Zolak: "There are a lot of demands for your time, a lot of requests that come in. Coming up at the Garden there's this legends event taking place. You're going to present Troy Brown. How did this come about?"
Belichick: "It's really exciting to be involved in The Tradition. Troy asked me to present him, and it's certainly an honor. Troy was a great football player, on and off the field a great person. I don't think any player I've ever coached epitomizes the word 'team' or 'playmaker' in critical situations the way that Troy did, so it will be an honor for me to be there. There are also some other pretty special people that will be at that event as well, so I'm honored to be a part of it."
Zolak: "You really enjoy these types of guys that you've gone to battle with. Their playing careers are over. We saw what you said about Rodney Harrison. These are pretty much layups – when these things cross your desk you're like, 'No problem. I'm there."
Belichick: "Well, those guys have done so much for me. They've meant so much to my career and our football team that it's a small price to pay to give back to them when they've given you years and games and big plays and championships. We have a special bond when you go through those things together."
Zolak: "You guys are all having a lot of much-deserved time off. Between now and the start of camp in July when everything's ready to go, what's the one thing you hope to accomplish or just get done – away from football?"
Belichick: "How about lose 15 pounds? [Laughter] And maybe catch some bluefish."
Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) says Brady's comeback will be as much mental as it is physical.
Brady is a quarterback who feasts on that blink-of-an-eye moment before defenders hit him, an expert in allowing plays to develop as much as possible before delivering one of his absurdly accurate throws. It’s one of the reasons that the Patriots are so good at running the many spread-formation, minimum-protection plays that Bill Belichick has picked up from his years of watching good friend and Florida coach Urban Meyer.
The unanswerable question for Brady and the Patriots is this: How will Brady react when bodies start flying for real and, inevitably, start landing to close to his repaired knee – particularly when some team or player tests his nerve intentionally? As ugly as it might sound, there’s going to be a time when some defensive lineman or linebacker goes low for Brady, taking a shot not just at Brady’s body, but his mind as well.
More Shots after the jump...
- Patriots All Access This edition recaps mini-camp and features one-on-one interviews with Bill Belichick and Fred Taylor. Plus, we unveil the top 10 opponents of all-time. (19.56 min. video).
Vote for your Top Ten Individual Opponents - Players that always seemed to raise their level of play against the Pats.
- Mike Reiss reports San Diego Chargers GM doesn't like that two teams in his division will now have a Patriots-like feel to them. He considers it a "direct threat" to his team.
- Shalise Manza Young questions who the Patriots will be in 2009, and if they can live up to the lofty expectations.
- Chris Gasper notes QB coach Bill O'Brien is the unofficial offensive coordinator, although officially that position remains open on the team's masthead. Here is the transcript of O'Brien's interview.
- Karen Guregian also touches on Bill O'Brien easing into his role as offensive coordinator, albeit without the title.
- Jeff Howe says the newcomers could make the Pats' 09 receiver corps better than the '07 version.
- Mike Reiss reports that Matt Light will be taking part in NFL Broadcast Boot Camp at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey (June 22-25).
- Mike Reiss answers reader questions and comments from his blog. Part I and Part II. Great insight here as usual.
joins Dennis & Callahan on WEEI to talk mini-camp, a little NBA finals and AD's charity event. (16.33 min. audio).
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Ultimate building blocks: AFC East.
- Matt Sohn (Pro Football Weekly) Logan Mankins taking opposite contract approach to Vince Wilfork.
- Ryan Wilson (NFL Fanhouse) Word on the street: Vick and the Patriots.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Sunday at the Post.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: McNabb's deal, Brady's contract and five books for Fathers Day.
Want to know why the Patriots are playing hardball with the Vince Wilforks of the world? Because soon they're going to have to pay very big for Tom Brady. Brady's due $14.5 million, total, over the next two years. Peyton Manning's due $29.8 million over the next two. Now McNabb's in line to make exactly $10 million more than Brady in 2009 and '10 combined. You tell me how laughable that is. Brady's not saying a word. His agent, Don Yee, is not saying a word. But they're taking notes about a system that's paying Matt Cassel the same money to play 2009 as Brady will make in the next two years combined.