Brady, Harbaugh both Michigan men

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Brady, Harbaugh both Michigan men

FOXBORO - The University of Michigan was never quite "Quarterback U", but the Wolverines produced a chain of NFL quarterbacks through the 1980s and '90s that began with Jim Harbaugh and ended with Tom Brady.

The two ends of that chain don't know each other too well, however.

I asked Brady on Wednesday how often he'd interacted with the 49ers coach who'll try to stop Brady this weekend.

"He used to have a golf tournament every summer (when I was at Michigan)," said Brady. "He'd come back and it was a big deal. The guys all got excited when he was around. I didn't get too many chances to talk to him. I was just one of the plebes."

Since then?

"I saw him out golfing out one day while he was coaching at Stanford. Talked to him a little bit," said Brady. "He's a tough, hard-nosed guy."

Harbaugh was the Wolverines starter from 1984-86. Elvis Grbac, Todd Collins and Brian Griese were some of the quarterbacks in between Harbaugh and Brady who was the most-of-the-time starter in 1998.

Brady's had a better pro career than Harbaugh did.

Harbaugh, of course, is working very hard to cultivate a hard-ass, no-nonsense persona in the NFL, so it will be interesting to see what kind of interaction he has with Brady on Sunday prior to the game.

Given Brady's penchant for using slights for fuel, if Harbaugh goes hard-ass, it might not work out so well for him.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.