Rich Perillo Meet the Rookies: Darius Butler.
One of the Patriots prerequisites of any player they draft is to have a love of football and a high football IQ, and according to both Belichick and [Butler's position coach at UConn Scott] Lakatos, Butler certainly fits that bill.
"He understands everything we do from the back end of the defense and he got better the whole time he was here," Lakatos said. "He's always around the offices watching film and he's always talking about other games and players, whether they are NFL or college. He just loves football"
Despite eye-popping physical skills, including an incredible 43-inch vertical leap, Butler is a student of the game who is not afraid to work hard to get better. "I think I have good physical tools; I'm athletic. I can get stronger and I look forward to improving all of my game," he said. "Now it's my profession, it's my job. It's all I have to do to make my livelihood. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity."
Rob Rang (CBS Sports) Diamonds in the rough: D rookies on faster track.
SS Patrick Chung, New England (second; 34th): I considered taking Chung off this list, as the second pick of the second round is hardly what most consider a "diamond in the rough." That said, there isn't a single player on this list (or the offensive list, for that matter) that I have more confidence in developing into a true standout than Chung. I tagged him as the most reliable open-field tackler in the 2009 draft and see no reason to back off that assessment now that he'll be playing for a defensive genius like Bill Belichick.
"It has to be that way, not only for me but also the team,’’ Bruschi said prior to the Spaulding Hospital "Tee up with Tedy’’ golf tournament at TPC of Boston.
"I have to give them everything I have this year and only think about what’s next. I’m going to prepare myself for this season, only think about this season, and when the season is over, which is a long ways away, then you think about delving into those decisions.’’
- The Patriots Cheerleaders will be traveling to Southwest Asia this summer to visit with and perform for our troops, on behalf of the United States Army.
- Andy Hart and Paul Perilllo debate which Patriot will be the biggest new contributor.
- Christopher Price says Joe Theisman knows Brady's pain.
Theismann -- who suffered one of the worst football injuries of all time when Lawrence Taylor rolled up on his right leg in a 1985 game, leaving him with a compound fracture and ending his career -- said unlike what happened to him, Brady is a long way from being done.
“It looks like he’s in great shape,” said the former Redskins quarterback. “Tom’s a tireless worker. He’s a smart quarterback. He’s not the kind of kid who’s going to go out and put himself in harm’s way and say, ‘Oh, gosh. I’m going to have to do this to get ready.’”
- Jeff Howe notes Leigh Bodden just wanted to go to a winning organization and was happy the Patriots wanted him.
- Mike Reiss finds Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi hosting the sixth annual Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital "Tee Up with Tedy Golf Tournament" yesterday at the TPC-Norton.
- Christopher Price looks at Michael Vick as a Patriot and who thinks it could work.
- Thomas Grillo reports former Patriots Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie have partnered with a product called "Tru Chocolate" that they say has helped them curb their appetites and lose weight. Smerlas boasts he's now down to a trim 280.
- Sarah Talalay reports singer Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio bought a small piece of the Dolphins.
- Connecticut’s PGA TOUR event the Travelers Championship, whose net proceeds go entirely to charity, will feature a Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday, featuring Hollywood stars and sports greats like Ray Allen, Bill Belichick, Sandy Koufax, Joe Pesci, Aidan Quinn, Roger Staubach and Luke Wilson.
- Kerry J. Byrne (Cold Hard Football Facts) CHFF Rains on a parade of records, and tries to explain away Peyton Manning's and Tom Brady's most touchdown passes of the year records. Doesn't change a thing.
- Albert Breer (Sporting News) Spring brings resolutions for Cutler, T.O. and Brady.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Select your AFC East All-Decade squad.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL shoots for making Pro Bowl 'must-see' event.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Goodell facing groundbreaking NFL rulings.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Childress and the Vikings.