Reed's preference is to remain a Raven

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Reed's preference is to remain a Raven

NEW ORLEANS - Earlier this week, Ravens safety Ed Reed caused stirring when he said he'd like to play for Bill Belichick.
Reed said Thursday he meant that hypothetically, not as an intention.
"I was asked, would I play for BillBelichick? Yes. What football players wouldnt play for Coach Belichick? Will I be in New England? Most likely not," explained Reed. "Its just terrible that people get half the story. Itseven more bad when you hear the comments that they make towards you. But itcomes with it, man."Reed will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The five-time All-Pro turns 35 next September. He's long been the gold standard for safety play in the mind of Belichick. So much so that quarterback Tom Brady has said Belichick acts like he wants to adopt Reed and change his name to Ed Belichick.
The Patriots play in the secondary improved in the latter half of 2012 but they're still sketchy back there. Reed's experience, if he ever did entertain a move to New England, would aid Devin McCourty immeasurably as McCourty makes the move to safety.
"I gotta lot of years in me," Reed told me Thursday. "I dont want to play till Im40. I always said my mark in the NFL is 35. I always said that if I feel I couldplay more, I would so Ive been doing a great job with my doctor. Since about twoor three years ago, since I had (hip) surgery thats the worst thing that reallyhit me. When I had the hip surgery thats when I really started to think aboutthings and I really felt better this year than the last two."One of the things that makes Reed so good is his ability to disguise his intentions and bait quarterbacks then make up ground. Does he still have the speed to do that?
"I can still cover ground with the best of them," Reed promised. "Im notgoing to say I can do it better than any other safety because we all havedifferent attributes that we bring to the table. But theres a reason why ... people dont throw my way, man. I still get that respecton the football field I can still play this game and when I cant, trust me,youll know." How will his decision-making unfold once he becomes a free agent?
"I take my time this offseason just like I did last offseasonand every offseason going forward," he said. "Its not a circus, its just me taking mytime, working out, always getting ready. If I get to August and I feel like Imin shape and I dont want to play, I wont do it. Thats not to any fan or anyorganization, but its me and my family and my body and how I feel. Im prettysure Ozzie and them will let us enjoy this season. Once we get everythingsituated Im sure well be talking. However long that process goes, we willknow." His first choice, though, is to remain a thorn in the Patriots' side.
"I always said when I came into the league and gotdrafted that I didnt want to be one of those guys jumping from team to team," hesaid. "If it was up to me, I would be right in Baltimore.If it happens to be somewhere else, I can play football on the moon.

OTA observations: Brady holds side sessions with new weapons

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OTA observations: Brady holds side sessions with new weapons

FOXBORO -- The Patriots went through their third OTA of the week on Thursday. It was the first that was open to members of the media and lasted approximately two hours.

Here are a handful of observations from the afternoon of work the Patriots put in under the sun on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium . . . 

* The Patriots sported practice jerseys during the workout, which was noteworthy because in years past they have worn blank t-shirts during OTAs and minicamp. With the offense in white and the defense in blue -- and with every player assigned a number -- it made identifying players much easier. Why coach Bill Belichick opted to go this route is unclear, and it remains a possibility that the players will go without jersey numbers later in the spring. Still, it was a welcome sight for reporters trying to track the proceedings. Quarterbacks wore red non-contact jerseys and each player wore helmets and shorts. 

* Belichick appeared to make his players re-start the practice after they finished up their stretching period in a fashion that didn't satisfy the head coach. After breaking into position groups briefly, Belichick ordered players to get back into their warmup lines and finish more crisply. 

* With Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis all absent from the practice, new Patriots weapons were given a chance to take extra reps. Running back Donald Brown was lauded by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after completing one particularly well-run route -- a slant-and-go, Martellus Bennett was the beneficiary of several targets from Tom Brady in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. 

* In 11-on-11 work, Brady went 6-for-9. Jimmy Garoppolo went 8-for-9. Jacoby Brissett went 7-for-12.

