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Stitched Nike Patriots Danny Vitale Jersey 2020 Online

The New England Patriots’ offense struggled with injuries in 2019, and the fullback position was no exception: starter Authentic James Develin Jersey was lost for the remainder of the season after hurting his neck in Week 2; rookie backup Authentic Jakob Johnson Jersey joined him on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury just one month later. New England therefore eventually had to turn to linebacker Elandon Roberts as a third-string emergency fullback.

Heading into 2020, the position remains one of uncertainty. Roberts has left the Patriots in free agency while neither Develin nor Johnson are guaranteed to return to form quickly. Develin in particular is a player to watch this offseason: while there was initial optimism that his injury might not be overly serious and maybe even only of the week-to-week variety, he was eventually diagnosed with a muscle and disc issue in his upper back/neck area.

Adding to this uncertainty is the fact that the Patriots invested in the position during free agency: New England signed Authentic Danny Vitale Jersey to a one-year, $1.3 million deal. While his contract does not guarantee Vitale a spot on the 53-man roster come September, it gives the Patriots another option should Develin’s recovery process not go as hoped. Vitale himself is still an interesting player, though, due to his athleticism and upside in the passing game.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at him.

Athleticism
Even though he entered the NFL as just a sixth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vitale brought an intriguing athletic profile to the table: he ran a 4.6-second 40-yard-dash during the 2016 scouting combine and also performed well in the three-cone drill (7.12 seconds) as well as the vertical (38.5 inches) and broad jumps (10-foot-3) — all while being measured at almost 6-foot-1 and 239 pounds.

His general athleticism did not help him earn a roster spot in Tampa Bay, but it did show up regularly during his subsequent stints with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. The following two plays from the Packers’ 2019 game against the Denver Broncos are an illustration of that:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
FB Danny Vitale showed good mobility against the Broncos to reach defenders at the second level.

Displayed his standout combine numbers on an impressive downfield reception that nearly resulted in a long TD

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11:13 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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As can be seen on the first play, Vitale (#45) possesses functional movement-skills that allow him to get to the second level and reach defenders on running plays — something New England regularly asked Develin, and to a lesser degree Johnson and Roberts as well, to do within their own zone-blocking concepts. Like the long-time Patriot, Vitale is also not afraid of initiating contact when bursting through the line to clear out running lanes.

The second play, meanwhile, shows his straight-line speed: he finds a hole in the left-side B-gap and accelerates quickly to out-run linebacker Josey Jewell (#47) and get open in the deep portions of the field. While Jewell eventually catches up to the fullback, Vitale makes a good catch in stride and takes the football to the opposing 1-yard line.

Run blocking
Throughout the years, Develin saw regular action in the Patriots’ passing game as a flex-fullback option and de facto tight end. His forte was still run blocking, though, an area that Vitale needs to improve in if he wants to make New England’s roster or possibly even serve as a potential heir to the 31-year-old. The following play shows some of the technical issues that the new Patriot still needs to address as a run blocker:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
Replying to @tkyles39
Vitale’s hands are really wide and he basically hugs Todd Davis here, allowing the LB to benchpress him and disengage to join the scrum around the ballcarrier

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11:22 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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As can be seen, Vitale’s hands are too wide and he basically hugs Denver strong-side linebacker Todd Davis (#51). This, in turn, allows the defender to easily bench-press the fullback off him and disengage to join the scrum around the ball-carrier. The play itself did not break down due to Vitale’s inconsistent block, but it serves as an example of him lacking the same pop and ability as Develin to create movement in the hole.

The following play is more of the same:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
Replying to @tkyles39
The new Patriots FB may have Develin beat in the athleticism department, but I’m not seeing the former Pro Bowler’s pop and ability to create movement in the hole.

So far hand placement and power are question marks

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11:27 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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Vitale’s athletic profile — especially his quickness — should help him address some of his issues as a run blocker, but unless he improves his hand placement and upper-body power he will have a hard time carving out a role on New England’s roster. Develin is as technically proficient a fullback as any in the NFL, for example, and Vitale needs to get to a similar level in order to become a consistent difference-maker in the team’s ground game.

