The New England Patriots, six-time Super Bowl champions, will train in Tucson next week.
The Patriots will face the Cardinals in Glendale on Monday. New England are then scheduled to face the Raiders in Las Vegas the following Sunday. Rather than returning to the East Coast in between, the Patriots will head to Interstate 10 and train at the University of Arizona.
The team’s exact schedule has yet to be determined, but it’s more likely than not that the Patriots will practice Wednesday through Friday. These sessions will not be open to the public.
The Patriots are following the lead of the New York Giants, who used the Wildcats facility last December between road games against the Dolphins and Rams.
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The ties between the Patriots and the Wildcats are numerous.
Jedd Fisch worked for Patriots coach Bill Belichick before taking the UA job in December 2020. Fisch was New England’s quarterbacks coach for most of the 2020 season.
One of Fisch’s most notable recruits was Tedy Bruschi, the former UA All-American who spent his entire pro career with the Patriots. Bruschi is a senior adviser to Fisch.
Bruschi’s counterpart as honorary coach in the 2021 UA Spring Game was Rob Gronkowski. Arizona’s all-time best tight end was a four-time first-team All-Pro and won three Super Bowls with the Patriots from 2010 to 2018.
Two current Patriots have played in Arizona.
One is veteran placekicker Nick Folk, who is in his fourth season in New England and his 15th in the NFL. Folk is tied for the league lead with 25 field goals.
The other is running back JJ Taylor, who is on the Patriots’ practice squad. Taylor has played 12 games for New England over the past three seasons, for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots are 6-6 going into Monday’s game. They are one game behind the New York Jets for seventh place in the AFC playoffs.
CY at East-West Shrine Bowl
UA safety Christian Young has accepted an invitation to participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Young has started every game for the past two seasons and 32 in all during his UA career. He held several positions, including safety, “Viper” (a hybrid role of safety linebacker) and cornerback.
Young compiled 182 tackles, including nine for losses, in 48 games. He also had 11 passes defended, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Young is listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, providing a combination of size and speed that should appeal to NFL teams.
The East-West Shrine Bowl is scheduled for February 2 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
While Young has exhausted his eligibility, Arizona awaits decisions from a handful of other players who could declare themselves for the draft, return to Arizona or enter the NCAA transfer portal.
The three most prominent players are tailback Michael Wiley, tackle Jordan Morgan and cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace. The reporting deadline for the project is January 16.
- Recipient Tetairoa McMillan and keep Jonas Savaiinaea earned spots on 247Sports.com’s True Freshman All-American Team. McMillan finished his first season at Arizona tied for the Pac-12 lead with eight touchdown receptions. Savaiinaea started every game at right guard. Both have been named to multiple Freshman All-American teams.
- offensive lineman Sontrail Key became the 16th UA scholarship player to put his name on the transfer portal since the start of the 2022 season. Key came to Arizona as a defensive lineman in 21 before switching to the other side of the ball. He did not appear in a game as Wildcat.
- Since entering the portal, the All-Pac-12 second-team wide receiver Dorian Singer received at least 11 offers. They include four conference schools: Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, and Utah.
Contact sportswriter Michael Lev at email@example.com. On Twitter: @michaeljlev