Patriots

Star trainer predicts Patriots' N'Keal Harry will have 1,000-yard rookie season

nkeal_harry_arizona_st.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Star trainer predicts Patriots' N'Keal Harry will have 1,000-yard rookie season

The New England Patriots' selection of N'Keal Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft received rave reviews in expert draft grades, but media members aren't the only people excited for what the future holds for the former Arizona State wide receiver.

Famed trainer Travelle Gaines, whose clients have included NFL stars such as Saquon Barkley and Antonio Brown, worked with Harry before the draft. Gaines explained on the latest "Lefkoe Show" from Bleacher Report why he's confident Harry will be a success in the NFL.

"How focused he is," Gaines said. "He's almost oblivious to what's going on outside around him. He's just focused on training and playing football."

Well, that sounds like the ideal player for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. 

Gaines also was asked what type of player Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is getting in Harry.

"(Brady) has an athlete that's going to compete and he has an athlete that can go up and get (the ball)," Gaines said. "And he's a lot faster than people think. He returned kickoffs and punts this year. He wasn't just a receiver. Again, I definitely think he's going to be a 1,000-yard receiver as a rookie. I definitely think he's probably going to win NFL Rookie of the Year. And I'm not saying that because I trained him, I'm saying that because he's in the best position of all offensive rookies in the NFL this year."

Oddsmakers are a little less optimistic about Harry's chances of winning Rookie of the Year. Caesars Palace had him at +1000 (fourth-best odds) to win the award earlier this month.

He's not a bad bet, though. Harry has a real chance to be a critical player in the Patriots' offense, especially after the offseason departures of tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson. We also don't know if suspended wideout  Josh Gordon will be eligible to play at all in 2019.

It's not unreasonable to think Harry could hit the 1,000-yard mark and be a top contender for Rookie of the Year. And according to Gaines, the young wide receiver certainly has the work ethic needed to reach those goals.

Ex-NFL QB compares N'Keal Harry to Larry Fitzgerald>>>

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.

Why Kyle Van Noy expects Patriots' success to continue despite offseason losses

Why Kyle Van Noy expects Patriots' success to continue despite offseason losses

The New England Patriots have sustained incredible success in recent years despite losing some pretty big names to free agency or trades.

But this offseason seems worse than others ... right? Don't tell that to Kyle Van Noy.

In an interview Tuesday with NFL Network's Willie McGinest, the Patriots linebacker explained why he expects the Patriots to continue that success despite an exodus of notable players and coaches, among them all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski and de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

"(Head coach) Bill (Belichick) does a really good job of the culture being set with the players that have been there for their tenures," Van Noy said, pointing to veteran leaders like Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and, of course, Tom Brady.

"When that culture is set, it doesn't matter, we all have the same goal in mind and that's just to win."

Van Noy is well aware of the roster turnover -- he let out a "Wow, look at that list" -- when shown the lengthy list of ex-Patriots that includes several assistant coaches.

But much like Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs, Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have created a culture of winning that allows them to not only compete but win championships despite significant roster turnover.

It sounds like Van Noy, who's won two Super Bowls since coming to New England in 2016, is fully bought in.

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.

One study shows Patriots have second-best fans in the NFL

One study shows Patriots have second-best fans in the NFL

Patriots fans aren't tired of winning, and it shows. 

According to one study, the Patriots have the second-best fan base in the NFL. Emory University business professor Michael Lewis conducts the report annually, and has listed the Patriots as No. 2 for the past two years. Lewis's model takes into account fan equity — home box office revenue — social equity and road equity. The study measures social media engagement and revenue as well as home and road attendance. 

In the top tier with the Dallas Cowboys (1) and Patriots are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. 

Notably, the Pats have some recent history with two of the bottom-feeder fan bases. New England beat the Kansas City Chiefs — the 31st-best fan base — in the AFC Championship. This might be surprising because of Arrowhead Stadium's reputation for being raucous, and Lewis predicts the Chiefs are in a solid position to improve in the rankings: 

"The problem is that the Chiefs lack pricing power and do not have much of a social following (I use Twitter)," the study said. "However, the Chiefs and Browns are probably the best positioned teams to make moves up the charts the next few years."

Also, the Los Angeles Rams — whom the Patriots bested in last year's Super Bowl — rank dead last among fan bases. The recent move from St. Louis and abundance of teams in the area certainly plays a part in the poor following, but Jared Goff and the Rams certainly could've used a few more cheers last February. 

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.