Pass protection
While his run blocking has been up-and-down throughout his career, Vitale has looked good as a pass protector. The following play shows this, as he identifies his assignment immediately after the snap and shows some quick feet as well as a wide base and good balance. This, in turn, allows him to successfully mirror linebacker Josey Jewell and eliminate him from the play before it starts breaking down:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
Replying to @tkyles39
Solid rep in pass pro. Quick feet, wide base and feet, and easy mirroring

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11:18 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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Vitale may not have the most experience as a pass protector, but he has been solid whenever asked to fill that role: according to advanced analytics website Pro Football Focus, the 26-year-old has yet to allow a quarterback pressure in his career on 48 pass-blocking reps.

Passing game
Vitale’s strong-suit is the passing game, even though he has only 15 catches for 145 yards on his 44-game NFL résumé. Still, his athleticism makes him an intriguing target out of the backfield — one that knows how to get open in the underneath area. The following play from last year’s regular season contest against the then-Oakland Raiders shows this, as Vitale gets through the line of scrimmage to catch a short pass for a gain of 22 yards:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
Replying to @tkyles39
Danny Vitale could fill an Elandon Roberts sized hole in the Patriots passing game

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11:39 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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The play is reminiscent of the last touchdown ever thrown by quarterback Tom Brady in a Patriots uniform: during last year’s regular season finale, Brady hit Elandon Roberts on a similar swing-pass concept that also left him uncovered. Like Roberts, Vitale may not be your usual receiving threat, but he showed some soft hands during the 2019 season — the best of his career from a raw statistical perspective — as well as a feel for route-running.

In general, Vitale could be a mismatch in the passing game if New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can scheme him into space or get him one-on-one opportunities against linebackers. While not as agile as the Patriots’ receiving backs James White and Rex Burkhead, he still has the short-area mobility to gain separation in the short and intermediate portions of the field:

Taylor Kyles
@tkyles39
Replying to @tkyles39
Vitale could be a fun mismatch in the passing game if McDaniels can scheme him into a lot of space or get him opportunities against LBs. Also runs good routes for the position

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11:50 PM – Mar 21, 2020
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As can be seen on the first play above, the Packers flexed Vitale out to the right end of the line opposite Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa (#91). The fullback immediately was able to gain outside leverage against Mayowa, and out-ran him after receiving a short pass. The play eventually gained 21 yards due to Vitale’s speed after the reception and ability to quickly turn up the field with the football in his hands.

The Packers may not have moved him around all that much, but he still has experience lining up all over the formation as a look at his 2019 snap distribution shows:

Backfield: 132

Wide: 19

In-line: 13

Slot: 6

Considering that the Patriots also like to use their fullbacks in more than just the lead-blocking role, Vitale should be able to adapt well to his new surroundings. And while he still has room for improvement as a run-blocker, his general athleticism and overall skillset should match well with how New England runs its offense from the fullback’s perspective.

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QB Tom Brady’s been more active than usual on social media this offseason, and today he kept up the pace. On his official Instagram account, TB12 posted a short video clip of himself hard at work, throwing a football on a grassy field to a receiver who looks a lot like Josh Gordon.
Meanwhile, an ESPN blog post ranks the offseasons of all 32 NFL teams and explains why the Super Bowl Champs’ was just “average.” WEEI.com continues its ranking of the 15 most important Patriots of 2019, with one of the specialists checking in at No. 14.

And how about this gimmick… the Buffalo Bills are looking for a couple of fans willing to tie the knot at their 50-yard line this September when the Super Bowl Champion Patriots come to town.

Almost as quickly as it surfaced, the Houston Texans’ pursuit of New England’s Nick Caserio has ended. Late this past Friday, the Texans issued the following statement from their owner, via the team’s official Twitter account:
Texans PR

@TexansPR
Statement from #Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair:

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5:34 AM – Jun 15, 2019
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The Patriots, who had filed tampering charges with the NFL against Houston, apparently were satisfied with the Texans’ statement, as indicated by this Twitter statement distributed by the Super Bowl Champs:
New England Patriots

@Patriots
Statement from #Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft:

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New England is said to have dropped its tampering charge against the Texans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this case has been fully resolved, according to some media pundits. The Pro Football Talk website writes that the language to which Houston referred in the above Tweet is coming under scrutiny by some higher-ups in the league.

And a WEEI.com columnist speculates on what the future might hold for Caserio, the Patriots, and the Texans. NFL Network adds this further nugget of information, about a potential trade of Caserio to Houston.
Michael Giardi

@MikeGiardi
· Jun 15, 2019
Discussed this a couple days ago with a source who said it was his belief there was contractual language that might dissuade the Texans. Now we have our answer. Caserio is staying, for now. #Patriots https://twitter.com/TexansPR/status/1139647252090294272 …

Texans PR

@TexansPR
Statement from #Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair:

View image on Twitter

Michael Giardi

@MikeGiardi
Per @TomPelissero, Caserio’s contract expires at the end of next season. There was a discussion about a potential trade. The end result is the Texans walking away.

