One day after their offensive teammates went through a mini media day at Gillette Stadium, it was the defensive rookies' turn to answer questions Thursday in Foxborough.
From top pick Cyrus Jones on through a slew of undrafted rookie defenders, the group had its chance to shine as it works to settle into life New England.
The Boston Globe says that linebacker Elandon Roberts, a sixth-round pick out of Houston, brings impressive numbers to his new team. The Globe Patriots notebook has Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones describing why New England was the right place for him to sign after the draft.
Whether Patriots fans like it or not, Rob Gronkowski is on the cover of the video game Madden '17. The Globe passes along the All-Pro tight end on Jimmy KimmelLive talking about the supposed Madden curse and other ghostly issues.
Tom Brady is pretty adamant in a GQ interview that the book he recently began selling is, “not a cookbook! It’s a nutrition manual.” It's also $200 but has sold out in terms of pre-orders.
The Boston Herald details the relationship between Patriots undrafted cornerback V’Angelo Bentley and 10-year-old boy Colby Crowley. The Herald's Inside Track looks at Gronkowski’s dual covers, landing on both Madden and *GQ*. The Herald says that third-round defensive tackle Vincent Valentine is motivated by his critics, while it quotes Jones as saying, “They say you get what you earn here.”
The *Providence Journal *says that Roberts doesn't mind that in his short time in New England's he's already been assigned two different jersey numbers. “I don’t ask [any] questions,” Robert said. “I just do what I’m asked to do and whatever number they put me in is great. I’m just glad to be a Patriot.”
ESPNBoston.com passes along word that unbiased NFLN analyst Willie McGinest ranks the Patriots as having the fourth-best linebacker corps in the NFL, although he curiously includes Rob Ninkovich in the mix.
ESPNBoston.com also has the massive Valentine responding to his critics.
WEEI.com has undrafted linebacker C.J. Johnson saying, “Everything here is pretty much straight to a T. They have a certain way of that they do things here and we understand that. We have to buy into that.” WEEI.com also writes of Roberts talking about going from No. 51 to 52, as New England apparently decided not to have recently-retired linebacker Jerod Mayo’s old number in the rotation at this point.
CSNNE.com says undrafted free agents are trying to follow Malcolm Butler’s path in New England, though the team was a home for productive undrafted rookies long before Butler became an unlikely Super Bowl hero. CSNNE.com also looks at how undersized athlete Kamu Grugier-Hill fits with the Patriots.
NFL.com has Gronkowski making it clear he believes that Brady will play in 16 games in 2016, this when many are assuming the quarterback may have to serve a four-game suspension. Regardless of how many games TB12 plays in, NFL.com says Brady is the favorite to be NFL MVP in 2016. The site is not so high on New England's rookies, though, ranking the Patriots dead last, No. 32, in a breakdown of the league’s draft classes using some strange point system.
Even Time magazine noted that Gronkowski is on the Madden cover, showing how big the game and the tight end are, even beyond the world of sports.