Stephon Gilmore

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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Stephon Gilmore talks Tom Brady, Super Bowl pick in insightful Twitter Q&A

Stephon Gilmore talks Tom Brady, Super Bowl pick in insightful Twitter Q&A

Stephon Gilmore can be a man of few words when addressing the media. But get him on Twitter, and the soft-spoken New England Patriots cornerback opens up a bit.

Gilmore did just that Monday morning, fielding a barrage of questions from fans and providing some quality answers in a Twitter Q&A.

Two of Gilmore's best responses involved his teammate, Tom Brady, who in the cornerback's eyes is the best quarterback he's ever faced (no surprise there) and really doesn't like when Gilmore picks him off in practice.

Jared Goff probably didn't appreciate Gilmore's game-sealing interception in Super Bowl LIII, but Gilmore had a simple message for the Los Angeles Rams quarterback.

Gilmore also handed out a few NFL superlatives, showing Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams some love and giving teammate Julian Edelman a dubious distinction.

The seven-year veteran, who spent five seasons in Buffalo before coming to the Patriots in 2017, had predictably high praise for head coach Bill Belichick, too.

One of Gilmore's most intriguing answers, though, revealed he had confidence in his abilities from a very young age thanks to his father.

The 28-year-old was named a first-team All-Pro in 2018 and has blossomed into one of the NFL's best cover corners, so all that backpedaling clearly paid off.

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Brady, Belichick, Kraft not expected to attend Patriots celebration at Fenway home opener

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Brady, Belichick, Kraft not expected to attend Patriots celebration at Fenway home opener

The will be a celebration at Fenway Park on Tuesday, but a handful of those being celebrated won't be present. 

The joint championship party at Tuesday's Red Sox home opener — where both the Patriots and their hosts will be feting 2018 titles — won't be attended by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick or owner Robert Kraft.

The Red Sox have long celebrated the Patriots following championships, including two years ago after the Patriots beat the Falcons for the franchise's fifth Lombardi Trophy. Brady and Kraft were joined that day by Rob Gronkowski, James White and Dion Lewis. 

Back in 2015, following a Super Bowl win over the Seahawks, Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Brady and Belichick took the field with their four trophies in hand.

The Patriots have returned the favor in seasons past, welcoming the Red Sox to Gillette on duck boats following the World Series last year. The Red Sox were also clad in Patriots jerseys and brought the World Series trophy to the stadium after their championship run in 2013. 

Two Patriots stars from last season's championship team are expected to be in attendance Tuesday as both Gronkowski and Stephon Gilmore said during recent public appearances that they'd be at Fenway this week. There should be others but it's unclear just how many as the team is still somewhat scattered. The offseason conditioning program begins April 15.

It makes sense that Kraft would like to remain behind the scenes as his solicitation charges in Florida have not yet been resolved; he released a statement prior to the NFL's Annual Meeting in Phoenix two weeks ago but did not formally meet with reporters during the week.

For Belichick, who was not on the field for the Patriots celebration at Fenway two years ago, this is a relatively busy time of year as his staff is preparing for the draft later this month.

Click here for Phil Perry's Patriots seven-round mock draft 4.0.>>>

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