The Meat Locker Sports Blog has a neat off-season interview with James Sanders. Good read.
"My mindset going in to each season is to continue to work hard and to improve areas of my game. I always feel like I’m in the mindset to be the starter, regardless of who the coaches and the organization draft. Me, Brandon Meriweather, Patrick Chung, the whole secondary, we’re all great friends. But when we go into camp I keep in my mind that I’m trying to leave as the starter."
"Last year was a weird year. Off the top of my head I can’t remember how many games I started, but it was quite a few. I approach each game, week after week, as if I’m going to be the starter. The worst thing you can do is go in unprepared. If you get thrown in the fire, you need to be ready to go. I’d rather be over prepared then under prepared. You sit there thinking you’re not going to play and of a sudden your number is called and you could potentially cost your team the game. I always want to be known as a reliable player, and for the coaches to have faith that when they put me in the game, I’m going to get the job done."
"Personally for me, I just want to improve my game each year. I know a lot of guys say it, but I just want to learn to become the best player that I can possibly be. I feel like I haven’t reached my full potential. I feel like I’m still learning more and more after each season. I just want to continue to grow in all facets of my game, run defense, pass defense, special teams… everything. I want to continue to strive to be a better player every year and I feel up to this point that I’ve been improving each year and I just aim to continue to do so. As a team, obviously the goal is to win a super bowl. I’ve come close a couple of times, but I haven’t had the opportunity to hold that trophy and get that championship ring and that’s something I still strive to earn."
"I come back home to Fresno, California and train with a small group. But my main training partner is one of my best friends, Richard Marshall of the Carolina Panthers. We get together on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 4 days a week and we just grind. Our trainer out here Steve Sabonya (Progressive Sports Conditioning) has done a great a job getting us in shape, as well as our sprint coach Josh Norman. We run hills, we have strict weight lifting regiments…the first couple weeks were brutal. But they do a great job"
Christopher Price hears from Cal coach Ron Gould about RB Shane Vereen, who says Patriots fans will love him.
“You remember watching Marshall Faulk, and you would see the things that he did over the course of his career, and you say, ‘How did he do that?’ ” asked Gould, invoking the name of the former NFL MVP. “There were times where I said, ‘How did Shane do that?’” Gould said of Vereen, who was taken in the second round of the NFL draft last month by the Patriots.
“Shane has ‘it.’ It’s hard to articulate what ‘it’ is, but he has it. When you see the things he does — his versatility, his blocking skills, his ability to run between the tackles — that’s how I would define what made Marshall Faulk successful. That’s what Shane has.”
“First of all, before you even talk about ability or those other things, you have to talk about his character. He’s unbelievable in terms of character. You never have to worry about him embarrassing the program or anything like that,” Gould said of Vereen, who was taken with the 56th overall pick last month by the Patriots. “The second thing is that he’s a fierce competitor, and he wants to win at everything he does. This guy, the last few years, he put the Cal program on his back and just did a great job. This is a kid who can carry the ball between the tackles and catch the ball in space and block. The Patriots are getting a complete back."
- Paul Perillo writes about one of rookie RB Stevan Ridley's most memorable runs at LSU, and how he hopes to make the same impact in New England.
- Erik Scalavino writes about the connection between the Indianapolis man who received a successful face transplant, and the New England Patriots.
- PFW in Progress - 5/12/11: Listen to the PFW crew discuss a wide variety of offseason topics. (2 hour program)
- Mike Reiss reports Devin McCourty capitalized on the brief lift of the lockout to check in with coaches and getting advice on what technical things to work on from film.
- Ian Rapoport notes the McCourty twins have their day at ESPN Thursday. Here is a clip from First Take (5.41 min.)
- Jeff Howe writes about Patriots players Eric Kettani and Tyree Barnes, who fight through the stereotype of being professional athletes in the Navy.
- Ian Rapoport posts a video of Tom Brady discussing how much he absolutely loves the game of football. (1 min. clip)
- Ian Rapoport posts a picture of Bill Belichick signing a child's jersey at Franciscan Hospital for Children yesterday afternoon. Here is another photo from twitter.
Ian Rapoport passes on the news that former NFL player RB Ron Springs, father of ex-Patriot Shawn Springs, died yesterday at age 54 following four years in a coma.
- Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Bill Belichick visited the Franciscan Hospital for Children yesterday, signing every autograph request and talking with the kids, the staff and everyone but reporters; Devin and Jason McCourty made the rounds at ESPN; James Sanders is training with his friend, and holding himself accountable for keeping in shape during the lockout.
- Mike Reiss passes on a message from Joe Andruzzi to Marcus Cannon.
- Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) Offseason review: New England Patriots. Defense a liability.
- Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) Offseason reset: Breaking down the offensive line market.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Rodney Harrison: Players and coaches are talking, as should be expected.
- Can the players survive without game checks? (Nat'l Football Post)
- Joe Fortenbaugh (Nat'l Football Post) Your mission is to build an NFL roster, so where do you start?
- Rich Hofmann (Philadelphia Daily News) In wake of lockout, NFL risks losing casual fans.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) If lockout lingers, Pac-10 eyeballs Sundays.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) An idea for solving the labor mess.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Thirteen days later, still no ruling on motion for stay.
- Jim Trotter (SI) Doty leaves NFL, players waiting for awarding of damages in TV case.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL players seek $707 million plus 'big number' in TV dispute.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Bills' Stevie Johnson: Every NFL player is enjoying the lockout.
- Brian Billick (Fox Sports) NFL coaches not enjoying this vacation.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) NFL's foundation cracking under weight of record stoppage.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Players' case is stronger, but NFL could win appeal.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Mort: League privately says there won't be a total shutdown.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League denies responsibility for pro-owner comments.