Patriots

Scarnecchia spends afternoon watching, coaching, interviewing BC's Lindstrom

Scarnecchia spends afternoon watching, coaching, interviewing BC's Lindstrom

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Dante Scarnecchia was running the show. There were cones on the ground. There was a path that had been laid out. The drill had been explained.

Easy enough, right? Well...

"We're not building rockets here," Scarnecchia said after one botched rep. 

It wasn't vintage Scarnecchia ire. That kind of thing is likely reserved for when drills are screwed up in Patriots training camp. But it was Scarnecchia in the flesh. He was one of the more than two dozen NFL coaches and scouts in attendance at Boston College's pro day Wednesday.

The player drawing most of Scarnecchia's interest? Offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom. Before the workout began, Scarnecchia spoke with Lindstrom for a few minutes. Then when other players were running their 40-yard dashes, Scarnecchia broke away from the crush of stopwatch-wielders to study Lindstrom as he worked on snapping the football on his own patch of turf off to the side. (The 6-foot-4, 308-pounder played primarily right guard for the Eagles, but he's been practicing handling snaps since the end of the college season in case his next team wants to try him at center.)

Later in the afternoon, Scarnecchia ran the offensive line workout with Lindstrom and tackle Aaron Monteiro. He fiddled with their posture and he critiqued their ability to pull down an imaginary line of scrimmage. When they were done, Lindstrom and Scarnecchia walked off the field together, found a quiet spot, and Scarnecchia interviewed the first-team All-ACC selection. 

"It was really cool to finally get to meet him, the great coach that he is," Lindstrom told reporters once their meeting was through. "It was a great day."

Lindstrom grew up a Patriots fan in Dudley, Mass. He understood what it meant to be working out in front of the man who has become unanimously regarded as the top offensive line coach in football. 

Scarnecchia was largely credited for New England's ability to transform into a ground-and-pound offense -- behind a well-oiled offensive line -- late last season. And when Trent Brown recently signed the biggest contract for an offensive lineman in the history of the NFL, ESPN's Adam Schefter said Scarnecchia deserved a commission.

Yet Lindstrom said that there were no added nerves having Scarnecchia watch him closely all afternoon.

"I was expecting just to have an intense workout," Lindstrom explained. "That's what we got. It was really good. I was thankful I was able to have a good workout."

Lindstrom is no stranger to those. He destroyed the combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, running a 4.91-second 40-yard dash (second among all linemen), a 7.61-second three-cone (sixth), a 4.54-second short shuttle (seventh), and jumping 9-feet-9 in the broad jump (second). 

The entire pre-draft process has seemingly represented a steady upward climb for Lindstrom's draft stock. He was recognized by The Draft Network as one of the best players at the Senior Bowl, and NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has compared him to 2018 Pro Bowler Joel Bitonio. In a draft class with relatively few surefire interior offensive line prospects, it can't be ruled out that Lindstrom will hear his name called on the first day. 

But why the interest from Scarnecchia and the Patriots? (The team had college scouting coordinator Brian Smith and coaching assistant DeMarcus Covington in attendance as well, though Covington spent his time focused on BC's front-seven players.)

The Patriots have their fair share of needs to address this offseason, and interior offensive line seems pretty low on the list. If it's on the list at all. Receiver remains among the most glaringly thin position groups in New England. Depth behind Rob Gronkowski (or a Gronkowski replacement) is a no-brainer. They just released their primary sub-rusher from 2018, and their swing tackle signed with the Bills. An infusion of youth at safety shouldn't be out of the question. Quarterback is always in play. 

But the value in bringing aboard a capable young interior offensive lineman shouldn't be overlooked. 

The Patriots are set there for 2019, sure. Shaq Mason, David Andrews and Joe Thuney are all healthy and under contract. Ted Karras has served as the do-it-all backup there for three years. 

