FOXBORO - Todd Bowles is 1-0 as an NFL head coach. The Miami Dolphins' interim guy took over last week for the expelled Tony Sparano and guided his temporary team to a 30-23 win over Buffalo. An eight-year NFL veteran who played safety for the Redskins and 49ers, Bowles was asked why Miami was able to retain its pride during an 0-7 start and actually go 5-2 since November 6. "On our team, the guys are tough and they have a lot of pride and they're not gonna throw in the towel," said Bowles. "We have some good captains. They've been able to keep everyone together and I think that's helped out."It was mentioned to Bowles that, on the final Sunday of 2010, the same Dolphinsteam on which Bowles was a defensive assistant gave little effort in a 38-7 loss to the Patriots. "We played a heckuva football team and we ran into a buzzsaw and they beat us up pretty good," said Bowles, perhaps forgetting Tom Brady played for about 33 minutes and Deion Branch and Wes Welker didn't play at all. "It wasn't about anybody quitting or anything. They played a heckuva ballgame."Perhaps. But if the Dolphins are expecting Bowles to light their fire with an impassioned speech before Sunday's game at Gillette, they best not hold their breath. Asked if he was hoping his 5-9 team could play the role of spoiler for the Patriots, Bowles answered, "We're not trying to spoil anything we're just trying to get better as a team and try to close out the season on a winning note so we're gonna worry about ourselves right now."Almost every question offered during a fairly brief conference call with local media Tuesday afternoon Bowles met witha contrary response and disinterest. Asked if he thought New England might play themdifferently from the first meeting earlier this season, Bowles answered, "I'm not expecting them to approach us any differently. They had a helluva game the first game. They kinda treat everybody the same. They're a well-oiled machine. They're a good football team."Good game to use as a measuring stick for where your team is, Coach Bowles?"No. Everyone you play in the NFL every week is a measuring stick so this week it just happens to be the Patriots doesn't matter who we're playing this week, we'll just try to play our best."Hoping to be considered for the permanent headjob after the season? "I don't have any expectations really. I'm just trying to get the guys to play hard, play fast and try to come out with wins."Not at all?"I can coach football," he said."There's a lot of good assistants in the league, if the opportunity comes up it's just about getting the team ready to play."Easy there, Rockne.
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."
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.