Patriots LB Tyrone McKenzie running at the Combine last year.
Mike Reiss reminds us not to forget about Tyrone McKenzie.
McKenzie was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2009 draft (97th overall), and the team had high hopes for him at inside linebacker, yet those hopes were put on hold for a year when he tore his ACL in rookie minicamp May 2.
McKenzie's road to recovery now looks as if it's almost complete.
"I'm excited for the season and the chance to get back out there with my teammates and coaches," he said last week while attending a charity event for Haiti relief efforts. "I'm not going to put a timeline on it and say 'I'll be out there the first week of minicamp,' but it's been a situation where I've been counting down the days."
"I was here full-time, in all the meetings, learning the game plans for each week, staying on top of my playbook," he said. "I think that's going to be huge, just being around the team last year, seeing how the regular season will go, and staying on top of my football game."
When his teammates took the field for practice, he stayed behind to work with strength coaches Mike Woicik and Harold Nash and trainers Jim Whalen, Joe Van Allen and Dave Granito. McKenzie said "they did a great job pushing me forward and getting me to the point where I'm ready to go out and play football again."
Christopher Price talks about the importance of the interview process at the Combine for Patriots' potential prospects.
The interview process gives each team the opportunity to get up close and personal with a player. Teams are limited to 60 players, and they get 15 minutes with each player. Called "the NFL equivalent of speed dating," it’s a frantic process that can often tilt the organizational scales in one direction or another when it comes to making a draft day decision.
"You ask questions to figure out if this guy is controlling his life or is someone else controlling it," said Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, who was part of the Patriots interview process at the combine when he was part of the New England front office.
Ace the interview with the Patriots, and chances are good that you’ll be hearing from New England on draft day. The Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said one of the reasons New England was so high on safety Pat Chung entering the draft was its interview with him at the 2009 combine.
"After 15 minutes, we were ready to run through a wall," Caserio later recounted of their time with Chung. "It was like, ‘Sign me up.’"
- Andy Hart note PFW will be in Indianapolis providing updates throughout the Combine.
The Hall at Patriots Place will unveil "Pro Football and the American Spirit" exhibit.
- Jeff Howe reports David Patten is "thrilled and ecstatic" to return to the Patriots.
- Ian Rapoport talks about the scout's goal at the Combine, to expose the top talent and evaluate which players would be the best fit for the team.
- Mike Reiss offers some NFL Combine quick hits, Part 1.
- Albert Breer pays a really nice tribute to Mosi Tatupu from Steve Nelson about the kind of man he was off the field as well as on.
- Ron Borges writes an excellent piece on Mosi Tatupu, noting where he spent his 13 years in uniform - in someone's chest.
- Ian Rapoport reports Patriots former teammates mourn the passing of Mosi Tatupu.
- Monique Walker mentions that when Wes Welker was at Texas Tech he received the Mosi Tatupu award for Special Teams Player of the Year in 2003.
- Joe Fitzgerald shares a class story about Mosi Tatupu.
- Karen Guregian updates Wes Welker's condition as "doing well" three weeks after surgery, and says David Patten is not the solution.
- Mike Reiss projects some free agent possibilities for the Patriots: Running Back.
- Monique Walker and Albert Breer note Robert Kraft is hopeful about Wilfork, and says the Patriots do spend money, but do their best to spend it wisely.
- Monique Walker notes Robert Kraft did not interpret Randy Moss' statement as 'anti-Patriot', and points to Moss' $27 million as proof that the Patriots do pay. He says Moss is a smart businessman too.
- Mike Reiss notes Steve Muench of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. feels DL Doug Worthington (Ohio State) could be a good fit for the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss analyzes Wes Bunting's mock draft with the Patriots choosing California RB Jahvid Best with their number 22 pick.
Ron Borges reports Richard Seymour was tagged by the Raiders. Seymour said he'd be "happy to be a part of bringing them back to the playoffs." Gee, I wonder who his source in Oakland is.
Albert Breer reports Robert Kraft disputes the NFLPA's assertion that the owners are asking for an 18% cut in player salaries.
- NFLcombine.net NFL Scouting Combine history.
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) What you need to know about the NFL Combine.
- Brian Biggane (Palm Beach Post) NFL Combine ready to test new blood.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) Behind the scenes at the NFL Combine.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Five players to watch in Indy.
- Ross Tucker (SI) Forget the 40, player interviews will count the most at Combine.
- Scout.com (Fox Sports) Top 20 Draft Prospects.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Draft Watch: AFC East.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Tebow makeover has AFC East undertones.
- Frank Cooney (USA Today) The top 64: Best prospects as 2010 Draft season kicks off.
- Steve Wyche (NFL.com) No longer rookies, some second-year players must emerge.
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) Free-agent rules add more importance to draft for final eight teams.
- Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Decision time on players due large roster bonuses.