Mills: 'I'm a smarter player' since last Pats stint

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Mills: 'I'm a smarter player' since last Pats stint

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO The Garrett Mills project is back in New England.

A fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2006, the Pats re-signed the 6-foot-1, 235-pound tight end over the weekend.

He spent most of his rookie season on the injured reserve.

"My skill-set has hopefully gotten better since I was here last," said Mills, who set an NCAA record in 2005 at Tulsa by amassing 1,235 receiving yards -- the most ever by a tight end. "I'm still a similar-type player, but I'm much more experienced and a smarter player."

Since his first stint with the Pats, he has played for Minnesota (2007-2009), Philadelphia (2010) and Cincinnati (2010).

While those teams certainly have had their share of talented players, Mills remembers all too well how well the Patriots seemed to balance success with superstar talent during his rookie season.

"In this locker room, star power is kind of diffused a little bit," said Mills, who had two receptions for 19 yards with the Eagles last season. "And that's a good thing. That's one thing I appreciate about this organization. Everyone's in it to win. It's definitely a team perspective here."

Philadelphia released him on Dec. 21 and he was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati. The Bengals waived him earlier this month.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”