USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, and the NFL Players Association have selected wide receiver WES WELKER of the New England Patriots and 25 other NFL players to the inaugural USA Football/NFLPA "All-Fundamentals" Team. This 26-man roster honors the NFL's most fundamentally-sound players who also commit themselves to service in their communities.
This honor recognizes Welker as an example for youth players – particularly wide receivers – to emulate due to his ability to properly catch the ball with his hands.
In addition to his fundamentally-strong play, Welker does exemplary work in his hometown of Oklahoma City. The six-year NFL veteran created the 83 Foundation, which provides underprivileged children of Oklahoma City to reach their full potential through values and mentoring relationships gained through football.
Adam Kilgore explains why Adalius Thomas will not be cut this year.
The Patriots are responsible for $4.4 million in guaranteed bonuses for Thomas each of the next two seasons, a total of $8.8 million that counts against the salary cap if Thomas is cut.
But the league is currently scheduled to operate without a salary cap in 2010, which alters the ramifications. Cutting Thomas, according to league sources, would force the Patriots to add all of the additional $8.8 million of Thomas’s bonus to this year’s salary cap. That makes releasing him prohibitive.
So for the next month at least, Thomas will remain a Patriot.
- Thursday Press Conference: Wes Welker (5:38 min. video) Plus Transcript.
- Patriots-Panthers Thursday Practice Participation and Injury Report.
Patriots Today: Thursday practice news, Carolina close-up. (10:43 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport says Adalius Thomas finds out what real 'Humble Pie' tastes like, and spits it out.
- Shalise Manza Young reports Adalius Thomas refuses to apologize for arriving late.
- Dan Shaughnessy portrays Adalius Thomas, aka 'George Jetson' as the latest cartoon character in Boston sports.
- Karen Guregian focuses on quiet leader Jerod Mayo about his knee injury, the season not going as he planned, and his style of setting an example instead of making speeches.
- Christopher Price offers five things to watch for Sunday afternoon.
- Mike Reiss notes preparing to face the Carolina Panthers and their third-rated rushing attack, the Patriots’ run defense will be tested.
- Albert Breer explains what the Steelers loss means.
- Mike Reiss points out a rib injury is added to Brady's list along with his finger and shoulder.
- Ian Rapoport notes Brady's bruises are piling up with his right shoulder, right index finger and now his ribs.
- Dan Duggan notes Wes Welker, honored for his sound fundamentals, bought a JUGS football passing machine for his backyard to keep sharp in the offseason.
Boston Herald Patriots Notebook: Sebastian Vollmer has been back at practice but was still learning off the field; Darius Butler is still confident despite his rough outing in Miami; Titams Adams says his promotion to the 53-man roster is proof that this organization recognizes hard work;
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) Belichick's heave-ho act was both justified and necessary.
- Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports) Adalius Thomas is neither motivated nor a Jetson.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Should Belichick bench them? Would he?
- Bruschi's breakdown: Pats' focus should be on AFC East. (ESPNBoston)
- Howard Bryant (ESPNBoston) Harsh reality is that Patriots are rebuilding.
- Troy Aikman (Fox Sports) Five Questions. When is the last time Tom Brady had to call out a teammate?
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Steelers' loss gives AFC East more juice.
- John P. Lopez (SI) 6-7 Steelers prove (again) they're not equipped to defend title.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Larry Izzo, one of the best special-teamers in NFL history, probably has leveled his last return man after being placed on IR with a herniated disk in his neck.
- Adam Teicher (Kansas City Star) Vrabel adjusts to being out of contention. "Anybody can play for a 12-2 team in December," Vrabel said. "When things are good, it’s all fun and games. This is not fun and games. But we’re going to stay professional about it."
- Week 14 Picks. Pats over Cats 28-10. (Nat'l Football Post)
VIEW FROM CAROLINA
- David Scott (Charlotte Observer) Task for Sunday: Points and lots of them.
- David Scott (Charlotte Observer) Panthers in a scoring drought.
- Darin Gantt (Rock Hill Herald) Despite massive shuffling, defense has perservered for Panthers.
Charles Chandler (Charlotte Observer) Brayton lets chips - and QBs - fall where they may: Change in perspective pays off for Panthers lineman, who's on pace for career high in sacks and tackles.