1. Last Wednesday, Jake Bailey visited Mass General Hospital to deliver meals and flowers in recognition of National Nurses Week. Bailey helped Nutre Meals CEO Valentino Perrina deliver 100 meals and white roses to show gratitude. The Patriots punter signed t-shirts and masks, while also taking pictures. The visit meant something extra to Bailey given a family connection. “Personally, having a dad that works in the medical field, it means a lot showing support to nurses during National Nurses Week,” Bailey said to WEEI.com. “They have our back during this difficult time and I wanted to show that we have their back as well.” Bailey, who turns 23 next month, was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of last year’s draft. As a rookie, he earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors on two separate occasions, and also filled in admirably on kickoffs for Stephen Gostkowski when he went on injured reserve. Bailey is already preparing for his second NFL season, as the Patriots began virtual meetings and workouts two weeks ago.
2. It remains unclear at this point what the NFL will do for the coming season as it relates to fans in the stands. Will stadiums be full, half full, or even have no fans at all? At least early in the season, there’s a distinct possibility for games to be played in stadiums that are not full to capacity. This could benefit the Patriots, as their first two road games are in Seattle and Kansas City. CenturyLink Field and Arrowhead Stadium are two of the toughest places to play in the league, and if fans are limited or banned altogether, this could be a positive development for the Patriots.
3. The Patriots got five primetime games in total this coming season, which was a little bit of a surprise. Given some of the marquee opponents multiple were expected, but not the maximum of five. Seven teams besides the Patriots have the maximum number of five: the Ravens, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, 49ers and Buccaneers. Even without Tom Brady, the Patriots will still likely give ratings a boost.
4. New England will finish the season with back-to-back home games for the third straight year, which is certainly a good thing not just with these games potentially having major playoff implications, but also being holiday weeks so players (and media members) can stay close to their families. Before this comes a very difficult stretch with three straight road games and four road games in five weeks (at Houston, vs. vs. Arizona, at Los Angeles - Chargers, at Los Angeles - Rams, at Miami).
5. The charity golf match between Brady-Phil Mickelson and Peyton Manning-Tiger Woods on May 24 will be very interesting on a number of levels, but when making a video appearance to promote the event, Brady didn't sound too confident in his game. “It’s somewhere between piss-poor and pitiful,” he said. “Fortunately, I’m focusing on football right now and I’m still working. Golf will come at a later date.” The match will be played at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida and air at 3 p.m. on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.
6. According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will not return to the Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN this season. It’s unclear at this time who will replace them, but it is expected to be from internal candidates. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as it was a tough listen the past couple of seasons. Steve Levy deserves strong consideration as the play-by-play man and Dan Orlovsky or Louis Reddick could make sense as analysts.
7. On Monday, the Patriots will reveal who will be inducted into the team Hall of Fame for 2020. Bill Parcells, Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel were the three finalists who fans could vote for online over the last few weeks. All three are worthy candidates and it will be interesting to see who gets in. Expect an announcement at 10 a.m.