Patriots

NFL Notebook: Brian Flores exerting his newfound influence on Patriots’ defense this spring

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Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal

In this week’s edition of the NFL Notebook, we get an update from Reggie Wayne on why he really left New England, a brewing battle around the league between scouts and coaches, and check out some ex-Patriots who are trying to make a go of it in the CFL. But first, it’s clear Brian Flores is putting his own imprint on the New England defense this spring.

1. One of the things that made us sit up and take notice over the first two OTA sessions we saw — and heard — was the voice of Brian Flores. While he hasn’t been given the official title of defensive coordinator, it’s clear who is in charge of the defense. Usually, there are a few voices who rise above the din of the practice field and can be heard. Flores is now one of them. A commanding presence, it certainly looks like he’s always working, always guiding, always prodding throughout practice. Basically, Flores has been a really vocal presence on the practice field, much more than he’s been the last few years, and it'll be interesting to see how it all translates to the rest of the defense. And as Greg noted here, he’s not shy about making sure things are done right. In my experience, Matt Patricia was a similarly stern presence, but not as vocal as Flores has been here in the early going. There’s a lot of time between now and the start of the regular season, but it’s clear the 37-year-old is putting his stamp on the New England defense. Someone to watch — and listen for — if you’re coming to training camp in July.

2. This past week, Reggie Wayne was held up as an example of someone who left New England because he wasn’t having any fun. On the NFL Network late this week, he responded to the idea, saying he left because