On Belichick's big night

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On Belichick's big night

So, do you think Bill Belichick's gone to bed yet?

What do I know, but I wouldn't be shocked to find out that he worked straight through the night. That, powered by a case of Diet Coke, a Bon Jovi box set, and the good vibes from a headline stealing first round, Belichick hasn't stopped since Thursday.

You know that scene in Social Network when they're at the dorm party and the programmers are racing almost in a trance through endless pages of code?

That's how I imagine Belichick for the last 24 hours (minus the vodka shots).

He loves it.

And after last night, so does New England.

Forget the feeling of actually getting to experience the first round of an NFL Draft. (You know, a night where the Patriots use a first round pick on something other than an offensive lineman.) Don't get me wrong, it was great. But even better than the Pats moving up twice and using both their picks is the fact that both picks made so much sense.

For the longest time, it's felt like Belichick was just slapping together random names and faces and trying to pass it off as a NFL D. Sometimes, it felt like he was just making it up as he went a long. But after last night, the present and future of this defense is really coming into focus.

Starting in the back, you have Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung at the safety spots. Imagine that? Stability at safety. It's April and we not only know who the starters are, but there's actually reason to be optimistic. McCourty and Chung that works.

Moving up, they now (ideally) have three young, athletic and exciting linebackers with Mayo, Spikes and Donta Hightower (Not too mention, some solid potential with newcomer Trevor Scott). On the line they have Wilfork in the middle, next to Kyle Love, and they'll hopefully bring back Andre Carter on the outside. You have Carter to help bring along Chandler Jones, and do other Andre Carter-type things. He gives you that presence even if Jones isn't immediately ready.

OK, now the cornerbacks are still a little shaky. With McCourty reportedly headed for safety, they have Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore and a still unproven Ras-I Dowling's coming back from last year. And veteran Will Allen newly in the mix. That's not awful, but they still don't have a legitimate No. 1.

But that's pretty much it. For all the chaos and uncertainty that's surrounded this defense in recent years, Belichick's defensive jigsaw puzzle is finally taking shape.

He'll be back at the table tonight.

Probably not on much sleep.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Steelers GM on Hightower: 'It didn't work'

Steelers GM on Hightower: 'It didn't work'

Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert touched briefly on the team’s unsuccessful attempt to lure Dont’a Hightower away from New England in free agency. 

Hightower returned to the Patriots this month on a four-year, $43.5 million deal with $19 million guaranteed. He was also courted by the Jets and Steelers, among others, with his offer from the Jets reported to be the biggest before they reportedly pulled it due to physical concerns. 

The Steelers also reportedly offered more money than the Patriots, with Jason La Canfora reporting that Pittsburgh offered more than $9 million annually. Hightower’s deal with the Pats pays him $8.7 million per year. 

“We made an attempt [with Hightower], it didn’t work,” Colbert told reporters. “We’re fine. We move on. Vince Williams, we were very confident in Vince. That’s why we signed him to the extension last year. So that if we got to this point and Lawrence had left us, and we didn’t sign anybody from the outside, Vince was certainly capable of stepping up and being the next guy.”

Hightower is entering his sixth season with the Patriots, who selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft. 

Tom Brady tees it up with Jordan Spieth at Augusta National

Tom Brady tees it up with Jordan Spieth at Augusta National

It's been a long time since Tom Brady's been considered a true underdog. You might have to go back to Super Bowl XXXVI for anyone to remember a time when it seemed like the quarterback with the most championships in NFL history was a long shot to win. 

Not when it comes golf, though. 

Brady's a talented golfer, no doubt. He's eagled at Pebble Beach. He once teamed up with Jim Nantz to beat up on two US presidents

But even Brady knew he faced long odds against Jordan Spieth at Augusta. According to Brady's Instagram page, it seems as though the two Under Armour pitch men made up a foursome at the famed course about two weeks before the Masters kicked off. 

Trying to beat @jordanspieth in golf is like trying to arm wrestle @therock... #DreamBig #NeverGiveUp

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Brady has also taken on Augusta with Rory McIlroy. Still waiting on those scores to come out, but as with the recent Spieth round, probably shouldn't hold your breath.