Plenty of new toys for Pats’ DL coach

Patriots D-line coach Pepper Johnson, left, and Bill Belichick, center,
have long had a complex relationship.

Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson knows Bill Belichick better than just about anybody in the NFL. 

Johnson played under Belichick with the Giants in the 1980s, again with the Browns in ’93 and finished his career with the Jets in ’98 — a team for which Belichick was the defensive coordinator.

In 2000, Johnson joined Belichick once again — this time as an assistant linebackers coach with the Patriots. He was promoted to the D-line in 2004.

That unit has been talked about plenty this offseason, and for good reason: The Pats have brought in around 20 players who have experience on the line in some way, shape or form.

The reason is simple. New England wants to throw all kinds of formations at opponents this year, whether from its base 3-4 or a hybrid version of the 4-3.

So, what’s the most challenging aspect of having all those new players for Johnson?
“Bill Belichick,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what player comes out here, he wants this done, so it doesn’t matter who comes out here. … But I’m going to get the best out of you. That’s what Coach [Belichick] expects, and that’s the reason why I’m here.”

The “only the strong survive” mentality doesn’t exactly hold true when it comes to the Pats.
A lot more of it has to do with smarts.

“Coach Belichick wants techniques taught,” Johnson said. “He wants the defense learned, and he wants to know who can learn it to the ability that they don’t need a babysitter, they don’t need someone to hold their hand while they’re out there on the football field.”


At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…


Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.


VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.


NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.


'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…


At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.


Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.


5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).


Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)


MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb


David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.


11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.


How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.


How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…


OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.