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Patriots Links 6/23/09 - Tedy Bruschi Leaving His Options Open

<em>Cornerback Darius Butler (27) during rookie mini camp at Gillette Stadium on Friday, May 1, 2009.</em>
Cornerback Darius Butler (27) during rookie mini camp at Gillette Stadium on Friday, May 1, 2009.

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.

Mike Reiss reports that Tedy Bruschi is only looking as far as this season, not contemplating next year yet.

"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.’’



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.’”