* In 7-on-7 work, Brady went 3-for-5. Garoppolo went 2-for-2. Brissett went 2-for-4, and he had one rep where he tucked it and ran. 

* During periods focused on special teams, Brady worked in a few side-sessions with different targets. In the past Brady has used these side sessions to get a little extra work in with a handful of players. Two years ago, he threw to Gronkowski with Darrelle Revis in coverage as Gronkowski worked his way back from a knee injury. Last year, Brady worked with Gronkowski and Scott Chandler together in order to develop some on-the-field chemistry there. On Thursday, Brady worked with two new tight ends -- Bennett and Clay Harbor -- as well as fullback James Develin. In another side session, he threw passes to Bennett, Aaron Dobson, Nate Washington, Malcolm Mitchell. Tight ends coach Brian Daboll ran the show during both periods.

* Rookie second-round pick Cyrus Jones, receiver Chris Harper, receiver DeAndre Carter and undrafted rookie corner V'Angelo Bentley all took turns returning punts. On Wednesday we took a look at how Edelman and Amendola might benefit from relinquishing those duties to another player. Jones would be an interesting choice given his production as a returner in college. 

* Bennett was asked to run a lap after dropping Brady's first offering of the 11-on-11 period. He recovered nicely as the day went on, however, making perhaps the most impressive grab of the day when he reached around Patrick Chung, plucked a Garoppolo pass out of the air and hung on as the two players tangled and fell to the turf. It was a good back-and-forth between the athletic tight end and perhaps the best defender of tight ends on the roster. Chung broke up one pass intended for Bennett, and Bennett later beat Chung to the corner of the end zone, reeling in a soft Brady lob. 

* Brissett appeared to rely on his ability to scramble, as he often did as the signal-caller at NC State. He hit throws on the run to Mitchell and rookie Devin Lucien. We'll see in practice sessions going forward if Brissett will be encouraged to stick in the pocket longer during these non-contact practices. 

* Brissett and Mitchell appear to have a good early connection. They hooked up for four of Brissett's nine completed passes. One was on an impressive pitch-and-catch that saw Mitchell lay out in the back of the end zone during 7-on7s. Later in 11-on-11s, Brissett sensed pressure coming from his blind side and lofted a deep pass to Mitchell that was completed along the sideline. 

* Brissett was picked off by Jones late in the practice but came back two plays later to complete a nice skinny post to Carter from about the 15-yard line.

* Brady's business partner and friend Alex Guerrero was spotted on the sidelines of the session. Former Patriots running back Sammy Morris was also present, shadowing running backs coach Ivan Fears. 

* Among the musical artists blared over the speakers during 11-on-11 work to mimic crowd noise were Guns N' Roses, James Brown, Bon Jovi, U2, Kenny Chesney and Desiigner. 

Gronkowski, Butler among missing from Thursday OTA session

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Gronkowski, Butler among missing from Thursday OTA session

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a handful of surprise absences from Thursday's OTA session, the third such session of the week and the first that was open to reporters. 

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, corner Malcolm Butler, corner Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon were all missing from the session. The reason for their absences was unclear. 

Other players missing from the practice were receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, both of whom are recovering from offseason surgeries. Edelman was spotted wearing a boot on his surgically-repaired foot at Wednesday's Patriots fantasy camp at Gillette Stadium. 

Running backs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis -- both of whom ended last season on injured reserve -- were also missing from the practice, as were offensive linemen Tre' Jackson, Shaq Mason, Josh Kline Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer. 

Defensive linemen Frank Kearse and Alan Branch were not present. Safety Nate Ebner, who is in the process of trying to make the US Olympic rugby squad, was also missing. 

Long-snapper Joe Cardona, who is currently fulfilling his duties as an active member of the Navy, was also not present Thursday. 

Jim Breuer reads purported Jastremski email to Toucher and Rich

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Jim Breuer reads purported Jastremski email to Toucher and Rich

On Toucher and Rich, comedian Jim Breuer reads an email he says he received from a man he met at a Mexican resort who said he was John Jastremski, a key figure in the Patriots’ Deflategate saga. 

Watch the video for more.