– Report focuses on footballs used during AFC Championship game, which Patriots won 45-7 over the Colts
– Footballs used during games are required to be between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI
– At halftime, 11 Patriots footballs measured under 12.5 PSI, while four Colts footballs measured within the acceptable range
– Report concludes it was “more probable than not” that the Patriots employees deliberately circumvented the rules
– Employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski deliberately let air out of the footballs after they were inspected by the head referee
– It is more probable than not that Tom Brady “was at least generally aware” of the employees’ actions in letting air out of the footballs Continue reading NFL’s Ted Wells #DeflateGate Report (CliffsNotes Edition) »
The Patriots added eleven players over the weekend during the NFL draft. They also added several undrafted free agents after the conclusion of the draft Saturday night. Early on, the Patriots went with a defensive focus with their first four picks (and seven out of eleven total picks) were on that side of the ball. New England spent all of their offensive picks on day three, picking two guards and a tight end. One long snapper was also picked by the team.
With the loss of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason, the Patriots have chosen to invest more in their front seven and hope to generate pass rush to force turnovers instead of forcing coverage sacks and turnovers due to lock down secondary play. This shift began with Revis and Browner leaving, continued with the Jabaal Sheard signing, and was added to on draft weekend. Three of the Patriots first four picks were defensive lineman or pass rushers including first round pick Malcolm Brown. Brown, a behemoth defensive tackle out of Texas, should instantly contribute to the Patriots interior pressure on both passing and rushing downs. Dominque Easley is a bit of a wild card, if he can come back healthy in 2015 he and Brown could combine to create a young, formidable defensive tackle duo. Defensive end Geneo Grissom, a third round pick, is somewhat comparable to Jamie Collins, a high level athlete who couldn’t quite find a niche on a college defense. He is not as talented as Collins, but could add some depth behind the Patriots budding star linebacker. Trey Flowers could end up being a steal at defensive end as well. He was picked at the top of the fourth round and very well could end up going at the end of the second or in the third. Continue reading Patriots 2015 Draft Picks Review »
There is nothing positive about losing the top two catchers on your depth chart. Christian Vazquez lost the 2015 season to Tommy John surgery, and his replacement as the starting catcher, Ryan Hanigan, will be out until at least the All-Star break.
But if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Boston Red Sox fans get to see the anticipated debut of top prospect Blake Swihart in the major leagues. After watching his first career start against the New York Yankees, though, I do have a piece of (unsolicited) advice for the rookie if he wants to have a successful career with the Red Sox.