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#pounditSunday, May 22, 2022

New England Patriots

Could Bill Belichick be in store for surprising role with Patriots?

Bill Belichick looks on from the sideline

The New England Patriots recently lost offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who left to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. McDaniels also took three Patriots offensive coaches to join him in Las Vegas.

The Patriots now have several vacancies to fill, but it’s late in the offseason to be hiring for such spots. New England’s options to hire someone from the outside may be limited, which could lead them to look internally.

Doug Kyed, a longtime Patriots reporter for NESN who is now with Pro Football Focus, shared on Twitter Thursday a few theories on what he has heard the Pats could do to help fill their offensive staff. Some have theorized that Bill Belichick or Matt Patricia could have more involvement with the team’s offense, leaving more defensive responsibilities for Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick.

In addition to McDaniels, the Raiders hired former receivers coach Mick Lombardi, offensive assistant Bo Hardegree and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo away from New England. That is a lot of coaches to lose, and something Belichick does not enjoy.

Belichick has always been recognized as a defensive-minded head coach who is known for his defensive prowess. Would he give up some of those responsibilities to help out more on offense? Maybe the team needs it for the 2022 season.

This is all speculation so far. Until the Patriots make hires and replace the coaches they lost, there will be speculation about what they do to cover the offensive workload.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady releases very Patriots-centric farewell video

Tom Brady nods to the crowd

Tom Brady received a lot of backlash from New England Patriots fans when he completely omitted his former team from his formal retirement announcement. It seems like the star quarterback is trying to make up for that.

Brady released a farewell video on Thursday that featured mostly Patriots highlights. That makes sense considering he played 20 of his 22 seasons in New England and won six of his seven Super Bowls with the team. It’s noteworthy that the clip included a portion of an interview Brady gave following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Patriots earlier this season. He spoke at the time about how fond he is of New England and said he will be “part of this community for a long time.”

Here’s the video:

Everything Brady does is calculated. That’s why it was almost certainly intentional that he didn’t mention the Patriots once in his nearly 1,000-word Instagram post on Tuesday. He may have just wanted to keep the spotlight on the Bucs since they signed him two years ago when Bill Belichick didn’t try hard enough to keep him.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft was reportedly irate that Brady did not mention his former team when announcing his retirement. Brady later acknowledged the Pats in response to them praising his accomplishments. He also had a big compliment for Belichick after Belichick released a statement.

It certainly seems like Brady wanted to send some sort of message by leaving the Patriots out of his initial announcement. The message was received.

Photo: Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady thanks Patriots after great deal of backlash

Tom Brady in a Bucs jersey

Tom Brady sent New England Patriots fans into a collective frenzy on Tuesday when he did not mention them or their team upon announcing his retirement from the NFL. Hopefully they all believe in the “better late than never” concept.

Brady announced his retirement with a nearly 1,000-word statement on Instagram. He thanked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his coaches, teammates, agents, family and many others, but there wasn’t a single word about the Patriots. A lot of people felt the omission was intentional and showed that Brady holds ill will toward his former team.

That didn’t stop the Patriots from honoring the player who helped bring them six Super Bowl titles. The team and owner Robert Kraft issued statements praising Brady, and Brady acknowledged the love both on Twitter and his Instagram story.

Some have speculated that Brady could have something bigger planned for the Patriots, like perhaps signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of the team. It’s also possible that he wanted to give all the attention to the Bucs, as they signed him two years ago when the Patriots chose to let him walk.

Brady shared several nice tributes to the Pats earlier this season when the Bucs traveled to New England. He also embraced Kraft and had a private meeting with Bill Belichick after the game.

It’s no secret that the Brady-Patriots divorce was sticky, but we doubt he will alienate the franchise in retirement. Still, the fact that he thanked the team he spent 20 years with as an afterthought was at least noteworthy.

Photo: Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots could bring back familiar coach

Bill Belichick looks on from the sideline

The New England Patriots could be going from one company man to another if Josh McDaniels leaves.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the Patriots could potentially hire Bill O’Brien as their offensive coordinator to replace McDaniels if McDaniels gets the head coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders.

The veteran O’Brien is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the University of Alabama, helping lead them to the national title game this past season. He was also known, albeit infamously so, for his tenure as the head coach and GM of the Houston Texans prior to that.

Whne it comes to the Patriots, O’Brien has history with them too, serving on coach Bill Belichick’s staff from 2007 to 2011. O’Brien began as an offensive assistant for the Pats, got promoted to wide receivers coach, then became quarterbacks coach, and finally the team’s offensive coordinator. While O’Brien was the offensive coordinator, New England won the 2011 AFC championship (but lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI).

There were some questions in recent years about the relationship between Belichick and O’Brien. But it has apparently improved to the point that the Patriots are now considering bringing O’Brien back if McDaniels walks.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Julian Edelman had hilarious reaction to big bet on Patriots going south

Julian Edelman pumps up the crowd

You win some and you lose some in sports gambling, and Julian Edelman definitely lost some this weekend.

The ex-New England Patriots receiver made a huge bet on the team heading into the Wild Card round. The bet was part of a paid promotion by Edelman for WynnBET Sportsbook.

Edelman bet $50,000 that the Patriots would make the Super Bowl, which would have paid $375,000 had it hit.

Unfortunately for Edelman, the bet most definitely did not hit. New England got shelled by the Buffalo Bills, losing 47-17 in a game that was never close.

Edelman had a hilarious reaction to his bet going down the tubes. He posted the “I am never going to financially recover from this” meme from “Tiger King” with his face edited in. He also jokingly asked his sportsbook what their return policy was.

Edelman, who played his entire 11-season NFL career with the Patriots, was going to go down with his team. But alas, go down Edelman did indeed.