But if the Patriots are thinking ahead, it might not be a bad idea to draft Lindstrom. Thuney is going into the final year of his contract, and through three years as a pro, he's turned himself into arguably one of the top players at his position. In 2018, Thuney didn't miss a single snap and he graded out as the fourth-best left guard in football, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Consider the landscape. Guards are seeing their salaries rise as teams understand the importance of protecting quarterbacks against quick-hitting interior pressure, and the Patriots already have one guard on a lucrative long-term extension. As much as they would like to protect their soon-to-be 42-year-old quarterback, as important as it was to have a cohesive offensive line to change the team's approach and win a Super Bowl, will the Patriots be willing to meet Thuney's asking price he hits the market in 2020? 

It'd make sense for them to prepare against the potential of a departure. That's not building rockets. That's pretty straightforward roster management. 

It's why, even with loads of other positions to fill to improve the team for 2019, we shouldn't be shocked if the Patriots hand in a card with a guard's name on it in about a month. Maybe Lindstrom's.

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Chris Hogan sees similarities between Tom Brady and Cam newton

Chris Hogan sees similarities between Tom Brady and Cam newton

Chris Hogan wasn't with the Patriots for long, but in three seasons with the franchise, he experienced about as much as you possibly could for that short a time frame. He played in three consecutive Super Bowls and won two while catching passes from the legendary Tom Brady. 

Hogan signed a one-year deal with the Panthers this offseason after he said the Patriots moved on from him, though there are no hard feelings. Now he's working with the talented but inconsistent Cam Newton in Carolina, and has already noticed a key similarity between his new quarterback and Brady, as he told ESPN's David Newton

That competitive nature, it’s there. When it comes time to strap on the pads and play football, their focus is on one goal and that’s winning football games.

Cam wants to win. You can tell that right away from talking to him and being around him.

Newton won the MVP in 2016 and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, but lost to Von Miller and that brutal Broncos defense that featured Malik Jackson, Chris Harris Jr. and DeMarcus Ware just to name a few key contributors.

You have to wonder what would have happened if the Patriots hadn't lost to Denver in that year's AFC Championship game. Super Bowl 50 is the only Super Bowl the Patriots haven't participated in over the last five years. 

Hogan had enough time with Brady to notice what made him great, so if he sees that same competitive fire in Newton, then that has to be a good sign for Panthers fans. We already know Newton has the ability to turn a conference on its head, so there's a possibility we see him and Brady square off in February this coming season You never know. 

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WATCH: NFL Films special on Julian Edelman and his dad will make your Fathers Day

WATCH: NFL Films special on Julian Edelman and his dad will make your Fathers Day

It's Fathers Day, and for most of us who love sports, we've mostly developed that interest through our dad's, and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is no different. 

NFL Films posted a great special on Edelman and his dad Frank and the journey they each went on for the former Kent State quarterback to become the second leading receiver in NFL Playoff history and a three-time Super Bowl champion. 

"I discovered football through my father," Julian said. "My brother played, he was seven years older than me, and my father was coaching him, so I was the kid in diapers running around the practice field and I’ve had a love for it ever since."

The video shows some of Edelman's highlights as a youth football star, donning No. 21 because he thought he was Deion Sanders. However, his opportunities were limited throughout his amateur career due to his size. 

"The thing about Jules is he was really little," Frank said. "He used to come in my room crying in the middle of the night saying, ‘Daddy when am I gonna grow, when am I gonna grow.’ And I said son, don’t worry. 

"He’s fearless, and always had a chip on his shoulder."

As a three-year starting quarterback at Kent State, Edelman threw for 4,997 yards, 30 touchdowns and 31 interceptions to go along with 2,483 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. The only interest he drew as a quarterback was in the Canadien Football League, while the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft to be a receiver. 

"I said, ‘Jules you just got picked up by British Columbia,’ and he goes, ‘I ain’t going I’m gonna be a receiver in the NFL," Frank said. 

Edelman only caught one pass for 11 yards in college, so he and his dad worked seven days a week for Edelman to get up to speed on being a successful receiver. His dad's coaching style was similar enough to Edelman's new coach that he called his dad, "Baby Belichick."

From catching punts with one eye covered and a hand behind his back to using running routes on tennis courts, Edelman's methods seemed to work for him. 

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