New England Patriots Links 3/26/10 - Shawn Crable: Third Time's The Charm?

Center Dan Koppen practicing his leadership skills, telling everyone where to go.

Ian Rapoport catches up with LB Shawn Crable. After sitting out his first two seasons with injuries to his leg, groin and back, here's hoping his third year's the charm.

"People always tell you, ‘Look at the bright side, now you might not see it, but there’s a blessing in it somewhere," Crable told me after a workout today. "Now, I’ve seen guys who came in with me that weren’t injured, and they’re gone. Then, you sit and you look at me, I’ve been injured for two years, and I’m still here. They’re still talking to me, giving me an opportunity. I could’ve easily been gone. For me, that’s a blessing to still be sitting here three years later and two injuries, like hey, I still have an opportunity to have a job coming into this year."

"Well, this year’s everything to me," Crable said. "Everything. I have no intentions to shy away from anything this year. This year’s everything. I’m taking it very serious. I’m trying to get my body right and training hard and doing what they’re asking me to do. And at the same time, keep my mind right, keep focused. As soon as we’re allowed to get onto the field, I’m going to start working on my craft and just trying to build some things, so when the season started, it doesn’t feel like I’m two years removed from playing football."

Christopher Price writes about Dan Koppen's experience on his own nerve-wracking Draft Day weekend.

The Boston College offensive lineman didn’t hear his name called until the fifth round of the 2003 draft — the second day of the draft — and when he did, he was all by himself, upstairs at his family’s house in Pennsylvania "because nobody wanted to be by me that day."

"It was kind of crazy," he recalled Thursday. "I saw my name on the bottom line at first — actually, I was upstairs and we had a satellite upstairs and cable downstairs and there was a delay, so I heard my family go crazy downstairs, because I was upstairs alone, because nobody wanted to be by me that day. I heard them yell and then I saw it, and then the phone rang. So it was kind of a crazy day."

For Koppen, it was a "nerve-wracking" process.

"I had a chance to play golf that morning, so I got done with the round and my name still wasn’t called, so that wasn’t the greatest," he said. "It’s a long process, but really, it doesn’t matter where you’re drafted. It’s what you do when you get here and how you’re able to contribute to the team.

"For guys that are going through it, just take it for what it is. Enjoy it. It’s the only time you’re going to go through it."

Albert Breer details the next step in the Pre-Draft process for the Patriots.

Over the next few weeks, the Patriots will begin hosting prospects and we've nailed down one of the first on his way.

TCU pass-rushing demon Jerry Hughes will visit Gillette Stadium on Monday. The club is allowed to bring 30 prospects into Foxborough for visits. They can indicate legitimate interest. They can be smokescreens. They can be done to check out a guy's medicals. They can be done to tie up a loose end in a guy's file.

The hosting team isn't allowed to work the player out, but can conduct interviews and a physical, and do board work with a player.




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