New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona became a lieutenant of the United States Navy on Thursday during an event held at Gillette Stadium on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Cardona, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 2015, previously held the rank of lieutenant junior grade.
“Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, according to ESPN. “And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that’s kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady weighed in on the honor for Cardona during his media session on Thursday.
“It’s pretty emotional when you see someone take the oath like that and raise his hand,” Brady said. “It’s a big commitment Joe’s made, and I think Joe has done it very proudly and does a great job educating a lot of us on what it means to him. I think we all appreciate that.”
“We see the work he does here for us, but also the work he does for our country. I’ve talked to Joe a lot over the years about what his roles and responsibility are and I think everyone is proud of his accomplishments,” Brady added.
Cardona, 27, has played for four seasons with the Patriots since being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He is one of just two Naval Academy graduates who has won multiple Super Bowls.
“As proud as you are of winning a Super Bowl ring, to advance in that part of his career is pretty amazing,” Brady said. “To do both is really a great thing for him personally. It was nice to be able to celebrate and congratulate him.”
Berrios impresses during minicamp
Patriot Braxton Berrios may not have played a single snap during the 2018-19 season, spending his entire rookie campaign on injured reserve, but the second-year receiver said he still learned plenty during the time.
“On the field, off the field. I mean, it was definitely a tremendous learning experience,” Berrios told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “There’s a little bit of an experience factor, just being around and learning really all last year. But at the end of the day, I’m kind of taking this like a Day One mentality, each day. So, there is, I’ve learned a lot in this last year.”
Berrios’s practice Tuesday showed the improvements he will need if he wants to move forward. The 5-foot-9 slot receiver had perhaps the most memorable play of the afternoon, extending to catch a touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer in 7-on-7 drills. He had a second touchdown from Hoyer in 11-on-11s.
Berrios will likely battle for a roster spot throughout the spring. Julian Edelman and first-round pick N’Keal Harry likely lead the group as sure-fire locks, while fellow receivers like Philip Dorsett, Dontrelle Inman, Maurice Harris, Demaryius Thomas and others could be fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster.
“My head is down and I think most of the people in that room, our heads are down,” Berrios said. “I’m coming out here, taking it day to day. My job is to work and get better and all that will sort itself out.
Brady hopeful a lot of football to come
Tom Brady has long said that he hopes to play football until he is 45 years old. It’s been documented everywhere and it’s something he does not seem to be backing away from.
“You know, I hope I can play that long,” Brady said. “I think you set goals for yourself, you have to have short-term and long-term, and the reality is this year is the most important one and that’s the one I’m focused on.
“So, I hope there is a lot of football beyond this, but it’s a contact sport, I’ve said that for a long time too, so I don’t think you can take those things for granted,” he added. “I’ve tried to work hard to put my body in the best position possible to withstand the hits, make all the throws. And I think I’m in a good place right now.”
Patriot running back Sony Michel, a first-round pick in 2018, did not attend a single session of the team’s mandatory mini-camp this week, which ran until Thursday.
Michel’s last known practice participation was on May 20, when he was seen in a video posted by the Patriots. He missed the OTA practice open to the media just three days later. As of now, it seems to be a well-kept secret, with nothing known as to why he has missed time this offseason.
The Patriots will host voluntary OTAs on Monday.