Morning Walkthrough: Sparano taking control

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Morning Walkthrough: Sparano taking control

Tony Sparano has the Jets sitting up and then, in turn, taking notice of his approach with the Jets offense.

Longtime NFL quarterback Jon Kitna is a quarterback no more. He's teaching math. Good for him for transitioning to a post-NFL life. And while retirement is a long journey, it's worth noting that Kitna was famously concussed in 2007.

The NFL is expected to make it mandatory that players wear hip, thigh and knee pads beginning in 2013. When the league has to mandate common-sense safety measures for players because they would otherwise ignore them, doesn't that make you wonder where the personal responsibility lies for guys who line up to decry how the league and the game took advantage of them?

Dallas Clark, who worked out with the Patriots last week, has also worked out for the Bucs.

Quickest way to make an authentic and admirable guy seem like a fraud? Let PR handlers and image cultivators get a hold of Tim Tebow and watch how it unfolds.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."