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7:45 AM – Jun 15, 2019
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Meanwhile, a trade last week between the Patriots and Lions has fallen through after tight end Michael Roberts failed his physical here in New England, according to ESPN.

Finally this Monday, NFL Films produced and posted a Father’s Day-related video about Patriots WR Julian Edelman and his father over the weekend. NBC Sports Boston provides a link and a convenient recap of the story.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Shortly after news broke Monday afternoon that free-agent offensive tackle Trent Brown intended to sign a four-year, $66 million contract with the Oakland Raiders that includes $36.75 million in guarantees, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was on SportsCenter making the point that New England offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is worthy of some commission.

The humble Scarnecchia might disagree, but the results are indeed impressive.

Scarnecchia enters his 36th season in the NFL in 2019, and it will be his 34th in New England. Since being named offensive line coach under Bill Belichick in 2000, consider the “Scarnecchia Effect” and how many offensive linemen have had their value increased by playing under him (list compiled by ESPN’s Stats & Information):

Grey Ruegamer: Signed off the Steelers practice squad in November 2000, he signed a multiyear deal with the Packers in free agency worth more than $1.3 million in 2003.

Damien Woody: First-round pick by the Patriots in 1999, he signed a six-year, $31 million contract with the Lions.

Joe Andruzzi: Signed as a free agent in 2000 — he made less than $4 million over his entire New England tenure — he signed a four-year, $9 million contract with the Browns.

Tom Ashworth: Signed after he was cut by the 49ers in 2001, he inked a five-year deal with the Seahawks in 2006 worth $13 million.

Brandon Gorin: Signed to the Patriots practice squad in 2002, he was traded to the Cardinals for a sixth-round pick in 2006.

Donald Thomas: Signed 11 days after his release by the Lions in September 2011, he landed a four-year, $14 million deal with the Colts in 2013.

Nate Solder: A first-round pick by the Patriots in 2009, he signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in 2018.

Trent Brown: Acquired with a fifth-round pick in exchange for a third-round pick from the 49ers at the 2018 NFL draft, he reportedly will sign a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders.

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The aforementioned deals don’t include those for offensive linemen who signed extensions with the Patriots over the years, a group that most recently includes right tackle Marcus Cannon (five years, $32.5 million), center David Andrews (three years, maximum value of $11.715 million) and right guard Shaq Mason (five years, maximum value of $50 million).

Mason had played in a run-based, option offense at Georgia Tech, with little background as a pass-blocker. So his emergence as one of the best guards in the NFL is also reflective of how Scarnecchia has helped players reach their potential.

For longtime Patriots followers, Scarnecchia’s personnel impact has extended beyond the offensive line. In 1991, when Scarnecchia was the tight ends coach, he scouted Ben Coates out of little-known Livingstone College. Coates, of course, went on to become a Patriots Hall of Famer after being selected in the fifth round that year.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Two days after saying that he’s learning to deal better with media reports of drama surrounding the New England Patriots, quarterback Tom Brady politely told reporters at his Friday news conference that he’s sticking to football.

“I don’t want to bring on any drama this year,” Brady said, two days before he will lead the team against the Houston Texans in the season opener. “I’m just focused on what I want to do, and be a great football player for this team and be a good example in the locker room, provide great leadership. That’s where my focus is. I know people want to talk about a lot of other things, but I just really want to stick on football and focus on being the best I can be for this team.”

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Brady says he’s dealing with Pats drama better
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged parts of the past couple of seasons were a struggle for him, saying some of that was due to his own approach, while acknowledging that he’s dealing better with media reports of drama surrounding the team.
Trick play ‘Philly Philly’ sparks Eagles in win
With the Eagles’ offense struggling, coach Doug Pederson called for a trick play known as “Philly Philly” on Thursday. Nelson Agholor completed a pass to Nick Foles to spark a drive that culminated in a touchdown.

Brady’s answer came after he was asked a question about his personal athletic trainer, close friend and business partner, Alex Guerrero.

The theme continued when Brady was later asked about Nike’s advertisement with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“I really want to focus on football, not hot topics, and my reaction to a lot of hot topics and so forth,” he said. “Get ready for the Texans — they’re a great team. That’s where my focus is, not on advertisements and so forth.”

