Paul Perillo Meet the Rookies: Brandon Tate.
"Not being afraid to take a guy like Brandon is one of the reasons the Patriots are so successful," said [Tar Heels receivers coach Charlie] Williams, who's been coaching for 24 years including a stint in the NFL under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay from 1996-2001. "I'm not sure how long it will be before Brandon's ready to go physically, but once he is I'm certain he'll make an impact in the National Football League."
Tate was one of the most explosive return men in college football history. He was set to become the all-time NCAA leader in kickoff return yardage before tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee during a win over Notre Dame last October.
"He's a truly dynamic athlete. He's special with the ball in his hands," Williams continued. "He's elusive, quick and fast enough to take it the distance. Regardless of how he develops as a receiver, he'll be a very dangerous return threat at the very least."
The players are walking in two worlds for the next six weeks -- they want to keep their heads in the game and stay on point when it comes to football, but they also want to take some time to get away and recharge the batteries before the daily grind begins in late July.
“One of the tasks of the offseason is to manage everything you do away from football,” Patriots running back Sammy Morris said earlier in the offseason. “The workouts are the first thing I do, and then after that, you kind of get bogged down doing a whole bunch of things.”
“Most players train harder in this period -- the worst thing you can do is to lose your conditioning and your technique in this month,” said former player Matthew Bowen, who played for four different NFL teams and now writes for the National Football Post.
- Kyle Psaty 'Football For You' a success. After four straight years bringing the joy and discipline of football to inner city Boston, the New England Patriots Alumni Club (NEPAC) held its first-ever 'Football For You' clinic in Worcester, Mass., last Saturday, June 13.
- Jeff Bonda Flag Football in Foxboro. Gillette Stadium recently hosted the fourth annual North Shore Flag Football League Festival with more than 40 teams competing from as far away as Miami.
- Mike Reiss wonders whether the Patriots should keep three QBs on the roster or go with two.
- Mike Reiss talks about Matt Gutierrez and practice squad eligibility, and more picked-up Patriots pieces.
- Mark Farinella reports the folks at the Hall at Patriots Place are offering a prize to the first South Dakotan, with a valid license, to visit. South Dakota is the only state not represented in the Hall's guestbook.
- Jeff Howe says Tedy "born to be a Patriot" Bruschi is returning for his 14th season and won't be walking away yet.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) The Replacements: AFC East.
- David Whitley (NFL Fanhouse) NFL cannot follow legal system in letting Stallworth get off easy.
- Self-fulfilling prophecies make NFL camp 'competitions' a total joke. (SI)
- Ray Gustini (Nat'l Football Post) The Daily Jolt's guide to NFL labor strife.