Bill Belichick’s offseason has already been a busy one, and things will likely be heating up on the personnel front in the weeks to come. (USA TODAY Images)
Some quick notes on this Wednesday morning:
Patriots head coach apparently spent some time at Auburn’s Pro Day on Tuesday as the team turns the page and starts preparing for the 2015 season.
There will likely be quite a few names mentioned in the months ahead as we get closer to the NFL draft, and it appears that Belichick and his staff are already taking a look at some players who could be on their radar when it comes time to make this year’s selections for the NFL Draft.
Photo by Zach Bland/Auburn University
Auburn had 21 players as part of their Pro Day, including wide receiver Sammie Coates – no relation to former Patriots tight end Ben Coats – who told the Montgomery Advisor that he was suprised when he saw Belichick on hand to take in the event.
“I turned around and seen the Super Bowl champ back there and I was like, ‘Whoa. He in Auburn. Did he know where that was?'” Coates told the newspaper. “But that was good to have him out here to watch us perform and I was very excited to see him back there.”
Coates was a player that Belichick apparently “watched closely” according to NFL.com, although Coates downplayed their interaction.
“I was excited to meet him,” Coates told NFL.com. “He just told me, ‘Good job, keep working hard,’ and that’s all I needed. I didn’t need to hear too much more than that.”
As for Bill Belichick, he didn’t speak at the event and declined interview requests.
MCCOURTY EXCITED FOR FREE AGENCY:
With Devin McCourty seemingly on his way to hit the free agent market, it sounds like the fact that he’s going to have teams begin courting for his services has both himself and his family excited to see how the process plays itself out.
‚ÄúMy mom keeps telling me this whole time, ‚ÄėYou‚Äôre not going to play football for that long, you have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along,‚Äô ‚ÄĚ McCourty told the Boston Globe Tuesday night. ‚ÄúHaving a twin brother [Jason, a cornerback for the Titans] that wasn‚Äôt a free agent ‚ÄĒ he signed an extension with Tennessee ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs an exciting time for both of us, and really my whole family.‚ÄĚ
The veteran safety still sounds like he’s prefer to stay in New England, but it also appears that while understanding the business side of things that it will ultimately come down to how things¬†go when he becomes available. ¬†McCourty told the newspaper¬†if the Super Bowl victory was his final game as a Patriot, it was a great finish.
‚ÄúIf that was the last game, then what a way to go out,‚ÄĚ he said.
– The Patriots signed Ray “Bubba” Ventrone on Tuesday as their assistant special teams coach, filling a void created by¬†retired special teams coach Scott O’Brien. ¬†The team had promoted Joe Judge into O’Brien’s role and now Ventrone will get the opportunity to work with Judge to coach the Patriots special teams group heading into the 2015 season. ¬†The name Ventrone likely rings a bell as his younger brother was memorable for being a part of a host of transactions, which as Jeff Howe points out involved 29 total,¬†(signed 13 times, released 11 times, promoted from the practice squad to the active roster five times) from 2010-12, including 22 transactions (signed nine times, released eight times, promoted five times) in 2011.
– It appears Bills head coach Rex Ryan is already looking to make a little noise after pulling off a blockbuster trade to acquire Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. ¬†According to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, one Bills source said, “Holy s—, this went down in 20 minutes…’ ¬†His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is denying the deal has been finalized since it can’t become official until until March 10th, but Bills running back C.J. Spiller announced he’ll be leaving as a free agent, so that more or less confirms that something is likely going down.
– Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post feels that Ndamukong Suh could be a good fit in Miami, and despite the salary cap space the team has there is still a possibility that having a guy like Suh go to the Dolphins could attract other players want to play there and potentially even take a discount to do it. ¬†He spoke to former Dolphins Pro Bowl guard Keith Sims, who feels that adding talent like that would give them an edge that the Patriots have been able to have. ¬†‚ÄúIf you get a guy like Ndamukong Suh, it would attract other free agents to be part of the mix, something the Patriots have mastered for years, of putting together a team that is typically in contention so players would take less money to come and be part of that championship-caliber team,” said Sims. ¬†Habib also points out that the fact that the state of Florida has no income tax, which obviously comes into play on the types of deals these players tend to sign. ¬†Hopefully it doesn’t happen, since most fans would prefer to keep a guy like Suh away from Tom Brady.
– Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recently listed as ‚Ä®No. 381 on Forbes‚Äô list of world billionaires with a ‚Ä®net worth of $4.3 billion. That’s up¬†199 spots on the list from where he was last year when Forbes called him the 580th wealthiest man¬†in the world.
– NFL Films has released the Patriots Super Bowl DVD, recapping the incredible run the team made last season. ¬†These are typically incredibly well done so if you haven’t ordered yours yet you can do so on Amazon.com via This Link.