Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan of The Boston Globe have more on Patriots owner Robert Kraft's charitable trip to Israel. Kraft and his wife, Myra, are in Jerusalem this week for a rededication of the Kraft Family Stadium, which the Globe describes as the only field in Israel suitable for American football. The field has been worn considerably since the Krafts helped build the stadium in 2000, and will now boast a new surface of artificial turf donated by the Kraft family.
The Patriots made some moves yesterday with both the roster and the coaching staff. Michael Felger of The Boston Herald reports on the Patriots naming Joel Collier their new assistant defensive backs coach. Collier coached for the Miami Dolphins last season, even being named their offensive coordinator before stepping back down to running backs coach for personal reasons. As Felger supposes, this likely means new defensive coordinator Eric Mangini will also retain his role of defensive backs coach, with Collier serving as his assistant. Collier was an assistant coach for the Patriots from 1991-92.
Tom Curran of The Providence Journal reports four roster cuts the Patriots made yesterday. The casualties are cornerback Earthwind Moreland, defensive lineman Buck Rasmussen, tight end Zeron Flemister, and lineman Wilbert Brown. You likely remember Moreland, the only of the four who saw the field this year, from the Monday night game in Kansas City. Moreland, who saw time in the wake of the Ty Law injury, was repeatedly dusted by Chiefs receivers in a shootout the Pats won 27-19.
In addition to covering the coaching signings and roster cuts, Michael Parente of The Woonsocket Call reports the Patriots are working on a long-term deal for kicker Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri, who was just hit with the one-year franchise tag two days ago, would have to agree to a long-term deal by March 16th or else play out the one-year franchise deal.
Lenny Megliola of The MetroWest Daily News covers the naming of Michael Holley to WEEI's 10AM-2PM show with Dale Arnold. Holley, whose book Patriot Reign was a recent best seller, replaces Bob Neumeier on Boston's premier sports talk radio station.
Finally, the Globe's NFL Notebook reports the Dallas Cowboys official signing of former Patriots franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe, who was just released from the Buffalo Bills, expressed excitement about the chance to reunite with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells. Parcells, who led the Patriots to the Super Bowl in the 1996 season, drafted Bledsoe number one overall in the 1993 draft.