Report: Steve Belichick is Patriots defensive play-caller

Report: Steve Belichick is Patriots defensive play-caller

The Patriots defense is off to a historic start, having allowed only 40 points in their first eight games. And they've done it without a defensive coordinator.

As has been Bill Belichick's custom recently (as in last season with then-linebackers coach-now-Dolphins coach Brian Flores), there's no coordinator per se, but a defensive play-caller. Who that was this season  - among Belichick, first-year inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and secondary coach Steve Belichick - has been unclear.  

Steve Belichick, the head coach's son, has been calling defensive plays for weeks, multiple Patriots players confirmed to the Boston Herald.  

Mayo, who has garnered significant attention in his first season on the coaching staff, was calling the plays in the preseason but according to the Herald's Andrew Callahan, "passed the play sheet over to his old film room partner" in the regular season. The story chronicles how Mayo, as an injured linebacker, and the younger Belichick, as a coaching assistant, had spent a lot of time together in previous seasons looking at film together.

That's not to say that there couldn't be someone else looking over their shoulders. More from Callahan's story:

Bill Belichick remains ever-observant on the sideline, jotting notes and getting a feel for the game. Whenever he deems necessary, the head man will turn from the field and address his defense with an adjustment.

Safe to assume that even with one defensive play-caller, maneuvering the NFL's best defense remains a collaborative effort. 

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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.