Matt Patricia was appreciative of the opportunities he had to discuss the head-coach openings in Los Angeles and San Diego, but right now he's focused on Houston.
The Patriots defensive coordinator interviewed with both the Rams and the Chargers over the weekend and was asked about how they went during a conference call with reporters on Monday morning.
"OK, well, I'll slip in here and make it pretty easy. Obviously over the weekend I was just very thankful for those opportunities and that was a great experience to go through," he said. "I think everything right now is Houston, turn the page as soon as I can.
"Coach [Bill] O'Brien and George Godsey, the offensive coordinator, are two guys that I have the most respect for in the entire league. These guys work extremely hard to get their team ready to go, prepare, and you can really see from an offensive standpoint, they're doing a great job right now of running the ball, controlling the game. They don't turn the ball over, they really dont give up that many pressures, and they're doing a good job of getting the ball around to their skill players."
Patricia then reiterated something he said last week when asked about the interview process he went through last year with the Browns: The chance to interview with different clubs is just as much an opportunity for him to learn about other franchises as it is for them to learn about him.
"To me, the fascinating part of all that is just kind of learning all the organizations and how they work because they are so different," he said. "That's just kind of a general statement about the NFL. Sometimes as you kind of anchor in on what we do day in and day out. You never really look at that stuff on a full scale. But they're very fascinating . . .
"It's really cool. But, again, Houston is where I'm at."
The Patriots will be without two of last year's defensive starters when training camp begins later this week.
Both Dont'a Hightower and Alan Branch were placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday. They are eligible to come off the list at any time. Once they are removed from the list, they will be eligible to practice fully. Players on PUP count against the 90-man training-camp roster.
Undrafted rookie tackle Andrew Jelks will begin camp on the active/non-football injury list. The Vanderbilt product dealt with knee injuries that kept him off the field each of the last two seasons.
Neither Hightower, nor Branch, nor Jelks participated in spring practices at Gillette Stadium. Hightower was present for voluntary work, but during practices open to the media he typically did some conditioning off to the side. Branch skipped optional team activities (as he usually does), and though he was in Foxboro for mandatory minicamp, he did not practice during that three-day stretch.
Hightower was limited last season with knee and shoulder injuries. The MMQB.com's Albert Breer said on Sports Sunday that Hightower's health concerns made teams reticent to make him offers that would lure him away from New England.
In what’s been a somewhat busy offseason for their secondary, veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers is in talks with the Patriots, according to Adam Schefter.
Flowers, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs and last three with the Chargers, was released in March. He is set to meet with the Cardinals this week as well.
The Pats lost cornerback Logan Ryan this offseason, but landed the top free agent corner on the market in Stephon Gilmore. A potential addition of Flowers might give them an insurance policy if second-year pro Cyrus Jones fails to improve from a dismal rookie season.
Flowers was limited to just six games last season, as a concussion ended his season in December. He has played in at least 11 games in the rest of his NFL seasons. His lone Pro Bowl nod came in the 2013 season.