Bills' Gailey skeptical of QBs from 'non-traditional' offenses

Bills' Gailey skeptical of QBs from 'non-traditional' offenses

By Tom E. Curran

INDIANAPOLIS - Will the Patriots have to deal with Cam Newton twice a season? If the Buffalo Bills take him with the third overall pick, they'll have to. But on Thursday morning, Bills head coach Chan Gailey indicated this morning at the NFL Combine the transition from the foolishness Auburn ran to feature Newton's talents may make it hard for him to transition to the pro style. Asked if he was concerned at all that Newton was just a one-year starter at Auburn, Gailey said, "I don't think developing the 'one-year guy' is as big as developing the guy that's not been in a typical type of offense, a pro-style of offense. When you're trying to change a guy's thought process into a certain mode, that's a little harder to me than it is to take a one-year guy. A one-year guy who's been in a 'pro' type of offense, to me he's going to understand and be further along than the guy who spent one year in a non-traditional offense."The recent track record of first-round quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradfordand Josh Freeman has been very good. The reason?"Probably the combination of doing a better job of finding out all the information in scouting and maybe the situations they have been in have really helped them," said Gailey. "Flacco and Sanchez both had great defenses that made them not have to go and win the game . . . The recent success makes everybody say, 'Lets not be so hard on that statistic from the last 15 years of quarterbacks fizzling out, let's look a little at the last four or five."Gailey said the Bills will happily entertain trade offers ("We don't turn our phone off at night") and that Ryan Fitzpatrickplayed well enough to quelldesperation about the quarterback position."I've said all along I am extremely confident in Ryan Fitzpatrick," Gailey stated. "He played well enough to prove to a lot of people - me and our staff included - that he can play well. We can win a bunch of football games with a guy like that. I've been to the playoffs a couple times with guys who havent performed as well as Ryan has."Did he regret not making him the starter out of camp?"Yeah! Shoot yeah. IfI knew then whatI know now, I wouldn't have done that. But you do what you have to do with the information you have."

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NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”