Love: Extension a 'blessing'

833561.jpg

Love: Extension a 'blessing'

Kyle Love's nose-to-the-grindstone approach has served him well the last two years.

The undrafted free agent was a backup at defensive tackle his rookie year. In 2011, he earned 13 regular season starts in 16 games played as an imposing presence against the run.

The Patriots rewarded Love's work with a contract extension last week. Instead of riding this year's 540,000 exclusive-rights free agent tender out into uncertainty, he's now signed through 2013 on a new deal worth almost 3.1 million.

"It's a blessing," Love said Sunday via conference call. "I just want to continue to work hard, play hard, and keep doing my role -- whatever the coaches ask me to do. I want to continue down that road."

The timing of the extension was likely influenced by New England's release of Jonathan Fanene. But that doesn't mean Love hasn't made a case all his own this preseason.

After joint practice, he had Saints guard Ben Grubbs talking on and on about his power.

He created plenty of problems (in limited snaps) for Philadelphia's offensive line in Game 2.

When the first team defense took the field last week in Tampa, Love was there. It's where he's projected to be all season.

To most, the 25-year old tackle has come a long way from Mississippi State -- his game is bigger, his wallet is bigger.

Love sees it as the same old grind.

"Nothing really changes for me. I just want to keep doing my job and getting better every day. Working harder, and playing harder and faster. I just want to continue doing what I've been doing."

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.