It looks like the New England Patriots may be looking to upgrade their defensive backfield.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots worked out former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Tre Sullivan. Sullivan spent two seasons with Philadelphia back in 2017 and 2018, winning a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Eagles squad that knocked off the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
As Reiss immediately mentions, it looks like that despite Sullivan’s pro experience, the Patriots would be looking to sign him to fill a practice squad spot. The 24-year-old Sullivan played in 12 games with the Eagles last season, starting one of those games and racking up 17 total tackles.
The 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back played 220 snaps on defensive and another 206 snaps on special teams last season.
The Eagles released Sullivan during final roster cuts and he has since been drafted by the DC Defenders in the XFL’s inaugural draft, which will begin play in 2020.
Rob Gronkowski Takes Swipe at Patriots’ Offense
Not only did Rob Gronkowski break Patriots fans’ hearts by not announcing his return on Tuesday morning — he announced he’s hosting a Super Bowl party in Miami — he also took a playful swipe at New England’s struggles on offense — by bringing up how they’re lacking a dominant 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end.
“The defense is just tremendous, the way they’re coming together with the veteran leadership they have there, and the skill set they have,” Gronkowski told Reiss. “With the offense, they’re finding ways to make it work like they’ve always done, putting guys in the right situation to make plays. “But man, they’re missing some guy who is 6-6, 260 (pounds). They’re missing that guy, for sure.”
The Patriots are coming off of games in which they drastically struggled on offense. Although they defeated the Eagles 17-10 in Week 11, Tom Brady was extremely erratic, throwing 15 incompletions in the first half alone — a career high — and failing to throw a touchdown pass for the third time this season.
New England is currently relying on 38-year-old Benjamin Watson — who had initially retired in the offseason — to be their starting tight end. He has just 11 receptions for 124 yards and no touchdowns this season.
In other words, the Patriots do indeed miss Gronkowski.
Tom Brady Says The Team’s Strength is on Defense
The 42-year-old quarterback admitted that the Patriots’ offense isn’t very good — instead deflecting the praise onto the defense for the team’s 9-1 start.
“I just think to win the game ultimately you just have to score more points than the other team. That goes without saying. I don’t know what it is going to be on a particular week. We won the Super Bowl 13-3, that was pretty good. We lost the Super Bowl 41-33, that wasn’t good.
I don’t know how many points it is going to be. The reality is it is a team sport. It’s complementary football. The strength of our team is our defense and our special teams. On offense we just have to take advantage when we get opportunities and understand where our strengths lie and try and play to them — not giving any short fields, not turning the ball over and try and take advantage when we get into the red area to score touchdowns.
That is kind of where our offense is. That is kind of where our team is.”
The Patriots will look to rebound on offense when they take on the 6-4 Dallas Cowboys in Week 12.