Patriots

Tom Brady tweets encouraging message to Steelers LB Ryan Shazier amid recovery

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USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady tweets encouraging message to Steelers LB Ryan Shazier amid recovery

The entire NFL family is rooting for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier to recover from a spinal injury and return to the football field, and that includes New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Shazier posted a video to his Instagram page Sunday of a workout, and ESPN tweeted it out. Brady saw it, and offered some words of encouragment for the Steelers star. 

Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty also were happy to see Shazier doing well.

Shazier wasn't expected to walk when he suffered his injury late in the 2017 season against the Cincinnati Bengals, so the fact he's not only walking but able to do box jumps is incredibly impressive. 

The 26-year-old linebacker still has a long road back to playing in the NFL, but given his progress so far, no one should doubt his chances of a successful comeback. He's been an inspiration to everyone in football. 

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Patriots dominate Pro Football Focus' ranking of top rookies in preseason

Patriots dominate Pro Football Focus' ranking of top rookies in preseason

One of the most encouraging developments through the first two weeks of the preseason for the New England Patriots has been the impressive performance of their rookie class.

Pro Football Focus on Wednesday released its ranking of the top 10 offensive and defensive rookies from the first two weeks of the preseason and three Patriots players made the list.

Jarrett Stidham came in at No. 3 among offensive players. The former Auburn quarterback is completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 372 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions through two games. Stidham winning the backup job over Brian Hoyer wouldn't be a shocking scenario if his performance continues to impress.

The best rookie for the Patriots has been undrafted wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Here's what PFF had to say about the North Carolina State product, who was ranked No. 1:

Few have been as high on Meyers as PFF has over the past few months, which is primarily a result of his contested-catch ability as well as his collegiate progression. The undrafted rookie from NC State earned an 82.5 overall grade last year, 37th among wide receivers while his 86.2 receiving graded pitted him at No. 21, seven spots behind his now-teammate N’Keal Harry. In eight of his 11 regular-season games last year, he saw double-digit targets, earning 80.0-plus grades in four them.

Meyers has always been up for the challenge and working with the Patriots first team in training camp appears to be just another stepping stone on his inevitable path to success at the next level.

The one Patriots rookie who made the top 10 defensive players list was Chase Winovich at No. 2. The edge rusher from Michigan tallied six tackles, two QB hits and a sack in the win versus the Titans.

A few other Patriots rookies have impressed in the preseason.

First-round draft pick N'Keal Harry played a limited number of snaps in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions and made two quality catches before exiting with an apparent injury. Third-round pick Damien Harris was one of New England's best players in last week's victory over the Titans with 103 total yards. The Alabama running back is making a compelling case to be drafted late in your fantasy football league.

It's not often a team has so many standout performances from rookies in the preseason. The Patriots lost several talented players to free agency after winning Super Bowl LII in February, but their most recent draft class should be a tremendous help in filling out the roster with the required depth to make another deep run in the NFL playoffs.

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens gives simple take on why Patriots are a 'juggernaut'

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USA TODAY Sports

Celtics coach Brad Stevens gives simple take on why Patriots are a 'juggernaut'

The New England Patriots have provided the rest of the NFL a blueprint for how to establish consistent success, and they've done the same for the other professional sports teams in Boston.

Even though these four sports all have different elements that make them unique, some of the same areas the Patriots excel in can be translated from one sport to another. 

A good example is everyone, from the coaching staff down to the players, being on the same page and focused on one goal. It's a theme Celtics head coach Brad Stevens focused on when asked Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" what makes the Patriots so successful.

“The thing that stands out when you go over and watch the Patriots do workouts and sit in meetings and sit in film is they are on one page," Stevens said. 

"They are in one direction. His message, although has thousands of complexities within each scheme defensively and offensively, his message is concise. It’s ultimately not only well delivered, but well received. You can tell that thing is a juggernaut. That is a train moving in one direction. They know what they need to do to be successful. I don’t think it’s brain surgery the way that I have seen it from up and close and afar is they don’t beat themselves. There are a lot of things in a football game that ultimately lead to that and they are the best at them.”

Stevens is right, the Patriots always have a concise message each week. It's all about preparation -- everyone knows what their job entails and how it's going to make the team successful against that particular opponent. The  "Do Your Job" mentality isn't just a cool slogan in Foxboro, it's how the team operates. 

The Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins all have won championships since the Patriots kicked off a golden era in the city's sports history with a Super Bowl XXXVI victory in Feb. 2002. The Patriots are the gold standard, however, and teams across all leagues will be taking elements of New England's success for a very long time.

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