Patriots already tired of Tebow questions


Patriots already tired of Tebow questions

FOXBORO -- It's Tim Tebow week at Gillette Stadium. And given the attention that Denver's quarterback has received in recent weeks, questions about Tebow's fourth-quarter heroics have already surfaced in New England.

And already, some Patriots players are rolling their eyes at the notion that Tebow is doing it all on his own.

Most notably, linebacker Dane Fletcher.

"They're winning right now," said Fletcher. "So, that's a challenge in itself.

"It's their team," added Fletcher, when asked a second time about Tebow's game. "Everybody tries to make it this whole 'Tebow Time,' but it's their team. Just like last night's win for them. Their defense stepped up, and their kicker had a couple good kicks. So I'm not blowing it out of perspective and saying it's one guy, because it's not. It's the team."

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.