Brady: 'You gotta make mistakes'

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Brady: 'You gotta make mistakes'

FOXBORO - Earlier on Wednesday, we spoke to Bill Belichick about Ryan Mallett's missteps in practice this summer.

Belichick went into solid detail about the need to make those mistakes on the practice field.

Tom Brady amplified that Wednesday afternoon.

"To be a good player you gotta make mistakes," he insisted. "And if you're not in the situation to make mistakes, then when you do get the opportunity you're gonna make 'em. So hopefully you get the opportunity in practice, rather than in front of 70,000 people. So when you drop back and evaluate the coverage and you make a read or you make a throw and it gets tipped and intercepted, hopefully you go into that week's game and see the same look and say, 'Nope, not throwing it.' Or you get the same look and you rip it because you have confidence you can do it."

Brady's ascent to superstardom has been well documented. Lost in the narration though, is the fact that Brady went through a significant rough patch in 2002.

Over a three-game stretch, Brady threw seven picks and the Patriots lost each game. He threw just five interceptions over the final nine games.

Even though he'd won a Super Bowl earlier that year, he was still in the learning stage of what he could and could not get away with.

"It's about being being in the situation in practice with a lot of pressure because Belichick puts a lot of pressure on, and you go out there and try not to make the same mistake twice. You can make them once, but he gets pissed when you make' em twice."

Hearing Brady unleash an obscenity after a practice pick is a rite of late summer. But he does point out that they are inevitable.

"You dont want to come out here and throw a bunch of interceptions, but at the same time its not a game so you want to install things and see how they work and try to give guys an opportunity to go out and catch the ball and make plays on the ball," he said. "So you probably do some things this time of year that you wouldn't normally do, but at the same time you're trying to make good decisions, read the coverage, and give the ball to the right guy."

He again emphasized the learning aspect.

"You gotta make the mistakes to learn from them," he explained. "And you never know how tight a window is until you throw it and it was too tight. So you try to force the ball into certain areas and then you learn from it and you say 'I can't do that.' You install new plays and you try to run them over and over and you try to identify all the problems where they come up and really make good decisions."

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

When it comes to projecting Rob Gronkowski's health, it's been best to steer clear of absolutes. There have been too many injuries, too many surgeries, to predict exactly how he'll feel months in advance. 

Still, in speaking with ESPN's Cari Champion recently, he said he had "no doubt" he'll be ready for Week 1 of the 2017 regular season. 

"Yes, for sure," he replied when asked if he expected to be good to go. 

Gronkowski also fielded a question about his long-term future in the sit-down. Lately it's been his coach Bill Belichick and his quarterback Tom  Brady who receiver all the life-after-football queries, but Gronkowski, 27, was asked how much longer he'd like to play. 

"I’m not really sure," he said. "I mean, I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I possibly could play. My mindset is to keep on going."

Gronkowski landed on season-ending injured reserve in December after undergoing a procedure on his back -- his third back surgery since 2009. He's had nine reported surgeries -- including procedures on his knee, forearm and ankle -- since his final year at the University of Arizona.