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Thursday, June 12, 2014
Gathering some picked-up Patriots pieces

By Mike Reiss

A few picked-up Patriots pieces from around the Web:

Groves heads to Washington after stop with Patriots. John Keim, who covers the Redskins for ESPN.com, writes that free-agent defensive end/outside linebacker Quentin Groves is scheduled to visit the Redskins Thursday. Groves visited with the Patriots on Wednesday, according to Keim. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Groves played in five games last season for the Browns, mostly as a special-teamer, and finished with two sacks. Michael Lombardi, who served as Browns general manager last year, is now in his first year with the Patriots as an assistant to the coaching staff so there is no shortage of good intel for New England. The 29-year-old Groves has been well-traveled in playing for Jacksonville (2008-09), Oakland (2010-11), Arizona (2012) and Cleveland (2013) and would be a depth-based option at an end-of-the-line position with the Patriots.

Johnson reportedly signed to fill 90th spot. The Patriots had an open roster spot after waiving offensive tackle R.J. Mattes on Wednesday, and it will reportedly be filled by SMU receiver Jeremy Johnson, per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Johnson attended the Ravens' rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, according to Wilson. The 6-foot, 175-pound Johnson had 112 catches last season and is a long shot to make the final roster.

Getting to know Brandon LaFell. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal passes along insight on receiver Brandon LaFell and how he grew up in a tough neighborhood in Houston. "He came from a very rough neighborhood,” Tom Nolen, LaFell's high school coach, tells Daniels. “In our school, when he came there, it’s kind of a unique place where we’ve got everyone from the richest to the poorest in Houston go to school there. He might not have had money to eat lunch with, and there’s kids there driving BMWs. It took him a while to adjust where he trusted everybody there. Once he did, it was easy."

Rex Ryan backs Calvin Pryor. Jets first-round draft choice Calvin Pryor recently said he hates the Patriots and also reminded media members that "we don't like Tom [Brady] at all." That was music to coach Rex Ryan's ears. "He knows who the enemy is,” Ryan said Wednesday when asked about Pryor's remarks. "They’re the ones we have to beat. We recognize it, as everybody should. They’ve won it 10 out of 11 years or something like that and the only year they don’t win it is the year Brady wasn’t there. Obviously your chief rival, and your biggest enemy or whatever, you probably respect them more than anybody. But at the same time, nah, you don’t like them. They’ve earned what we’re looking to earn and that’s to win that division."