because the team has so often been playing into February, their already thin staff has been stretched thin come draft season, which explains why the team has had some draft misses in recent seasons.

Really, it comes down to 312 days of prepreparation were sacrifice. And so for a bare bones organization in terms of both front office and coaching staff -- these guys have had shorter offseasons by a month on average than any other team in the NFL.

So on one hand, it's remarkable and it's a high-class problem. On the other hand, isn't it somewhat inevitable that you might have some draft swings and misses?

Perry agreed with Curran and brought up that the fact that the extra time off will give Belichick a real chance to thoroughly evaluate his roster.

I think for a team that is looking at a reboot, one of the sort of ironic things about that is that now you have time to really think that through in more detail and not to say that Bill Belichick isn't planning or looking at his roster, how it's constructed, how the contracts set up and trying to plan ahead. I'm sure he is doing that to a certain extent.

But you can only spend so much time on those things when you're getting ready for the divisional round, the AFC Championship Game every year, the Super Bowl every other year.

This surely makes sense and is definitely a positive for the Patriots. Perhaps with that extra time, Belichick can find a way to retain Tom Brady while significantly upgrading his supporting cast.

For more on the Patriots offseason plans, potential changes in their front office, and predictions for the AFC and NFC Championship Games, check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

NFL rumors: Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, expected to meet with Patriots at NFL Combine

The New England Patriots are facing a lot of unusual uncertainty at quarterback this offseason.

Tom Brady is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 20-year NFL career and it seems legitimately possible that he may not return to the Patriots. At the moment, it's unclear where he'll end up and there won't likely settle on a landing spot until mid-March.

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But as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport pointed out on NFL Now, the Patriots are expected to have some more conversations with Brady and his agent, Don Yee, during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week.

Though (Brady and Yee) have had some conversations with the Patriots since the Super Bowl, the playoffs, and all that, they haven’t really gotten into any hard-core negotiations. It is possible that begins here in Indianapolis. The two sides are expected to meet as, of course, every agent and every team meets. It should be the starting off point for real dialogue over the course of the next month. Either way, nothing's expected to happen until right up in the cusp of free agency. At that point, all sides should know what Brady’s plans are.

These rumors at least demonstrate that the Patriots are doing what they can to speak with Brady ahead of free agency. And as Tom E. Curran said on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, it makes sense for the team to do this.

It makes sense that they get after it now because the guy's going to be a free agent in less than a month. And you better start moving forward with 'Okay, Tom, what do you want? Here are the things we're planning to do. Are you in, or are you out?' and then start talking numbers.

Curran would go on to say that he "wouldn't imagine [the meeting] to be climactic" if it does, in fact, happen. So, for those hoping that the Patriots will be able to lock up Brady ahead of free agency, it still seems highly unlikely to happen barring a chance of heart.

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent on March 18 and he is unlikely to last long on the open market. Though the 2020 free agent quarterback class is loaded, Brady still tops the bunch because of his history of high-level play and ability to win championships.

 

Report: Former Patriots great Kevin Faulk to coach running backs at LSU

Report: Former Patriots great Kevin Faulk to coach running backs at LSU

The New England Patriots have seen a lot of their former players go into coaching at the end of their careers. And another has recently landed a prominent coaching position in the collegiate ranks.

According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic, former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk will be on the LSU coaching staff next season. Fittingly, Faulk will coach the team's running backs.

As Feldman mentioned, Faulk had been serving as the director of player personnel for the Tigers in each of the past two seasons. But now, he'll get his chance to coach along with Ed Orgeron and the defending national champs.

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While LSU is coming off a national title, they will be losing many players to the NFL, the most notable of which is Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow. Faulk will have his work cut out for him in the running back room, as the team's top rusher from 2019, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, is heading to the NFL as well.

But if anyone can get the most out of the LSU backs, it's Faulk. The former second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft played collegiately at LSU and will be familiar with the program after playing there and working in player personnel for two years. And given his versatility as a player, he should be able to help coach up the LSU running backs in all facets of the game.

Faulk spent his entire 13-year career with the Patriots and was one of the league's best receiving backs during his day. He totaled 3,607 rushing yards, 3,701 receiving yards, and 31 total touchdowns in 161 regular season games while also earning three Super Bowl wins. He was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2016.