Along those lines, Brady took note of the Philadelphia Eagles running the “Philly Philly” play in their season-opening win over the Atlanta Falcons — which members of the Eagles organization said they took from the Patriots, as it was the play in which Brady dropped a pass in Super Bowl LII.

“Good execution wins games,” said Brady, who watched Thursday’s opener with his son Jack. “I think that’s ultimately what we have to do. When you have to make the plays, you either make them or you don’t.”

Brady enters the season with a lighter-than-normal group of receivers, led by Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson as Julian Edelman is serving a four-game NFL suspension.

“I have confidence in them, certainly. Phillip and Chris, I obviously played a lot with them last year. Cordarrelle is new and he’s done some good things and he’s been productive in this league,” Brady said. “To be on this team, you have to be a good football player …. We’re all going to be learning on the fly and you have to build as the season goes.”
Brady, who was elected a team captain for the 17th straight year, said in his “Tom vs. Time” epilogue Wednesday that he hopes to play until he’s 45. But at the moment, it’s a short-term focus for him with the season opener in mind.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to do it. I love playing football. I love the sport. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’m not sure what life would be like without it. I’ve had a few experiences when I haven’t been out there and haven’t liked those very much.

“There’s no place I’d rather be Sunday afternoon at 1 o’clock than playing here, and playing well.”

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Veteran wide receiver Eric Decker, who had signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots on Aug. 3, announced his retirement on Instagram Sunday afternoon.

A post shared by Eric Decker (@ericdecker) on Aug 26, 2018 at 12:09pm PDT

Decker appeared to be on the roster bubble despite the Patriots’ needs at receiver; he didn’t play in the first half of Friday’s preseason loss to the Carolina Panthers, which was the only time quarterback Tom Brady was in the game.

On Saturday, coach Bill Belichick had been asked about Decker’s acclimation to the Patriots’ system and said, “I think Eric’s learned everything well. Again, he had a background in this system in Denver with Josh [McDaniels] and he’s played multiple positions in the offense since he’s been here. We used a couple new formations [Friday], so I don’t think learning is really a problem for him, and he has a lot of experience of some of the more sophisticated routes, option routes and things like that are all things that he’s done and it’s just really a question of getting the timing and exactly how you want to do it and seeing enough looks on it so that you and the quarterback know exactly what it is.”

The Patriots had signed Decker after releasing Jordan Matthews, as the receiver spot has had some volatility in training camp. In addition to Matthews, the club has also released receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt since training camp started.

Julian Edelman tops the team’s depth chart, followed by Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson. Edelman will miss the first four games of the season as he serves a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

After trading Brandin Cooks (Rams) in the offseason, and with Danny Amendola (Dolphins) departing in free agency, the club was prepared for significant changes at the position.

Decker had struggled at times in training camp with dropped passes and went through a tennis-ball drill before Friday’s game on the field to work on his hands.

He played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans during his eight-season career, catching 439 receptions for 5,816 yards with 53 touchdowns.

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In an unexpected twist after Sunday night’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, star Patriots tight end Rob Gronwski did not commit to returning next season, saying that he’s going to “look at [his] future.”

Gronkowski was asked what would make him decide to retire.

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“I’m not ready for these type of questions right now,” Gronkowski said. “I’m just going to sit down, reflect on the season, talk to my teammates.”

This past week quarterback Tom Brady made clear that he wants to keep playing — but after the game he also did not give a 100 percent guarantee that he’d return.

“I expect to be back, so we’ll see,” he said. “I mean, it’s 15 minutes after the game ended, so I’d like process this a little bit. I wouldn’t see why I wouldn’t be back.”

The Patriots are already expected to lose some key players.

Running back Dion Lewis, the team’s leading rusher during the regular season, will be a free agent, as will be wide receiver Danny Amendola — who led the team Sunday with 152 receiving yards.

The Patriots could also lose cornerback Malcolm Butler to free agency. New England got a preview of life without Butler Sunday. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the Patriots coaching staff decided not to play Butler in the Super Bowl — and the defense struggled without him, allowing Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles to throw for 373 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots’ biggest losses may come from the coaching ranks. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia — who have both been in those roles for the Patriots’ last three Super Bowl appearances — are expected to take head coaching jobs with other teams.

New England will likely get two of its best players back from injuries — wide receiver Julian Edelman and pro bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

And with Bill Belichick expected to return as head coach, Las Vegas has already deemed the Patriots early favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl.