FOXBORO -- Since the passing of Steve Sabol on Tuesday, September 18, there's been an outpouring of esteem from around the league in his honor.
Bill Belichick was asked to remember the NFL Films giant on Friday.
"There arent many people that I think have done more for the NFL or done more for football than Steve has," the Patriots coach said. "He was a great friend. Id say my favorite memories of Steve are going to owners meetings and just sitting around talking. Steve was a great storyteller, both on film and in person.
"He had a great appreciation for the game, the history of the game, the people and the past really, as well as the present. But he had a great memory, great experiences in the past. I just loved to talk to him, just talking about football. He was really special. I think its hard these days to find somebody like Steve that was never about him, it was always about the game, it was about the entertainment."
Belichick, an intensely private person, granted NFL Films unprecedented access into his fortified world for the "A Football Life" series. The coach was wired, his meetings were filmed, and it was all broadcast for the world to see.
"A Football Life: Bill Belichick" debuts as the most-watched documentary in the history of NFL Network.
"All the things he did, I dont think he ever made anybody look bad. That wasnt the point, even though we all had some bad moments, we had fumbles and whatever but you were sort of able to laugh at yourself the way he presented it. It seemed like every time he did something, you walked out of there with either a smile on your face or a great appreciation for what he showed and his ability to show a close, unique look at the game until so many of us never saw until he presented it, or the way he presented it. Ill miss Steve, hes really special. The job hes done for NFL Films, the recognition hes gotten he certainly deserves; a really special guy."
Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.
Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.
Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots.
LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England.
Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.
"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.
"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."
Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.
Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.
Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.