Titans' Munchak aware of problems Patriots TEs present

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Titans' Munchak aware of problems Patriots TEs present

The Patriots extended Rob Gronkowski for six years and 54 million dollars back in June. Two-and-a-half months later, they extended Aaron Hernandez for five years and 40 million. The years to each deal are added on to the each rookie's remaining two years, which means yes, they'll be around for a while.

That sound you probably heard when those extensions were announced? NFL coaches and owners from around the league slamming their heads into a wall. With talented, physical specimens like Gronkowski and Hernandez, the Patriots offense is one to be feared for many more years to come.

Titans head coach Mike Munchak hasn't had the pleasure of trying to figure out how to disengage the tandem tight ends, but he seems to be well-aware that his hands will be full in trying to keep both Gronkowski's and Hernandez's hands empty.

"I think in general those guys do a great job on covering," Munchak said of Hernandez and Gronkowski. "Big guys, both their tight ends have done a nice job of that. And the film you watch of the mismatching with the linebackers. They create problems to cover, then with Brady's ball being so accurate even when you do cover them well, they have great hands and they make plays. Next thing you know it's second-and-two or first-and-ten and it's frustrating because you think you're doing all the right things and they still make plays on you."

Sounds like Munchak has talked to a couple NFL coaches about them, eh? But he'll have his own stories to tell come Sunday night.

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."