Malcolm Mitchell released
The Patriots released third-year wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell Monday. It was a disappointing end to what was a once promising career. Mitchell had 32 catches for 401 yards in his rookie year in 2016. Mitchell had 6 catches for 70 yards in the Pats Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons. Mitchell also had eight catches for 82 yards in a regular season win over the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Mitchell missed all of last season with a knee injury and practiced for the first time in pads on Saturday. But it was too little too late. Given the Pats shortage at wide receiver, Bill Belichick was unlikely to wait for players like Mitchell and Jordan Matthews to get healthy. The Pats released Matthews earlier in camp.
On Tuesday, Belichick acknowledged that Mitchell did all he could to get back on the field. Belichick did not say whether Mitchell was healthy enough to play or he had simply not made enough progress to be competitive in training camp.
"He did everything he could, did everything he could. It’s unfortunate that didn’t work out, but I don’t know how he could have put any more into it than he did," Belichick said Tuesday.
He also acknowledged there is no one formula to determine when to release an injured player and when to hope that they can progress to the point where they can contribute on the field.
"Yeah, each situation is different. There’s no straight answer on that. Every situation is different, and in the end, I would just say I have always tried to do what’s best for the football team and I’ve always tried to combine that with what’s best for the individual and the player and his career. I’ve talked to players about that and talked to them about their situation, and whenever possible, we try to come to the best mutual decision. That’s not always possible, but when it isn’t, we try to create a situation that’s the best we can make of that situation. So, making the best of a bad situation if that’s what it is – that’s how I try to approach it," Belichick said.
Heat and more heat after a great weekend for Coach Bill Belichick
The Pats practiced in 92-degree heat Tuesday. Bill Belichick said at this press conference that players must practice in the elements because they could play in them. Belichick was asked whether he would adjust practice based on the heat.
"Nope. It might be hot when we play. Whatever it is out there, we’ll play through. So, if it’s hot, cold, windy, still, sunny, cloudy, rainy – we’re going to get all of them sooner or later. So, just work through it," Belichick said.
Belichick also acknowledged that the team is installing the offense at a difference pace this year because there are no joint practices.This marks the first time since 2011 there are no joint practices.
"No question. That’s exactly what it is. When you’re going up against a team like yesterday and today, which we would have done last year, and then we would have to put a lot of things in ahead of that. It would change the installation schedule and the pattern and so forth. Not saying one is good or bad, they’re just different. Yeah, we’re absolutely on a different pace, 100 percent, and there are some advantages to that and there are certainly some advantages to working against a different opponent. So, we’ll take the opportunities we have and try to make the most of it. But, yeah, 100 percent that’s the case," Belichick said.
Belichick attended Randy Moss's Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio Saturday Night and the Red Sox big comeback win over the Yankees Sunday Night. Belichick sat next to Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski (the two have mutual friends). So your humble corespondent asked Belichick was this one of the great weekends of his life or at least in a long time.
"Ever? Yeah, I mean, it was good. I wouldn’t put it up there with some of the championships that we’ve won. I think that would be stretching it a little bit," Belichick said.
"I wish the Red Sox nothing but the best, not that they need any help from me. They seem to be doing just fine."
Clearly, coach has a more interesting life than your humble corespondent.
Eric Decker speaks
At last the press heard from Eric Decker who the Pats signed last week and attended his first practice on Saturday. Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coached Decker when he was the head coach with the Denver Broncos from 2009-2010. Thus, Decker is familiar with the Pats offense. Decker is excited to be with the Pats.
"You know, this is quite an opportunity. It’s a place really all offseason that I would have loved to end up and I’m kind of happy it worked out the way it did," Decker said Tuesday
Decker like Wes Welker has the rare distinction of playing receiver for both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Decker and Welker were teammates when the Broncos went to the Super Bowl and were blown out by the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.
"I mean these guys have played a lot of football and they understand how to win, what the formula is and Peyton’s the same way. I took a lot of just the habits, you know how he came to work, how he took care of himself physically, the way he watched tape, the way he practiced, the extra work he put in. Those things that translate over to Sunday and I believe Tom’s the same way just being around him the last few days. That’s something that as a receiver, as just a teammate that you love seeing from that position because that’s who’s going to carry you and you just kind of follow in his lead and do what suits best for the team," Decker said.
Decker will wear No. 81.
Rob Gronkowski speaks
The all-pro tight end say he usually does not get bored - even in the dog days off training camp. Gronkowski will not find out if he is playing Thursday Night against the Washington Redskins until Thursday. Asked if he wants to play Gronkowski had a great Belichick answer.
"I'm always ready to play," Gronkowski
Gronkowski took time off to play video games when the Pats had no practice this past Sunday and Monday.
"Yeah, I did that actually, too, for about an hour. I played Call of Duty: Black Ops. I still haven’t gotten into the new one. It was too hard to set up," Gronkowski said.
Asked if he was master at the game.
"If I'm feeling it, I'm pretty good," Gronkowski said.
Also, an incredibly class move by Gronkowksi to do a one on interview with Dave Stephens of the disability channel after practice Tuesday.
The uninteresting practice report
CB Cyrus Jones, CB Jonathan Jones, and S Nate Ebner practiced for the first time in full pads in training camp.
Former Pats assistant Al Groh was at practice Tuesday and addressed the team. Groh coached with Belichick when the two were assistants with the New York Giants in 1980s. The two also worked under Bill Parcells when the Pats went to the Super Bowl in 1996. Groh coached the New York Jets in 2000, Virginia (2001-2009) and Georgia Tech (2009-2012).
The Pats practice Wednesday in the afternoon before their first preseason game against the Washington Redskins Thursday Night.
Don't feel too bad about your life.
Jason McCourty and Devin McCourty came twice this month to the Apple Store in Dedham, Mass to have their Apple Watch repaired.
Even NFL players have to travel places to get customer service.
Wondering how long they had to wait and if customer service could tell the identical twins apart.