Mike Reiss profiles Cal's Tyson Alualu, a durable, powerful and versatile defensive lineman who has attracted the Patriots for his ability and his character.
The trip to Gillette Stadium was his first and included meetings with Patriots coaches, a quick hello to defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, and plenty of film work. One aspect that stood out to Alualu was when coaches put him on the board, asking him to diagram a play they had watched on film.
"A big part was knowing the game and not just what you do, but what everyone else is doing as well," he said. "At Cal, I might know what the D-linemen and a few linebackers were doing. The Patriots, on the board, I had to know everyone's position and what they were doing at different times."
In many ways, Alualu sounds like the type of player the Patriots would target -- tough, passionate and grounded. He describes himself as a player who is never satisfied, which has been the case since his Pop Warner days, when Ta'avoa [his father] would tell him he could always do better.
Paul Perillo shares his thoughts on the Patriots offseason thus far.
I’m also fine with the way the offseason has gone thus far. There weren’t a lot of quality players available via free agency and it made sense for the Patriots to stick with their own players instead. Like Belichick said at the owners meetings, "some of the best players in free agency were Patriots."
There is some talented youth on the team but it remains to be seen how much of an impact those guys will have. Mayo should improve with two healthy knees. Sanders and Meriweather are OK … nothing more. Sanders didn’t even start most games for the Patriots last year, let alone anyone in the league. I love Butler and believe he’ll be a key player in 2010. I’m not as high on Chung. He looks like a solid special teams player but I haven’t seen much as a safety that has made me take notice. Same thing for the young defensive linemen, who could both be pressed into duty this season.
Basically, the team that walked off the field 33-14 losers in a home playoff game will be returning (plus a new draft class obviously). I’m not sure how much better the team be, but I am glad they re-signed the players they chose to.
As for the coaching situation, I would prefer that the team named specific coordinators but you can be sure that someone will handle those duties. Bill O’Brien is likely the guy on offense and Matt Patricia on defense. Belichick has said he will work more with the defense this season but that doesn’t mean he’s going to do everything – at least not more than he always has.
- Ask PFW: Pick your poison. Part 1 and Part 2.
- Patriots Today - Bruschi checks in during the Pats' recent draft preview party at Gillette stadium. (2.50 min. video)
- Mike Reiss shows why the Patriots top 2011 picks likely aren't for sale.
- Mike Reiss reveals the details of Damione Lewis' one-year contract with the Patriots.
- Albert Breer gets Tedy Bruschi's insight into the Eagles' thinking, as he remembers the 2002 intra-division trade of New England's franchise QB Drew Bledsoe to the Bills.
- Christopher Price reports the Patriots will work out DT Arthur Jones (Syracuse) this week.
- Christopher Price reports the Patriots are going to hold a private workout with Connecticut punter Desi Cullen today in Hartford.
- Daniel Kobialka notes the Patriots hosted DE/OLB Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (University of Washington) on a pre-draft visit to Foxboro.
- Ian Rapoport guesses what the Patriots roster would look like if the season were to start today.
Albert Breer notes Tom Brady is the ultimate example of fortune shining on a franchise on Draft day. This links post is a bit late because I watched the NFL.com video clip twice already.
- Robert Lee profiles DT Jared Odrick (Penn State) as a possible first round draft pick for the Patriots.
- WEEI mocks the Draft for the 8th time. Pats pick DT Jared Odrick (Penn State) at 22.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. Terrific insight here as usual.
- Musket Fire highlights the NFL Total Access crew's discussion of The State of the Patriots franchise. Nice breakdown of the points made on the show. Here's the NFL.com video link (2.57 min.)
- Andy Benoit (NY Times) Best left guards in the NFL: Top 10 list. Logan Mankins number 9... number 9... number 9...
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition: Eagles get first-round value for McNabb; Stallworth retort.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Is former Syracuse receiver Mike Williams worth the risk?
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) McNabb deal to have ripple effect on draft, scheduling and more.
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Mock Draft 5.0. Pats take DT Jared Odrick (Penn State) at 22.
- Russ Lande (Sporting News) Mock Draft. Pats pick DE Ricky Sapp (Clemson) at 22.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) A look at draft averages: defense. Can the past help us predict what players and positions will be selected?
- Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) All-sleeper teams: Offense and Defense.
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Jason Taylor visiting Jets today.
- Thomas George (NFL Fanhouse) The great debate: To Tebow or Not Tebow.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Cautionary tale Maurice Clarett takes step toward prison release.