Celtics

Prospective Patriots: Mohamed Sanu

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Prospective Patriots: Mohamed Sanu

Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran and Mary Paoletti will look at some of the prospects that could be targets for the Patriots. Today's player: Mohamed Sanu.

Mohamed Sanu
WR, Rutgers

The Skinny: Ridiculously productive at Rutgers where he set Big East records for career receptions (210) and single-season receptions (115 in 2011). At 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, he's got good size and has shown adaptability in the passing game with the ability to run a lot of different routes well and be creative at setting up defenders. Enjoys the physical part of the game - blocking, working inside - and has multi-dimensional skills as both a return man on special teams and as a Wildcat quarterback.Gotta Have Him: This kid reeks to high heaven of David Givens-ness. Givens, a seventh-round pick from Notre Dame in 2002 who turned into a brilliant receiver over the next few seasons, was 6-1, 217 coming into the league with a 4.56 40 at the Combine. He had a great build and the potential to get better physically and mentally and he did once he got in the program. Sanu is a more finished version of Givens at 6-2, 211 and - while his 4.66 40 at the Combine concerned people - he's said to be football fast and is such a technician he makes up for the heartbeat of speed he may be lacking in a straight-line sprint. The Patriots have four targets filling roles for Tom Brady. Wes Welker is the slot; Brandon Lloyd is the downfield X-receiver; Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are the versatile tight ends running in the flats and down the seams, Deion Branch is working the sidelines. That would be the role for Sanu the same way it was for Givens. The deep out, the back line drag in the end zone - key spots for a smart, physical player like Sanu who can replace Branch. Plus, he returns punts. And he comes from the Belichick-approved Greg Schiano program at Rutgers.
Don't Need Him: Well, he fumbled seven times in college. And if he runs a 4.66, he better play "football fast" because if he doesn't, there's not going to be much separation between he and his defender when the ball arrives. He also is going to be a top 75 pick in all likelihood and the Patriots don't necessarily have a yawning need at wide receiver right now relative to some other spots on the field.

Forecast: The 23-year-old junior was seen as a borderline first-rounder until the NFL Combine. But the rise of some other wideouts with better measurables but far less production (Stephen Hill) may drive Sanu down the board. The later it goes, the more likely it is he joins the Patriots. Bill Belichick's said in the past, the second round is a place for gambles. Sanu isn't really that. He doesn't have a ridiculously high NFL ceiling. But the chance of him becoming a total bust is unlikely as well. If he's on the board at 62, the Patriots would be getting a steal.
Patriots Draftability: 7

Brad Stevens, NBA coaches have 'power and platform to affect change and will use it'

Brad Stevens, NBA coaches have 'power and platform to affect change and will use it'

NBA players have been the most outspoken group of professional athletes when it comes to raising awareness following the killing of George Floyd by ex-police officer Derek Chauvin last week.

Their voices and their platforms — while helpful — won’t be enough. 

They need allies and the league’s head coaches are ready to do their part in bringing about systemic change. The National Basketball Coaches Association has formed a committee on racial injustice and reform.

“We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it,” the group said via statement. 

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Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said all 30 NBA coaches were on a call recently.

“One thing that I heard from a number of coaches, as white coaches we have a lot of responsibility here,” Stevens said. 

Like the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, bringing about the kind of wide-ranging, systemic change that so many are now championing can’t be done by one person or one group. 

“We may not be able to know the depth of the pain of colleagues that are black or players that are black, our assistants that are black, but we have a responsibility to not only be empathetic but also help drive change,” Stevens said. “You saw in the coaches association statement; you saw in the Celtics statement. We have all been in these conversations before. And you’re moved to drive change and sometimes actionable steps lead to what you think is progress but this sure doesn’t look like progress."

Stevens added, “What we need to do is play our part and make sure we’re part of long-term, sustainable change.”

Brad Stevens praises Celtics' Jaylen Brown: 'He's a special leader'

Brad Stevens praises Celtics' Jaylen Brown: 'He's a special leader'

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered staunch support for his players who peacefully protested racial injustices this past weekend and notably had the highest praise for Jaylen Brown, who made a 15-hour drive to his native Georgia to lead a protest in Atlanta.

"Jaylen’s greatest impact, as good as he is at basketball, won’t be in basketball,” said Stevens. "He’s a special guy, he’s a special leader. He’s smart but he has courage.

"He’s got a lot of great stuff to him, and I think we recognize that when we drafted him but I think that he has been even more unbelievable every day, every year. I’ve always personally really enjoyed listening to him and talking to him about things outside of basketball. He told me he was going down there on Thursday and, obviously, I certainly am not surprised by him taking a leadership role. That’s who he is.”

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Brown made the long drive, and then, with a Celtics cap on his head, megaphone in hand, and an “I Can’t Breathe” sign, peacefully led a march through Atlanta. Later, in a social media livestream, he noted, "Being a celebrity, being an NBA player, don't exclude me from no conversation at all. … We're raising awareness for some of the injustices that we've been seeing. It's not OK.”

Celtics teammates Marcus Smart, Vincent Poirier, and Enes Kanter all joined peaceful protests on Sunday in Boston. Stevens supported all of their efforts.

"I think it’s been great,” said Stevens. "I think, in paying attention from afar but also having individual conversations with everybody on our team and knowing, obviously, what’s happened has been appalling and been brutal and been hurtful and painful. I’ve said this many times, I think the NBA is amazing. I think our players are amazing. We’re lucky that we have such great people representing us with the Celtics. I can’t say enough good things.

Later Stevens added, "I couldn't be more proud to be in the NBA, to be with the Celtics and to be surrounded by the people I get to go to work with every day. All that they do, not only in front of the camera's eyes, but all that they do to lead for what's right is really impressive. I'm just honored to be a part of that team of those guys. We do talk about the idea of real leadership, right?

A lot of people can be followed and sometimes, people mislead and divide and do things in their own self-interests. The real leaders unite people and are doing things to simply promote what is right. I think that our guys are amazing in that regard and I think that extends throughout the players and coaches all across the league. It's a real inspiring group to be around.