Fells: Patriots 'do things right'


Fells: Patriots 'do things right'

FOXBORO -- Daniel Fells' introductory press conference at Gillette Stadium almost happened earlier. Two years earlier.

"I was real close," he said Tuesday of the 2010 workout and near-signing. "Real close."

"I was able to come out here and just meet with the coaches and talk with the guys and see if it was a fit. It ultimately boiled down to a business thing. I let my agent handle things like that. All things happen for a reason and it didn't work out then, but things came full circle and it worked out for us this year."
New England marks the sixth team Fells has been with since 2006 -- defining him as a journeyman with each stop. Undrafted out of UC Davis, the tight end's average blocking and receiving skills have kept him afloat enough to provide roster depth at least.

Fells started 15 games last season in Denver -- a career best by far -- and caught 19 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the Broncos bringing in Peyton Manning, Fells found himself moving on. Again.

"You know what? It's one of those things you just take in stride. A lot of times people get discouraged by things like that, going to different teams.

"It's like the first day of school. You go to a different school and you're meeting new people with different personalities and you get a little anxious about it. But, like you said, I've done it so many times I just kind of take it in stride and I'm excited."

It was obvious Tuesday why Fells is enjoying Foxborough. He said the workouts are as brutal as you'd expect from a perennial Super Bowl contender; the attitude pervades every activity.

After stints in Atlanta, Oakland, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, and Denver, Fells knows he's landed with the real deal.

"They do things right," he said of the Patriots. "From an offensive standpoint, they go out there and put up points and find the open man. And it's not just about one player. You have two good tight ends. There's not a lot of teams that use both tight ends and get them all kinds of catches, there's always just one guy that usually stands out. You have a bunch of players that stand out on this offense."

But is there room for three pass-catching tight ends? Fells described himself as primarily a route runner and it's hard to see him getting many touches in that capacity. Maybe Aaron Hernandez will find himself split out as a receiver and working out of the backfield more. Maybe Fells will have to get better with blocking.

Either way, he believes head coach Bill Belichick will make it work.

Every week you turn the TV on and you're seeing something different from this team, just the things that they were doing -- it is revolutionary as you say. I know that Bill is the type of guy he finds different ways to keep defenses on their toes, or keep them on their heels. They don't really know what to expect and they don't really know what's going on. He's an innovator in that sense."

Having a signal caller like Tom Brady doesn't hurt.

When asked if Tim Tebow is an NFL quarterback, Fells said yes, Tebow can be if given time.

Brady, as we know, doesn't need seasoning.

"I'm excited about that one. That's pretty much the best way to say that. It's Tom Brady. One of the greatest guys out there. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to be out there on the field with him."

Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh


Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the aftermath of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video. Curran interview Matt Light ahead of the AFC Championship. They dissect the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and look at how to beat the Steelers.

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | AudioBoom

2:29 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live aftermath

13:14 Stopping Le’Veon Bell

27:16 heywassyonumba? with Patrick Chung and Kyle Van Noy

32:30 Injury report updates for AFC Championship

36:51 Brady and Belichick’s press conferences

44:50 Matt Light interview

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.