Rich Perillo Meet the Rookies: Ron Brace.
The combination of behemoth size and excellent athletic ability makes Brace a natural fit for the two-gap responsibilities the Patriots demand from their nose tackles. Much like current starter Vince Wilfork, Brace is ideally suited to hold his ground at the point of attack and also has the ability to occupy multiple blockers to free up linebackers - another must in the Patriots defensive system.
While at BC, Brace helped lead one of the best defenses, especially against the run, in the nation. During his senior year, he and Green Bay first-round pick (No. 9) B.J. Raji were bookend defensive tackles on the stingiest defense in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The pair wrecked havoc on the ACC, totaling 11 sacks and 28 tackles for loss. While his tackle totals aren't that gaudy, he did a great job of jamming the running lanes and helping to prevent teams from picking up much on the ground against the Eagles.
"From the player's I've talked to, a lot of them seem to think Brett Favre is pretty selfish," Harrison said. "Each and every offseason bringing so much attention to himself. It's just really a disappointment to hear that time and time again.
"If you've been in the league 13, 14, 15 years or so you know if you want to play. The circus shouldn't have to go on for three to four years. It's just a disappointment. Then the media they're just so caught up and in love with Brett Favre ... It's ridiculous because a lot of guys are doing good, positive things in the National Football League and those keep things keep getting overlooked."
- Erik Scalavino Julius Peppers signs Carolina tender...now what?
- Christopher Price brightens my day with his blog headline: Rodney rips Favre a new one. Price discusses Harrison's appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. Listen to the segment here.
- Mike Reiss offers a chart showing each Patriots draft pick, the player's agent, a quick fact on the agent to go with any past dealings with New England, and then an open space for the contract terms.
- Mike Reiss takes a long hard look at the Patriots and third down.
- Tom Yantz (Hartford Courant) Offers the results of Wednesday's Travelers Championship Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament. Team Andrade finished in third place, with Pro Billy Andrade, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, son Brian Belichick, and actor Rob Morrow. Not too shabby.
- Mike Reiss notes Bill Belichick presented Troy Brown Wednesday night at "The Tradition" event at TD Banknorth Garden. Reiss reprints one of Belichick's earlier comments made about leadership during a speech at Salem State, using Troy Brown as an example:
"Troy Brown, who hardly ever says a word, he just does his job – it doesn’t make any difference whether he’s covering Donald Driver on defense up at Green Bay, returning kicks for touchdowns against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game in 2001, or blocked field goals and lateraling for touchdowns in 2001, or catching passes from Tom Brady. He just goes out there and does his job. Of all the players I’ve had the privilege of coaching, he’d be the last guy to get up and talk and give a team speech, or that type of thing. That’s not his style, yet he’s a tremendous leader on the football team."
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Top 50: Chill, New England, there's no denying Brady now.
- NFL players aspiring to work in TV share their opinions of current analysts. (SI)
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Breaking down 'the money down' for NFL defenses.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Patriots pass-rush possibilities are slim.
- Pat Yasinskas (ESPN) No matter how you look at it, Panthers win bout with Peppers.
- Steve Wyche (NFL.com) Panthers have no intention of trading Peppers.
- NFL Network Viewer's Choice: Pick your favorite America's Game. Vote for "2001 New England Patriots."
- Matt Mosley (ESPN) All-Decade moments: Manning-to-Tyree tops list. Pats mentioned in five categories, but Peyton wins Best Commercial. What, Mosley doesn't like Sobe???
- Dan Le Batard (Miami Herald) Ex-football star Bernie Kosar continues to fight through the pain. Interesting read, especially on the pain of letting go of the game.