NFL

NFL AM: Obama Teases Pats at White House Visit

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Patriots visit White House, get ribbed by President

As is Super Bowl champion tradition, the Patriots made their visit to the White House on Thursday. But just because they went to get lauded by President Barack Obama doesn’t mean they escaped being the butt of some of his jokes.

Obama took aim at Deflategate – perhaps the ultimate irony is a president being able to make jokes about someone else’s scandal – saying that he usually tells jokes at such ceremonies but worried that “11 of 12 might fall flat” with the Patriots.

When Bill Belichick gave that line a thumbs down, Obama said “That whole story got a little blown out of proportion.”

Obama also offered Belichick, dressed in a three-piece suit, a pair of scissors to cut off the sleeves.

And since no Gronk appearance would be complete without a Gronk joke, the president warned the Pats tight end to keep his shirt on.

“He asked me what would happen if he took it off,” Obama stated. “I said the Secret Service probably wouldn’t like it. He said, ‘What could they do to me?’”

The Pats appeared to take the ribbing in good humor. After all, it’s not like Obama stole one of Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl rings.

Two notable members of the team weren’t present. Vince Wilfork, who signed with the Texans and likely doesn’t have a lot of suits that fit well, was not in attendance. Neither was Tom Brady, who had a family commitment.

NFL Draft will be legendary

The NFL is making a conscious effort to get its alumni involved in the Draft.

On Thursday the league released the names of 32 “franchise legends” who will announce the second-round pick of their former team, including six Hall of Famers.

Arizona Cardinals

ADRIAN WILSON

Atlanta Falcons

TODD MCCLURE

Baltimore Ravens

DUANE STARKS

Buffalo Bills

JIM KELLY

Carolina Panthers

PAT TERRELL

Chicago Bears

DICK BUTKUS

Cincinnati Bengals

ICKEY WOODS

Cleveland Browns

HANFORD DIXON

Dallas Cowboys

DARREN WOODSON

Denver Broncos

RICK UPCHURCH

Detroit Lions

CHRIS SPIELMAN

Green Bay Packers

DONALD DRIVER

Houston Texans

ERIC BROWN

Indianapolis Colts

BILL BROOKS

Jacksonville Jaguars

GREG JONES

Kansas City Chiefs

GARY GREEN

Miami Dolphins

DWIGHT STEPHENSON

Minnesota Vikings

EJ HENDERSON

New England Patriots

TY LAW

New Orleans Saints

JON STINCHCOMB

New York Giants

SHAUN WILLIAMS

New York Jets

EMERSON BOOZER

Oakland Raiders

WILLIE BROWN

Philadelphia Eagles

JON RUNYAN

Pittsburgh Steelers

MEL BLOUNT

St. Louis Rams

PISA TINOISAMOA

San Diego Chargers

ANTHONY MILLER

San Francisco 49ers

CHARLES HALEY

Seattle Seahawks

KENNY EASLEY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

MIKE ALSTOTT

Tennessee Titans

MICHAEL ROOS

Washington Redskins

BRIG OWENS

Eagles player personnel director talks Tebow, Mariota and more

New Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz had a wide-ranging round-table discussion with reporters on Thursday, going over a variety of topics running the gamut from the team’s newest addition, Tim Tebow, to their possible draft plans.

Marynowitz said Tebow looks vastly improved from his last training camp stint with the Patriots in 2013.

“We saw a player that had improved from the last time we saw him live, which was when he was here with New England. So we had some conversations and discussions and we felt that it was an opportunity to bring in somebody that could compete for a spot,” he said. “Look, we’ve got 68 players on our football team right now. Tim’s one of them. So he’ll have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot, and his role will be determined by his performance, and I think it’s as simple as that. We’re bringing in a guy that will be able to compete, and we look forward to watching him compete.”

Could Marcus Mariota be another player the Eagles attempt to bring in to compete for a roster spot?

“Marcus is a really good player. He’s been a very productive college football player. We’ve done our evaluation work on him, obviously,” Marynowitz said. “I’m not going to get into the specifics of where we have him or exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are. But he’s a player we’re aware of.”

There is plenty of trade talk swirling around Philadelphia, and Marynowitz certainly did not rule that out. But he made it clear the Eagles aren’t going to give away too much in pursuit of the No. 2 pick.

“Philosophically, we are opposed to ‘mortgaging the future’ was Chip’s term. Really the way we look at it is draft picks – every draft pick you have is an opportunity to improve your football team. So the more opportunities we have to improve our team, we’re excited about that,” he said. “So I’d rather have more picks than less picks. I think Chip shares the same philosophy. That doesn’t preclude us from moving up and doing something. I think you never say never. But philosophically, we have eight picks and we’d like to pick eight players or more, not less.”


About Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.