Denver only the next opponent for McDaniels

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Denver only the next opponent for McDaniels

Josh McDaniels sounds neither sentimental nor conflicted about the Patriots' upcoming matchup with Denver.
The offensive coordinator left New England to become head coach of the Broncos in 2009. Though this isn't the first time his current and former teams have clashed -- his first year as Denver bench boss started with six straight wins that included a Week 5 overtime victory against the Patriots -- it will be his first time facing the Broncos since coaching them.
On a Tuesday conference call, McDaniels kept focus on the Patriots.
"It's the next game. It's an important game for our team," he said in a verbal shrug. "I think there's a lot of times over the course of the season where either coaches or players on either team have had experience, or been a part of another organization or team, and I think that happens rather often, I would say.
"It's a big game for us because it's the next one, and we're trying to build on some of the things that we did well in the last game, and really emphasize trying to play well at home."
McDaniels keeping current didn't sound like bitterness, despite his Denver tenure coming to an ugly end. The early six-game win streak ended in brutal fashion; the Broncos went 5-17 from November 2009 into December of the following season and McDaniels was fired before 2010 was over.
He remained gracious when asked about the experience.
"I think anytime you take on another role or another position, there's always a lot of things that you learn. It's hard to really pinpoint one thing over another. But they gave me a great opportunity. I think it's a great organization, it's a great owner. You go out there and try to do the best you can with what you know, and the things that you're capable of doing," McDaniels said.
"You learn a lot of different things on all different levels because you're involved in so many different aspects of the organization as a head coach. Hopefully, all of those different experiences will pay off and make me a better person, coach, going forward in the future."
You'd imagine some of those lessons could be applied to New England's effort on Sunday. During a week's preparation McDaniels usually focuses on the opposing defense, but considering the inside track he has on Broncos he once oversaw all over the roster-- Brandon Stokley, Champ Bailey, Ryan Clandy -- it stands to reason he'd be an excellent resource.
Or not.
McDaniels countered the idea with New England's two wins over Denver in 2011. He said head coach Bill Belichick and staff are perhaps more recently familiar with the Broncos than he is now.
"I'm sure they did a lot of homework there and really studied and analyzed those players strengths and weaknesses. If there's anything that I can help with, I'm sure I will. But I'm pretty sure and confident that everyone here will do a great job of analyzing the things we need to do in terms of evaluating personnel."

Patriots select Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell in fourth round

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Patriots select Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell in fourth round

With their first selection on Day 3 of the NFL Draft, the Patriots add another weapon for Tom Brady, selecting Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, in the fourth round, No. 112 overall.

Mitchell, 5-11, 198, began his college career as a cornerback before moving to wide receiver. 

Kraft on Brady: Patriots 'will continue to have Tom's back'

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Kraft on Brady: Patriots 'will continue to have Tom's back'

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the organization "will continue to have Tom's back" in reference to Tom Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension being reinstated.

Here's an excerpt of what Kraft, speaking Friday night at the Patriots draft party in a video on the team website, Patriots.com, told fans: 

“Number one, there is no finer ambassador for the game of football, and the New England Patriots, than Tom Brady. We always have had and will continue to have Tom’s back, especially when he’s being treated unfairly and he knows that.”

"All the decisions that this organization and I personally have made throughout this ordeal have been focused on putting Tom in the best possible position for success.

“Number two, I have been in constant communication with Tom over the past 16 months and we’ve had numerous conversations this past week. We are both on the same page and he knows exactly where my allegiances, and the total team’s [allegiances] are, relative to the extremely unfair discipline that he has been subjected to.

“I share in our fans’ anger and frustration with the penalties the league has levied, and the entire process and how it was conducted. But please trust that I am always trying to do what I believe is best for this franchise, and pledge that I will always continue to do that.”

After the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision reinstated Brady's four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, it appears Brady is preparing to continue his legal fight against the penalty. 

Former Patriots players appear to have Brady's back, as well. 

 

Valentine will be plunked down in heart of Pats' defensive line

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Valentine will be plunked down in heart of Pats' defensive 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.