By Tom E. CurranTed Larsen was my favorite draft pick by the Patriots last year. The sixth-round lineman from NC State had the greatest name and I got three hours of stupid jokes out of it."Honey, do you know if Ted Larsen returned the weed whacker? I can't find it." "Hi, Ted Larsen, CPA." "Looks like a shopping cart rolled into the minivan. Big dent. I better get Ted Larsen on the phone."Well, Ted Larsen, you're no regular Ted Larsen today. He helped save three teens whose kayak overturned in the Gulf of Mexico. Two of the teens were clinging to it and one was still in the boat, the story goes. How a kid can be in an overturned kayak, I don't know, but let's just stick to the hero stuff. Larsen was out fishing with his girlfriend. It's safe to say, he caught a very special bounty. Here's to you, Ted Larsen!
FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive tackle Terrance Knighton has been on three different teams since the Deflategate controversy was sparked on the night of the AFC title game in 2015. But that doesn't mean he's immune to receiving questions about Tom Brady's ongoing saga.
Meeting with reporters after Thursday's OTA session, Knighton was asked if he was surprised by the buzz that still surrounds Brady's legal situation. Earlier in the week, Brady filed a petition for a rehearing to have his four-game suspension overturned, and the Patriots organization filed an amicus brief backing their quarterback.
"All I was thinking about that year was losing to the Colts," said Knighton, who was a member of the Broncos two seasons ago. "I wasn't really worried about what was going on. I don't really feed into that. I just try to handle what I have to do in the building. We have enough on our plate as it is. That'll handle itself. 'Terrance Knighton' is not anywhere in the documents so it doesn't have anything to do with me."
As was the case during last preseason, with Deflategate hearings hanging over Brady's head, the Patriots quarterback didn't appear at all distracted by the continuing proceedings. He went 9-for-14 in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 periods during Thursday's practice, working with a group of offenive weapons that was without tight end Rob Gronkowski and receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
Knighton said on Thursday that Brady has ben equally impressive off the field in the short time he's been able to spend with the future Hall of Famer.
"[Conversations hav been] a little bit about our past playing against each other, me getting the better of him, him getting the better of me," Knighton said. "He's won that matchp more times than I have, but it's always good to be around guys like that, pick their brain and see what type of professional they are.
"Playing with a Peyton Manning and a Demarcus Ware, you learn a lot from those guys, Hall of Famers. I'm just trying tp pick [Brady's] brain, and just watch him out of the corner of my eye, and see how he prepares and how me moves around."
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry attended Thursday’s OTA session and offer their analysis on some of the new additions in Quick Slants the podcast.
Also on the docket, a look at some upcoming contract situations for the team, Tom Brady’s 17th season and Robert Kraft taking legal action in support of Brady.
Listen to the entire podcast via the player below, or by searching CSNNE on iTunes.
Chris Long’s been in the NFL since 2008. As the offspring of Hall of Famer Howie Long, he knows the ways and means of life in the league.
So, it’s instructive that a player who’s been around this long decided that success here hinged on allowing himself to be led. Check the ego, check the pride, behave as if you know nothing.
In doing so, Long’s affixed himself to the side of fellow defensive end Rob Ninkovich like a 275-pound remora.
“Rob and I really clicked,” Long said Thursday after a Patriots OTA session open to the media. “We’ve got a lot of similarities, and he’s a great guy to learn from and shadow. He’s been here obviously a long time. Rob knows how to do things the right way around here. When you see a guy like that, if you’re halfway smart, you follow him around and do what he does. If Rob goes to lunch, I go to lunch. That type of thing. Rob’s a good buddy already.”
Long was also observed Thursday spending a lot of downtime with Jabaal Sheard, the two defensive ends on a knee near the Gatorade conversing for a couple of minutes.
With Chandler Jones now a Cardinal, the Patriots defensive end depth chart this offseason has have Sheard and Ninkovich at the top, with Long in the mix situationally, one supposes. Reps need to be split for freshness. Meanwhile, Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers are coming into their second seasons and will push for time as well.
For his part, Long isn’t projecting anything.
“Well, I’m still learning, so I can’t make the determination yet,” Long said. “Ask me again during training camp. Every day in the NFL is an opportunity. A coach I’ve had before said every day is an interview, and that’s how I like to look at things. Every day, you have a chance to get better and learn and worry about your own — farm your own land and do all that good stuff. That’s the way I approach everything. It would be a disservice to the other guys if I was worried about anything other than myself, that opportunity just to get out here on the practice field and compete and get better.”
And let yourself be led.