It would have been a bigger surprise to me if Brian Waters did report for the start of training camp.
At 35 and entering his 15th season of pro football, the Patriots left guard gets to work banker's hours because he's shown he can work banker's hours and not suffer.
Waters signed with the Patriots on September 4 of last year. Days later, he played seamlessly in the opener at Miami. And months after that, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
Bill Belichick will let veterans play by different rules provided those players are A) talented enough and B) professional.
It was a practice Belichick began with outside linebacker Roman Phifer back in 2001. And it's almost certainly what's up with Waters.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe got Waters on the phone Wednesday and Waters gave Bedard nothing.
"Im not really talking about it, youll have to talk to the Patriots about it, he said. At this moment, Im not really discussing the situation. Right now Im just handling things between me and the team. If they want to talk to you, thats fine but Im not really talking about it.Youre just going to have to talk to the team. Im allowing them to handle all the media stuff right now. Were going to do it this way, because its the best way to do it.Waters is under contract for this year. He skipped minicamp -- an excused absence, according to Bill Belichick -- and has been back home in Texas much of the offseason.
Do not expect him to stay there until the regular season.
As for the team releasing running back Joseph Addai on the eve of camp, that was a mild surprise. While Addai hasn't been a monster in past seasons for the Colts, he's still just 29 and figured to be a nice fit as a veteran back in a stable of young guys.
The Patriots have four backs on the roster, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden.
When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening.
On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.
Talk about intimidation.
Vince Wilfork will be one of many well-known athletes to strip down and pose nude for photographs in ESPN The Magazine's's Body issue, joining a group that includes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta, Broncos defensive end Von Miller and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
Judging by his latest tweet, the former Patriots defensive lineman -- who is listed at 325 pounds -- is getting pretty comfortable with the idea of becoming a model.
Now it's up to Tom Brady to play match-maker, it seems. Gisele retired from the runway last year so maybe her people are on the lookout for some new talent.
Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon.
"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."
Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.
Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.
Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there.
For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."