Curran's Dallas Diary: Frozen on Media Day


Curran's Dallas Diary: Frozen on Media Day

By TomE. Curran

DALLAS - So here's that story I was telling you about Monday night. There's a guy down here in the Dallas media. Apparently, he's got a sister who works for an airline. And he overheard a friend of mine from L.A. discussing plans to fly to Hawaii with his family. So the Dallas guy - who might be best described as lovably eccentric - says he's going to do the L.A. guy a solid. He can get free tickets to Hawaii not just for the L.A. guy but the whole family.
This, of course, is a boon. The Dallas guy says he just needs to check something and he'll be in touch. A couple of days later, the Dallas guy calls my L.A. buddy and says it's all set. All my L.A. buddy needs to do is go down and officially change his last name at least 30 days before they're going to fly. That way, he's a family member. And the wife and kids? They need to officially change their last names too. But once the trip's taken and everybody's back, they can change their name back. Easy, peezy, lemon-squeezy. Anyway, it's like -44 degrees here on Tuesday and I ain't kidding. The coldest I've been this year was the day after Christmas in Buffalo when a snowstorm blew in after the game and I stood on the field for 20 minutes dressed insufficiently . . . and it was just as cold Tuesday in Dallas. It wasn't just that the temperature was about 15. It was the 40 mph winds and ice shards being swept through the air that got me. I mean, you know and I know what cold's all about? This was stupid. Painful. Of course, this being Texas, they were well-equipped to deal with the snow and ice falling on their sidewalks and roadways.
They just stared at it.
No lie. The highways were a sheet of ice in some spots and there was an intermingling of driving attitudes ranging from "If I go 11 mph I will survive this day" to "I'm from Texas, everything's bigger here and, dadgum, my Chevy goes 75 come rain, shine or sheets of ice." Some of those guys were no doubt among the nine spinouts I witnessed on the way from Arlington where media day was held at the Cowboys Stadium back to Dallas. I bailed on the Packers media day and wrote my 5 this morning instead and got over to the Steelers at 12. My goal was to find Chad Ochocinco (success) and ask him about the Patriots (success). I already knew I was writing on Roethlisberger's redemption and had my artillery so I was more there to observe than collect. All right, there's a media party with all the BBQ you (or I) can eat going on right now at the Hard Rock here in Dallas. So I'm gonna git some before it's all gone. The thing started at 8 central and it's 9:30.
Click here for my entry from Monday.
Check in tomorrow for more. This diary seemed like an awesome idea Sunday. Not as awesome today. I'll need a second wind.
Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

Does Butler want to be with Patriots beyond 2017? 'Whatever happens, happens'

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler came off of the Gillette Stadium practice field to a gaggle of reporters who had been interested in speaking to him all offseason. There had been speculation not too long ago that he'd be traded. There was speculation he might sign elsewhere as a restrcited free agent.

What he would say on those topics might prove to be informative. People were eager to hear from him. But it was what he didn't say that may have been the most interesting part of his first back-and-forth with reporters since Super Bowl LI.

In the rain, in front of a dozen or more microphones, following his team's third organized team activity practice, Butler was asked if he would like to be in New England beyond the 2017 season, the final year of his contract. 

"Can't predict the future," he said. "Whatever happens, happens."

Butler was given several opportunities to say that he'd like to stick with the Patriots for the long term, but he was non-committal. Though his presence on the roster for this season gives the Patriots a supremely talented cornerback duo, the fact that the team gave Stephon Gilmore a lucrative long-term contract this offseason makes Butler's long-term future in New England a bit hazy.

Playing for a restricted free agent tender worth $3.91 million, Butler was asked if it was difficult to separate the business side of things from his on-field performance.

"Not really," he insisted. "Just gotta come here and just play football. You gotta earn everything you want. Gotta come here, work hard each and every day. Nobody's gonna give you nothing."

He added: "Just gotta keep working. Ignore the noise, and just keep working. No matter what. You got a job to do no matter where you're at. Glad to be here to do this job."

Butler received significant interest from the Saints during the offseason, and he made a trip to New Orleans to visit the organization's facilities there. Unwilling to provide Butler with a big-money contract offer and turn over their first-round pick to the Patriots, the Saints decided to cease in their pursuit of the 27-year-old Super Bowl XLIX hero. 

Butler said he didn't wasn't always sure he was going to be in New England for 2017.

"You never know what's gonna happen, I was just sitting back patiently waiting," he explained. "Just doing what I can do, control only what I can control. I'm here now and that's what it is."

That Butler has been at Patriots workouts and OTA practices since signing his tender is an indication that he's ready to throw himself into the upcoming season with his sights set on performing as well as possible in order to put himself in the best position possible when he's scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the year. 

"Wasn't gonna hurt nobody but myself if I missed this," he admitted. "This is extra time to get better, and that's what I'm out here to do. To get better and have another great year. Anything to help the team. Present a positive image."