Karen Guregian reports that when asked, Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett said he would "absolutely" contact the Patriots when he becomes a free agent.
"After March 5, I’ll entertain all possibilities. I consider myself a blue-collar worker, a guy who comes to work and gives his all," said Brackett, who was attending the NFLPA’s safety and welfare summit. "(Former Patriots linebacker) Tedy Bruschi, I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done for that organization. I’ve followed his career. That would definitely be a place I’d consider. Business is business. You have to prepare for everything."
"I have a great deal of respect for Bill Belichick, and really the whole New England organization," Brackett said. "Those guys are top class, and I think it’s a healthy rivalry. I think guys really respect each other. Before the game, I shake Kevin Faulk’s hand, and Tom Brady’s hand. And I say, ‘Here we go again.’
"I don’t think it’s one of those Cincinnati-Pittsburgh rivalries, where we’re kicking dirt in each other’s faces. So I think it’s mutual respect between organizations, and we just have a little fun with it, going back and forth."
Brackett, who had 99 tackles last season, is a Colts leader with a great locker room presence. If Indianapolis doesn’t sign him, it’ll be interesting to see if the Pats kick the tires to see what it would take to have him land in New England.
Christopher Price reports Nick Caserio notes this year has a deep group of DE/OLBs, and was asked if the Patriots will tweak their approach when it comes to looking for edge rushers.
"I think that’s an interesting point, because the reality is that pool of players, the 6-4, 260-pound guys that run 4.6, there's not many of them," Caserio said. "Some of the small guys … like, I think Dumervil is a great example. A 5-11, 260-pound guy … maybe he's not the prototypical outside linebacker type, but he can rush the passer.
"There’s different ways to skin a cat. You’re looking for this ideal. The reality is that sometimes that ideal is hard to find." One of the reasons those ideals are so hard to find these days — no matter the body type — is that more and more teams are playing a 3-4 defense these days. Caserio estimated that "half the league is employing some 3-4 type of configuration."
"It is becoming more challenging," he said, "because there are more teams that are essentially looking at the same pool of players, so it kind of limits your opportunities, because you realize you’re really competing really with the rest of the league on that front."
Karen Guregian notes Chiefs general mangaer Scott Pioli, at the combine, had a different sense being in Indianapolis the last four days.
"For the first time in I don’t know how long, I can walk down the streets in Indy, and not be cursed at by Colts fans," cracked Pioli, the Pats former vice president of player personnel. "So I think I’m making progress."
Andy Hart and Erik Scalavino Friday Combine Notes: Tim Tebow was the center of attention at the Combine on Friday as the QBs, WRs and RBs got to work in Indy.
- Andy Hart sees a deep, talented, diverse group of Combine rushers that could be tempting for the Patriots.
- Erik Scalavino NFL Combine: First Impressions, Day 3.
- Erik Scalavino and Andy Hart NFL Scouting Combine: Saturday notebook.
- Andy Hart looks at the 2010 crop of running backs.
- Erik Scalavino takes a look at the best defensive linemen available this year.
- Tom E. Curran reports Colts' LB Gary Brackett said New England is "definitely a place I'd consider" despite the long-standing rivalry between Indy and the pats.
- Ian Rapoport looks at what has been learned from the Combine workouts.
- Mike Reiss offers his NFL Combine Quick Hits: Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 and Part 10.
- Karen Guregian looks at the Belichick disciples who will be drafting ahead of him and wonders if these like-minded coaches will take the same players New England covets.
- Karen Guregian notes Scott Pioli, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels and Thomas Dimitroff have all been trained and mentored by Belichick so how will that impact the Patriots in the Draft?
- Ian Rapoport notes the shorter size of the available pass rushers at the Combine. The players don't think it matters, but will the Patriots?
- Ian Rapoport profiles Rutgers CB Devin McCourty, saying with four picks in the first two rounds, the Patriots have a shot of getting him.
- Karen Guregian speculates on the fate of Adalius Thomas.
- Karen Guregian notes the Patriots still don’t know what they will ultimately have in return for Richard Seymour, but Tom Cable says the Raiders didn't lose out on that deal.
- Ian Rapoport reports Nick Caserio might be willing to tweak the Patriots ideal of a long, athletic linebacker for a player who can contribute.
- Shalise Manza Young looks over the top-flight wide receivers available in this year's Draft and says the pickings are slim.
- Boston Herald Combine Notebook: Tyrone McKenzie offers advice to former South Florida teammate Jerome Murphy about avoiding a serious knee injury; Seahawks insist Deion Branch is staying but don't deny trade possiblities; Pat Chung has advice for fellow Oregon Duck Eric Berry; Alabama LB Rolando McClain was nervous with coach Bill Belichick watching him; Stanford RB Toby Gerhart has been stereotyped because he is white.
- Tom E. Curran Patriots notes: No contact between Adalius Thomas and the Patriots; Randy Couture, a five-time UFC title holder, believes Stephen Neal could make it in the UFC; Jarvis Green hasn't gotten an offer yet from the Patriots.
- Jeff Howe notes Vince Wilfork is the cornerstone of the Patriots' 2004 Draft class.
- Karen Guregian notes Josh McDaniels didn't believe the lack of a title affected his ability to command the room or do his job.
- Christopher Price notes Dean Pees was never a serious candidate for the vacant defensive coordinator position in Denver.
- Tom E. Curran says it's time to toss the NFL's OT rule.
- Karen Guregian catches up with Mike Vrabel, who characterized the NFL negotiations as stagnant.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Notes from the Combine, new rivalry, OT changes,and how to help the troops.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Those darn Patriots are at it again.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patriots budgeting out their offseason.
- Pro Football Weekly AFC East Team Needs.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Posts) Combine's weekend standouts.
- Adam Kaplan (Fox Sports) A look inside free agency tight ends.
- NFL.com Scouting Combine: Articles, videos, commentary, analysis, and more.
- Mike Reiss (Boston.com) Need (holes to fill) and opportunity (lots of picks) line up for Pats in the draft.
- Don Banks (SI) Dispatches from Day 3 of the NFL's Scouting Combine.
Mark Gaughan (Buffalo News) Bills announce they won't bring back Owens.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) In today's NFL you better get yourself a pass-catching tight end.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) A good year for running backs.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Higher ticket prices will add $4million to Colts' bottom line.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Golden Tate was one of many receivers to boost stock Sunday.