- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sharing some Patriots and NFL thoughts:
1. Patriots owner Robert Kraft held court with reporters Friday at the Super Bowl, as he usually does every year. Among the reports and tweets sparked from that meeting with the press, one thing that stood out to me was Kraft publicly endorsing Bill Parcells’ candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It wasn’t always roses between the two. Also, Wes Welker's agents probably won't appreciate this from Kraft.
"I'd love him to be around," Kraft told reporters in New Orleans. "He's a great guy. Like I've said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction. We have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us, and we want him here. It's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent."
I also took note of this Bloomberg story, and whom Kraft dined with on Thursday night, and it sparked the thought that Kraft does a nice job building allies among his peers, especially those new to the ownership fraternity.
2. Listening to commissioner Roger Goodell’s “state of the NFL” news conference on Friday and the biggest takeaways were: his belief that HGH testing will be implemented before the 2013 season (a belief and reality are two different things); a heavy focus on health and safety (e.g., ideas to further take the head out of the game); his feeling that the results of minority hiring this offseason were “not acceptable” and new ways to promote that must be explored; some of the main things he felt made 2013 a success -– “inspiring comebacks” by Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, “extraordinary rookie quarterbacks,” Calvin Johnson and Tony Gonzalez catching, Aldon Smith, Von Miller and J.J. Watt sacking and the fantastic final Sunday of the regular season.
3. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the former Patriots director of college scouting, was a guest on the "Felger and Mazz" program on 98.5 The Sports Hub and shared some insight on coming out of the Bill Belichick program and attempting to build your own team. There was also talk on draft philosophy and more. I enjoyed the interview. For those interested, you can listen here.