"It made me mentally strong,’’ Sanders said. "There was a point where I really wasn’t playing at all, but I had to have a good attitude coming in and working each and every day, because you never know when your opportunity’s going to come.
"During that long stretch, if I went in the tank and didn’t work hard or didn’t study, when opportunity came again, I might not have been ready and might not have taken advantage like I did last year, coming in the last four games and being successful and having an opportunity to make plays and be a presence on the field.’’
Karen Guregain reports 49ers LB Takeo Spikes was hoping they would draft his cousin Brandon. It would have happened if the Patriots didn't have all those second round picks. San Francisco never got the chance.
"I really thought we were going to get him in San Francisco. I thought that was going to happen. (The 49ers) really liked him," Takeo Spikes said by phone. "I talked with our GM (Trent Baalke) and our linebackers coach (Vantz Singletary) about him several times. It didn’t work out, but I think he’s in probably just as good a position where he is now, maybe even better."
"He’s excited, ready to get going. He can’t wait to report," Takeo Spikes said. "He’s eager to show the Boston fans not only what he can do, but he wants to show everybody who passed on him what he’s capable of."
"I think one of the things people didn’t see, what goes unnoticed and unseen, is the fact his presence on the field makes everyone around him better," Spikes said. "Just talking to a lot of the Florida players, that’s some of the things they’ll tell you about him. Once he gets acclimated, once he understands what he’s doing, I’m pretty sure you’ll see he’ll have that same type of effect on that team as well."
- Ask PFW: Post-wrap draft up. Paul Perillo tackles the lingering questions after the Draft.
- Erik Scalavino reports on some of the rookie free agent signings by the Patriots.
- Patriots Today - Analyzing this year's dozen. (3.46 min. video)
- Albert Breer reports Aaron Hernandez says he failed only one drug test during his three years at the University of Florida, but notes sources from five NFL teams have told the Globe that Hernandez failed multiple drug tests at Florida for marijuana.
- Mark Farinella lists some potential character issues by some of the new draftees and wonders if the Patriots standards for personal behavior have been thrown out the window.
- DJ Bean reports the Patriots don't weed out positive tests.
- NESN SportsDesk: Kevin Faulk spoke about Adalius Thomas, Ben Roethlisberger and the Patriots' draft picks. Faulk called the draftees 'proven winners.'
- Karen Guregian says 49ers LB Takeo Spikes is a big fan of Patriots draft pick Jermaine Cunningham.
- Mike Reiss gets Tedy Bruschi's assessment on the McCourty pick.
- Tom E. Curran reports safety James Sanders says the Patriots needed depth in their defensive secondary, so he's anxious to meet No. 1 draft pick Devin McCourty. (50 second video)
- Jeff Howe feels James Sanders has proven to be valuable in a deep pool of safeties.
- Mark Farinella has Superlatives from the Pats draft. Best Personality goes to Zoltan Mesko by a long shot. Farinella also says the Pats will now find out if all the former Gators they picked are Urban myths.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. Worth a read.
- Tom E. Curran sees the Patriots already looking to the 2011 draft.
- Jim Donaldson explains why he mocks the Mock Drafts.