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."
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.
- Andy Hart notes Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork is in New York for the U.S. Open. Nice Fathers Day gift from the kiddies.
- John Cockrell Friday Out-Takes: Knee injuries - Broadway to Brady.
- Mark Farinella reports the sixth annual Relay For Life of Greater Foxboro is the only Relay event in the country this year to be hosted at the stadium of a professional sports team. The event takes place June 19-20.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of yesterday's on-line chat and then answers some chat left-over questions from his readers this morning. Way to go above and beyond Mike.
- Michael Hurley notes that the Patriots consistently manage to stay out of trouble in the off-season.
- Jeff Howe reports DL Richard Seymour, entering the final season of his four-year deal, wants to remain a Patriot.
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.
- Cleveland Plain Dealer Browns Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely Press Conference:
(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."
- Jean-Jacques Taylor (Dallas News) DE Greg Ellis signed a three-year, $10 million deal with Oakland, after turning down a 1-year $1.5 million offer from New England. Ellis has never won a playoff game in 11 NFL seasons, and looks to continue that streak with the Raiders.
- Fox Sports Roger Goodell's suspension record. Pats make the list twice with personnel who have run afoul of the commissioner.
- Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) Prevention, not punishment, should guide Roger Goodell.
- NFL.com Top 10 most outrageous characters in the NFL.