Patriots notebook Undrafted rookie Harvey Langi ready to contribute
FOXBORO — The Patriots certainly were impressed with Harvey Langi’s abilities and made sure to see them first-hand.
The BYU product played everywhere from inside and outside linebacker to defensive end to even some running back in his time with the Cougars after transferring from instate rival Utah, where he also lined up in the offensive backfield at times. The way Pats coach Bill Belichick values versatility, it’s no surprise Langi ended up with the Super Bowl champions. Belichick gave Langi a base salary of $100,000 in addition to a $15,000 signing bonus, far exceeding what most undrafted free agents earn.
At Gillette Stadium yesterday, Langi said he wants to be ready for whatever the Pats coach throws at him.
“At BYU, they saw me at different positions and tried me at different positions and thought I could best help the team at those positions,” Langi said. “I’ll just put my head down and work and hopefully produce for them and do what I can do best. So here, my mentality’s the same way — just come in, work and if they see me run a little bit better this way or jump a little bit better that way.
“Hopefully they .?.?. well, I know they’ll put me in the right position to be successful.”
For now, that position is linebacker. In his final season at BYU, the 6-foot-2, 252-pounder made 57 tackles, including five for losses and two sacks.
Linebacker appears to be the best position for him to have a chance at making the 53-man roster. Although prominent returners include Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Shea McClellin and Jonathan Freeny, the group overall struggled at times last season in coverage and looked a step slow in Super Bowl LI trying to keep up with Atlanta Falcons running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman when matched up in space. If Langi can prove to be an upgrade in that regard, he has a better shot of making the team.
Van Noy also played at BYU, but he and Langi were not on the team together. Langi arrived in Provo as Van Noy left the Cougars for the NFL.
“Kyle’s great. He’s a good mentor for me and how versatile he is,” Langi said. “I really appreciate his game and respect his game and really look up to his game.”
As far as Langi’s game is concerned, he knows his value but reiterated that what he did in college is old news.
“I’m here to earn and prove and show the coaches what I got, and whatever they see in me and wherever I fit best, that’s where I’ll play,” Langi said.
All together now
Roger Goodell and Tom Brady seem to be on the same page for once.
The NFL commissioner was in lock step with the quarterback’s agent, Don Yee, when he contradicted remarks that Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, made last week when she said the Pats quarterback suffered a concussion last season.
“We do not have any records that indicate that Tom suffered any kind of concussion or head injury,” Goodell said. “But we’ll continue to work with the (NFL Players Association) and see what we can do to improve the protocol.”
Goodell was echoing comments the league made last week when it said it couldn’t find evidence of a head injury for Brady, who was not listed on the Patriots injury report with one last year — and never has been during his career. Bundchen indicated her husband had suffered concussions before last season, too.
“This is something that’s an ongoing issue for us,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure that the proper care is given to every player. The responsibility is a shared responsibility for the teams, our medical professionals, the players themselves. We put in a lot of safe guards that I think are incredibly important in changing the culture, and I think that’s what we’ve done. There’s more work to be done and we’ll continue to do that.”
Jaguars on way
For the sixth straight season, the Pats will conduct joint training camp practices with a preseason opponent. This year, it will be with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, Aug.??7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8, in the lead-up to the preseason opener between the two teams Thursday, Aug. 10.
The practices will take place at Gillette Stadium.
Rookie cornerback D.J. Killings, a Jacksonville native who went on to play college ball at Central Florida, is already looking forward to going up against the Jaguars. Killings is an undrafted free agent signee.
“I’m just ready to whup ’em, for real,” he said. “First in college and high school, you’re like, ‘Oh, you know, the Jacksonville Jaguars, they’ve got some great players.’ Now, you respect them as players, but it’s like, ‘I ain’t looking up to y’all no more. It’s time for me to go against y’all.’?”