Pioli says there's plenty to like with pass rushers


Pioli says there's plenty to like with pass rushers

By TomE. Curran
INDIANAPOLIS - With the Patriots taking the guerilla approach to the NFL Scouting Combine, you need to be resourceful to figure out how they may be thinking. Enter Chiefs' general manager Scott Pioli, who was at the podium Saturday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's not going to be able to delve into the Patriots' specific thought processes, but his football intel was framed by Bill Belichick. So we asked him about defensive endoutside linebacker class in this year's draft, an area the Patriots are needy in. "Some of these guys are defensive ends in the 4-3 or potentially outside linebackers in the 3-4 defense," said Pioli. But this is a strong group of players. Regardless of the defense, there's players that can help every team in the National Football League at those positions."Some experts are saying there are up to nine players with the ability to be considered first-round picks. We talked about Cam Jordan from Cal earlier Saturdayandbroke down the guys the Patriots could look at with NFP's Wes Bunting. Here's Bunting's full look at the prospects. Meanwhile, Pioli spoke about the importance of workouts with guys who may be asked to go from4-3 end to 3-4 outside linebackers. "Some of them have had their hand in the dirt and you haven't seen them drop (in coverage)," explained Pioli."That's why this is a critical time to work those players out. Not that you're going to know every detail about their ability to drop into coverage but you've got to be able to look at them and see what their physical skills are when you go on campus and work them out or you see them work out here. "There's also another part that you can't really tell until he's on your football team and that's the instincts, the awareness and the spatial awareness as a coverage guy," Pioli explained. "But there are guys who can do both things well."Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Another big swing and miss from NYDN's Manish Mehta on the Patriots

Every few months, our buddy Manish Mehta gets suitably bored or his bosses at the New York Daily News get sufficiently impatient with him and he goes off with some prediction that winds up being the absolute direct opposite of what actually happens.

He would be like the drippy-nosed kid at his own birthday party trying to bust open the piñata for an uncomfortable length of time. Except, eventually, somebody takes pity on that kid. With Manish, nobody ever feels bad and he’s left out there swinging long after the party’s over and everyone’s gone home.

Tom Brady’s suspension has provided multiple opportunities for Manish to walk into screen doors.


First, after Brady bailed in July on taking his suspension to the SCOTUS, Mehta spun it forward and said the Jets would be looking real good after four games with Jimmy Garoppolo driving the bus.

Brady will be in full-fledged F.U. mode by the time he faces the Jets for the first time in Week 12. But what if the Patriots start off winless or 1-3 with Garoppolo? Will Brady's greatness be enough to overcome such a sluggish start given that his team has the second toughest strength of schedule in the AFC (behind the Jets and just ahead of the Bills and Dolphins)?

"I feel like, in this division, you got to win 10-plus games, maybe 11-plus games," Decker said. "That means you almost have to go perfect the rest of the year (after a 1-3 start). You can be in a situation where you play a hard Sunday game and, all of sudden, you got a (quick turnaround) on a Thursday night. … You can factor those things in and make a case that it's more difficult to go on a run after starting 1-3."

After the Patriots started 2-0 and Garoppolo broke, Mehta waded in again.

Not even the greatest football mind of the generation will be able to wiggle out of this jam.

The Patriots face a new reality now that Jimmy Garoppolo wrecked his shoulder on Sunday: The Evil Empire will be looking up at the Jets in the AFC East standings when Tom Brady returns….

(Jacoby) Brissett has been a NFL player for FIVE MONTHS. He'll have THREE DAYS to prepare for his first start. Belichick is brilliant, but let's be realistic. He's not going to climb this mountain.

Friday, Manish made a Mehta Culpa in the New York Daily News and on CSN's SportsNet Central. His prediction of Brissett going bellyup and the Patriots being behind the Jets by the time Brady made his return was, “one giant swing and a miss,” wrote Mehta.

“I was wrong like pre-Socratic philosophers, who thought the world was flat. I was wrong like the Chicago Daily Tribune headline writer, who prematurely buried Truman in '48. I was wrong like Lex Luthor, who thought he could destroy Superman three or four hundred times.

Mehta got an avalanche of “You’re a ******* moooooorrrrrrooooonnnnn!!!!” tweets Thursday night. This was his blanket attempt to say, “Yes. Yes I am.”

And for a second, you worry. Is Manish done? Has he taken his blindfold off, put down his stick and gone into the house for good? No more wild swings and misses?

And then you realize it is his raison d’etre. He’ll be back. And – like this guy – he’ll be gloriously mistaken.


Report: Brady and Gisele spotted on Italian island of Capri


Report: Brady and Gisele spotted on Italian island of Capri

Anyone know any good receivers Tom Brady can work out with on Capri?

With a little over a week left before he can return to the Patriots, Brady and wife, model Gisele Bundchen, were spotted in a restaurant on the island of Capri in Italy in photos published by TMZ.

Brady, of course, is serving his NFL-imposed, four-game Deflategate suspension. He will be allowed to return to the Patriots practice facility on Monday, Oct. 3 and is expected to play in the game in Cleveland on Oct. 9.

Last week, Brady traveled to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to serve as honorary captain for the Wolverines game against Colorado.