The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

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The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

By Justin Aucoin
WickedGoodSports.com

If nothing else can be said of this years team, the New England Patriots have become experts at fabricatingcontroversiesout of absolutely nothing. Really, for a team that only wants to talk about the next big game, they do an awful good job at breathing air into the fire of some fun but minor stories, all while making a big deal out of thin air.

Theyre like wizards of controversy.

Exhibit A:

Tom Bradys Get lubed comment a few weeks back. Back when he was trying out his heel persona for a few weeks:

"Yeah, start drinking early. Get nice and rowdy. It's a 4:15 game, a lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team."

A fairly simple comment; he encouraged fans to do what theyre probably already decided to do anyways have a few beers and then get rowdy at the game. Most people were cool with what Tom said. If nothing else, they were surprised he actually showed an iota of a personality while at the mic. But a handful of people the ones who probably couldve actually used a drink or two to chill out got all upset.

Then the Pats released a statement to clarify what Brady meant.

"He meant 'stay hydrated, drink a lot of water. Be loud, drink responsibly.'"

Thus the controversy began. What went from a fun, rallying of the fans became an issue. Some of the very reporters who laughed at Toms jest started sharpening their knives for the carving that would ensue.

Also, we didnt know that one had to drink water responsibility. Who knew that over-hydrating is such a huge pandemic in this great nation of ours?

Exhibit B:

During the bye-week Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tweeted a picture of him with a different tight end: porn star Bibi Jones.

OMG, look at all that skin Gronk is showing?

Pats owner Robert Krafts response:

Apparently Kraft is against attractive women wearing his teams jersey or his players from hanging with attractive women (just look at Toms wife, for instance) cause Gronk had the unpleasantness of having to apologize for his indiscretion:

"I didn't send anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft," Gronkowski said. "That's all, just a simple picture, that's all. From here on out, I'm just here to talk about thePittsburgh Steelersand the big game this weekend."

Gronks right. It was a simple picture. Fans got a laugh and metaphorically high-fived him while discussing the tweets by the water cooler. The media got a cheap story on an otherwise dull bye-week. Not to mention hes not doing anything any other 22-year-old guy wouldnt do in his position. Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane gets grilled for the same thing. Its insane. If Gronk should apologize for anything its for not hanging with a better known porn star or not getting video to share with the rest of the class. Really, though, apologizing for that picture is about as absurd as saying drink water responsibly.

Good thing the Pats are A students in absurd PR.

Still, were trying to figure out exactly how taking a picture of a clothed woman is hurting the reputation of the Pats organization. Maybe were getting this all wrong and Kraft wanted to see more of Bibi? Perhaps hes jealous of Gronk?

Kraft wishes he had guns like that

Lets be honest, Gronk is showing more skin than Bibi is and those two photos are probably the most clothes youll ever see Bibi wear in a picture on the Internet.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," Brady said Tuesday on WEEI-AM. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there.

Yea, about that Tom. This still lives on the Internet.

You're still the king, baby.

Valentine will be plunked down in heart of D-line

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Valentine will be plunked down in heart of D-line

FOXBORO – The Patriots used the 96th overall pick – a compensatory pick that came to the Patriots after losing Darrelle Revis – on a very large man. Vincent Valentine, a 6-3, 329-pound defensive tackle from Nebraska who is more space-eater than penetrator.

Though Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio said Valentine has played all over the defensive line including 5-technique (outside shoulder of the tackle), he’ll likely be an early-down, middle of the defensive line player for the Patriots at the outset. How does the team go about getting him on the field?

Currently, they are pretty well-stocked with big bodies. Last year’s first rounder, Malcom Brown, is going to play a lot for a long time. Terrance Knighton, added as a free agent, figures to be a major component of the defensive line. And aging Alan Branch showed in 2015 that he’s still got plenty of plays left in him.

The other 300-plus pound linemen in the mix are Marcus Kuhn, a free agent brought over from the Giants, and Joe Vellano, who’s been with the team for four seasons as an end of the roster player.

Valentine had an injury-plagued final season with the Cornhuskers and will need to tune up his body and conditioning for the NFL. He’s not a project but neither is he a plug-and-play type who can be expected to walk in and make immediate contributions. With the 31-year-old Branch nearing the end, it’s reasonable to expect Valentine to be the successor to him in the Patriots interior rotation when they go heavy on early downs and in short-yardage and goal-line.

Examining possible Patriots fits going into Day 3

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Examining possible Patriots fits going into Day 3

The Patriots have eight picks remaining on the final day of the draft. While they may not use all of those selections -- they currently have 80 players on the roster, leaving them with only two slots for undrafted free agents if they use all of their picks -- they still have plenty of opportunities to take chances on talented athletes Saturday. 

Here's a quick look at some of the best players available after they spent their first four selections on a corner (Cyrus Jones, Alabama, pick No. 60), an offensive lineman (Joe Thuney, North Carolina State, No. 78), a quarterback (Jacoby Brissett, North Carolina State, No. 91) and a defensive tackle (Vincent Valentine, Nebraska, No. 96). 

The Patriots have one fourth-round pick, five sixth-round picks and two seventh-rounders remaining.

RUNNING BACK: KENNETH DIXON, LOUISIANA TECH

Listed as one of our top players available after Day 1, Dixon is still hanging around after nearly 100 picks have gone off the board. Perhaps his level of competition at Louisiana Tech has worked against him. Perhaps his fumbling issues have come back to bite him. Perhaps this is simply an indication of how the rest of the league considers this position. Only four backs have been drafted through the first three rounds. 

Other top running backs available: Jordan Howard, Indiana; Devontae Booker, Utah; Paul Perkins, UCLA; Jonathan Williams, Arkansas; Alex Collins, Arkansas. 

RECEIVER: DANIEL BRAVERMAN, WESTERN MICHIGAN

If ever there was a player who stood out as a potential Patriots pick, it would be Braverman. At 5-foot-10, 177 pounds, he is a prototypical slot receiver whose skill set resembles that of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola or Troy Brown. He's very shifty in and out of his breaks, he does a great deal of his work while risking big hits over the middle of the field, he catches just about everything thrown his way, and he churns out yards after the catch with speed and good vision. 

Other top receivers available: Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia; Rashard Higgins, Colorado State; Devon Cajuste, Stanford; Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa; Keenan Reynolds, Navy.

LINEBACKER: JOSH PERRY, OHIO STATE

This Buckeye seems to fit the size profile the Patriots typically like in their receivers at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds. He runs well enough to be able to track ball-carriers from sideline-to-sideline, and he has a ton of experience coming downhill to make big hits in the running game. Perry will need some work before he's a reliable defender in coverage, but on first and second downs he could be a force. 

Other top linebackers available: Scooby Wright III, Arizona; Kentrell Brothers, Missouri; Stephen Weatherly, Vanderbilt; Blake Martinez, Stanford; De'Vondre Campbell, Minnesota. 

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: HASSAN RIDGEWAY, TEXAS

A college teammate of Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown, Ridgeway is considered by many to be more physically talented than Brown was when he declared for the draft. Injuries hurt Ridgeway's productivity last season, and there are some who question his conditioning, but he understands how to be a disruptive force on the interior, both in the running game and in the passing game. If he's in shape and can maintain the level of fitness that will be expected of him as a pro, he could turn into an immediate contributor.

Other top defensive tackles available: Andrew Billings, Baylor; Sheldon Day, Notre Dame; DJ Reader, Clemson; Dean Lowry, Northwestern; Justin Zimmer, Ferris State.