The Patriot Way: New England Patriots News, 7/17


Hello, and welcome to another edition of ‘The Patriot Way’, your number one source to New England Patriots news and analysis from around the web.

Dan Connolly’s career, with kickoff return a highlight, tribute to long-term development

Mike Reiss-ESPN Boston

"Offensive linemen are usually remembered most for how well they protected their quarterback or opened holes for running backs to race through. Dan Connolly did a fine job in those areas, but in terms of how many might remember the signature play of his 10-year NFL career, he falls into a most unique category.Ask anyone around the country what they might know about Connolly and chances are good it might trace back to Dec. 19, 2010 when he returned a kickoff 71 yards in a game against the Green Bay Packers."

What the Retirement of Dan Connolly Means for the Patriots

Rich Hill-Pats Pulpit

"The New England Patriots long time starter Dan Connolly announced his retirement today. He was a team captain last season and he will be missed. We’ve offered our feelings about his retirement here.But will this retirement impact the Patriots upcoming season? Probably not as much as people might think.First, the Patriots gave away Connolly’s #63 jersey to rookie Tre Jackson, so they likely had moved on from Connolly once they double dipped at guard in the draft. If you believe in the Patriots coaching staff and front office (and you absolutely should at this point), then they’re under the impression that any combination of Jackson, Shaq Mason,Ryan Wendell, and Josh Kline would be an improvement."

Best of the Belichick Era: Number 12 — Willie McGinest

Tom Curran-CSNNE

"So many big plays in so many big games. That’s why Willie McGinest is here. The fourth overall pick in the 1994 draft, McGinest’s career had a line of demarcation. The first portion, from 1994 to 1999 was underwhelming even with a Pro Bowl appearance in 1996. McGinest battled injuries. He was a locker room lawyer. He produced but not at a level corresponding to his draft status or the way he carried himself. When Bill Belichick returned to the Patriots as head coach in 2000, a page was turned. McGinest became a more positive leader and a more reliable and complete player. Belichick mined McGinest’s talent with praise and added responsibility."