By Tom E. Curran
Have a holly, jolly Christmas . . . just don't let it get in the way of the damn football game. So sayeth Bill Belichick - though not in as many words - during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. Asked how hard it is to keep young players focused when the chaos of Christmas and the holidays are swirling, Belichick said,"I think thats important for every person, every member of the organization, not just the young players, but all of us. To maintain our focus, keep our eye on the target, and not worry about anything but Buffalo. That's really all there is right now. Take everything else, and push it to the side a little bit, and try to make sure we do a good job on our preparation, and make sure we don't take anything for granted. Do all the little things that we need to do, and put all our energy and emphasis into that."The Bills are 4-11 and the threat is there that they won't capture the attention of the Patriots. Kinda the way a 2-11 Dolphins team didn't get the 12-1 Patriots' best shot back in 2004. The result? A 29-28 loss. "We all can potentially be distracted," Belichick added. "Everybody's job is important. I think that's a message for everybody this week.What has experience taught him, in dealing with the process? Basically, to treat this holiday week like every other week."Last week is no different than this week," Belichick said. "This week is no different than last week or next week. We still need to put everything we have into each game, take advantage of our opportunities, whether it's film study, meetings, walkthroughs, practice . . . and just maximize that."
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
It was reported last week that multiple NFL executives are convinced that Darrelle Revis will return to the New England Patriots next season.
Talking with the New York Daily News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d be open to a reunion with the 31-year-old cornerback.
“I would love it,” Kraft said. “Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”
Asked if the team has had discussions with Revis, Kraft said “ask my boy,” in reference to coach Bill Belichick.
Revis spent the 2014 season with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX. He bolted back to the New York Jets the next season, signing a five-year, $70 million contract ($39 million guaranteed).
The Jets released Revis earlier this month after the incident in Pittsburgh. A judge dismissed the charges.
PHOENIX -- The idea that Malcolm Butler could be traded by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season has been floated for weeks. But if Robert Kraft had his way, he'd like for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX to stick around.
At the Biltmore hotel on Day 2 of the league's annual meetings, Kraft was asked if he anticipated having Butler back in New England for next season.
"I sure hope so," he said. "We have [a first-round tender] out to him, and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick.
"I'm rooting, I hope, he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that."
The Patriots can't trade any player who isn't under contract, and they can't talk about a trade for a player not on their roster. Therefore, even if the Patriots hoped to deal Butler and get something in return for the Pro Bowl-caliber corner before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2018, it's not something that the owner of the team would be at liberty to discuss with dozens of microphones in front of his face.
The tender offer of $3.91 million for one season is still out there for Butler. He could sign it and play in New England. He could sign it and be traded. For now, Kraft says he's hoping for the former -- and insists that the Patriots didn't have designs on the latter all along.
"I don't want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent]," he said, adding, "I want to be clear. I hope he's with us."