Patriots

Why Dontrelle Inman chose the Patriots: 'I like winning'

Why Dontrelle Inman chose the Patriots: 'I like winning'

The New England Patriots overhauled their receiving corps this offseason, and one of the additions to their team was Dontrelle Inman. The five-year NFL veteran joined the Patriots on a one-year deal after spending last season with the Indianapolis Colts.

And Inman's reason for joining the Pats was simple.

“I like winning,” Inman said via NESN's Doug Kyed. “It’s one of those things like being part of a winning organization, you want to try to help the team win. That’s why I made my decision.”

Inman made the playoffs for the first time last year with the Colts. Indianapolis went 10-6, earned the sixth seed in the AFC, and beat the Houston Texans before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. Now, Inman wants more.

Given the fact that the Patriots have a need at wideout and have made the Super Bowl in three straight seasons, this seems like the perfect destination for Inman. He'll be able to fight for playing time with veterans Philip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, Demaryius Thomas, and a plethora of rookies to earn a role on a winning team.

If Tom Brady warms up to Inman, he could find the form that he had in the 2016 season when he caught 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns (all career highs). But at the least, if Inman can prove to be a reliable weapon, he should have a chance to replicate his numbers from Indianapolis (28 catches, 304 yards, three touchdowns).

And if Inman makes the roster, he will definitely have a chance to win.

Turns out the Pats weren't all that healthy in 2018>>>

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Julian Edelman explains what Patriots will miss with Rob Gronkowski retired

Julian Edelman explains what Patriots will miss with Rob Gronkowski retired

The New England Patriots are going to miss recently retired Rob Gronkowski's impact on the field as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, but what he did for the team off the field also was very important.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman explained Tuesday during an interview on WFAN's "Boomer & Gio" what the Patriots will miss this season without their historically dominant tight end.

“He’s definitely going to be missed," Edelman said. "Not just his athletic ability and what he does on the field, but how he is in the locker room. I’ve played nine or 10 years with the guy, and to see him every day and how he was as a professional — he never really had a bad day.

"When you play a long time with someone, you know them in and out. He’s such a good human being. Great dude to be around, like a big old teddy bear. Those are the things you’re going to miss the most. You go into Week 13, it’s been a grind, you’re banged up. We just had a long flight. We have a short week and you go into the office, you know, and sometimes it’s not easy to have a great attitude. You look at Gronk and Gronk’s over there in his locker, naked, smiling like, ‘Hey, what’s up, dude?’ That’s just Gronk, and those are the things you’re going to miss and obviously you’re going to miss his attributes.” 

Replacing what Gronkowski gave the Patriots on the field should be among the toughest challenges facing the team this season.

Matt LaCosse and veteran Benjamin Watson are the two-best options to start at tight end for the Patriots in 2019. Watson is suspended for the first four games, and LaCosse has 20 games of NFL experience, so New England isn't in a great spot at the position with training camp one month away.

The Patriots, as a result, will need multiple players to step up and help fill the on-field production Gronkowski would have provided, and two of the best candidates for the job are Edelman and rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry.

Edelman had a very good regular season in 2018 after missing the first four games due to suspension, and then he played even better in the playoffs, culminating with a Super Bowl LIII MVP performance. He's also Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's most trusted target on third down. Harry is a big, strong target that could be a real threat in the redzone -- a role Gronkowski filled so well for nine years.

The Patriots often do a great job replacing important players who leave in free agency or retirement, but this might be their greatest challenge yet. One player isn't going to replace Gronkowski -- it has to be a group effort on the Pats' offense.

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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.

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