Belichick takes another quiet swipe at NFL

191543.jpg

Belichick takes another quiet swipe at NFL

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - You know Bill Belichick doesn't do Twitter or Myface or any of that. But somebody probably should get him Tweeting under the handle "StuffBBsays".On Wednesday morning, while fielding a fleet of questions about his 2010 captains that he enjoyed at first but began to weary of after a bit, Belichick was asked why the Patriots don't put the little "C" on the jerseys to denote who the captains are. He shrugged. "I guess that's another one of the new traditions in the league," he sniffed. "I've seen a lot of football games, there has been football for a long time, and there have been captains with no patches and it seemed like everything was fine. I guess that's another one of our improvements, with the new overtime rules and all that." So that would be example 374 of passive aggressivity (?) toward the powers that be. Amusing as this one was, it does not trump Belichick's reaction to the NFL's Director of Football Ops praising a hit by Brandon Meriweather a week after Meriweather drew a 50,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet collision with Baltimore's Todd Heap. "I think that would be a first for me," Belichick said then. "The officials are now evaluating the players and their performance that's great. I can't tell you how much that means to me, really." The Patriots will hold a walk-through on Wednesday in the practice bubble. After two days off, it's clear New England's ratcheting it back this week. Asked if the walk-through was an "attempt to get healthier," Belichick said, "It's our preparation for the Dolphins. We'll be out this week, whatever the conditions are, we'll be out there and we'll deal with them."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

ebner_slide.jpg

Patriots get roster exemption for Ebner, add TE Pascoe and OL Halapio

FOXBORO -- The Patriots, as expected, have been given a roster exemption for safety Nate Ebner. Therefore, while Ebner is playing for the USA Rugby Men's Sevens team in the Rio Olympics, his spot will not count against New England's 90-man roster. 

"I’ve talked to Nate several times," coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday. "Wish him well in his endeavor. It’s a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games. We’re pulling for him to bring back something around his neck."

With the roster exemption, the Patriots found themselves at 88 players on their roster. In order to fill their last two openings, they signed offensive lineman Jon Halapio and tight end Bear Pascoe, Belichick announced. 

Halapio, a product of the University of Florida, was a sixth-round selection by the Patriots in 2014. He was released at the end of training camp that year, and he later landed on the Broncos practice squad in December of 2014. Before the start of last season, Halapio signed with the Cardinals. He was released on Sept. 5. 

In between NFL gigs, Halapio has spent time with the Boston Brawlers and the Brooklyn Bolts, both of the Fall Experimental Football League. 

Pascoe, 30, is in his eighth NFL season. He has spent time with the Giants, Falcons and Lions, primarily as a blocking tight end. In his career, the 6-foot-5, 257-pounder has caught 40 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns in 85 career games. 

Ebner will participate in the Olympic rugby competition with Team USA beginning on Aug. 6, and fellow Patriots special teams ace Mathew Slater will be paying attention.

"I’m just so happy for him," Slater said. "And I know why rugby means so much to him, and many of us are familiar with the situation with his father, and his father obviously introduced him to the game of [rugby]. So, that connection with father and son is bigger than sport itself.

"I know this means a great deal to him and we’re all excited for him. I’m just trying to figure out where I can get my Ebner rugby jersey. I’ll be supporting him and watching him along the way."