There is a bright side for Edelman though. If he manages to win on the other bet that he placed for the playoffs, he could still walk away a winner overall.

Photo: Sep 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Former New England Patriots Julian Edelman is honored during halftime against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots working out son of former MLB All-Star

Bill Belichick with a headset

The New England Patriots are working out a player this week with a famous last name.

Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that the Patriots hosted defensive back Money Hunter for a workout. Hunter, who played collegiately at Arkansas State and professionally with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, is the son of former MLB All-Star Torii Hunter.

The 26-year-old Hunter started 14 games for the Alouettes this past CFL season. He recorded 44 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack.

Two Patriots cornerbacks, Jalen Mills and Shaun Wade, are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Three other members of the secondary, Cody Davis, Adrian Phillips, and Kyle Dugger, were limited participants at practice on Wednesday heading into Saturday’s Wild Card game against Buffalo.

Money Hunter’s all-time name aside, him ending up with the Patriots would be a pretty interesting twist given his father’s history with the Boston area.

Photo: Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Patriots star making massive bet on team

Bill Belichick looks on from the sideline

One former New England Patriots player is putting a major bankroll on the team heading into the postseason.

Retired ex-Pats receiver Julian Edelman revealed on Twitter this week that he bet $100,000 on a Patriots-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl this year. Edelman got the money from a partnership with WynnBET Sportsbook and decided to spend it all on that bet.

It equals to $50,000 on the Patriots to win the AFC (which would pay out $375,000) and $50,000 on the Bucs to win the NFC (which would pay out $170,000). If Edelman is correct on both legs, he will take home $545,000 from his original $100,000.

Edelman then posted a funny video of himself breaking the news of his six-figure bet to his parents.

It would not be too surprising to see Tampa Bay come out of the NFC. They are the defending champions, the No. 2 seed, and the team with Tom Brady, Edelman’s old quarterback. But the Patriots, the AFC’s No. 6 seed, are the longshots here as well as the biggest possible moneymakers for Edelman.

We already got a warning from one notable NFL figure that New England could make it back to the Super Bowl. Now Edelman, who was a Patriot for 12 total seasons, is betting some serious cabbage on it to happen too.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Heated rivals Patriots, Jets have funny exchange on Twitter

Bill Belichick looks on from the sideline

As division rivals who respectively represent the Boston and New York City areas, the New England Patriots and New York Jets do not exactly like each other. Sunday marked a rare peace offering of sorts between the two though.

The Patriots posted Sunday on Twitter that they were begrudgingly rooting for the Jets. In order to win the AFC East, New England needs to win their game over the Miami Dolphins and for the Jets to defeat the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots and Bills both have a 10-6 record at the moment, but Buffalo owns the tiebreaker by virtue of having a better divisional record.

“Can’t believe we’re about to say this but … Let’s go @nyjets?!” the Patriots tweeted.

The Jets hilariously replied with the famous GIF of Alonzo Mourning in order to indicate mixed feelings.

On just about every other week of the year, the Patriots and Jets can’t stand each other, thanks largely to the former’s dominance in the division that has prevented the latter from winning a division title since 2002. The two teams even had another instance of bad blood earlier this season.

But in Week 18, the Patriots are reluctantly on the Jets’ side. That appears to be enough for a temporary cease-fire between the two rivals for now.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Cris Collinsworth has ominous Super Bowl prediction

Cris Collinsworth holds a microphone

Cris Collinsworth can already see the stars aligning in one particular way this NFL season.

The veteran NBC sportscaster, who will be on the call for this year’s Super Bowl, shared an ominous prediction to Twitter on Monday.

“I have called 4 Super Bowls, this one will be my 5th,” wrote Collinsworth. The Patriots have been in every one. Just saying…”

The Super Bowl will be aired on NBC this season for the first time in four years. Collinsworth was previously on the call for New England’s Super Bowl wins in 2005 and 2015 as well as their Super Bowl losses in 2012 and 2018.

This year, the Patriots suddenly look good again as winners of their last four straight games. But it would still be a big surprise for them to make it to the Super Bowl with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones and a roster of largely lesser-known players. The more likely scenario would be for Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make it back to the title game this year. Brady was, of course, in all four of Collinsworth’s previous Super Bowls as well.

In any case, many are probably hoping they don’t have to hear Collinsworth on the call for another New England Super Bowl game this year. After all, he has taken heat before for his pro-Patriots commentary.

Photo: Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; NBC Sports broadcaster Cris Collinsworth before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Are Patriots a possibility for Odell Beckham Jr.?

Odell Beckham after a game

Odell Beckham Jr. will soon learn where he will be playing for the rest of the NFL season. Could he end up on a surprising AFC team? That’s what one informed NFL reporter thinks.

Adam Schefter was talking on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” prior to the Monday night game between the Bears and Steelers. Schefter mentioned the Saints and Seahawks as possibilities for Beckham. Those teams are not surprising based on what we have heard.

But Schefter added another team to the mix that is surprising: the New England Patriots. Yes, Schefter said New England could be a possibility for Beckham.

Schefter based his mention of the Patriots on Bill Belichick’s history of bringing in troubled players and having success with them.

Though the Pats have brought in checkered receivers in the past like Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and Antonio Brown to name a few, we think this situation is different.

The Patriots had Tom Brady during the times when they added all those players. Now, they have a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones. That’s a big difference.

Would New England risk bringing in a dominant personality like Beckham to influence Jones? That’s a tough question. Baker Mayfield, who is young, had some issues with Beckham on the field. An older, more established quarterback who can handle someone like Beckham would probably be best for the receiver. That’s why one NFC team seems to make the most sense.

Photo: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returns to MetLife Stadium for the first time since he was traded by the New York Giants. The New York Jets lose to the Cleveland Browns, 23-3, in NFL Week 2 on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford. Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC