- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Aaron Hernandez
- Darrelle Revis
- New England Patriots
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By The Sports Xchange July 24, 2013 6:30 PM
New England Patriots coach Bill Belicick on Wednesday met with the media for the first time since former tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder last month.
Belichick called it a "really sad day" while speaking to reporters at a news conference at Gillette Stadium before the Patriots begin training camp. The Patriots released Hernandez on June 26 just hours after his arrest. Belichick said he was out of the country when he learned about the criminal investigation. In the wake of the Hernandez case, Belichick and Patriots management will evaluate personnel assessments -- player history, work ethic, performance, maturity, intelligence -- going forward. While Belichick was speaking, Hernandez was back in court and prosecutors were granted a 30-day continuance at a probable cause hearing on murder charges in the death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd. ---Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III told reporters Wednesday in preparation for the start of the team's training camp in Richmond, Va., that he doesn't expect to play in any of the Redskins' upcoming preseason games. Griffin is still mending from reconstructive surgery on his right knee more than six months ago. He was cleared by team doctors to return to training camp earlier this week. The team also announced Wednesday he RG3 will be limited in practice when training camp officially opens Thursday. He will likely sit out full 11-on-11 plays for at least the first few days, but will take part in other less invasive drills. Griffin, who said he expects to be less free-wheeling and will likely stay in the pocket more this season, also revealed he expects to wear a brace on his knee after passing the team's pre-camp conditioning test. ---The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Mike Williams to a six-year, $40.25 million contract, the team announced. The five-year extension runs through the 2018 season. Williams, 26, was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Williams had expressed his desire to remain with the Buccaneers and tweeted a video of his locker on Wednesday morning with the hashtag, "#ItsABucsLife." A fourth-round draft pick out of Syracuse in 2010, Williams has caught 193 passes for 2,731 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons while playing in every game. His 23 TDs are the most by any Tampa Bay player after three years in the league. ---Cornerback Darrelle Revis will be available to practice Thursday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp but will slowly work his way on the field, coach Greg Schiano said Wednesday. Schiano said Revis will be limited coming off knee surgery last fall after he tore his ACL while playing for the New York Jets. Revis has been running and doing conditioning work during his rehab. The Bucs still have not decided whether Revis will play in any preseason games, but they expect him to be ready for the regular-season opener against the Jets in September. The 28-year-old Revis had 19 interceptions and 294 tackles in six seasons with the Jets. He is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. ---Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner has agreed in principle to a contract wih the Indianapolis Colts. Terms of the deal for the 24th overall pick out of Florida State weren't disclosed. Werner, 6-3, 260 pounds, had 13.0 sacks for the Seminoles in 2012 while finishing second in the ACC with 18 tackles for loss en route to winning conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. ---Tennessee Titans rookie Jonathan "Tig" Willard was hailed for his big play off the field -- saving a family and its dog from a burning car. Williard, a linebacker who played at Clemson and signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent, was traveling from South Carolina to Nashville for the start of training camp on Tuesday when he came upon the vehicle in trouble on Interstate 40. Pulling alongside the car, he alerted the female driver who had three children and a dog inside, that it was on fire. The car went up in flames and black smoke billowed from it after the family and the dog were safely outside. ---Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson and Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester tested their speed against the fastest being on the planet -- a cheetah -- for a segment on Nat Geo Wild, TheWrap.com reported. Johnson and Hester ran against the fleet cat during a special Man vs. Cheetah show that will air this fall during the network's fourth Big Cat Week. "This is most incredible challenge I've ever faced," Johnson said, according to TheWrap.com. "I wanted to go up against the fastest in the world and test myself, and this was it!" Johnson is considered one of the fastest players in the NFL after he ran a 4.24-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2008. Last season, Johnson rushed for 1,243 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry for the Titans. The races hae been taped, but the results were not revealed. There was a barrier between the runners and the cheetah. Hester, who has 12 punt returns for touchdowns during his career, said it was a unique challenge. "But it was something I was ready to take on to see if I could get an edge on," Hester said. Cheetahs have incredible acceleration and speed, going from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds and reaching top speeds of 70 mph in the wild. ---The Atlanta Falcons signed cornerback Desmond Trufant to a rookie contract in time for the start of training camp. The Falcons selected Trufant with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft in April. He started 47 games for Washington during his college career and had 195 tackles, a school-record 39 passes defensed and six interceptions. Trufant is expected to compete for the Falcons' right cornerback job with Dominique Franks and Robert Alford. Asante Samuel is the starter on the other side. The Falcons also signed rookie quarterback Sean Renfree, a seventh-round pick in the April draft. ---The New York Jets and wide receiver Braylon Edwards appear close to another marriage, according to a report in the New York Daily News, which said the Jets are prepared to sign Edwards, who has a history of knee problems, if he passes a physical. If Edwards does rejoin the Jets, it would be his third stint with the team. Edwards was with the Jets in 2009 and 2010 and again last year when he was claimed off waivers in December after his release by the Seattle Seahawks. The 30-year-old Edwards had 10 receptions for 125 yards in three games after joining the Jets last year and eight catches for 74 yards and one touchdown with the Seahawks. Edwards' career totals are 359 receptions for 5,522 yards and 40 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Seahawks. ---Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller shed little light on the possibility of a four-game suspension for substance abuse, but he did say that he does not smoke marijuana. Miller met with reporters but deflected questions while citing the NFL's confidentiality clause while his appeal is reviewed. He offered to provide more specific answers when the process is complete. Reports surfaced Monday that Miller was facing a four-game suspension allegedly for substance abuse from the NFL. Miller's appeal is expected to be heard in mid-August and the case resolved before the start of the regular season, ESPN reported. Asked Wednesday if he used pot, Miller replied, "Absolutely not." The type of substance that Miller allegedly used has not been publicly revealed. Under NFL rules, he had to test positive twice for the same substance to receive a four-game suspension. According to The Denver Post, Miller tested positive for amphetamines and marijuana in 2011 when he was a rookie. NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said Monday on Twitter that Miller's potential suspension did not result from steroid use, writing, "I can also confirm that Von's case does not involve the Steroids and Related Substances Policy." ---The Tennessee Titans placed tight end Delanie Walker on the physically unable to perform list after recent arthroscopic knee surgery. Titans wide receiver Kevin Walter is also on the PUP list after arthroscopic back surgery to fix a disk problem. Walker was injured early in organized team activities but participated in the June minicamp. The Titans decided to address the issue with surgery to avoid lingering problems with the knee during the season. WAlker is in his first season with the Titans after signing as a free agent. He spent the first six seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and had 21 receptions for 344 yards and three touchdowns last year. Titans coach Mike Munchak expects Walker to return to practice in a few weeks and Walter to miss up to a month.