Patriots

Tom Brady pays tribute to Rob Gronkowski with emotional Instagram post

Tom Brady pays tribute to Rob Gronkowski with emotional Instagram post

No one will miss seeing Rob Gronkowski on the football field more than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Immediately after Gronk announced his retirement from football, Brady posted a heartfelt Instagram post honoring his longtime tight end and favorite target.

"Our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field!," Brady wrote.

Read Brady's full post below:

Brady also responded to Gronk's post in a comment, along with numerous other Pats players and figures from around the world of sports.

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Gilmore: Patriots players still waiting on coaching announcements

Gilmore: Patriots players still waiting on coaching announcements

FOXBORO -- The Patriots are in Phase 1 of the offseason program. They're primarily working out. Occasionally they're with their coaches, but not to the extent they will be in the weeks and months ahead. 

That's why right now, with a handful of Patriots position groups still without a coach (officially), it's not exactly an emergency situation. The team has not yet announced its cornerbacks coach, for instance, but Stephon Gilmore didn't seem too concerned about it when asked Thursday. 

"They haven't told us," Gilmore said. "Just kinda working out right now. Little meetings, but nothing that we know."

Asked if he was eyeing a player-coach opportunity, he paused. 

"Nah, I can't do that yet," Gilmore said. "We got a lot of good players in the secondary. We all coach each other up. We all make each other better and we push each other. No matter who's coaching us, they're going to put us in a position to make plays. But we want to put pressure on ourselves to make plays, too."

Gilmore is the top player in what looks like it'll be one of the most experienced secondaries in the league -- as it was last year. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung achieved the clichéd coach-on-the-field status years ago. Jason McCourty has more than a decade in the league under his belt, and Duron Harmon is well into his second contract with the team. 

There's youth in the defensive backfield as well, with players like J.C. Jackson, Keion Crossen and Duke Dawson back for 2019. But it's not a room lacking for leadership. 

The rest of the Patriots defense has veteran guidance as well. Dont'a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy are projected to be the primary contributors at the linebacker level again this season, and Lawrence Guy has embraced a leadership role along the defensive line. 

But the team is still (officially) without a defensive coordinator. That's unusual for this time of year. But, again, Gilmore shrugged it off when the topic was broached at Gillette Stadium Thursday. 

"It's not strange," he said. "We got a great coach. It's the National Football League. People go and come. Gotta be able to adjust. Pretty sure the coaches we have will put us in the best position to make plays." 

Among 'em? Bill Belichick. Hard to envision him being more involved in 2019, Gilmore indicated, because he's constantly involved. Heavily.

"He's always involved," Gilmore said. "I wouldn't say [he'll be more involved] because he's always in the meetings. Nothing new. It's going to be an opportunity for all of us to get better. Like I said, those coaches, they'll put us in the best position to make plays."

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Report: Some in Robert Kraft's camp 'can't believe' he won't take plea deal

Report: Some in Robert Kraft's camp 'can't believe' he won't take plea deal

Robert Kraft categorically denied any wrongdoing just hours after being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, and he's been standing his ground ever since.

But should the New England Patriots owner just take his lumps and move on?

According to ESPN's T.J. Quinn, that's what some in Kraft's circle expected he would do when Florida prosecutors offered to drop charges against him if he admitted he would have been proven guilty at trial.

Here's Quinn during an appearance Thursday morning on WEEI's "Mut & Callahan:

"There are people around him who have said to me they can’t believe he doesn’t just take this plea agreement, this diversion agreement that they offered and say, ‘OK, fine, I did this. I am sorry.’ And then move on with it.

"They are pretty amazed that he’s going to continue to fight it like this."

Few actually expected Kraft to accept that plea deal after he already maintained his innocence. But considering Florida prosecutors allegedly have video evidence of the Patriots owner at the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Fla., Kraft could have gotten ahead of the story by expressing remorse right after the charges came out and hoping the story died down.

Kraft is well past that point, however, and his legal team is now working relentlessly to prevent said video evidence from going public. That battle continued Wednesday, when a judge ordered the state of Florida not to release video evidence of Kraft until there's a hearing despite Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg stating earlier that day his office was obligated to make the evidence public.

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