The average age of the Patriots’ current roster is 25 years old. (NFL Game Rewind)
It’s hard to say when it started, but it’s clearer now. A youth movement is underway inside Gillette Stadium.
This March saw the 33-year-old Vince Wilfork, the 30-year-old Brandon Browner and the 29-year-old Darrelle Revis leave the defensive side of the ball. And it saw the 32-year-old Dan Connolly remain unsigned along the offensive side, after the team’s third-longest tenured player, the 33-year-old Logan Mankins, was traded last August.
Yet it isn’t so much about whom will replace them. It’s how.
There have been 13 free-agent additions in preparation the 2015 NFL season. Only one, a reserve-future signing and ex-Tennessee Titans defensive lineman named Antonio Johnson, has already hit his third decade. There have been eight free agents retained. And only two, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and defensive tackle Alan Branch, have reached that same point.
In result, the average age of a New England Patriots player – at the moment – is 25 years old.
Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon were taken consecutively in 2013. (NFL Game Rewind)
There may no longer be one dominant pipeline for Bill Belichick. But there are still several college streams running down into the Foxborough ravine.
The New England Patriots have collected players from an assortment of schools over the years, whether it be first-year pros or 10-year veterans, whether it be via free agency, trade, or the draft. And admittedly, the strength of some connections in the collection aren’t as strong as they once were.
Some of Belichick’s ties have dispersed in different directions, with the likes of Greg Schiano, Urban Meyer and Randy Edsall no longer at the forefront of the programs the Patriots head coach once picked from. Yet other waters have appeared over the years.
And with the Patriots’ pool currently standing 75 deep, here is a look through the most prominent products featured in its depths.
Tom Brady is one of several Patriots back at Gillette Stadium. (NFL Game Rewind)
The league meetings are currently taking place in Arizona, but several New England Patriots are currently taking their workouts back to Foxborough,
According to Chris Price of WEEI.com and Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and safeties Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon have been spotted at Gillette Stadium as of Monday.
Brandon LaFell’s celebration with Tom Brady chipped a tooth. (NFL Game Rewind)
Brandon LaFell stopped by NFL Network’s Total Access on Tuesday, nine days removed from winning his first Super Bowl as a member of the New England Patriots.
A few highlights from the wideout’s appearance.
A week has passed, and the Patriots are beyond a yard out. (NFL Game Rewind)
A week ago today, Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler were on their way to Disney World. Now, the sixth-year wideout and undrafted rookie cornerback are on their way back from the Grammys and into the offseason with the rest of the New England Patriots.
But while the NFL calendar is in its lull, soon it will not be.
Here are a few thoughts on the past week and the road ahead.
Tom Brady discussed Jermaine Kearse’s play on WEEI Tuesday. (NFL Game Rewind)
Tom Brady had just thrown his fourth touchdown of the game, a three-yard pivot to Julian Edelman to bring the New England Patriots back in front. But 2:02 remained on the game clock in Super Bowl XLIX. And the Seattle Seahawks would soon make the most of it, picking up 42 yards in four plays while Brady looked on from the sideline.
The fifth play would pick up 33.
“I couldn’t believe he caught it,” Brady told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning.
Tom Brady addressed the media Thursday afternoon. (NFL Game Rewind)
The podium was Tom Brady’s on Thursday afternoon.
The New England Patriots quarterback fielded questions in a packed news conference for over 30 minutes, after reports from Bob Kravitz of WTHR and Chris Mortensen of ESPN indicated that 11 of the 12 footballs on the team’s sideline were underinflated by two pounds per square inch in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
Brady said he did not alter the balls in any way.
“I was as surprised as anybody when I heard Monday morning what was happening,” he said in his opening remarks.
LeGarrette Blount scored four TDs against the Colts last January. (NFL Game Rewind)
Hit the ground running.
That has been the offensive approach for the New England Patriots over the last two meetings with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns against the Colts in Week 11, on the heels of rushing for 234 yards and six touchdowns in the divisional round last January. A total of 100 carries and two victories were tallied in the process, while Brady tallied 55 passes.
Darrelle Revis is one of three Patriots on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-NFL team. (NFL Game Rewind)
The Pro Football Writers of America announced its 2014 All-NFL team on Monday afternoon. And on it stood the names of three New England Patriots.
Tight Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Darrelle Revis and special-teamer Matthew Slater were all recognized as members of the All-NFL team, while quarterback Tom Brady and safety Devin McCourty were also recognized as members of the All-AFC team.
Brandon LaFell’s touchdown from Tom Brady gave New England a 35-31 lead on Saturday. (NFL Game Rewind)
Sept. 29 was a long time ago for the New England Patriots.
“Honestly, I think at those moments, you’re not thinking about months ahead,” quarterback Tom Brady said in his weekly radio appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Monday morning.
It was then, on a Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium, that Brady and the Patriots were delivered a 41-14 loss by the Kansas City Chiefs. But on Saturday night, as the top-seeded team in the AFC delivered a 35-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium, it was evidenced how much four months changed things.
Yet not everything changed.
“I think we’ve always just tried to focus on the days ahead, and what we needed to do to make improvements,” Brady said. “I do remember at that time, we still had a lot of confidence in one another. We weren’t 0-4, we were 2-2. We lost to a good team on the road on a Monday night when we didn’t play well. And at that point, you’ve got to just rally around each other.”