Patriots Links 6/19/09 - Relay For Life at Gillette Stadium

Patriots rookie linebacker Shawn Crable (98) lines up for a drill during minicamp at Gillette Stadium.

Andy Hart Meet the Rookies:  Sebastian Vollmer.

According to former Houston offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, Vollmer's somewhat unlikely rise through the football ranks may be far from over.

"I think his best football is in front of him," said Gilbert, who spent 2008 with the Cougars before moving on to Illinois this offseason. "I think he's a kid who has a lot of upside. I couldn't say enough about him. He's a quality kid. He'll work his ass off for the Patriots."

"I think he's certainly a developing player," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said shortly after drafting Vollmer. "I don't think he's had quite the football experience that quite the other football players have had, but he's playing. Is he as polished as some players at that position? Probably not. But he has a lot of good tools to work with. He's a tough kid, very smart, well-conditioned athlete. He's a big man. Like everybody, he has a lot of work to do. But I think he'll work hard and try to do what we ask him to do. So I think he has a chance."

Christopher Price offers a final emptying out of the spring football notebook, a last look at the current status of some key players and how they might fit in on the 2009 Patriots.  Worth a read.

Shawn Crable:  After spending his rookie year on IR because of a shin injury, I don’t know if there was anyone happier for the chance to get on the field for the minicamps and OTAs than Crable. He threw himself into each drill -- while some guys were out there at half-speed, he was clearly fired up for every dreary exercise, including one where the young outside linebackers were practicing coming off the edge by starting in a three-point stance, rounding a cone on the "outside" and picking up a towel. Watching that drill, it was easy to see why Richard Seymour has marveled at Crable’s speed at coming off the edge. (BTW, those spindly legs appear to be pretty much a thing of the past.)

Crable said he’s spent a lot of time in the offseason watching a lot of tape on Willie McGinest -- if he’s half as good as Willie, he’ll likely spell Pierre Woods on passing downs this season. But like Pierre Woods, ultimately Crable’s playing time this year will depends largely on whether or not the Pats decide to add to the outside linebacking spot.

TEAM SHOTS

LOCAL SHOTS

But playing for the Patriots, he said, has advantages other organizations just can’t offer.

"You always have a chance to win," Seymour said. "Winning is important. Just with the guys who have come in here — I mean, I haven’t been anywhere else — say it’s a college-like atmosphere, always well-coached, always have good guys. It’s family guys, not a lot of riff-raff. It’s just a fun environment to be around.

LONG SHOTS

(On if he still has a good relationship with Bill Belichick) - "I do. I communicate with Bill and we have a good relationship and I wish him a great deal of success, unless we are playing him. They have a great program and he is a great coach."

(On his thoughts on Josh McDaniels and him being a 32 year old kid) - "Josh is a friend of mine. I have a lot of respect for Josh. I think if you sat and talked to Josh you wouldn't think of him as a 32-year old kid.

You would think of him as a head football coach in the National Football League. This is a guy that is smart beyond his years and I think he is very deserving of being a head coach. I am excited for him, until we play him."

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