Monday's NFL: Winovich angling for edge role with Patriots

Detroit News wire services
With his rookie season quickly approaching, Chase Winovich, a third-round pick, is simply trying to earn a spot in the edge rusher rotation.

Foxboro, Mass. — The Patriots fell in love with Chase Winovich’s passion and intensity when they scouted him coming out of Michigan.

“He’s got a good motor,” Pats director of player personnel Nick Caserio said on draft night. “He’s a pretty instinctive guy. He’s good with his hands. He’s got pretty good technique and he’s been productive over the course of a couple of years here now.”

“And he’s got long hair which I’m sure everybody will enjoy — until we tell him to cut it,” Caserio joked.

Four days into camp, Winovich is still rockin’ his long golden locks.

“My hair has survived thus far,” Winovich said. “They’re just taking things one step at a time. But I’m not too worried about my hair. If (the Patriots) want to cut it, they can have it.”

With his rookie season quickly approaching, Winovich, a third-round pick, is simply trying to earn a spot in the edge rusher rotation.

“I’m just trying to be a better teammate and a better football player,” Winovich said. “(Training camp) has been an experience, for sure. Like anything else, you put yourself in a new environment. That’s when you grow. I’ve had to do different techniques that I did in college. You can see that out in the field, but luckily for me, I’ve got a great coaching staff and a lot of great teammates and great role models to look after, model my game after and pick their brains. So I’m in a great position.”

Winovich received some individual attention from Bill Belichick at one point during Sunday’s practice.

“It means the world,” Winovich said. “He’s coached every position. He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time.”

There’s plenty of opportunity for Winovich as a rookie. He’s competing with players such as Derek Rivers and John Simon at defensive end.

‘No-call’ queries for Goodell

A Louisiana judge has ordered that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and three officials from January’s NFC title game be questioned under oath in September about an infamous “no-call” during January’s NFC title game.

Attorney Antonio LeMon, who filed a lawsuit over the game, says he and league attorneys will pick a mutually agreeable date for depositions in New Orleans — barring any league appeals that might delay or cancel the questioning.

Lemon’s lawsuit seeks $75,000 in damages — to be donated to charity — over the failure to flag a blatant pass interference and roughness penalty against the Los Angeles Rams. The no-call came at a crucial point in the game against the New Orleans Saints. The Rams won and advanced to the Super Bowl.

Bell tweets fantasy apology

Le’Veon Bell has a fantasy tip for this season: Pick him.

First, though, Bell, a running back for the Jets and former Michigan State star, is sorry to the frustrated people who drafted him in their leagues last year — and got a big, fat zero as he sat out in a contract dispute with the Steelers.

“This is loooong overdue!!” Bell wrote on Twitter on Monday. “But I want to take a moment to apologize to all the fantasy owners who picked me last year, I’m sorry I couldn’t pull through for y’all…but trust me, this year’s about to be wayyyy different.”

Bell had been one of the NFL’s most productive players on the field and in fantasy football before his contract situation reached a head last year. Bell led the league with an eye-popping 406 touches in 2017, making him an absolute superstar in point-per-reception fantasy leagues that put value on both yards rushing and catches.

Mawae set to enter Hall

Dirty. A cheap shot artist. Even a dirty Christian for wearing a cross on his face mask and then using every trick Kevin Mawae knew to open holes for his running back or protect his quarterback.

Mawae heard all that chatter, and it bothered him. Then he realized he was playing football the only way he knew how as an undersized center in the NFL.

“I wasn’t stronger and bigger than a lot of guys,” Mawae said. “Early in my career, I was considered a finesse player, and that bothered me because I wasn’t. I was a technician. And I learned my craft, and I took it to an art form in some sense that I knew what I was doing. I put my body in position to do things that guys didn’t know how to counter, and they didn’t like that.”

And on Saturday, Mawae will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, capping a career of 241 games played over 16 seasons with three teams. A three-time All Pro, he was an eight-time Pro Bowl center and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

He also blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in 13 seasons by five different running backs, capped by the NFL’s sixth 2,000-yard rushing performance in his final season.

Bucs sign Testaverde 2.0

The Buccaneers have signed quarterback Vincent Testaverde, whose father, Vinny, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 NFL draft and is still the club’s career passing leader.

The younger Testaverde played his final college season at Albany, where he transferred after playing at Texas Tech as a true freshman and spending two years at his father’s alma mater, Miami.

Extra points

Dolphins first-year offensive line coach Pat Flaherty has been fired and replaced by Dave DeGuglielmo, who had been an analyst for the coaching staff. The changes Monday came after four days of training camp drills.

... The Jets hope Jamison Crowder’s solid start to training camp doesn’t come to an abrupt halt. The wide receiver left practice Monday because of a foot injury and coach Adam Gase said Crowder would have an MRI to determine the nature and severity.

... Keith Lincoln, a star on the San Diego’s 1963 AFL championship team, has died. He was 80. Lincoln was a five-time AFL All-Star and was elected to the Chargers Hall of Fame.