Field Yates checks in with FB Spencer Larsen's college coach Mike Stoops for some background.
"He was very quick. He was quick to the football and quick at the line of scrimmage," said Stoops, who now serves as defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. "Certainly that’s a lot what fullbacks have to do -- get on defensive linemen and linebackers very quickly at the point of attack. He’s a fearless guy that played downhill as a linebacker and just kind of switched roles up between a linebacker and a fullback. They’re similar in a lot of ways."
"His football IQ made that transition probably a little simpler," Stoops said. "Because of him playing [linebacker], he understands angles very well and understands what they’re trying to accomplish from a defensive perspective, I think it makes him probably a much smarter football player."
Stoops noted Larsen's off-the-charts intangibles, toughness, competitiveness, and stated that Larsen "had a great attitude about everything he did."
"If they see me out there at OTAs and minicamps and everything else, and I’m still out there winning and doing what I need to do to help the team win, you know what, the ball’s in their court to make something happen," Welker said yesterday. "That’s kind of my mindset. To go out and show them I deserve it."
"That’s the only thing — staying healthy. And I will. I’ll be fine," Welker insisted, almost willing the football gods. "To me, in my mind, this is really a two-year, $21-$21.5 million deal (applying the franchise tag a second time). Because I’m going to play well, do my thing, help the team win games, and we’ll be at the same spot next year. I’ll make $21.5 (million) in the next two years, and that’s totally cool with me. And we can just do it a year at a time like that, and that’s fine."
- The New England Patriots announced today the signing of seventh-round draft choice WR Jeremy Ebert.
- Andy Hart gives his take on Pete Prisco's Top 100 list, and the five Patriots who made his list.
- Paul Perillo takes a position-by-position look at the Patriots roster: Quarterback.
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew opines on which rookie will make the biggest impact, and DE Markell Carter joins them in-studio for an interview. (2 hour program)
- Player Interview: Spencer Larsen. (9.17 min.)
- Field Yates highlights the media Q&A with new Patriots FB Spencer Larsen.
- Mark Daniels says Spencer Larsen is right where he wants to be.
- Jeff Howe notes Spencer Larsen jokes that he used to beat up Rob Gronkowski in college.
- Mike Reiss reports the Patriots and CB Alfonzo Dennard, the seventh-round draft choice out of Nebraska, have agreed to terms on a four-year contract.
- Karen Guregian reports Wes Welker signed his franchise tender because it felt like the right thing to do for him - not because of any progress towards a contract.
- Mike Reiss shares some thoughts on Wes Welker's comments to Karen Guregian Thursday.
- Michael Felger & Tony Massarotti wonder why the Patriots are playing hardball with Welker. (4.49 min. video)
- Jeff Howe answers his Patriots Mailbag: Dont'a Hightower appears to be a good fit outside in Pats defense.
- Mike Reiss posts the transcript of his weekly online chat. Worth a read, as usual.
- Field Yates reports Bill Belichick addressed an estimated group of 120 supporters of the Wesleyan University athletics department at a fundraiser yesterday.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Patriots now offering Welker less than they offered last year.
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- Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Ray Lewis head top five over 35.
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Top 100 NFL players: No influence here, other than scouts, film. Patriots have 5.
- NFL Videos (NFL.com) The best from Tom Brady's 2011 season. (2.30 min. video)
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Top 10 All-time QBs: All hail Johnny Unitas.
- NFL Total Access (NFL.com) Best WR in the NFL? Wes Welker gets "not good enough" tag from this crew. Yeesh! (2.12 min. video)
- Inside the playbook: Tebow and the 'Wildcat'. (Nat'l Football Post)
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) The possible downside to doing rookie deals early.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Vilma sues Goodell for defamation.
- Michael McCann (SI) Why Vilma v. Goodell is much more than just a defamation lawsuit.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League responds to Vilma suit, reiterates commitment to safety and integrity.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) First fight in Vilma suit likely will arise under CBA.