Patriots notes: Welker would like to hear more from fans, too

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Patriots notes: Welker would like to hear more from fans, too

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO Wes Welker wasn't quite as adamant as Tom Brady in expressing his disappointed with fans leaving early during Sunday's win over Cincinnati. Perhaps some of that has to do with the fact that Welker wasn't here to experience the true glory years at Gillette, and doesn't really have anything to compare it to. But either way, Welker did hint that he's like to see a little more from the New England faithful when the team returns home Sept. 26.

"I think I would like to see our crowd get into it a little more, and really become almost like that 12th man," he said. "But at the same time we're gonna go out there and give them something to cheer for."

Julian Edelman might only be in his second season with the Pats, but he's wasted no time becoming well-versed in the Patriot Way. Speaking with reporters in the middle of the locker room, Edelman was asked to expand his recovery from an injured ankle. The response?

"I don't even think I'm allowed to talk about injuries. I don't want to get in trouble."

There are only so many words to describe the ridiculous trash-talking nature of the New York Jets. Fred Taylor, for one, has run out of, or just isn't bothered enough to think of any, ways to explain their loud-mouthed mentality.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to compete, you want to do your best, he said. "It's a little bit added incentive when there's a team, that . . . you know what the Jets are. I just don't know how to describe it. You pay attention to it and you remain humble and just play on the field."

I caught one funny interaction between Randy Moss and Tom Brady as the two sat side-by-side at their lockers. Moss was explaining that, being from West Virginia, he didn't grow up really rooting for an NFL team of his own. He said that they used to get Redskins and Steelers games on TV, but that he never really developed an allegiance. "How weird would it be if I was in this league and was a fan of like . . . the Cleveland Browns?" he asked. Before looking over at Brady and jokingly saying: "Unlike this endearing expletive and his Niners . . . "

"That's right," Brady said. "San Fran!"

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

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.