Ex-Pat Klecko, Reggie Jackson join anti-Jet chorus

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Ex-Pat Klecko, Reggie Jackson join anti-Jet chorus

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

You'll get nothing out of the Stepford Patriots, of course, but there's mounting evidence the Pats -- and many in the athletic community -- have just about had it with the Jets' never-ending verbal assaults.

CSNNE.com's Tom E. Curran reported Thursday that former Patriot Dan Klecko sent him a text message -- "out of the blue" -- that he described thusly:

"Could you please make some mention," Curran related Klecko saying, "at some point, about the ridiculousness of the Jets' talking trash and showing a lack of respect toward the Patriots? It's driving me crazy."

(And the ironic thing? Klecko's father, Joe, was anall-time great for the Jets. He played for New York from 1977-87, is amember of the team's Ring of Honor -- in fact, he was in the inauguralclass -- and his jersey number 73 was retired by the team.)

This came on the same day that baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson called out the Jets' Antonio Cromartie for saying Tom Brady is an "a--hole."

Dan Klecko played for the Pats from 2003-05, winning two championships, but also won a Super Bowl ring with the Colts in 2006 and later played for the Eagles; he's not, as Curran pointed out, "a dyed-in-the-wool Patriot." This led Curran to conclude:

"If Dan Klecko is irritated about this, that shows how irritated the Patriots must be . . . Inside that locker room, and definitely inside that organization, the Patriots have had more than enough of the New York Jets. And if they get a chance to, they'll put their foot on their neck come Sunday."

Meanwhile, Jackson -- appearing on ESPN 1050 Radio in New York -- told Cromartie to "shut up and playfootball.

"What are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up, playfootball, Jackson said. "What are you talking about Patriots coachBill Belichick and these people for? Spend your time looking at film,spend your time knocking down a pass. What are you doing? Youre notaffecting Brady; youre wasting time . . .

"Go look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there andlook at the championship trophies that are there. You don't have that,you don't have anything close to that.

"You might want to shut up, you might learn something. Read, you mightfigure something out. Watch film, you might get educated. If not, youhave a chance to get embarrassed on Sunday. I hope you don't, because Ilike the Jets."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Associated Press he's proud of the way his team has responded -- or, rather, hasn't responded -- to the Jets.

"I don't want to speak to how other people do things or be judgmentalabout what motivates other people," said Kraft. "But stylistically, I think we do things alittle bit different than the folks we're playing this weekend . . .

"I'm proud of the way the team is conducting itself right now. We're trying to let our actions speak when we play . . . The style of people from New England is to try to let our actions speakon Sunday at 4:30 and not have a lot of blather and say things that, insome ways, take away from the game."

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.